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 . . .
I do love Christmas, I just hate all the argy-bargy that comes with it. I like Christmas in December, preferably starting just the week before. I hate being sick of Carols and decorations by the beginning of December and I hate the madness that descends upon people.
I don't tend to read a lot of Christmas themed books, mainly because I refuse to read any before December, and by the time December comes around, I haven't got the time to read more than a couple.
Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan was published in hardback by Sphere in 2012, the paperback was released in October this year and is the follow up to Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, which I reviewed back in September 2011.
For those who have already read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, this is a welcome back to a cast of characters who feel like old friends. For new readers, it's a chance to meet them all for the first time, and the story stands alone well as Jenny Colgan has helpfully included a brief introduction to set the scene.
A year ago Issy launched her new venture; The Cupcake Cafe. The cafe is successful and has become a firm favourite in the neighbourhood. Issy has found a guy who she thinks might be the one. Austin works in a bank and looks after his younger brother Darny, it's not the career that he dreamt of but when their parents were killed in a car accident, Austin was determined that he would raise Darny. All seems well until Austin finds himself in New York and overwhelmed by the offer of a possible career move. A move that would see him earn much more money and would allow Darny to attend a school that really understands and develops him.
Issy has a huge decision to make. Her friends and supporters all live in England. Pearl and her young son Louis who struggle on a daily basis to pay the bills. Caroline, the materialistic soon-to-be divorcee and Helena with her new family. How would Issy cope without them? How would the cafe cope without Issy?
Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe is a funny and poignant story that will warm the heart and inject a hefty dose of Christmas spirit into the reader's life. Jenny Colgan's characters bounce from the page as they grow and develop throughout the story. Packed with juicy recipes, decorations and snow, this is the perfect Christmas read.
Jenny Colgan is the author of fifteen bestselling novels. Her first novel featuring cupcake baker Issy Randall, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, was a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.
Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France.
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