Sunday, 5 March 2017

Book Review - The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J.D. Barrett - Fab Firsts

Fab Firsts is my new regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

This is the debut novel from J.D. Barrett. 

Amazon UK
Title: The Little Cafe of Second Chances
Author: J.D. Barrett
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied review copy
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: 10th February 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It's complicated.

As joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town making a clean break is tough. But, let's face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.

Then Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city's hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she's peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she's planning a pop-up bistro.

When Lucy fires up Fortune's old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As Lucy cooks her way through Frankie's recipes, customers come flocking and slowly Lucy begins to regain her confidence. It turns out that courage, passion and just a tiny bit of magic might be the secret recipe for a better life . . .

How best to describe this book? Well having thoroughly enjoyed it, I am still none the wiser as to how I should discuss this in a review. Should I be mentioning just what it is that makes the book fairly unique, or will that be counted as a spoiler? On the other hand the unique element is what makes this book so different to others, and had I known in advance I may not have read the book, but by the time I encountered it, I was already wanting to read more regardless. 

So since it looks like I can't discuss the single biggest thing about this book, or the way that Lucy interacts with some certain characters,  I shall have to see what I am happy to tell you! 

Well The Little Cafe of Second Chances is a very enjoyable story, it does contain a few romances, with at least one of them rather unexpected. It also features a restaurant called Fortune, and some incredibly talents chefs. 

As you may expect with chefs involved there are descriptions of food to whet your tastebuds. There are trips to local markets to buy the best produce, there are discussions to to with the best ways to use certain ingredients, in short there is a lot of food, and could potentially make you hungry. 

Never fear because if you are hungry, between some of the chapters there are recipes of things Lucy, or another character have cooked in the recent chapter, so you can try them out for yourself, sate that hunger and feel able to continue reading, at least until the next delicious sounding dish is described! 

There is also a mystery element to the book, but I felt that was fairly weak and between that and the ending the book which had showed so much promise, just fell a bit flat and anticlimactic. Or at least it fell that way against what I was hoping would happen. 

There is plenty of witty dialogue in this really easy to read book, which features a great story of how to turn your life around, straight after splitting up with your husband. There are elements of drama, food, romance, and a rather unusual storyline too. 

Thank you so much to Beth Wright at Little Brown for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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