Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Book Review - Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Amazon UK
Title:  Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery
Author: Jenny Colgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 20th October 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine...

It's Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne - a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She's at her happiest when she's creating delicious, doughy treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She's determined that this Christmas is going to be their best on yet, but life doesn't always work out as planned...

When Polly's best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly's past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that's not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

The second this book arrived on my kindle, I knew I had to read it immediately as I love the Little Beach Street Bakery books, and my first thoughts were I wonder what Neil the Puffin is up to this time. Apparently I was looking more forward to the puffin than the rest of the characters at least until I got back into the action. 

Normally I mention if a book can be read as a standalone, but I was so busy enjoying back in Polbearne, and back with the tasty treats that Polly cooks, that I can't say I gave the issue much thought. There was a basic intro to either introduce you to the series, or give you a quick reminder as to what had happened previously, and there is a lot of mentions of back story which are covered in the first two books, so it probably can be read as a standalone, but why stop yourself from reading a wonderful series in its entirety.

All Polly and Huckle want is a quiet Christmas to themselves, but it seems like fate, plus Polly's good nature have other plans. Polly ends up helping out at the Christmas fair, catering for a big Christmas party and trying to save a Puffin sanctuary. She is still baking delicious breads and cakes, and all sorts of goodies which all sound delicious. In fact I was delighted to be able to watch Bake Off while reading this, as I was able to just get doubly hungry! All the while she is trying to work out what it is that is making her reluctant to set the date with Huckle. 

Whereas Kerensa, Polly's best friend has an altogether tougher time of it at the moment, when a slight error of judgment spirals out of control, with massive potential consequences. She needs the support of Polly more than ever, while her husband Reuben seems to be such a loveable rich overgrown child that clearly loves Kerensa, but his answer to most things is to either send a helicopter or throw more money at it!

If you have ever read a recent Jenny Colgan book then you will recognise the easy to read style, and although I swear I wasn't really reading the book for long, it seemed like the pages were just going past without much effort on my behalf, while I was utterly absorbed in the story.  

I loved catching up with the regular recurring characters in Polbearne, and just love the idea of this cut off Cornish island village, which can be slightly isolated but with it develops a real sense of community of those living there. 

Nothing in this story runs that smoothly, which adds to its charm and realism, and there are some things in the book that will just make you laugh, including Polly and Huckle going on a walk with Neil who is slightly overweight, only to end up with him sleeping in a backpack instead!

I absolutely adored this years festive story from Jenny Colgan, and am already eager to jump on and start whatever her next release is. 

Thank you so much to Little Brown Book Group and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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