Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Guest Review: Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

Cosy up with the new novel in the Pudding Pantry series, full of love, laughter, kisses under the mistletoe, and plenty of delicious pudding!
The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.
If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.
With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?



Review: This is the second book in a series from Caroline Roberts about a tea shop run by Rachel and her mother, Jill, at Primrose Farm, situated in the north of England, near Alnwick. Following the tragic death of her father, Rachel was determined to keep the farm which had been his life’s work going in spite of financial difficulties. To bring in some extra income, and putting their culinary skills to good use, the ladies set up the tea shop in an outbuilding. Now, Christmas is approaching, and mother and daughter have to come up with some new ideas to boost the currently flagging business. For Rachel, this has to be achieved at the same time as running the farm and bringing up a young daughter. Can she do all this and find the time to continue with her blossoming romance with neighbouring farmer Tom?

This is a lovely Christmassy story full of the sights and smells of the festive season. The book is presented with a sprinkling of recipes for Christmas treats. I haven’t tried any of them, but I’m sure they will be good if they come from Jill’s family recipe book. In addition to making the reader want to rush into the kitchen and get baking, this book gives a real feeling of how difficult it is to run a farm in the current financial climate, and especially in wintry conditions. I admired Rachel and her mother for soldiering on in spite of setbacks. Of course, strong and handsome Tom is there to lend a hand, but I felt that even without him, these ladies would be able to cope with whatever was thrown at them. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, you can still enjoy this story, but it is nice to experience the beginnings of the Pudding Pantry. This book, or indeed the set of two, would make wonderful additions to anyone’s Christmas stocking.


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