17 October 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop by Caroline Roberts

"From sleigh bells to wedding bells . . .

After a rocky start, Ellie Hall baked her way into everyone’s hearts at Claverham Castle – even the miserly Lord Henry was won over – and the run-down teashop regained its old sparkle.

Now Ellie has upgraded cupcakes for fairytale masterpieces as the proud caterer for an ever-growing list of weddings at the castle. The teashop team love baking to the tune of happy ever afters, but can they pull together when a certain bridezilla pushes them all to boiling point?

Christmas is just around the corner, and a last minute booking threatens to snow the team under. Ellie and her hunky hubby Joe have their own Christmas dreams to chase, but they’re determined to pull through and give this special couple the winter wonderland wedding they deserve.

Will Christmas at the Cosy Teashop be a showstopper to remember?"

Rating: 5/5

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Caroline Roberts' new festive treat The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop, which is a follow up to her lovely summer novel The Cosy Tea Shop at the Castle, a book I read and thoroughly enjoyed earlier this year. It was lovely to catch up with the familiar cast again and see what they were up to in a book set a few years after the previous one, but this can also enjoyed as a stand alone festive read too!

Ellie and Joe are loving living at Claverham Castle, and Ellie's tea shop is going from strength to strength, with a good daily dose of visitors keeping things ticking over. As well as this, the pair have started to host weddings at the castle, sure that people will want to hold their wedding at their beautiful home, and raise some much needed revenue too. As Christmas time approaches and things start to get quieter, Ellie decides that they can host a Christmas Craft fair to attract some more visitors. As well as this, a last minute wedding ensures that things at the castle certainly aren't going to slow down for the festive season!

As the book began, I have to be honest and confess that I was wondering where the festive feeling was hiding as it didn't begin at Christmastime! However, I needn't have worried because this was a really enjoyable read, and I loved how the Christmas spirit crept up on throughout the book, and by the time the season had arrived, I was feeling well and truly festive. Caroline Roberts' descriptions definitely helped as well - the castle decorated for Christmas sounded idyllic and definitely somewhere I would want to visit at Christmas.

As well as the descriptions of the castle, I also loved the mouth-watering descriptions of the festive treats that Ellie and her crew at the tea shop were cooking up, from brownies to mince pies, brandy laden Christmas cakes and gingerbread - yum yum! These sounded perfect, I could have done with a lovely piece of gingerbread and one of Ellie's hot chocolates with cream while I was reading! Together with this, the lovely Christmas tree, Father Christmas and much more going on at the castle, it added up to a very festive read indeed!

The story is of course set at Christmas, but there are a few threads going on which made it great to read, as there was always something going on .Ellie and Joe go through a bit of an emotional set back of their own, and I felt that Robert's tackled this issue really well, giving it the time it deserved but also not allowing her characters to become too bogged down in their sadness. The way they used the happiness around them to motivate themselves was great, and I loved the final few chapters with the most perfect festive wedding I think I've ever read! I certainly had tears in my eyes at the most inspirational final few chapters, it was such a joy to read! I really hope that this isn't the last we see of Ellie, Joe and Claverham Castle, they've become firm friends of mine and I'd be happy to pay them another visit! A must-read for the festive season!

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