After winning her battle with cancer, Claire is taking a break from work to recharge and relax. She goes back to the small Scottish village where she used to go on holiday with her family when she was a child. Claire wants to use this holiday to forget about the cancer, forget about the husband who left her for another woman, and to find new ideas for her newspaper column. On her first morning there, Claire sees her handsome and elusive neighbour, Ed, swimming naked and for a moment all her problems seem far away. But as Ed doesn't seem too interested in getting to know her, Claire focuses her attention on her job and decides to write an article about her magic moments like spending time with her family or reading a book on the beach. Soon her column is a success and people start writing to her about their magic moments. Also, Ed isn’t so unfriendly anymore although he seems to have a secret.
Claire's scars from cancer are not only physical but also psychological as she struggle to accept her body after the cancer and to overcome her fear of the disease returning. Luckily she is surrounded by friends and family who care deeply for her. I always enjoy a novel by Caroline Roberts and this is a romantic, moving and thought-provoking novel about second chances, love and never giving up. (NP)
Ellie first met Joe when she moved to Claverham Castle to open her own teashop. Five years later, they are happily married, the teashop is full of customers and the castle has become a favourite venue for weddings. As Christmas approaches they are preparing for the fair and a last-minute wedding at the castle. From a crazy bridezilla who wants to arrive at her ceremony riding a unicorn to grumpy Lord Henry who dresses up as Father Christmas, there is never a dull moment . But cakes and Christmas trees are not the only things on Ellie's mind as she and Joe try unsuccessfully to have a baby.
I loved reading about Ellie and Joe in The Cosy Teashop in the Castle, so I was looking forward to this sequel and I wasn’t disappointed. Delicious cakes, funny characters and the evocative atmosphere of Christmas create an enjoyable and romantic story. (NP)
Ellie Hall has a dream: to spend her time baking with the help of her grandmother’s recipe book. So when she has the chance to become the owner of the teashop in Claverham Castle, she doesn’t think twice and leaves her boring job in an insurance company to move to the Downton Abbey-esque castle. Between cooking scones, cupcakes and her grandmother’s delicious Choffee Cake, she will also have to decide if she is ready for love with the handsome estate manager, Joe.
What I most enjoyed about this book is that the story is told from both Ellie and Joe’s perspectives so I got to know their thoughts, their feelings and their insecurities. Ellie was a great character - at the beginning she seems a simple normal girl with a nice job and still living with her parents. But she soon turns into a strong woman leaving her safe life for a job she is not sure she can do and standing up to the people who try to oppose her, like nosy waitress Doris and the old-fashioned Lord Henry. It’s an enjoyable and romantic read with a nice recipe at the end. (NP)