Wednesday 7 August 2019

Guest Review: Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

Primrose Farm is Rachel’s very own slice of heaven. Come rain or shine there’s always a pot of tea brewing by the Aga, the delicious aroma of freshly baked puddings, and a chorus of happy memories drifting through the kitchen.

But the farm is in a spot of trouble. As the daffodils spring, Rachel must plant the seeds of change if she wants to keep the farm afloat, and it’s all resting on a crazy plan. She’ll need one family cook book, her Mum Jill’s baking magic – and a reason to avoid her distractingly gorgeous neighbour, Tom . . .
Swapping their wellies for aprons, can Rachel and Jill bake their way into a brighter future? The proof will be in the pudding!

Review: This is just my second Caroline Roberts book and I was hoping that it was going to measure up to the first one that I read and thoroughly enjoyed. Apart from the fact that I recognised the author, I have to admit to having been drawn towards this particular book by the bright, striking cover bearing an endorsement by one of my favourite authors, Debbie Johnson. Once I started reading, I was transported into the world of the main characters and found it difficult to put down.

This story is set in Northumberland, on Primrose Farm, where single mum Rachel Swinton lives with her mum, Jill, and five-year-old daughter, Maisie. Following the death of Rachel’s father two years previously, she has been struggling to keep the family’s head above water financially and is facing up to the fact that drastic action is required if they are to keep the farm. Rachel hits on an idea to put her mum’s love of baking to good use, and the pair form a new business making cakes and puddings and all things sweet and lovely to serve in the Pudding Pantry, a tea shop they set up in an old barn on the farm. While hoping that this new venture may make the farm’s finances turn a corner, Rachel is gradually becoming aware that Tom, owner of the neighbouring farm, who she has known since childhood, may be turning from the boy next door into more than just a friend.

I absolutely loved this story from the start. The author managed to convey so successfully what a warm and happy home the Swinton’s have, despite their financial problems. I could almost feel myself sitting in that cosy farmhouse kitchen with the delicious smells of cooking wafting under my nose. Although I admired Rachel’s determination to turn the family’s situation around, I did feel sorry for her mother who had to transform herself from a housewife producing hearty fare for the family to a baker making goods on a far larger scale. She didn’t seem to mind though. Rachel’s daughter, Maisie was a very cute and lovable five-year-old with a healthy curiosity about everything; I would love to sit down and chat to her. Readers of Caroline’s other books would recognise Emma from the Chocolate Shop by the Sea, who popped up at one point; it is always nice to see a familiar face. This is most definitely a book that I would recommend. Of course, it is full to brimming with mention of amazing sweet concoctions and even ends with a couple of recipes, so it may be best not to read on an empty stomach!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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