Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Book Review - Bella's Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson - #BookoutureXmas

Amazon UK
Title: Bella's Christmas Bake Off
Author: Sue Watson
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. 

But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 

A hilarious, heart-breaking and feel good read about best friends, baking and the magic of Christmas. 

Before the book had even started I looked at the the list of contents, which had all the chapter titles, and from them, I could tell this book would be filled with food, fun and Christmas, and I wasn't wrong. Even the dedication had me laughing, which is a great way to relax you before you start reading the book. 

Amy and Bella were childhood friends, until one error of judgement tore them apart from 20 years.  Now Bella is a top TV baking personality, huge celebrity and queen of the Christmas specials. To the outside world her life is perfect. 

Neil, Amy's husband has just told her that he is leaving her for another woman (one with a pole in her bedroom!), and with three weeks to go until Christmas she is broken and left without the Christmas spirit. 

When Amy's misery hits rock bottom she is shown St Swithins, the homeless shelter a colleague volunteers at, and that changes Amy profoundly. Amy has watched Bella's Christmas specials throughout her career, and when she then realises that the recipes in this years Christmas recipe book, are ones that Amy's mother used to make, being passed off as Bella's, Amy is rightfully angry. 

And when Amy and Bella re-meet, that is when the book really starts to get going. Seeing the sparks fly between the two old friends and their different approaches to Christmas are hilarious. You have Bella who wants to use the finest ingredients, including flying in figs from Portugal, and a liberal use of gold leaf in her food and then Amy who lives and believes in frugality. 

Add in a film crew, and you have a spectacular week to remember, full of laughs, tears, secrets being revealed and learning just what goes on under the surface of  the TV cameras. 

I loved all the food descriptions, and it made me hungry for my own Christmas dinner, and some of the home made decoration ideas were so simple, but effective, that I would love to try them for myself. 

The dynamics between Bella and Amy are fabulous to watch, as a friendship is re-discovered. So many good scenes, and funny lines.  

There is a lot packed into Bella's Christmas Bake Off, but with Sue Watsons warmth and story telling ability, you are left feeling really good. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookoutre for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

1 comment:

  1. This one looks good will have to add it to the wish list! Angela Britnell


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