I devoured this book in a single 3 hour sitting. Bedtime came and went and I found myself wanting to get to the end of the story before I had to put it down.
The writing's accessibility had me hooked within a chapter - it was real, fluid, unpretentious and fun. The characters were likeable from the very first page - I felt a particular affinity to Joe and his amusing running internal monologue. Ellie was a charming female lead, with a healthy dollop of determination and strong work ethic to help her avoid the damsel-in-distress trope. Secondary characters like Deana, Doris and Gemma helped flesh out Ellie's old and new worlds, though I will admit that Derek and Malcolm were my favourites with their are-they-or-aren't-they relationship and their ghost stories.
The descriptions, of the castle, the teashop and the cakes (so many yummy cakes), were so detailed and immersive that it was easy to completely lost in what was on the page and imagine following Ellie and Joe in their day-to-day lives.
I come to books like this expecting charming escapism and sweet predictability - I wasn't disappointed. What I liked about the predictability of this book is that even though I could guess what was coming, I still wanted to read on to find out if I was right. There were a few small exceptions to being able to predict what was coming, which kept some degree of anticipation in the book, but be warned, there is a fairly steamy sex scene which isn't hinted at given the otherwise sweet nature of the romance in the story.
I've read a few books by Caroline Roberts and I've yet to come away from any of them feeling anything less than warm and snuggly; this book is no exception.
Can Ellie bake her way to a happy ever after? Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson.
When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking
When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!
Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?
You can buy the book here now. It was published by One More Chapter.