1 March 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts

"When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.

When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!

Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy the book now.

I was really excited to start this book last week, and was especially pleased to be invited to be part of the blog tour for the book's release, and so I wanted to celebrate with a review post telling you why you should read this great book. It's the story of Ellie Hall, who manages to secure a lease at Claverham Castle for the teashop, which has always been her dream. Ellie doesn't really have a history of working in teashops, but is sure thanks to her baking prowess she will be able to make it work. With the estate manager Joe on her side, Ellie sets about making the tea shop as successful as it can be. But is it just one dream too far?

I really loved the character of Ellie from the beginning. She's really passionate about making her new business a success, and I was just hoping she hadn't bitten off more than she could chew, which is how it seemed at times! I loved how she seemed to settle in well, especially considering she didn't come from the industry, but wasn't afraid to get stuck in and get her hands dirty, determined to prove to everyone that she could succeed where those before her had failed. The descriptions of the teashop were wonderfully written, it sounded like the idyllic setting for a castle tea shop, the perfect place to stop and have a drink and cake after a few hours walking around Claverham Castle's gorgeous grounds.

As well as Ellie, we meet the estate's manager Joe, who was really keen to take on Ellie and was very encouraging of her. The pair had good banter from the beginning, and seemed to click, and I was hopeful that there was going to be a hint of romance in there too! Joe was a lovely character, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the scenes that he was in. As well as these two main characters, there's Doris, one of Ellie's assistants in the tea shop, a bit of a nosy dear with her heart in the right place, Nicola, the other assistant, Lord Henry, owner of Claverham castle, and of course Ellie's family make appearances too, although I did wish they could be a bit more encouraging of Ellie and her dreams!

The setting of Claverham Castle was delightful, and I really enjoyed the way Roberts brought it to life with her writing. Everything from the little tea shop, to Joe's suite, Ellie's little room and even the interior rooms of the castle itself were wonderfully described, and I could certainly imagine it all in my mind as I was reading. In particular, the tea shop was perfectly written; quaint, cosy and exactly the sort of place I could imagine myself stopping for a warm drink with a good book for a little while!

This was a really enjoyable read, and although I was a bit surprised by a turn the book took around two-thirds of the way through, I did very much enjoy Caroline Roberts writing, and thought the story was wonderful. It certainly left me with a smile on my face, and I found myself racing through to the end because I wanted to see if Ellie would get the happy ending that she deserved. A lovely book, one to be enjoyed over a few chilly evenings with your own cup of tea and cake, much like Ellie's! Definitely recommended.

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