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  • Christmas by Candlelight

  • By: Karen Swan
  • Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Christmas by Candlelight cover art

Christmas by Candlelight

By: Karen Swan
Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
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Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER!

'There’s nothing quite like a Karen Swan novel to get you in the festive mood - Seasonal escapism at its best' -
Woman & Home

Snowed in for the holidays, old truths rise to the surface. Christmas by Candlelight is a cosy Christmas story from Karen Swan, bestselling author of The Stolen Hours.

It’s three days before Christmas and starting to snow when high-flier Libby and her new boyfriend reluctantly attend her university reunion.

Hosted by Archie Templeton – the heartbreaker of their group – at his grand family estate in Yorkshire, the night is a great success until they go to leave: the road is now blocked with snow.

At first, being snowed in together is fun. But as hours pass everyone grows restless.

Then the power goes out . . .

Hunkered down together by candlelight, they reminisce about old times – and tensions soon start to rise. Secrets from the past begin to unravel and Libby is confronted with a truth she has long tried to deny.

Reviews for Christmas By Candlelight:

'
You know that the festive season is well and truly here when a Karen Swan Christmas cracker appears . . . Sprinkled throughout with Swan’s trademark twists and turns, insight, cosy charm, and eye for comedy, this is the perfect warm-up for the Christmas holiday.' - Yorkshire Post

'An author loved for her cosy, escapist, festive fiction' Prima

'With well-drawn characters and plenty of romance and drama, this page-turner will leave you with a warm festive glow.' - The Mirror

'Seasonal escapism at its best' - Women's Weekly

'A cosy Christmas read with plenty of twists' - Woman's Own

'This escapist, uplifting story explores old friends and fractured relationships . . . With relatable characters, plenty of secrets and a sprinkle of feel-good cosiness, this is the perfect winter read.' - My Weekly

©2023 Karen Swan (P)2023 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

What listeners say about Christmas by Candlelight

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and performed!

A lovely Christmas story moving easily across the years. Allowing plenty of guessing opportunities for the reader it weaves an unexpected story with a mix of interesting characters. A very enjoyable read!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Five stars are not enough!

A truly brilliant story. I was gripped by it from beginning to end. The twists and turns are a constant. Some Christmas stories can be very sweet and predictable but this certainly isn’t like that! I’ve not included what the story is about as I don’t want to give any spoilers away, just know you won’t put it down once you’ve started it! Thank you, Karen - your best book by far. Also brilliantly narrated by Daphne.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Karen Swan needs cloning - getting lost in her thoroughly absorbing novels is always a joy and a balm

I’ve listened to all Swan’s books and long for each new title. Whilst some hit the enjoyment spot more than others, Swan sits in a class of her own for escapism of a higher order. Well drawn characters with emotional depth and latitude. Tougher subjects are handled without too much grimness but nonetheless are always moving and poignant.

As someone whose life circumstances involve inordinate amounts of pain - her books literally act as the best thing to get me through hours awake in severe pain without bringing me down. They also avoid being the type of semi-patronising schmaltz I think publishers sometimes think readers who seek satisfying escapism with a love story woven into a wider drama, seek.
As someone only able to listen to audiobooks (due to being bedridden) I’ll be forever grateful for all her novels.
This one was compelling, moving and enjoyable.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a story with twists and turns

Great characterisation and plot. The story is well read and it has good pace and intrigue.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

As always Karen Swan delivers. So love her books, can’t wait for the next one.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A love story with a twist

I did like this story, I love story with a nasty twist , but I thought it slightly drawn out,

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bland

Annoying characters. One scene in which the drunken male stroked the main characters breast without permission was questionable at best. In an age where it is not ok to sexually touch a woman, here we had the main character expressing her thought that she liked it. I was shocked. Didn’t finish it.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • gg
  • 22-11-23

Ludicrous

Generally enjoy escapist Christmas fiction but even I balked at the story line here , every conceivable plot line thrown I

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A little lacking

I usually adore a KS Christmas story, but this was flat in lots of places

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A non starter

I usually love Karen Swans books but I just found this one a bit non descriptive.
I listened to it all but the t just didn’t grab me like her others

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