The Bookshop on the Corner - Rebecca Raisin (2014)

Sarah Smith owns a lovely bookshop in Ashford, a small town in Connecticut. She loves nothing more than making herself comfortable with a good romance novel in order to dream away about an attractive man who can sweep her off her feet. But, one day, when Sarah is stuck with her nose in another novel, an actual handsome stranger walks into her shop. Ridge Warner is a journalist from New York who is writing an article about Ashford, and Sarah and her bookshop have managed to get his attention. Will Sarah be able to step away from the pages of her beloved romance novels and take this chance to find love in the real world? This is a novella book lovers will undoubtedly fall in love with, just like I did. It was easy to warm to Sarah, I'd do anything to be the owner of an amazing bookshop like the one described in this story; it sounds like such a wonderful place - heaven on earth for book lovers! Rebecca Raisin's descriptive writing style really made it easy for me to imagine everything in my head; not just the bookshop, but the entire village and the cast of amazing characters. I loved Sarah's friends, such as her best friend Missy, who runs the beauty salon in town, and CeeCee and Lils from the Gingerbread Cafe, and there's also the handsome stranger, Ridge; I could completely understand why Sarah was swept off her feet by him. I'm not familiar with Raisin's other novellas about the Gingerbread Cafe; this didn't bother me while reading this particular story, so it definitely works as a stand-alone. If I have to name one thing I thought was a bit of a shame, it has to be the fact that this is a novella. The story was quite short and I finished it rather quickly. I fell in love with the characters, the storyline, and the setting, and I definitely wouldn't have minded if this had been an entire book, with space for more background information and more details. The Bookshop on the Corner is a simply charming, wonderful, quick read; a story which any romance/book fan will certainly enjoy. (JoH)

Christmas at Gingerbread Cafe - Rebecca Raisin (2013)

In the small, cosy town of Ashford, divorced Lily runs a Gingerbread Cafe. Since it is the only cafe in the town, she usually gets a good chunk of the Christmas crowd but this year things are not so thriving and the reason behind it all is Damon Guthrie, who has opened up a swanky food shop right across the street. It is threatening Lily's business and her chances of having a happy Christmas. Despite being annoyed by his presence, Lily falls for the charm of this handsome competitor. This sweet Christmas novella - the first in the Gingerbread Cafe series - will leave you all dreamy and giddy inside. (SS)

Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe is a festive novella by Rebecca Raisin. The summary says: "Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Cafe was made for ... but owner Lily couldn't be feeling less merry if she tried. She's spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she's facing festive season alone - again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened... Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning. But Lily isn't about to let her business crumble - the Gingerbread Cafe is the heart of the community, and she's going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams - even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones - really do come true!"

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