Sunday, 29 March 2015

Jenny Oliver Romance Novels




The Parisian Christmas Bake Off
The Parisian Christmas Bake Off
My rating:         Romance
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)

What's not to love about a tale of Christmassy baking?

In The Parisian Christmas Bake Off, young teacher Rachel is set up by friends who send her to Paris during the Christmas break to compete for a patisserie apprenticeship. Rachel has had trouble enjoying the Christmas season since her mum died, and she's initially furious that her friends have arranged things behind her back. But as she's unwittingly drawn into the competition, she starts to discover not only some long-lost self-confidence, but also an enjoyment of the festive spirit.

Having a handsome Frenchman on the scene certainly doesn't hurt - but while this is shelved as a romance, the romantic aspect is really only an accent to Rachel's baking journey. It adds to the story, but doesn't define it.

With its sprinkling of sadness and hope, this is a perfect and charming Christmas story which I read in one day - I just didn't want to put it down.

Looking for more Christmas reads? I'm keeping a list (and checking it twice) of all the seasonal books that I've reviewed.

The Vintage Summer Wedding
The Vintage Summer Wedding
My rating:         Romance
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)

Anna was in the middle of planning her perfect wedding when her life crashed down around her ears. Forced into dire financial straits, she and her fiancé move to a crumbling cottage in the hometown she left as a child. Under the pressure of a temp job she hates and a town she thought she'd left behind, Anna starts to crack, and her picture-perfect relationship with Seb starts to show the strain.

Anna is an absolute brat and I didn't warm to her at once, but as the story progressed it became clear that her character was a result of her childhood circumstances, and I started to understand her better. I'm hesitant to say too much to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that as the story progresses, Anna eventually starts to shake off her past and grow up; this book had me in tears by the end.

The Vintage Summer Wedding
The Little Christmas Kitchen
My rating:         Romance
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)

Maddy and Ella are both living in the shadow of their childhood decisions, their lives fractured by their parents' divorce. Maddy has grown up with their mum, in Greece, while the older Ella went with their dad to a life of English boarding schools and trying to impress everyone with her academic achievements.

I found this book a bit slow to start off, but once it got properly underway, it was lovely. The reconciliation of the girls, their parents, and forgiveness of their respective mistakes is thoroughly heart-warming and made me sob buckets.

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe
My rating:         Romance
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)

Annie returns to Cherry Pie Island with the idea that she might sell the cafe where she spent so much of her childhood, and which she's just inherited. When she gets there, however, she finds the cafe could do with a new manager, not just an absentee owner. Annie gets everyone behind a low-budget makeover for the struggling cafe, but by the time the doors are ready to reopen, she's no longer sure she wants to leave. Just lovely.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Are these e-books, or are they also available in solid form?

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