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14 October 2016

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

I'm determined to make a solid dent in my NetGalley shelf in spite of the fact that most of the books on it are Christmas-y and I've read over and over again how so many of you think it's too early for Christmas books. Feel free to bookmark this for when it's not "too early" and read it later .... but, if it helps at all, the first chapter of this one DOES start in October (the Book Beginnings blurb is from the Prologue)!

Friday 56 (share from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at Freda's Voice (today page 56 of the epub) 
& Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader

Amazon Description
As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose. But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection. Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.
A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.
When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix. As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?


[Release Date: 14 October 2016 -- Advanced copy provided by author]






I absolutely adored this story. The main character, Jen, is a librarian who has had lifelong dreams of being a baker thanks to a children's book she had called, you guessed it, The Christmas Cake Café. Her parents split when she was ten and has had thirty years of emotional baggage and relationship issues piling up around her ever since. She's been with Tim for the past ten years and each year she hoped for a big romantic proposal and then, finally, she got a big romantic dinner with a big not-so-romantic dumping.

Tim, needless to say, is a bit of an ass.

Her half-sister, Jody, convinces her to head out to the Swiss Alps over the holidays to work at a ski resort with her and some friends and it's here that Jen starts to heal ... and where she meets the dreamy ski instructor, Jon. There are so many laughs watching Jen re-learn how to loosen up and enjoy life -- and most of those involve the fact that her luggage was lost and she has to borrow clothes from her much-more-vibrant (and often obscene) travel companions.

And there are COW ONESIES!!!!

Of course, this got me reminiscing about the awesomeness that is Holly Martin's One Hundred Proposals and then lamenting the fact that I still haven't read the Christmas-themed follow-up to that one ..... but I'll hold off at least until the end of November. After all, I still have a lot more Christmas to get to before Hallowe'en. I warn you now, though ..... from late-November until Christmas this place is likely to be one giant schmaltz-fest (with the potential of a murder or two thrown in for good measure.) I even already have another Sue Watson Christmas book already waiting!

Sorry. Cow Onesies excite and distract me.

Anyway, cow onesies and other crazy outfits aside, this gem has a little bit of everything -- humor, drama, romance, self-discovery, and a handful of "something in my eye" moments. It's one of those rare books that I couldn't put down once I had started it. (Well, I could ... but only because I absolutely had to do something work-related.) By the time nine or so hours had passed, I had grown quite fond of the whole crew (even Jen's so-called psychic co-worker, Storm, back home in England) and finished the book with one giant satisfied wistful sigh. I'm going to miss these characters and would love to have Sue Watson revisit them in a future book (or three or four).

I've been meaning to read something from Sue Watson since I first fell for UK Chick Lit a year ago and now I'm simultaneously kicking myself for waiting so long and jumping for joy because I already have several more of her titles on hand. If the others are even half as delightful as The Christmas Cake Café, I'll have a lot more laughs and swoons to look forward to... even if I don't get to revisit the characters from this one right away.


  1. Great review. This did sound kind of fun but I don't do a lot of chick lit. After reading your review this is one I would read. I love to laugh and that onsie finished me off. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  2. Ooh. A Christmas book for my list. LOL I really like the descriptive writing too.
    I want that onsie! LOL

    My Friday 56 from Bulletproof Badge

  3. This one would definitely grab me emotionally; I already feel anger on Jen's behalf, but getting rid of that loser is a good thing, right?

    Thanks for sharing...and enjoy. Here's mine: “COMMONWEALTH”

  4. Nice excerpts - I could read this. Today I'm featuring The Underachieving Ovary by JT Lawrence.

  5. What a fun holiday read! Nice to see Christmas books making the rounds! Happy weekend!

  6. This sounds like such a nice story. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)

  7. This sounds like a great holiday romance and as far as I'm concerned - it's never too early! I love the cow onesies.....lol....adding this to my list. Here's my Friday meme

  8. Sounds good, but just a little too soon for me! :)

    Lauren @ Always Me