Sue Watson returns to the blog with another story from the Ice Cream Café in the little seaside village of Appledore. Please read on for my review of
Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream
I loved visiting in Appledore with Ella as she found a new purpose and direction and breathed new life into her aunt’s café on the seashore. Now the call to come home has reached Dani, and as the new manager of the café, she’s searching for somewhere familiar and comfortable while she decides on her next moves. For me, Dani was a bit of a difficult character at first: she’s guarded and appears to be easy-going, not taking anything too seriously except food. But that approach hides some very deep-rooted issues: issues that she pushes away with humor and then uses to beat herself up. Not only is she presenting a face that isn’t honest to the world, she’s incorporated that dishonesty to her own self: preferring to ignore emotions or stuff them down with food, rather than allow herself to feel anything past the textures and endorphin rush of the next mouthful.
But Watson has other ideas for the heroine: giving her a safe space with supportive characters around her (yes, all of the people from the first book are very well represented here) and a best friend who alternates between supportive and take no prisoners. Dani needs to make changes in her life: deal with her own lingering issues from childhood and her weight: and with a crush on the handsome man who runs the gym, she has that option. Throughout her ups and downs, her discovering just how much better she feels after exercising and getting fitter, and a dream of a dress for her 40th birthday, Dani struggles through the process and slowly (perhaps a bit too slowly for her own good) starts to wrestle down the demons from her past.
It isn’t until Dani starts to mesh (to me) that I couldn’t help but enjoy her. Blessed with a marvelous sense of humor, the early self-deprecating comments were a “say it first to save everyone else the trouble” defense: as she learns and finds little successes in fitness, those comments start to feel less defensive, and her actual embracing of emotions, finding the strength to stand up for herself as a viable and lovely being, and her finding a place that feels like the home she longed for as a child, she’s making huge progress. What emerges is a story that is hard to put down, even with the moments I had with her: insets from Gina and Elle, Elle’s mum and her social media immersion, Sue and her malapropisms and even the fashionista dog and a surly, if protective baker, all form a support system for her, full of laughs, emotions and missteps. Watson had me feeling every one of Dani’s issues:: a true highlight of this book.
If you read and loved the first – you’ll enjoy this one. And if you haven’t – I suggest you give this series a try: easy to read in any order, Sue Watson is an author you’ll want to experience.
Title: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream
Author: Sue Watson
Series: The Ice-Cream Café #2
Also in this series: Ella's Ice-Cream Summer
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor elements, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 27 June, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?
Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.
But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.
When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?
A truly delicious, laugh out loud beach read that’s guaranteed to melt your heart. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson.
See the Ice-Cream Café on Goodreads
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.