18 January 2013

Book Review: Cupcakes at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown

"Georgie Hart loves her job--running the luxury handbag concession at Carrington's Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay, and treating herself (once too often!) to a red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing in Carrington's café.

But Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington's is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands.

It spells a recipe for disaster for Georgie and soon she is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her gorgeous boss, James. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie..."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Cupcakes at Carrington's as a paperback or an eBook now!

Alexandra Brown's debut novel is one I have been looking forward to for a long time now. It's the first in a series of books, and when the cover was revealed last month, I thought it looked stunning and it made me even more keen to read it. In real life, the book has gorgeous metallic copper highlights on it which make the pictures pop even more, and it is such a classy cover and fits in really well with the idea of the book. The book has garnered a lot of interest in the chick lit world, with a lot of people eagerly anticipating the book and whether or not it's going to be a good read... well I have to tell you that it's well worth the read, and I enjoyed it very much!

Georgie Hart has worked in department store Carrington's for years, and loves her job there. She has some close friends, enjoys her job selling high end products, and is trying her best to better her life. However, when the recession looks like it might get the better of Carrington's, the boss employs a new manager to shake things up and Georgie starts to worry about her job, especially as new manager Maxine doesn't seem the friendly sort. Georgie's non-existent love life is also thrown into disarray as well when she starts to be the object of boss James' affections, but she's also got the hots for her new colleague Tom. Georgie quickly has to learn what matters most to her in her life, and whether her loyalties really lie with her beloved Carrington's or there is something more important to her...

As I said, I have been really looking forward to reading this for quite a while now, so as soon as it arrived, I got eagerly stuck in. I have to be honest (as I always am in my reviews) and say that I found it a little slow to start off with. It wasn't immediately obvious where the story was going, and when it was, I found it to be a little bit predictable, although that didn't really hinder my enjoyment of the book. I was hoping for something a bit more 'out there' to happen, and while it didn't, I found the book was good but didn't quite have that special sparkle I was hoping for. I really loved the lead character of Georgie, she was very likeable and fun, although she's clearly harbouring a pain in her past relating to her father and money that isn't revealed until quite a way into the book, and we're left wondering what it is. She had a fun side to her, and her friendships in the book are very genuine and I really warmed to her.

The men in the book are well written characters too. Tom Rossi, the new colleague of Georgie is a bit of a mystery, but he's always there in the background and I was wondering how he would end up fitting into the whole plotline. He was a very well written character, and I liked him as part of the plot. However, my favourite had to be James, I felt really sorry for him because he was quite a muddled up character with a good heart, and I just thought he was great and he and Georgie were written so well as a pair too. My other favourite had to be the evil Maxine, the new girl thrown in to mix the company up, and boy does she do that!  She's hilarious, some of the things she does and says are outrageous and it really adds a bit of fun into the book because she's just so awful! There is a lot of flirtation between the three characters (Georgie, Tom and James), and I liked not knowing where these relationships were going.

The shop Carrington's itself sounds brilliant, and Alexandra Brown really brings it perfectly to life in her writing. It sounds luxurious, the sort of place you go to when you want that something special, and to be made to feel special for a while. I loved the descriptions of the lovely things for sale, especially the lovely displays and handbags that are on sale in Carrington's, wow! The cafe itself where Georgie has her own cupcakes at Carrington's is a lovely addition to the book and gives Georgie a chance to escape and sum up her feelings a little bit. The cakes all sounded divine, and I wish there was somewhere like that I could go to and get a delicious red velvet cupcake! I really enjoyed reading Sam and Georgie's relationship, it felt really genuine and Brown has written a relationship of real best friends here, and it was touching to read how they supported each other through the events of the book.

I thought this was a really good debut novel, and I really reading it from start to finish. For a debut novel, I think Alexandra Brown has created a fantastic world within the pages of Cupcakes at Carrington's, and I am really pleased that this is the first in a series because I think the characters and idea has such potential to go even further. It's got a likeable cast of characters, lots of action going on to keep you hooked when you're reading, and the descriptions of everything from bags to perfumes to cakes sound brilliant, and Brown really brings it all to life with her writing. It's all written from the first person perspective of Georgie, so the reader really can begin to suss her out and get inside her head. I really enjoyed this book, and really recommend it as a great read to while away these cold evenings, snuggled up with a cup of this and your own little cupcake on the side! Christmas at Carrington's is coming in November 2013!

1 comment:

  1. Great review to read. I will be putting this on my to-read list!