Caroline Roberts comes to the blog today with the second in her Pudding Pantry series, set in the lovely Northumberland farm of Primrose Hill. I read the title in the UK version, I believe the US is titled differently, but all links here lead to
Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
Obsessed with all writers British and their women’s fiction and romance titles, I’d heard wonderful things about Caroline Roberts, and this was my first chance to give her books a whirl – and I’ll admit – I’m hooked! Rachel, her mother Jill and her five year old daughter Maisy have had a rough couple of years after her father’s death. Running the farm and coping with all of that, an absentee father for Maisy and the ever-increasing bills. Trying to make ends meet and find money everywhere they can, extensive renovations of the old cow byre were made, and they’d opened a very popular small café, specializing in home made bakes and treats. But, in the run-up to the holidays, with the decrease in tourists, things are tighter than ever and Rachel is worried that this idea may be one too many.
What emerges in this lovely story is a family, doing everything to cope with changes and challenges, and always trying to move forward. As unexpected as her father’s death was, and even in their grief, the Swinton women have banded together and are working every hour sent to make things work. From the aging Granny Ruth to the pet sheep that ‘starred’ in the school nativity play – there are moments to laugh and others where things feel a bit overly focused on ‘getting through’ the to-do list. But, when one understands the pressure that the very young (she’s only 24) Rachel has – from being a single parent, to grief, to the farm work and her worries about finances, it’s pretty easy to see HOW she’s not that great at opening up and sharing, or that days seem to be filled with busywork – because they really are. Adding in her neighbor and friend Tom as a romantic interest added another level of understanding Rachel and her own personal insecurities, as she really put him through it at times.
Overall, the story was warm and cozy, and with several recipes that feel very traditional and brought back memories of my gran’s own holiday baking, as well as a solid focus on using the Pudding Pantry to bring people together to chat about bakes, meet one another, and actually sample different bakes as well as share tips and tricks, the story felt very much like a romance meets Great British Bake Off – without the judge, Paul. But it was sweet and relaxing, a non-confrontational book that lead up to the holiday and through it – sharing traditions, treats and a few surprises that bring everyone together in a way that felt meant to be.
Title: Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
Author: Caroline Roberts
Series: Pudding Pantry #2
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Food / Recipes, Friendship, Grief, Holiday Themed, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: One More Chapter
Published on: 31 October, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 41 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google ♦Audible
Cosy up with the new novel in the Pudding Pantry series, full of love, laughter, kisses under the mistletoe, and plenty of delicious pudding!
The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.
If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.
With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: