Sunday 2 October 2016

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe - Debbie Johnson

Becca Fletcher hates Christmas so much, she’s considering getting ‘Bah Humbug!’ tattooed on her forehead. She has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch; Reasons that make this the very worst time of year for her.
Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura, and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.
But little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill on a windswept bay, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

What did I think?

It's not too early to read Christmas books and to be fair, Christmas the Comfort Food Cafe is not overly festive.  It has just the right amount of festive cheer to remind you that it's set at Christmas but with the return of all our favourite characters from Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, I, for one, couldn't have waited until Christmas to read it.

Whereas Laura was the main character in Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, it is her sister, Becca, who gets to be the star at Christmas.  Becca is the crazy man-eating party-going sister, or so she would have her family believe.  Underneath all that bluster and bravado is a very sad and unhappy lady.  Becca loves her family so much that she is willing to give up cigarettes, alcohol and men to be there for her family whenever they might need her.  When her brother-in-law, Laura's husband, died it was quite a reality check and she vowed never to smoke, touch a drop of alcohol or have a one-night stand again.

Laura invites Becca to Dorset for Christmas, where she can finally meet all the lovely people that have captured Laura's heart.  Laura's daughter, Lizzie, has been taking temptingly revealing photo's of Surfer Sam to entice Becca and Becca finds that he is so much more delicious in the flesh.  Becca doesn't want to give into temptation as that would open up the floodgates to all her vices, but can she really resist the Irish charm of Sam?

This is such a lovely story.  It's surprising how much of our feelings we hide from our loved ones.  Becca feels more comfortable telling her story to a stranger than her own sister; I imagine this is partly to protect her family from her her pain and partly to be the shoulder to cry on rather than the crier.  As we all know, a problem shared is a problem halved and I was desperate for Becca to let go of her past and embrace her present.  A Sam-shaped present of course, wrapped up in a big red bow and nothing else!

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe is another charming and heart-warming visit to Dorset by Debbie Johnson.  I welcomed the characters as if they were my own family and I do hope that we hear from them all again.  A Debbie Johnson book is like jumping into a pool of marshmallows - so soft, comforting and delicious.

I received this e-book from the publisher, HarperImpulse, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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