Wednesday 28 July 2021

Guest Review: Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true...

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee's Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street... Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn't know if she'll make it in time. With no 'traditional' family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee's dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means...

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

Review: This book was originally published under the title Charlee and the Chocolate Shop, but has been re-released under this new title after some editing and addition of new material. Like many of Jessica Redland’s books, it is set in the fictional North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. Having read many of her other books set in this location, I enjoyed meeting up with some of the other residents of the area. Despite references to characters from other books, this can be read as a standalone. 

The story follows the fortunes of Charlee, who has been brought up by her grandparents near the city of Hull, where her grandfather owned a very successful chocolate shop. Having learned the craft from her grandfather, Charlee is now a master chocolatier and dreams of setting up in business herself. When her boyfriend, Ricky, suggests a move to Whitsborough Bay, Charlee is overjoyed to find a suitable property there in Castle Street, a delightful cobbled row containing several individually-owned shops. However, her once perfect boyfriend proves himself less than perfect when it comes to helping her get her new business up and running in time for the prime Christmas shopping period, and is in fact spending less and less time with her. Fortunately, she discovers that her fellow traders in Castle Street are more than willing to lend a hand in an emergency. She is also lucky to find handsome plumber Matt, who saves her new premises from disaster and helps with other jobs as well. Charlee can’t help comparing him with Ricky, but, despite signs of mutual attraction, Matt already has a fiancée with whom he is planning on setting up home. Christmas over, the story moves on to the festive season one year later and shows the reader how Charlee is fairing; what, if anything, will have changed?

I found this book a quick and easy read and enjoyed every page; I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I have read many of Jessica Redland’s books set in this Whitsborough Bay street and loved revisiting many of its business owners in this story. I only wish it was a real location where I could stroll along looking in the shop windows. I very much liked Charlee, although I thought her a little blind when it came to Ricky; I could see from the start that he wasn’t to be trusted, but he turned out to be even more of a scoundrel than I thought! Of course, I couldn’t help being attracted to plumber Matt. His fiancée clearly didn’t deserve or appreciate him and, like Charlee’s best friend Jodie, I was hoping that he might see that someone more suitable was right in front of him. In addition to the central characters in the story, there are many others with interesting back stories, and a few surprises. Once again, Jessica Redland has described the beauty of this seaside town so well that readers will wish that they could visit. I’m already looking forward to the next story from this author; her books always hit the mark for me.

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

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