Book Review: The Secret Shopper Unwrapped by Kate Harrison

The Secret Shopper Unwrapped by Kate HarrisonI came across this book in the library and as it mentioned Christmas, it sounded ideal to get me in the Christmas mood.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t very Christmas-y, although there were some visits to Santa’s Grotto and some miserable Christmas dinners. I think it’s because a lot goes wrong and there is just not that pleasant Christmas-y feeling.

The Secret Shopper Unwrapped: What it is about

This is the second book in the Secret Shopper series, which I didn’t realise when I got the book. I didn’t read the first book in the series.

The story is about three friends who worked together in the first book as secret shoppers. Sandie started her own company after falling out with their boss, and looks for a new assistant, which she finds in the shoplifting Kelly, who has never hold a job and whose father is an alcoholic with debts to dodgy friends.

Grazia works as a secret shopper and gets really into the swing of things when she shops at plastic surgeon clinics. She finds herself a lovely boyfriend but he’s so much younger than her, and she is worried it won’t work in the long run.

Meanwhile, Emily is running a shop with her new man, which isn’t getting many customers. She’s also having problems with her ex, who is the father of her little boy.

Sandie is also having man troubles and the women struggle to make it through Christmas. They all have Christmas dinners at their parents or “in-laws” with the husbands/boyfriends invited too. None of the women enjoy it and it’s all pretty unpleasant. But for the reader, that is quite good fun!

The Secret Shopper Unwrapped: What I thought

The book was an easy read but it didn’t keep my attention all the time. Sometimes I had to struggle to keep reading until a more interesting part came around.

I liked the story of Kelly the best, although she wasn’t one of the three friends who were the main characters of the story. She had a tough life and the question was whether she could get up every morning, do a good job at Sandie’s agency, and stick with it.

The Christmas dinners were fun and sometimes toe-curlingly painful (in a nice way).

It was a nice book for some light entertainment, but I think it would have helped to read the first book first. Not only in order to get the back story of the women, but also to become more attached to them. As it was, I didn’t care for them all that much.

Rating: 3.5/5

I got this book: from the library

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 392

First published: 2009

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary fiction


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

10 Responses to Book Review: The Secret Shopper Unwrapped by Kate Harrison

  1. Nadine Nys says:

    This doesn’t appeal to me at all, Judith. I think I can skip this…

  2. I tend to stay away from Christmas themed novels… but I don’t know why. I guess I assume they will be cheesy.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Mari, this one was more a chick-litty type novel with some Christmas in the background. I think if anything, the Christmas theme wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t really help me get in the mood. 🙂

  3. I have read a couple of Kate Harrison’s earlier novels but just not sure about this series, I might read them if they ever come my way.

  4. Nice review. I suppose every book can’t be a bonafide winner. I like the premise and the cover.

  5. Nadine Nys says:

    I have read some chick-lit, but it is not my favorite genre

  6. lucy says:

    i loved the book

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