Thursday, 1 November 2012

Books Read: Jenny Colgan - Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe

Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn't be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don't seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another . . .

Although this is one of a number of Christmas books that I've now already read this year I'd decided that I wasn't going to upload any of these reviews until November so here's the first of a few that will be appearing in the next week or so.

The story picks up a year on from where things finished in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe although this is a follow up you with Issy's cafe going from strength to strength as is her relationship with boyfriend Austin with whom she's now living.  But just when she's thinking that maybe just maybe everything is good in her life, things are about to change.

Austin's job is under threat so when he's headhunted for a job in the US he decides to take them up on the offer to go out their for a scouting visit and it's clear to see that they would do anything to get him to accept their job offer including paying for business class tickets for Issy and his younger brother Darny to come over for a weekend.

But Issy is torn as she doesn't want to leave behind her beloved Cafe and her lovely selection of friends and customers who are very much a part of her life so it's with a heavy heart that she finally agrees to go when her staff, Pearl and Caroline, say they can manage to run things on their own.  However the trip also has its uses as it will also give her the chance to catch up with someone who she hasn't seen for a while so maybe it'd be worth going after all.

As the title suggests this book is set at Christmastime and just like you'd find in real-life you find those that are huge fans of everything Christmas and embrace the season to its fullest, Issy, and those that are a little Bah Humbug and need to be pushed to get into the spirit of things, Pearl and Caroline.

Although the cafe is still very much a pivotal part of the story, this books focuses more on the characters rather than the cafe itself and what's happened in their lives since we last met them. Issy is just as sweet and endearing as she was in the previous book and wanted the best for everyone she encounters, even if it means putting others before herself. I love the fact that the three main characters, Issy, Pearl and Caroline, are so completely different that you wouldn't expect them to gel and yet it's clear to see that they all really care about each other.  So will they all get their happy ever after ending?

Despite this being a follow up book you could read it on its own as a standalone story although it does help to have read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe first to get to know the main characters and all their quirks.  Although I did enjoy seeing how things how progressed for Issy & co I can't say that I loved it as much as I did Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe which was in my top 5 books that I really enjoyed reading last year.

One of the things that I enjoyed about both books is the recipes for the fantastic cakes but sadly I'm not much of a baker so haven't got the talents to even attempt them but fortunately for me I know someone who is....

I'd like to thank Jenny's publisher's, Little Brown Book Group, for sending me a copy of Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe to review.


  1. Hi, do you need to have read the first one to follow this one?

    1. Hi Lindsay, it can be read on its own without reading Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe first, although the first book does give you the background to the setting up of the Cafe.