Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Pages - 351
Published by Sphere in November 2012
Book - my own copy.
The scent of cinnamon, orange pee and ginger perfumed the air, with a strong undercurrent of coffee. Outside the rain was battering against the large windows of the eau-de-nil-painted exterior of the Cupcake Café, tucked into a little grey stone close next to an ironmonger's and a fenced-in tree that looked chilled and bare in the freezing afternoon.
Goodreads Summary
Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn't be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don't seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.
This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another . . .
Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan's new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.
*******
This is one of those books that makes your mouth water as you read it. If you are a real foodie and a sucker for something sweet, then you will struggle not to eat as you read this book. Your taste buds are hijacked as each chapter gives you a tried and tested recipe to try before you even take a step into the Cupcake Café where you can almost smell the intoxicating aromas of the baking ingredients used to make the Cupcake Café so special.
This book is the second book set in the Cupcake Café following on from the extremely successful Meet Me At The Cupcake Café. Not once while reading it did I feel like I had missed out on not reading the first book. Right before the story begins, the author gives us a run down of what happened in the previous book, thankfully dismissing the need for a hefty amount of back story in the novel which I hate. So well done to the author for recapping the previous book separately - it was definitely something I would like to see in more series.
This book is set over the month of December and Issy has to make an important decision. The love of life, Austin has been offered a life changing job in New York and would be an utter fool to turn it down, especially as his future in the UK banking industry had begun to look dubious due to the recession. Yet Issy cannot work out what she wants to do. She loves her café like a child and the thought of giving it up, really causes her a lot of pain. You feel her grief and find yourself wanting to step in and run the café for her. Issy has to learn to trust the people around her and accept change and the story follows her journey to dealing with these things.  The story is told from alternating viewpoints from all the adult characters and you get to see how each one thinks and feels about the oncoming festivities and the changes occurring around them.
The book travels between London and New York which I thoroughly loved. New York at Christmas is one of my ideal destinations and just reading about it made me want to go so much. One day I intend to experience this magical city during the season of goodwill for myself.
This book was a lovely companion to the festive season. It was romantic yet real. You get to see how tough Christmas can be for families during the recession and how people come together to make everyone enjoy Christmas. Definitely a feel good novel for the festive season.

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