Saturday, 18 January 2014

Trouble On her Doorstep, or How To Apply Tea in Difficult Circumstances

Knock-knock, who’s there? 
When gorgeous hotel magnate Sean Beresford arrives on the doorstep of Dee Flynn’s teashop it seems her luck’s in. Right? Wrong! Sean’s come to tell Dee he’s cancelling her latest business venture, leaving her future looking as washed out as old tea leaves. 
Dee’s not about to go under without a fight, and reluctantly Sean agrees to help her find a solution. He might dress in suits that would make even 007 jealous, and those startling blue-grey eyes will certainly take some forgetting, but he sets Dee’s blood boiling – and her pulse racing! – like no one else! And that’s before he kisses her…

Food glorious food…

Dee and Lottie’s teashop works well because they balance each other.  Lottie sorts the cakes, and Dee sorts the tea.  Now, I’m not a massive tea person (green tea aside) but the entrepreneurial spirit of Dee’s determination to start up a tea import business off the back of the tea festival she’s organising takes guts.

Plus she’s utterly lovely.  She sweeps city boy Sean off his feet and into a world of tearooms and stained glass, light-filled conference suites.  Her vitality fills the pages of the books and kind of lifts you away on a wave of enthusiastic happiness.

Nina Harrington is known for being particularly good at writing about food (check out her Recipe for Disaster) and also writes about Italian life and cooking in a way that I can only marvel at.  Especially when she divulgesrecipes!!  But her characterisation is always spot on.

Also, I love the fact that each chapter opens with a quote from Dee’s own mindset about tea – matching teas to the right occasion.  I particularly like her take on a remedy for shock: 

“a steaming beaker of piping hot Indian tea with milk and plenty of sugar.  This remedy should be repeated until the symptoms subside.”

Such advice is not to be ignored – mainly because the bf has indulged in this every time I attempt to educate him about rom coms and/or Jane Austen period dramas.

Another strong, enterprising female character who meets her male counterpart with everything she’s got, winning him and us over.  Fab.

Neil, this month’s Mills & Boon boy, insisted on posing for this on the doorstep to our choir rehearsal space.  He is truly a gem.


  1. Oh thank you for your kind review Ali! I am delighted that you enjoyed Dee and Sean's story and I hope that Neil did too. Tea and cake. Fabulous! Raising a beaker of piping hot tea to the monitor in your honour [ one teaspoon of whole milk, no sugar. Almond biscuit to dunk.] Nina x

    1. Hi Nina! No problem, I'm just rather chuffed that you liked it!! Can't wait for Lottie and Rob's story too - got to love a chef. ;) And raising one of green tea right back to you, complete with rice cake! :) Ali xx