Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Guest Review: Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland

It's the most wonderful time of the year...



It's December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly's Cupcakes, it's the busiest time of year getting everyone's Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it's proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn't mix work with family. Maybe they have a point...

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he's been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly's wishes come true this Christmas...?





Review: What a lovely early Christmas story! I am fairly new to Jessica Redland’s books, but am enjoying catching up with her collection. This one, like her other stories, is set in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. This Christmas story was published in August 2020, but is a re-issue, including some additional material. I was quickly engrossed in the world of Carly and her cupcakes and found this a quick and easy read.

The run up to Christmas finds Carly busy in her popular bakery, where she produces mouthwatering cupcakes of all designs and celebration cakes to order. This is, of course, one of the busiest times of the year for her, and she needs some help, but her sister, Bethany, is proving more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to producing cakes. Much as Carly wants to help her sister settle into a job and gain some self-confidence, she is struggling to keep her on with all the expensive and messy mistakes she is making. Bethany is due to get married just before Christmas, and she is finding organisation of the wedding stressful as well. As well as looking forward to the wedding, Carly is excited to see her best friend, Liam, who has Christmas leave from the army. They have been friends since school, and Carly has secretly been in love with Liam for much of that time. She wonders if this will be the year that she comes clean and finally tells him how she feels, hoping that it will not ruin their friendship.

This is a really heartwarming story of family, friendship and romance. I found Carly a very likeable character, so concerned for her little sister who was having problems finding the right career for herself. In fact, the story is filled with lovely characters; the whole town seemed filled with community spirit. The street where Carly has her shop has an interesting array of independent businesses, the shopkeepers happy to help one another. I loved the relationship between Carly and Liam. They suffered from bullying at school, but their strong friendship kept them positive over the years. I can highly recommend this well-written book full of festive spirit and the odd tear jerking moment.


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