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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Festive Fiction

Welcome to my little Niche within the library. So grab a coffee and let's review some books. The Christmas Bake-OffThe Christmas Bake-Off by Abby Clements
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Christmas Bake-Off is a short holiday story about a baking competition in a little English village. Bake shop owner, Katie, is hoping she'll win this year's competition,thus making her name in the baking world known; while Rachel wants to prove she is more than a home cook. She tries to impress the judges with her gingerbread house. There's even a little romance brewing between John the Baker and Katie. Who will the winner be in this sweet but short holiday Bake-off? I guess you'll just have to read it to find out.

I found the book short but sweet. Being a baker myself, the title enticed me, so I picked it up from Amazon for my Kindle. I gave it four stars because I thought the author could have added more depth to the characters, but in all fairness it is a lite-hearted festive read. There's an added bonus......two recipes at the end of the book for the readers to try. I can't wait to read Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements.

Those Christmas Angels (Angels Everywhere, #5)Those Christmas Angels by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Divorced artist, Anne Fletcher, has barely enough faith left in her. After her husband left her for their son's fiancée and cheated her out of her inheritance, Anne Fletcher and her son, Roy were, left devastated. Their son, Roy, was left hurt, bitter and not wanting anything to do with love, women or Christmas. One Christmas, Anne, in desperation and concern about her son, prayed that her son find someone who could restore his faith and teach him how to love again.

Entrepreneur, Roy Fletcher, has built himself an empire...and walls around himself to protect him against women. To him women are all the same....interested in one thing and one thing All hope is lost for this scrooge-like person, or is it? Enter three matchmaking angels called Shirley, Mercy and Goodness who are on a heavenly mission to put the Christmas spirit, joy and love back into Roy's life.

I enjoyed this holiday book. It brought a tear to my eye and delighted me all at the same time.
I don't know how she does it, but Debbie knows how to weave an amazing story. This comes from a woman with dyslexia. The lady has written over a hundred books! I have read several Debbie Macomber books including, the Christmas Basket , Falling for Christmas and Christmas in Seattle. Her books are about relationships and the dynamics of family relationships; but she writes them in a way that puts something magical into every page. I can't wait to read her other books.

Christmas at the Cupcake CaféChristmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Issy,Poud owner of the Cupcake Cafe, a quaint little cupcake shop in Stoke Newton (a district of London), couldn't be happier. Her relationship with banker entrepreneur, Austin, is blossoming; business at the cafe was booming and Christmas was around the corner.

When Austin is offered a job at a bank in New York and invites Issy and his eleven-year-old brother, Drany, to fly to New York in the hopes that Issy will fall in love with the city and consider moving to New York, the bubbles on Issy's cappuccino begins to burst. Will Issy face the possibility of a long distance relationship? Will she lose Austin to the glory of the Big Apple and a little waitress at a New York Cafe who sells awful cupcakes laden with oil and chemicals? Can Issy leave her home, her dream job that she started at the Cupcake cafe, and friends behind to start life with Austin in the Big Apple? I'll leave it to the reader to find out.

I really enjoyed this festive book. To me, Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, is a Christmas pudding of a, dense and full of fruity flavour which burst in your mouth, flooding your taste buds with the flavours of Christmas. The characters are well-rounded and come to life. I enjoyed the scene where Pearl, one of Issy's employees is left to mind the fort at the Cupcake Cafe and train a new employee, Maya, who cant get the hang of the coffee machine, leaving unsatisfied customers waiting for their Java fix. Worse, Pearl explodes the mixer, which drips strawberry cake mix all over the walls and ceiling. I particularly liked the twist at the end where both Issy and Austin fly in opposite directions across the pond to be with each other. The book also includes tips and recipes and an excerpt from Jenny's new book, The Loveliest Chocolate shop in Paris.

Christmas in VeniceChristmas in Venice by Meadow Taylor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Olivia takes a Christmas trip to Venice, Italy, little does she expect to be stopped by security as a terror suspect. With the Italian President due to arrive shortly and a bomb scare, Inspector Alessandro Rossi orders the Marco Polo airport shut. When the bomb squad hears ticking noises coming from Olivia's suitcase, Rossi orders Olivia to open her suitcase, revealing a rather unusual item.

This is a very short story set in the background of Venice, Italy during the festive season. The author wrote the story as a free gift to the reader in preparation for her full length book, Midnight in Venice. I enjoyed the story but it was rather short, it left me wanting for more.

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