November 2016

‘Christmas At The Cornish Cafe’ by Phillipa Ashley

The festive, feel-good follow-up to Summer at the Cornish Cafe.

Christmas will be slightly less turbulent than summer, won’t it? Demi certainly hopes so.

She and Cal are keeping their fledgling relationship under wraps for now. But then Kit Bannen, a hunky, blond – and somewhat mysterious – writer arrives at Kilhallon Resort, and not everyone is charmed. Cal is sure that Kit is hiding something. But is he the only one guarding a secret?

Demi is busy baking festive treats for the newly opened Demelza’s cafe, but when Cal’s ex Isla arrives to shoot scenes for her new drama, Demi can’t help but worry that things aren’t quite over between them. Kit flirts with both women, fuelling Cal’s suspicions that Kit has hidden motives for staying on at Kilhallon. Then Cal has to go to London, leaving Demi and Kit to decorate the cafe for Christmas . . . all by themselves.

A storm is brewing in more ways than one. As surprises unfold and truths are uncovered, can Demi and Cal finally open up to each other about their feelings?

This second novel in the bestselling Cornish Cafe series is the perfect book to curl up with this Christmas.

This is the first book by Phillipa Ashley that I have read but on the strength of ‘Christmas At The Cornish Cafe’, I can guarantee you that it won’t be the last one I read by this particular author.  The book made me laugh in several different places and I couldn’t help but become caught up in the atmosphere of the story. It can be read as a standalone although it is actually the second one in ‘The Cornish Cafe’ series, which I didn’t realise until I started reading it.  I do think that for certain references to past events to make sense you really should read the series in order.

‘Christmas At The Cornish Cafe’ is really well written.  At heart, it is a good old fashioned tale of romance, with a generous helping of humour, but there is a also a hint of a mystery in there and lots of secret and lies are being hidden by various individuals.  The story flows really well.  There is one main storyline but there are several sub plots which feed into the main storyline perfectly.  I found this book to be a real ‘CPID’ book.  I literally had to keep reading as I needed to see what the rest of the book had in store for Cal and Demi, who have fast become two of my favourite characters.

Both Cal and Demi are damaged people in their own way.  Something traumatic has happened independently in their recent pasts but they don’t fully want to open up their hearts to others, as I suspect they both fear getting hurt again.  A sort of self preservation in a way.  Cal is likeable in that he is funny, friendly to almost everybody, he is always willing to lend a hand, he has strong beliefs, he is passionate in more ways than one and he is loyal to his friends.  Demi is almost exactly the same.  The pair of them are both as stubborn as mules and are not likely to back down very easily when pushed.  There are other characters featured in ‘Christmas At The Cornish Cafe’, who are just as important.  On the surface Kit Bannen appears to be a nice guy but I must admit that I didn’t trust him and I just knew that there was more to him than meets the eye, but then I am naturally suspicious.  I have to say that I developed a particular soft spot for Mitch.  I know some people will say that he is only a dog but I really thought that Mitch’s personality and nosiness reminded me so much of my own 2 loopy Labradors.  I also really ‘got’ Demi’s relationship with Mitch.  Mitch has seen Demi at her lowest ebb and I think that they depend on each other.  Mitch is not only a friend but a confidante.   I think the same about my two Labrador girls.

In short, I really loved reading this book and I would definitely recommend it to others.  I would award this 5* out of 5*.  I can’t wait to read more about ‘The Cornish Cafe’.


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