The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories by Katie Fforde

The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories

INCLUDES AN EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW OF A COUNTRY ESCAPE, COMING FEB 2018!Delve inside this CHRISTMAS STOCKING choc-full of perfectly themed, never-before-published seasonal short stories perfect for anyone who loves romance, humour and happy-ever-after endings. By the Sunday Times Number One bestselling author, Katie Fforde.'A lovely, warm read to sink your teeth into' Hea...

Title:The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
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The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories Reviews

  • Emma Crowley

    The Christmas Stocking and other stories is the second collection of festive themed short stories from Katie Fforde following on from publication of A Christmas Feast back in 2014. This new collection features six stories only two of which have been published before or featured in magazines. Those two being A Christmas in Disguise and Candlelight at Christmas. I have read and reviewed both of these before and out of the two I would say A Christmas in Disguise is the better one. Short stories rea

    The Christmas Stocking and other stories is the second collection of festive themed short stories from Katie Fforde following on from publication of A Christmas Feast back in 2014. This new collection features six stories only two of which have been published before or featured in magazines. Those two being A Christmas in Disguise and Candlelight at Christmas. I have read and reviewed both of these before and out of the two I would say A Christmas in Disguise is the better one. Short stories really divide readers, you either love them or hate them and rarely fall in between with your opinion. I'm on the side that loves them because I feel they are perfect to dip in and out of at a time of year when you are always rushed off your feet amidst frantic preparations for Christmas. I think the stories provide the perfect opportunity to grab a few minutes to yourself and curl up and enjoy a wonderful tale without the added pressure of knowing it is a long book and one in which you will have to keep track of so many characters and plot-lines. What sets short stories apart from normal length books is that they always have a twist towards the end and that is what I look forward to the most when I am reading. I raced through this collection one afternoon and overall enjoyed the characters I met but felt some stories were stronger than others.

    In the Christmas Stocking we met Romy who is selling her hand-crafted Christmas decorations at a Cotsworlds market. She is frozen standing there but thinking of the flight she has to catch to spend Christmas with her boyfriend Gus and his parents in France. Like a ray of sunshine Felix steps up to the stall and buys everything she has left. Relief for Romy that she can get out of the cold but also the thoughts that her trip is drawing ever closer don't bode well as Christmas with a man she wonders how she could be attracted to is not really top of her priorities. Through one thing and another Romy ends up bringing the decorations to Felix's house deep in the woods and she becomes stranded there. It almost felt like the pair were cut off from the world, all contact and communication was gone and it meant the pair could get to know each other despite each having a partner of their own. The story was short and sweet but perhaps not the best in this collection. I got the message towards the end how it related to the title but for me it was missing that special magic moment of revelation and surprise. The events do change Romy's life and maybe the Christmas magic did come into play.

    A Dream Christmas certainly lived up to its title and could best be described as a fairytale for grown ups as strange things start to happen to Ginny and Ben on their honeymoon. Their wedding had taken place on Christmas Eve and although your wedding day is meant to be one of the happiest days of your life, Ginny can't say that is the case for her. Ginny was a person who gave into the pressures of others most noticeably her mother instead of just standing up for what she wanted. Now the wedding is over she is at the stage where she questions whether she wanted any of it all even Ben. But someone out there knows just a little magic and a few special touches will bring everything back into focus for Ginny and maker her stop questioning herself. To some, elements of this story may have seemed over the top but somehow it just worked here. The reader needs to suspend their disbelief and go with the love and enjoy the beauty and message within the story.

    As previously mentioned I had read both Candlelight at Christmas and A Christmas in Disguise so I skipped these two stories. Candlelight at Christmas sees the return of Rupert and Fenella who featured in the full length book Recipe for Love. They are supposed to be organising the perfect Christmas in their home until a phone call announcing the imminent arrival of her ghastly parents in law scuppers all their plans. Can a smooth Christmas ensue? A Christmas in Disguise follows Jo as she attempts to do a favour for a friend leading to some unexpected events and a little white lie or two. Will Jo be able to fulfil her promise without discovery? Can she produce the most mouthwatering, tantalising Christmas feast on a par with the usual fair Andi is capable of producing? Will a bargain lead to her downfall or will Katie Fforde produce a twist that all short stories deserve? If you buy this collection you'll discover all the answers.

    Dogs are for Christmas and The Christmas Fairy were without doubt my favourite stories in this collection. In my eyes having dogs in a story means you are straight away onto a winner. On Christmas morning as Stella is walking up to the top of the common to scatter her Dad's ashes and those of his beloved dog Geoffrey she encounters a pair of boisterous pups Tris and Izzy followed by their harassed looking owner Fitz. Little does Stella know that this brief encounter will change her entire plans for Christmas and maybe her outlook on life. Stella is a bit lost after the death of her father. Combined with that she is on a break from boyfriend Piers and looking to spend Christmas alone in her father's cottage to take stock and see what her next move should be. Adorable but naughty pups Tris and Izzy put paid to her plans and soon she finds herself with guests for Christmas dinner. I did think woah would you really take in people on the most special day of the year although you had literally only met them that morning? But as the story developed and the main idea and message behind it became more evident, I loved how the strands began to come together and made the message and spirit of Christmas shine through. Fitz's mother Mac, although now in a care home, was a lot smarter than one would give her credit for. That little twinkle in her eye might have meant mischief but in the most beneficial way to all.

    The Christmas Fairy ended this book in the most perfect way. Ella stands at the door of a cottage In Cairn, Scotland hoping to make the Christmas wishes of a family come true. She has the most unusual of jobs which she has created to keep her going in between searching for acting jobs. For Ella is the Christmas Fairy, not one who sits and surveys all at the top Of the tree. No she fulfils all your Christmas wishes to such high standards you wonder why you never had an Ella in your life before. Through one thing and another she is needed to help out Uncle Brent to make Christmas just as it always had been for Judith, Mia and Bill. I loved every minute of this story and Ella's enthusiasm for everything she does was just so infectious. She thought of every little detail and everyone's needs were catered for. She certainly used her 'fairy magic' to the best of her ability leaving no stone unturned. Ella had such heart and soul. She was kind and genuine that the reader hoped some magic would work it's way into her life and that she would find the ending she deserved. In this story it was brilliant to see the reappearance of Rebecca, Emily and Alasdair who had featured in the full length book A Summer at Sea. Again another book I loved. It's fun to spot characters you have read about before.

    Overall, I really enjoyed The Christmas Stocking and other stories and yes it would be an ideal gift for someone to find in their stocking on Christmas morning. The sneak peek of Katie's new novel A Country Escape at the very end has more than whetted my appetite for its publication in February 2018.

  • Joanne D'Arcy

    The first thing to note is that this publication has two short stories which have previously been published around Christmas time. However they are short stories and so wonderfully written that it will do you no harm in reading them all over again - just like I have!

    Candlelight at Christmas (previously published) - featuring characters from Recipe in Love (which I still have not read) shows how Christmas can be as much fun, even if you have the in-laws from hell, too many guests and suddenly no

    The first thing to note is that this publication has two short stories which have previously been published around Christmas time. However they are short stories and so wonderfully written that it will do you no harm in reading them all over again - just like I have!

    Candlelight at Christmas (previously published) - featuring characters from Recipe in Love (which I still have not read) shows how Christmas can be as much fun, even if you have the in-laws from hell, too many guests and suddenly no electricity to cook the turkey!

    A Christmas in Disguise (previously published) - can Jo really pull of not just being someone else but also cooking a Christmas Dinner and pretending to be a girlfriend all in one day!

    The Christmas Stocking - Romy is busy selling decorations and gifts on her stall at the market. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and the cold is really starting to bite Romy.

    When a mysterious man brings her a hot drink to warm her up, so begins an unlikely friendship which is intensified by it being Christmas Eve the next day, the snow, the music studio all in the depth of the woods. Romy's Christmas this years is going to be very different from what she planned.

    A Dream Christmas - getting married on Christmas Eve is a dream for many (me included) and when Ginny and Ben finally make it out of their wedding reception and have some time for themselves.

    When the taxi drops them at Withycome Lodge, the housekeeper's cottage it seems to be in the middle of nowhere almost a dream.....log fires, warming baths, snow and an unseen member of staff mean this is going to be the honeymoon that everyone dreams of.

    Or is it?

    Dogs are for Christmas  - Stella  goes for a walk early Christmas morning to the Dog Walker's Christmas Tree where people come to remember their treasured pets that are no longer around. She wants to put her dad's dogs ashes there. Her dad's beloved dog, died a few days after its owner.

    Stella did not think she would suddenly have company so early and especially not from two exuberant misbehaving dogs, Tris and Izzy and an apologetic dog sitter, Fitz.

    Perhaps Stella's Christmas is going to be full of dogs after all.

    The Christmas Fairy - everyone needs one surely? Ella is sent to help Brent look after his two nieces and nephew when their parents have to make a mad dash to France to look after sick relatives. Ella as the fairy is there to make sure everything is going okay and occupy them all in the depths of Scotland and so they don't miss their parents too much.

    Trouble is Ella seems to be sprinkling a bit of fairy dust very close to home. Perhaps she will get her Christmas wish too.

    This is a collection of wonderful stories which can be read time and time again. Perfect for getting into the Christmas Spirit whatever the month or the weather! In fact I think they would make great Christmas Eve afternoon stories, curled up in the front of the log fire. A hot toddy, a mince-pie warm oozing with Brandy Butter, the tin of Roses open with wrappers left about in gay abandon like coloured snowflakes. Indulge it may be the only time you can in what can be a busy time!

    This also includes a preview of Katie Fforde's new novel, out in 2018. As with such things when they appear in books I do not read them, as the frustration of not being able to continue the story is incalculable!

  • Kim

    This is a lovely collection of short christmas stories- only two have been published before. These stories are ideal to settle down to read with a nice mug of hot chocolate when making your Christmas list or taking a break from shopping. I loved Katie's books- so it was a real treat to have some shorter stories to read with a Christmas theme. It's my favourite time of year. This collection will have you reaching for the mince pies and finding a radio station playing those Christmas songs.

  • Clare

    Listened to in audio format.

    I listened to Katie Fforde's

    last year which I enjoyed. I was rather reluctant to buy this collection because I thought I may already own the stories. When The Christmas Stocking was released I was pleased I had only read a Candlelight at Christmas, I was happy to listen to it again.

    My favourite stories were A Dream Christmas which had a supernatural feel. The Christmas Stocking and Dogs are for Christmas - I loved Isodolde and Tris

    Listened to in audio format.

    I listened to Katie Fforde's

    last year which I enjoyed. I was rather reluctant to buy this collection because I thought I may already own the stories. When The Christmas Stocking was released I was pleased I had only read a Candlelight at Christmas, I was happy to listen to it again.

    My favourite stories were A Dream Christmas which had a supernatural feel. The Christmas Stocking and Dogs are for Christmas - I loved Isodolde and Tristan the doggies.

    As always with Katie Fforde the stories had great characters, and left me with a warm festive glow. I listened to these stories over 2 afternoons with a blanket over me ahh bliss. I look forward to Katie's 2018 festive offering.

  • Jo Barton

    The six stories which make up the whole of the book have a delightful seasonal theme and feature an array of people, and animals, who very quickly make an emotional impact. I really enjoyed reading the stories and each one, when finished, left me with a smile on my face and a lovely warm glow inside. As with any short story collection, there are some which stand out more than others and my two particular favourites are The Christmas Stocking and A Dream Christmas. I could have happily read on fo

    The six stories which make up the whole of the book have a delightful seasonal theme and feature an array of people, and animals, who very quickly make an emotional impact. I really enjoyed reading the stories and each one, when finished, left me with a smile on my face and a lovely warm glow inside. As with any short story collection, there are some which stand out more than others and my two particular favourites are The Christmas Stocking and A Dream Christmas. I could have happily read on for much longer than their sixty or so pages, and was, in a way, disappointed when the stories ended, only because I had grown to love the characters and wanted to read more of their story.

    Each story is perfectly proportioned to help you while away a quiet hour or so and whilst, its worth mentioning that two of the stories have been previously published in magazines I hadn't read them, so it didn't affect my enjoyment at all, but other readers may need to be aware of that.

    If you are familiar with this author's work, you will instantly recognise her trademarks of lovely character definition and fine attention to detail which is so reminiscent of her writing. And for those who can't wait until her next novel is due, there is a sneak peek of A Country Escape, which is coming in February 2018.

  • Odette Knappers

    Dit boek gaf me echt het ultieme kerstgevoel!

    Sommige boeken van deze auteur vind ik erg leuk, andere wat minder. Ik durfde dus een bundel met verhalen wel aan, want dan zit er vast wel wat leuks tussen.

    En ik zag dit boek toen ik met Rowie in Amsterdam bij de Waterstones was. Ik hou echt enorm van de kerstperiode maar ik wist toen al dat ik veel zou moeten werken, dus ik dacht dat een extra hulpje om in de kerststemming te komen misschien wel handig zou zijn. Uiteindelijk ben ik erg veel thuis ge

    Dit boek gaf me echt het ultieme kerstgevoel!

    Sommige boeken van deze auteur vind ik erg leuk, andere wat minder. Ik durfde dus een bundel met verhalen wel aan, want dan zit er vast wel wat leuks tussen.

    En ik zag dit boek toen ik met Rowie in Amsterdam bij de Waterstones was. Ik hou echt enorm van de kerstperiode maar ik wist toen al dat ik veel zou moeten werken, dus ik dacht dat een extra hulpje om in de kerststemming te komen misschien wel handig zou zijn. Uiteindelijk ben ik erg veel thuis geweest omdat ik mijn rug verzwikt had, en dat was enorm balen, dus dat hielp ook niet echt met de kerstmood (: Gelukkig gaat het nu beter en ben ik mede door dit boek wel in de kerstmood!

    Ik vond een enkel verhaal wat minder leuk maar nog steeds erg leuk, er was dus maar 1 4* verhaal eigenlijk. Want wat Katie in dit boek enorm goed gedaan heeft, is dat ik van ieder verhaal (tussen de 50 en 90 blz) het idee had de personages echt heel goed te kennen. Dat vind ik voor korte verhalen erg knap.

    Daarnaast was ieder verhaal op een hele eigen en andere manier dan de andere kerstig, en dat vond ik erg leuk.

    Ik hou dus heel erg van dit boek, en wie weet herlees ik hem nog een andere december :)

  • Ali Bookworm

    To be fair - I only got halfway through. Am not really a lover of short stories in book form - unless they are ghost stories - or in a magazine. I have read some of Katie Ffords books some I have enjoyed whilst others I have struggled and abandoned. Sad to say this was also one but no doubt others will enjoy.

  • Leonie Byrne

    I can always count on Katie to get me in the festive mood, I've been a huge fan since I first started reading her books about 7 or 8 years ago, and I have a shelf dedicated only to Katie's books on my bookcase.

    The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories, is a great collection of festive stories with two already published separately and four brand new ones.

    The Christmas Stocking sees Romy, a young woman selling handmade Christmas decorations at a Christmas market, getting stranded at a customer's

    I can always count on Katie to get me in the festive mood, I've been a huge fan since I first started reading her books about 7 or 8 years ago, and I have a shelf dedicated only to Katie's books on my bookcase.

    The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories, is a great collection of festive stories with two already published separately and four brand new ones.

    The Christmas Stocking sees Romy, a young woman selling handmade Christmas decorations at a Christmas market, getting stranded at a customer's house when she drives over to do a delivery. Felix is alone for Christmas and offers for Romy to stay with him for Christmas Day, romance ensues.

    In Dream Christmas Ginny and Ben are heading off to the new forest on their honeymoon after their disastrous wedding in which both mothers completely took over. When they arrive at the cottage, Ginny is shocked to discover it is nothing like the hot tub, double shower, memory foam mattress filled cottage she booked and is instead completely old fashioned. But someone seems to be looking after them, providing food, drink and a warm fire, there are no footprints in the snow though so who could this mystery person be and what is their agenda?

    Fenella is stressing over creating the perfect Christmas in Candlelight at Christmas but then the power goes out and disaster strikes, how will she keep so many people happy when there's no lights never mind no cooker?!

    Tristan and Isolde, a pair of naughty dogs come barrelling into Stella when she's scattering ashes beneath the dog walker's tree in the village she's just moved to. With them comes their handsome owner Fitz and somehow she finds herself hosting him and his elderly mother for Christmas dinner, then Stella and Fitz's respective partner's turn up and it all gets a little uncomfortable...

    Falling in love with one of the guests was never Jo's plan when she agreed to help her friend Andi cook Christmas dinner in A Christmas in Disguise. Both women think they'll get away with it because Andi's celebrity diva boss makes her wear All chef whites, but then suddenly she's asked to be a stand in girlfriend too, and awkward if hilarious times ensue.

    Finally, in The Christmas Fairy Ella, an out of Work actress is hired to help out Brent a young uncle who agreed to have his nephew and two nieces for Christmas. At first Brent is reluctant to accept her help but soon the Christmas Magic is happening for more people than just the children. This story is extra special because it features some of the lovely characters from Katie's novel A Summer at Sea.

    As usual the stories were beautiful, happy ending stories (my favourite kind), wonderfully festive and easy to devour in a single sitting.

  • Bron

    A fun collection of sweet, festive stories.

  • Louise

    7/10

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