It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Jessica Redland’s books. They never fail to leave me feeling happy and warm inside. Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes is one of her shorter books at just over 200 pages, so it’s perfect to add to your festive reading pile as you get busy preparing for Christmas.
Carly owns, yes you’ve guessed it, a cake shop specialising in beautifully decorated cupcakes. Her sister Bethany works with her and let’s just say she doesn’t have the same talents as Carly! The run-up to Christmas is Carly’s busiest time of the year but with Bethany’s clumsiness causing problems at every turn, she’s working all hours to try to get everything ready. Bethany feels she is a failure at everything she does and with her wedding fast approaching, it seems that even that may not go smoothly. Carly is looking forward to Liam, her very best friend since schooldays, returning from a tour in Afghanistan and wondering if this is the year she will finally pluck up courage to tell him how she really feels about him…
Well, I think I loved everything about this book. The setting of Castle Street at Christmas time with all its independent shops was just lovely and I could picture its cosy charm easily. I was particularly taken with the teddy bear shop. I know the story of this shop and its owner has featured in one of the author’s previous books (Bear With Me) and I’m pleased to see it’s going to be re-published by Boldwood in a revised edition called All You Need Is Love next year – I’ll be watching out for that one.
The relationship between the two sisters was great to read about too. At first Bethany did come over as a bit annoying, constantly forgetting to do things and ruining the cakes quite a lot. Be warned that you will be craving cake by the time you have read this book by the way! Carly knew that the employee/employer relationship wasn’t working but how do you sack your sister? And she was so aware that she didn’t want Bethany to feel even more of a failure. It was interesting and very sweet to read how that situation finally resolved.
The author also brought the relationship between Liam and Carly beautifully to life. I so enjoyed reading about the support they gave to each other during their school years when both were the victims of school bullies. This support for each other led to a firm friendship which endured past school and into their adult lives. Even though both had had other relationships, the friendship stood strong and was heartwarming to read about.
So all in, this book was a real winner for me: great characters, great setting, lovely romance and plenty of Christmas sparkle. I am desperate now for some snow this year to go and make some snow angels. You’ll know why when you read the book!
I purchased my copy from Amazon. Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes is available now in paperback, ebook and audiobook download. You’ll find buying options on the Boodwood website here: Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes
From the back of the book
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR…
It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.
For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…
As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitsborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?
Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?
About the author
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough, she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.