Donna Ashcroft returns to the blog today with the second in her Castle Cove series in
The Little Christmas Teashop of Second Chances
Much like the first, this book is more about finding yourself and the supportive friends, townspeople and (hopefully) family that come to play a large part in your journey, this is a story about Lily and Josh. Lily is a local girl, overprotected by her father and two brothers, abandoned by her mother, and an integral part of the small village she calls home. Working at the castle that overlooks the town in the teashop/café and as a waitress in the posh restaurant upstairs, she wants to be a chef, in fact, it’s almost everything she’s ever wanted. She’s even got an ‘audition’ scheduled to cook for Luc, the head chef, and is working her way around deciding on a menu and picking something that he will like. And there is Lily’s problem: so worried about smoothing the waters for everyone else, she’s never quite managed to stand up for what she wants or would like, and her constant ‘what if’ refrain in her head is rooted deep within her mother’s abandonment when she was a toddler. On top of her own worries about work, her best friend Emily is stuck in Nepal after an earthquake, and with her return delayed, she’s asked Lily to step in and do the final organization for her wedding just before Christmas.
Josh is Emily’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, a photographer and one not so bothered by other people’s expectations, rules or appearances, and has agreed to work with Lily on organizing the last of the wedding, while gearing up for his own show at the local gallery in town. Josh is brash and brazen to Lily’s rather conventional eggshell-walk as she tries to not offend and make choices she thinks will make others happy or proud. Josh’s ongoing feud with his parents and their determination that he go to medical school as befits their position, his own lackadaisical approach to timekeeping and an interest in the buttoned up Lily are all enough to keep him busy – if finding inspiration for his centerpiece photo for the show is proving difficult.
Oh these two were fun, and finding Lily coming out of her shell to speak her own mind, especially when she let her ‘newly returned’ mother understand her actual desires – all courage fueled by Josh’s constant barrage of questions as to why she doesn’t speak out, and the quiet confidence he’s instilled in her had Lily seeming like a baby tulip – poking out its colors from beneath the green protective leaves, only to retreat again – although it’s always possible to see the brightening color there…… But, as always, men are often wrong-footed in their expressions of devotion, and Josh makes a right mess of things before some stern words from his brother and best-friend, gallery owner Marta speak up. With everyone seeing what they can’t, and Lily finding her own opportunity in the kitchen and a way back to Josh, they both find a new way of seeing the world, themselves and their lives together. A lovely story that is full of heart, hope, love, friends and family – with a dash of humor, and a need to have a recipe for “Death by Chocolate’ Cake – this is a wonderful escape read that leaves more in the offing for everyone we’ve met.
Title: The Little Christmas Teashop of Second Chances
Author: Donna Ashcroft
Series: Castle Cove #2
Also in this series: Summer at the Castle Café
Genre: British, Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 2 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Snow is beginning to fall around the cosy Castle Teashop, with its toasty log fire, scrumptious mince pies and delicious hot chocolates. Romance is in the air and Lily King is hoping some winter magic will help to make her dreams come true…
Twenty-five-year-old Lily King is wondering when her life is going to start. She adores working at the much-loved Castle Teashop, surrounded by familiar faces and delicious cakes. But she’s stuck in a rut. She’s just been dumped by her boyfriend and her dream job seems to be slipping through her fingers.
When her best friend Emily Campbell needs urgent help to organise her enchanting Christmas wedding, Lily realises it’s finally her moment to shine and reach for the opportunities she’s been wishing for. Can she pull off the biggest celebration Castle Cove has ever seen or will something - or someone - make things more complicated than she imagined?
Rebellious and handsome photographer Josh Havellin-Scott has always felt like an outsider, especially next to his perfect older brother, who is about to get married. At the last minute, Josh finds himself roped into plans for the Big Day, the very last thing he wants to do, until he is meets creative and quirky Lily King…
When Lily and Josh are thrown together, it’s clear they couldn’t be more different. But they begin to realise that opposites can attract – and sometimes when you’re not looking for love, it comes and finds you when you least expect it. With some festive magic, will they manage to work together and save the day?
And could they discover a winter romance of their very own along the way?
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: