Publisher: Sphere Publishing
Ever dreamed of starting over? Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own café. It should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. As her friends point out, she has trouble remembering where she left her house keys, let alone trying to run her own business. But Issy is determined. Armed with recipes posted to her from Grampa, and with her local bank manager fighting her corner, Issy attempts to prove everyone wrong. Following your dreams is never easy and this is no exception. Can Issy do it?
This book is a little like a cupcake recipe itself. Take one cute but slightly insecure leading lady, mix with two possible romantic lead – one sour and obviously wrong for her but very good look and successful in his field, the other sweet and scatty but less forward. Blend with a range of quirky but well-meaning friends and family, set in a picturesque area of London and sprinkle with delicious sounding cupcakes. Enjoy the heart-warming story and funny misunderstandings.
Actually, while the story is very predictable, there is something adorable about Issy and her friends as she struggles to establish the café – it may just be the wonderful cupcake recipes that are the start of most chapters, but Issy is a lovely lead character without being too stupid or annoying (chick-lit can be filled with leading ladies you just want to throttle for being so stupid and staying with a guy even when he is obviously up to no good!). Issy may on occasion make mistakes but she is honest with herself and figures out her relationship issues for herself.
What I most enjoyed was the selection of friends that Issy surrounds herself with – from her no-nonsense flatmate Helena, the single Mum Pearl from the estate and the divorcing super-Mum, Caroline they are a diverse mixture of women and add a lot of flavour to the story. I also loved the details of the customers and how the regulars really become part of their lives. It was an easy read, but very enjoyable and perfect slice of summer sunshine.
Recommended for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Katie Fforde. 8 out of 10