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Publisher's Summary

The Perfect Present is glamorous and festive read from Karen Swan, author of Christmas at Tiffany's.

Haunted by a past she can't escape, Laura Cunningham desires nothing more than to keep her world small and precise - her quiet relationship and growing jewellery business are all she needs to get by. Until the day when Rob Blake walks into her studio and commissions a necklace that will tell his enigmatic wife Cat's life in charms.

As Laura interviews Cat's family, friends and former lovers, she steps out of her world and into theirs - a charmed world where weekends are spent in Verbier and the air is lavender-scented, where friends are wild, extravagant and jealous, and a big love has to compete with grand passions.

Hearts are opened, secrets revealed and as the necklace begins to fill up with trinkets, Cat's intoxicating life envelops Laura's own. By the time she has to identify the final charm, Laura's metamorphosis is almost complete. But the last story left to tell has the power to change all of their lives forever, and Laura is forced to choose between who she really is and who it is she wants to be.

©2017 Karen Swan (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Perfect Present

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Beautiful

What a beautiful story, I loved every chapter. This is the second book of Karen Swan’s I have read. You are truly an amazing storyteller.

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  • Lolo
  • 25-12-2020

Enjoyable listen

I really enjoyed this book. Lots of ups and downs. Interesting story with an ending that is happy.

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  • Sandy Milan
  • 29-01-2019

Excellent concept

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think the blurb does this story justice. The h is a jeweller with lots of secrets and pain. She is approached to make a necklace with charms as a birthday present to Rob's wife, Cat. Each charm is to represent Cat's relationship with the individual that Rob considers important to Cat. This involves the h interviewing each of them. The h meanwhile lives a very safe life with a good man but we are aware that she is very troubled. When Rob and the h meet, she ends up throwing him out of her studio because he's so arrogant. When the h decides to buy her partner a beach hut for Christmas, she goes cap in hand to Rob because he will pay her a small fortune for Cat's necklace. As the h begins the interviews, she is drawn into Cat's world. In order to finalise a number of the interviews, the h goes to Verbier for a skiing weekend. That changes the h's life in many ways and not all of them are good. The secondary characters are very interesting and mainly Cat's friends and former lovers. The h's best friend and her partner are also great characters. I loved this book and didn't want it to end.

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  • Veronica
  • 21-01-2019

Perfecto

Loved the story and it had a surprise twist that Inwans expecting. Imogene Church was fantastic as she always is.

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  • Kelsey
  • 29-06-2018

Narrator's Voice Intonation is a Downer

I love all of Karen Swan's books which have been read by other narrators. Unfortunately the narration by Imogen Church of this book ruins the book for me. Imogen's voice intonation carries like that of a pessimistic newscaster. Somehow she manages to make much of the text into sounding pessimistic like it's bad news. It's a real pity. Otherwise, I believe the actual text and book would be an enjoyable read. But, I feel like it's being read by a Debbie Downer.

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  • Robin
  • 08-06-2018

Not this author’s best

I recently started reading this author’s books .... I believe this is one of her earlier books. I would definitely recommend her later books, and to probably give this one a pass. I found it superficial and not reasonably believable.

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  • Owlgirl
  • 25-05-2018

Laura and Lily

I almost didn’t read this as someone said it was sad!! Not sad to me! Great Story with a glorious ending!! Thank you Karen Swan for such a interesting story once again! Thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters ❣️ Imogene Church well done❣️

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  • U. Kauffman
  • 14-01-2018

Really painful ...

That was really really painful, to say the least. Even Imogen couldn’t make it worth your time ....

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  • Kathy Spanberger
  • 28-12-2017

Always a pleasant surprise

I love her plot twists. You can’t guess in advance what the issues are with the main character. Also love that her characters are such strong females.

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  • C M Kelly
  • 09-02-2019

A different book by Swan

A Somewhat Different Karen Swan Book. Really enjoyed listening, as it kept my attention with all the twists and turns.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-12-2018

No words

No words can describe how brilliantly written and narrated this book was. laugh, cry I did the lot.

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  • Diana Adu
  • 31-10-2018

The perfect read

Fabulous book keeps you interested and makes you want to keep reading I have enjoyed the book

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  • rebeccah prince
  • 26-10-2018

just wonderful

one of Karen Swans best. lots of little mysteries about each character to be unravelled. charecters are complex. as usual i love the focus on the woman's life and job etc rather than focus being mostly about her feelings towards the love interest. beautifully read. never wanted it to end. really liked the ending. felt female charecter 'rescused' herself and created her own happily ever after rather than the man being the hero

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  • Truffle Guernsey
  • 24-08-2018

Irresistible summer listen

Having listened to several Karen Swan books and enjoyed Imogen Church’s reading of other novels I decided to give this a listen. The more I listened the more I struggled to switch this off, listening late into the night. I even looked forward to ironing as I couldn’t walk the dog further to listen to the story... The prologue sets the scene for Laura and Lillie’s loss and it soon becomes clear that there is more of a mystery and that the main character is hiding something as she is asked to create the ‘perfect present’ for a clients wife. This is not the only secret and at times I felt on edge waiting for the inevitable to happen, but still desperate to know what would happen next. Not as predictable as I first thought, a well paced story.

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  • L. Howard
  • 16-01-2021

A fab festive story to listen to anytime anywhere

I found the story took a little while for me to get into it and to become gripped but once I was there I listened to it whenever I could grab even just a chapter. The characters were an interesting lot and I found myself thinking about them when I was wasnt even reading the book. I loved Imogen as the narrator!

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  • NikkiNakkiNoo
  • 10-11-2020

Beautiful book

Love the book but don't like Female narrators doing men's voices. Have the paper copy of this book and love it!

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  • Sylvia cooper
  • 11-10-2020

Wonderful

It’s just as the reviews had to say just couldn’t put it down and l will be reading this book again the best as yet

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  • P Power
  • 11-09-2020

Long-winded

I did enjoy this story but found it to be a bit long-winded at the same time. I feel the author dragged it out too much. The main character, Laura, came across as a not very nice person in my eyes and a lot of the time I found it hard to have sympathy for her and thought she must be really stupid or have extremely low self-esteem to be in the pickles she got herself into. She was also overwhelmed by the opulence of her new found-friends on far too many occasions, so much so that it became tiresome and annoying. The ending was rushed and slightly twee, I would have liked to have read more about what happened to her “after” instead of just a short epilogue. Overall I would be embarrassed to recommend this story. I have to say the narrator was excellent! She has a great array of voices and accents and captured each of the characters perfectly with the voices she chose for each of them. I would definitely listen to more stories narrated by her.

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  • G
  • 20-02-2020

Wow wow

How does she do it. I love Karen Swans deep and elaborate stories. The charactes come alive as you listen. The twist and turns the ups and downs. Then just when you think you know everything about them, she throws in a curve ball. I love you imagination, please keep it flowing.

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