Monday, 9 December 2013

The Ultimate Christmas Countdown: Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe

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…

For those of you who have visited my blog before, you'll know that I'm a massive fan of Jenny Colgan's books.  There's something quite gorgeous about romantic novels that incorporate food into their narrative and Colgan's pretty much queen of this at the moment.

So when I discovered that she's marrying Christmas with this enchanting mix (see also Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop) I got rather excited.

I loved Issy and Austin when I met them first in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and so to return to their story in a Christmassy sequel was no less than a delight.  I think what's most delightful about Issy and Austin is that they are very much their own people; they know what they like, have their own careers and ideas and so when they come up against a problem it seems very real.

The problematic issue of Austin's new job offer - across the pond - is heightened when Darney, Austin's little brother, hits teenage stubbornness with a kick!  Actually Darney and Louis (Issy's co-worker Pearl's son) are some of my favourite characters.  I love the fact that Colgan doesn't restrict herself to telling us the story of her two main characters, we come to know and love a whole host of people.

Perhaps it is this that makes it so enchanting; it's lovely to see people in love whilst surrounded by friends and family.  Plus I've had a number of disastrous and not so disastrous attempts at following the recipes dotted throughout the book.  Definitely for the GBBO lover!

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