Title: The Cosy Christmas Teashop
Author: Caroline Roberts
Series: Cosy Teashop in the Castle #2
Genre: Women’s Fiction
‘Cakes, castles and oodles of charm: this book is huge fun and pure escapism’ Cathy Bramley
From sleigh bells to wedding bells . . .
After a rocky start, Ellie Hall baked her way into everyone’s hearts at Claverham Castle – even the miserly Lord Henry was won over – and the run-down teashop regained its old sparkle.
Now Ellie has upgraded cupcakes for fairytale masterpieces as the proud caterer for an ever-growing list of weddings at the castle. The teashop team love baking to the tune of happy ever afters, but can they pull together when a certain bridezilla pushes them all to boiling point?
Christmas is just around the corner, and a last minute booking threatens to snow the team under. Ellie and her hunky hubby Joe have their own Christmas dreams to chase, but they’re determined to pull through and give this special couple the winter wonderland wedding they deserve.
Will Christmas at the Cosy Teashop be a showstopper to remember?
Source: Review copy from HarperImpulse via NetGalley
When I first saw this come up on NetGalley for review, I was delighted, thinking it would be a cute novella catch up about the Christmas after The Cosy Teashop in the Castle. I was wrong. Instead this is a novel that takes place five years after the previous book, and is part catch up, part continuation and all in all just a bit too long for me.
It starts at the end of summer on the August bank holiday. Ellie is still running the teashop, but is also now a part-time wedding coordinator for events at the castle. What follows is a lot of detail – so much detail – about the weddings they put on, including a Bridezilla version. I think if this book had dealt with the start of Ellie’s wedding planner days, or even the beginning of planning for the Bridezilla wedding, I might have been more interested. But it doesn’t. She’s already experienced at planning weddings and most of Bridezilla’s is done, except for the unicorn thing. It has funny moments, but mostly I was left wondering why now and why I should care.
Which was my general feeling towards this book. It’s nice to catch up with the characters again, and there are moments of loveliness. The plot thread about Dan and Lucy is beautifully told, and to be honest I would rather have had their story than most of the rest. I also liked the creation of the Castle Christmas Fayre, and Ellie and Joe’s baby dreams definitely added continuity to the tale. If these things had been it, I would have really enjoyed this. But they weren’t. There’s so much else going on, often packed with tonnes of unnecessary detail, that I sometimes felt a bit bored.
There’s also a lot of recapping. If you’re new to Claverham and potentially put off because you haven’t read the first one, don’t worry, everything you need to know is in here. Several times. The info-dumps are heavily inserted at the beginning, but also have a habit of cropping up throughout the book, which could get distracting if you’re reading straight through rather than taking a long time with the whole thing.
If you’re looking for a cosy read that you can get lost in for a week, then this will probably be right up your street. It is warm and there are humorous moments, as well as a few more emotional ones. Personally, for me, it felt too long and too prone to wandering away from the things I was actually interested in. The ending, though, was a wonderful treat and made everything else worth it.
The Cosy Christmas Teashop is Out Now.
Visit Caroline Roberts for more details.