Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 Hearts
WARNING: Tiny Spoilers Ahead in Summary 🙂
Happy Saturday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review. My reading has been all over the place lately what with the holidays and last minute baby prep, but I just HAVE to tell you about this wonderful book I read over the Christmas holiday!
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan is witty and charming and romantic and basically everything I wanted while reading it. It follows the life of Issy Randall as her white-collar office job is terminated due to company cutbacks, and her boyfriend — and former boss (*gasp*) — Graeme didn’t bother to tell her about it so she could prepare. With no idea about what she’s going to do next, Issy is thrust into the world of unemployment where she attends resume-writing groups, wonders why on earth she didn’t have more savings stocked away, struggles to get over her hurt and anger with her ex whom she thought was The One, and copes by baking — a love that was built into her by her Gramps, who used to own multiple bakeries back in his heyday.
And Issy bakes. And bakes. And is constantly told by those around her that she has a gift for pastries and cakes that shouldn’t go to waste.
That’s when Issy starts to wonder if another corporate job is right for her, or if she should consider taking the company severance package to start her own cafe. But that would be crazy, right? Almost like a mid-life crisis. She doesn’t know the first thing about running a cafe.
But the dream refuses to leave her alone, until all Issy wants to do is make it into a reality. With the encouragement of her Gramps and her flat-mate Helena, the help from her rather sexy bank advisor Austin, and the hiring of rather desperate fellow resume-writing-group-member Pearl, she opens a cafe in Pear Tree Court, determined to give it her all. And to her delight, she doesn’t fail, like so many of the other cafes and boutiques that rented the space before her. In fact, Issy’s Cupcake Cafe thrives.
However, while her business thrives, Issy’s personal life is thrust into turmoil as she grows more and more confused over her growing attraction for Austin while Graeme keeps flitting in and out of her life, and her Gramps’ health takes a downward spiral. And just when she finally thinks she’s got it all figured out, that she’s found the balance she wants, someone pulls a stunt that will send Issy’s whole world reeling.
If you’d like to read the official synopsis for Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, here is the Goodreads Link. 🙂
Okay, this book was amazing. Colgan writes with the appropriate sweetness for a romance novel with plenty of wit and sass thrown in. Every page was an absolute delight. Her characters are incredibly relatable, and I just wanted to hug Issy every chance I got. I also wanted to visit her cafe. And maybe work there, even though I’m pretty sure I’d be terrible at it. Just, the whole atmosphere of the book was like curling up with a cozy blanket and your favorite drink and feeling warm and happy. It was incredibly hard for me to put the book down and go about other life things, and I often found myself thinking about it in my free time and wondering when I’d be able to start reading again!
Also, Austin is a treat himself. Such great fictional boyfriend material. *winks*
Some of my other favorite things about this book…
-Recipes included! To be honest, I can’t imagine when I’ll ever need to bake so many cakes or cupcakes but having the recipes included was great! If you enjoy baking, you’ll love this addition to the book. Kudos to Colgan for thinking of it.
-The side characters are amazing! You either love them or you love to hate or laugh at them, and I was so impressed with how Colgan pulled this off. Every single side character had a full personality and stuck with me as I read. Pearl was my personal favorite, with Helena a close second. Also, there’s side character romance involved, which I thought was wonderful! It reminds you that life happens to other people outside of whatever is going on with the main character, and I appreciated that touch. 🙂
-The children! Darny and Louis are some of my favorite kid characters that I’ve ever read, hands down.
All I can say is, read this book. If you’re looking for something sweet and cozy, you certainly won’t be disappointed!