Sunday, 14 July 2019

Emma's Review: Scones Away by Cressida McLaughlin (The Cornish Cream Tea Bus, Book 3)

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Charlie’s toughest technical challenge yet…

Now that Charlie’s Cornish Cream Tea bus has taken off, everything should be going swimmingly – the locals love her baking, Marmite adores getting his paws wet in the crystal-clear sea at Porthgolow beach, but Charlie has manged to get on the wrong side of the mercurial owner of The Porthgolow Hotel, Daniel Harper. He wants her to pack up her doillies and pastry cutters and take her bus elsewhere, but can Charlie convince him that they have just got off on the wrong foot and that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village?

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Many thanks to Harper Collins for my copy of Scones Away to review and to Sharon for having my review on the blog.

Scones Away is part three in the wonderful new series from Cressida McLaughlin The Cornish Cream Tea Bus. I've been loving this story so far as our main character Charlie is really someone who you are rooting for right from the very first moment she decided to continue on the legacy left by her Uncle Hal. Charlie is making waves with her new, fresh and innovative ideas in the small, sleepy coastal village of Porthgolow in Cornwall and despite some opposition she is determined to make a success of things. Bringing the vintage bus back to life left to her by her Uncle has given Charlie herself a new lease of life and a real sense of purpose but there are still many obstacles in her way.

She sees such potential for the village which seems to have gone to sleep and lost the will to fight to attract tourists. Various business are dying on their feet but Charlie knows with a little bit of hard work, some clever ideas and determination the fortunes of the village could be turned around. She may have only recently arrived in Porthgolow but she knows a good thing when she sees it and so what if some residents are entrenched in their ways and want no change at all. Charlie knows if things go the way she envisages than hopefully everyone will be thanking her for the wonderful changes. Now if only Daniel Harper, owner of Crystal Waters the luxury hotel perched on the clifftops, would get onside instead of placing stumbling blocks in her way then life would be moving along just fine for Charlie.

I didn't think part three was as eventful as the first two parts to this series although it did end on a very nerve racking cliff hanger. I suppose that's because we are leading up to some dramatic revelations and the tying of all the strands of the story together in part four but none the less Charlie's journey is still very much enjoyable and I am loving the community spirit that is really starting to emerge. But for me Charlie is becoming that little bit frustrating in that she jumps to conclusions far too quickly rather than taking the time to find out all the information instead of forming harsh judgements. I think she does this because her love for the Cornish Cream Tea Bus and her passion for bringing Porthgolow back to life again are always at the forefront of her mind.

Charlie wants to see all her plans come to fruition and for everything to be successful and if anything arises that could set said plans off track then she gets in such a fluster and makes assumptions that are simply not true. I think in a way there is a lesson for us all here. Don't form opinions until you have all the facts and details because otherwise you are digging a hole for yourself and in Charlie's case this could have the most disastrous of consequences. When she thinks a yoga event is going to derail the weekly food market that she has established on the beach she loses her cool big time with Daniel. I understood how annoyed she was given many traders were relying on her and she felt the event was gaining momentum but really the beach was there for everyone to use so why did she get so confrontational with Daniel.

I think Charlie gets wound up so easily and there really is no need for it but if you look that little bit deeper beneath the surface is it because there could be feelings stirring deep down for the man who frustrates her the most. Daniel is a man who has followed his dreams and worked his way up from humble roots to create a hotel that will provide luxury holidays and he will work diligently to ensure the hotel’s success continues. I don't think Charlie wanted to up scuttle his long term plans and ambitions but I think the sexual chemistry and tension between them led to her acting differently and therefore perhaps every little thing that went wrong for her she used the opportunities to lay the blame at his door.

Daniel is a character who I feel we need to get to know that little bit more and hopefully we will be given the opportunity to do so in part four. I think he has remained cool, calm and collected throughout especially when Charlie comes out with all guns blazing and then when she realises that in fact she is wrong regarding several points she has to back track very quickly indeed. He allowed her to let rip and never lost his own rag and I thought he could have been more forceful with Charlie instead of letting her rant on.

I loved the romantic triangle that was developing with Charlie at its centre and again this is something she is trying to contend with whilst keeping the food market going and travelling around with the bus to promote both it and Porthgolow. Not to mention the tours she is hoping to establish as another way of keeping the spirit of Uncle Hal alive. No doubt about it Charlie is ambitious and a hard worker but maybe it's time to relax a little bit and let the fruits of her good work unfold and explore the personal side of her life a little bit more. Well maybe that's what she hopes to do until events over the last few pages certainly rain on her parade. I think what happened was very unjust considering all the good work that has been done but saying that it has set us up very nicely for the concluding part The Icing on the Cake. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everything comes together and of course to more glorious and mouth watering descriptions of food not to mention the wonderful descriptions of Cornwall that have been ever present from part one. So far this has been a heart warming and captivating read and I am eager to know will Charlie be successful in her venture?

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