TITLE: A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle
AUTHOR: Liz Eeles
RELEASED: July 1, 2019
FORMAT: eBook – [Ad – ARC]
GENRE: Contemporary romance
GOODREADS RATING: 4.36
TRIGGERS: Toxic relationship, mention of alcoholism, child bullying
When Flora finds out about her husband’s secret fling, she escapes to the one place she feels safe: her beloved café, The Cosy Kettle, in the charming village of Honeyford. Serving up cream teas to her café regulars is the perfect way to soothe her broken heart, and although she’s never lived in the area, the little community welcome her with open arms.
She’s soon lodging with local eccentric Luna in her remote and beautiful Starlight Cottage, snuggled between rolling green hills. Luna’s handsome son Daniel lost his wife several years ago, and as Flora gets to know him, sharing walks through the blossom-scented woods, they both slowly begin to heal… and she realises that behind Daniel’s quiet exterior, there’s a passionate nature that makes her forget all about her ex-husband.
As she settles into her new life, hosting a baking competition for the village’s summer celebration seems like a great idea… but with Daniel’s mysterious silences leading Flora to believe he’s hiding secrets, she can’t help but wonder if she can really trust him. And when the race to bake the perfect Victoria sponge stirs up old rivalries between locals, Flora starts to feel like she’s bitten off more than she can chew.
I reviewed the first book in this series back in March – New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle – and enjoyed it so much, I just couldn’t resist getting my hands on an ARC of the second book as well! Which is why I bring you.. my review on A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle! [Note that these can be read seperately, although there might be spoilers for the first book.]
Where the first book told us Callie’s story – the bookshop’s employee -, the second book brings us the story and struggles of her employer. Flora is, at once, a character I like. She has her demons to fight, but she does it in a very realistic way. That, and she really has some growing up to do – which is something I love seeing in adult characters because.. it’s like we sometimes forget it’s okay to make mistakes the older we get? It isn’t obligatory to have our shit in order before a certain age, you know!
Anyway. Flora discovered she wants more in life, but she has to find the strength to fight for those things. Her story is one of self-acceptance and self-discovery that I loved reading about. Even more so because her evolution has some sass in it, haha.
As for other characters – there’s brooding and blunt Daniel, and his son Caleb. Those two stole my heart from the get-go. They’re still getting over the loss of their wife / mom and seeing their relationship progress after such a horrendous event is.. both heart-wrenching and beautiful in its own way. On top of that, the connection between Flora and Caleb had my new-mom heart swelling at times. Although I would’ve loved a bit more focus on that aspect but that’s the mom-genes speaking, I think.
The last character I need to mention? Luna! In Liz Eeles previous book, there was a quirky grandfather. Now there’s a quirky grandmother and I couldn’t love her more even if I wanted to. I’m living for these eccentric beings, I guess? She brings along a sort of lightness that adds a lot in its own way.
I feel like a proper bookseller, promoting a little-known book that I feel passionately about.
Sometimes it’s hard not adding a specific character or event to the “bad” part of my reviews, but in this case.. I just have to. Not because the character himself is absolutely wrong and icky, but because.. it didn’t really make any sense how he behaved? So, let’s talk a short bit about Malcolm – someone who thinks it’s okay to just go “I picked you! I dumped her! Now everything is right in our world and we can be together again!” Like.. seriously? His character is childish, weird and.. feels very flat as well. There simply wasn’t any depth to him since that one sentence pretty much sums up his entire role in this book.
Definitely one worth reading – simply not a favorite, haha. Guess that happens as well! All in all, it’s a quick and fun read with some harder topics that make this book worth a bit of your precious reading time. Oh, and some good news: there’s a side character with anxiety and she’s getting her own story! Little birdie Liz Eeles told me she’s writing it right now – yay! Cannot wait for that one!
Is there a quirky side character in a book somewhere you cannot help but love?