Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Book Review - Christmas at Carols by Nicola Yeager

Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at Carols
Author: Nicola Yeager
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied review copy
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: 19th October 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Carol Gabriel hates Christmas. Not just a little bit, but quite a damn lot. She can’t even stand having a boyfriend over the Christmas period and habitually dumps them just before the season begins. 

Even the restaurant she co-owns, a French bistro called Carol’s, doesn’t do a Christmas menu and it doesn’t do Christmas decoration, either.  But then she gets some bad news; the bistro is failing. 

There’s too much local competition, they don’t have enough customers and there’s a risk that the business may have to sold. For the sake of the restaurant, her glamorous business partner Roksana and all its much-loved employees, Carol takes on her mother’s advice and creates a Christmas menu for the first time. 

She may even tart the place up with some decorations. But it’s an uphill struggle. There’s a reason Carol doesn’t like Christmas and it’s one that she keeps to herself… 

As time is running out Carol wonders if she’s left it too late. 

Will her fabulous and charming employees be able to boost the restaurant's popularity? 

Will there be Christmas at Carol’s? 

Christmas at Carols will tantalise your tastebuds, and make you long to eat at Carol's restaurant. The food descriptions are sublime, and I honestly thought I could taste some of the flavours that were coming through in the cooking. 

The tone of the book is very friendly and chatty. It's as though Carol was talking directly to the reader, and telling her the story of this Christmas period at the restaurant, in the way she remembers things. Occasionally going off on a slight tangent, or clarifying a point, or throwing in something relevant, but enough to make her and the reader lose their train of thought. 

After a while though you get used to this way of being told the story, and I  grew to love it. I also loved Carol's business partner and fellow chef, Roksana. The things Roksana comes out with about her past, are between ridiculous, potentially true, and just hilarious. 

There is a lot of wit and humour in this story, to go with all the food, and its an easy and very entertaining story. 

Carol though is someone who doesn't like Christmas, and you spend half the book reading on to discover just why it is she has a habit of dumping her man in December, and why Carol's never has a Christmas menu, until this year. 

This book, like the bistro itself was Christmassy without being over the top. There were references to all sorts of French music, that I have never heard of but kind of wished I had a sound track to the book, just so I could fully picture everything in the bistro. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my first introduction to Nicola Yeager's writing, and suspect she must have had a lot of fun researching all the various dishes being feaatured. I do though think Christmas at Carol's needs an accompanying recipe book, and soundtrack, to fully round off this French Christmas experience. 

Thank you to Endeavour Press for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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