Tash, Emma and Amy couldn’t be more different . A successful estate agent who has her life pretty much on track, Tash has ticked all the boxes. Hasn’t she?
Emma is a budding writer who yearns to flex her writing skills and shake up her life that has become, well, a little stale…
And then there’s Amy, the manager of The Little Book Café, a hopeless romantic who had her heart broken but quietly refuses to give up on love.
Brought together by their love of books and delicious cake from the café next door, they are in for a year of romance, crime and classic novels that will help them get through all that life will throw at them…
I enjoyed Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe series and expected this one to be similar. It does feature some of the characters I met previously, but this story has a much darker tone.
Outwardly Tash appears ambitious and successful, her property developer boyfriend dotes on her, and she has the lifestyle she always aspired to. She’s only attending the book club for her friend Emma and considers it a waste of time. The first book club meeting is pivotal in Tash’s life. It highlights the cracks in her perfect facade and makes her wonder if a different life would suit her better.
Tash’s gradual realisation that something isn’t right in her relationship is accompanied by out of character forgetfulness. Adrian’s attitude towards her is increasingly controlling, and she knows something needs to change but is she strong enough to face the challenge?
Natasha’s character development is extensive as the story progresses, and her strength of character finally lets her be the person she is. Adrian is a dark, draining individual with dangerous secrets. The suspense and menace in this story intensify with every scene as Tash fights for her identity.
The ending is powerful and satisfying and makes me want to see what happens next.
Not what you’d expect from this author but riveting reading.
Emma uses the Little Book Cafe to escape from her family and a less than exciting relationship with Ollie her long-term boyfriend. She loves her work as an estate agent but a new staff member wants to get ahead at any cost, and she forces Emma to question her life choices and makes the workplace yet another source of stress in Emma’s life. A classic literature evening class gives her a much-needed escape but also endangers everything she loves.
Again this story has a darker side, Joel her attractive tutor has a controlling nature and seems willing to abuse his position of trust. Emma is vulnerable, and the suspense builds as she debates whether to leave Ollie and stability behind. Emma is vibrant and impulsive; she is in a rut by risks losing something worthwhile if she acts hastily. Book club characters provide the help and support Emma needs, and the story has an exciting ending.
Amy’s story is the perfect way to end this romantic series. which spotlights some hard-hitting issues among the books, cakes and romance.
Amy has featured in the first two stories, but she deserves her own happy ending and Patrick, the Irish charmer may just be the man to give it to her. Amy has more emotional baggage than most. She has her reasons for being shy of relationships. Her lack of self-esteem is compounded by her overcritical mother, who has her own regrets, which she takes out on Amy.
Patrick is her friend, always there to help and doesn’t judge, she’s in love but he seems content to remain just friends.
Amid, the book clubs, parties and solving the local crime wave, love finds a way and this story ends on an undeniably hopeful note. The only drawback, this is the last story. Hopefully, there may be a few more tales to be told in Berecombe yet?
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.