If, like me, you are a fan of The Great British Bake Off, then this is a book that needs to be on your Christmas reading list! It’s the fifth book in Helen Buckley’s Spotlight series but absolutely stands alone. What links the books is that they are inspired by popular reality tv shows but the characters are all different. Having said that, one or two do make a cameo appearance in this book. The book is like the celebrity version of the Great Christmas Bake Off and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe don’t read it if you are hungry though, as you will be craving sweet treats! [I wouldn’t say I’m thinking about food, but I just typed ‘maybe don’t eat it if you are hungry’ instead of read it!]
About the book
It’s the festive showdown to end all festive showdowns …
“Queen of Chocolate” Beatrice Wodehouse, known for her decadent desserts, is ready to go head to head with her social media nemesis, clean lean baking machine Charlie Simmonds, in the Great Christmas Cook Off TV show.
Beatrice is fed up of Charlie’s sanctimonious attitude and is ready to show him that food is there to be enjoyed. Surely she’ll blow his keto, low sugar, low-carb mince pies out of the water with her chocolatey creations?
Except filming for the Cook Off turns out to be anything but sugar, spice and all things nice when the contestants realise there’s a festive saboteur in their midst – leading to melted ice cream, trifle mishaps and private stories leaked to the press.
As the countdown to the final commences, suspicions run high and sparks are bound to fly – and not just from the flaming Christmas puddings!
I really enjoyed following Beatrice and Charlie and all the celebrity contestants taking part in The Great Christmas Cook Off. Beatrice is a Nigella type character. She cooks delicious cakes full of fat, sugar and flavour – and usually chocolate – and has quite a sultry public persona. Charlie however is on a mission to show that healthy food can be equally as delicious and totally disapproves of Beatrice’s high calorie treats. Being very aware of the consequences of over-eating and how it affects people’s health, he wants to make a positive change in people’s lives.
They are from very different backgrounds and hate each other vehemently. Their styles of cooking are so different with Beatrice’s being indulgent and Charlie’s being low-fat and healthy. They are known for a very public social media feud but also are massively attracted to each other. Well, I wonder how things might turn out? It’s fun finding out, that’s for sure!
As the competition starts heating up, things start to go wrong in the kitchen. Could it be sabotage and if so, who was responsible? This added a bit of drama and intrigue to the book as I wondered what was going on. There was also a bit mystery in the backgrounds of both Beatrice and Charlie which very much affected their outlooks on life.
The Great Christmas Cook Off is perfect for fans of the Bake Off with lots of similar ideas and lots of baking puns and innuendo. Get yourself a mince pie and settle down to enjoy this one. In fact, get yourself some gingerbread and a chocolate log and of course some trifle because you’ll want all the tasty treats after reading this tasty treat!
My thanks to Liz at ChocLit for sending me a copy of the book for review.
The Great Christmas Cook Off is available now in ebook, audiobook and paperback.
You’ll find buying options for various retailers on the ChocLit website here: The Great Christmas Cook Off
About the Author
Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. Find out more about me on my website http://www.buckleybooks.org