Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man...literally.
One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.
Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger's world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE...But does fantasy match reality?
What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she's always imagined?
A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill was published in paperback by Simon & Schuster UK on 3 July 2014 and is the author's thirteenth novel. I reviewed her book Something From Tiffany's here on Random Things back in October 2011.
There are sometimes when you read a book and are introduced to a character when you really really wish that you were that person. Darcy Archer is Melissa Hill's wonderfully created heroine and I want her life! Darcy works in Chaucers; an independent bookstore in Manhattan, New York. Darcy loves books, she loves them with a passion and spends most of her life surrounded by them, or immersed in them.
"Darcy was indeed too fond of books - a condition known as 'bibliolatry'. She always had at least one book on the go close by, and felt almost naked without a novel on her person. Darcy had been enveloped in a story every single day of her life for as long as she could remember, and tended to use every opportunity - waiting in line, eating, occasionally even while brushing her teeth - to indulge in her greatest pleasure.'
A Gift to Remember is warm, funny and the perfect escapist read. There is plenty about the plot in the synopsis above; but basically Darcy knocks a guy out by running him down on her bicycle. This guy is Aiden, but he's lost his memory and hasn't a clue about anything to do with his life before the accident. Aiden had two clues on him when the accident happened; a beautifully packaged parcel and a husky dog called Bailey. Darcy is consumed with guilt, and not only takes on the care of Bailey whilst Aiden is in hospital, but does her best to track down his friends and family.
The next few days are a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Darcy, as she finds herself associating with the New York elite, and making friends with her grumpy old lady neighbour. Darcy learns so much about herself, she realises that actually, the old lady next door is a real treasure and is lonely, not grumpy; she learns that you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and that Jimmy Choo shoes make a mighty fine dog chew!
Melissa Hill is really talented in creating characters that the reader will fall in love with. Darcy's colleagues at Chaucers, her neighbours, the mysterious Aiden and of course the wonderful Bailey the husky dog. The winter streets of New York play an enormous part in this story too, and the city is a character itself.
I enjoyed A Gift to Remember so much, I especially loved the literary quotes at the head of each chapter that so captured the contents of the pages to come.
My thanks to Simon & Schuster and Books and the City who sent my signed copy for review, and also thanks for the fabulous Bourjois mascara that came with it ... I love it!
Melissa Hill lives with her husband and daughter in South Dublin. She is the international No.1 bestselling author of Something From Tiffany's, The Charm Bracelet and more. Her books have been translated into twenty-five different languages.
For more information visit Melissa's website at www.melissahill.ie Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @melissahillbks