Thursday, 30 October 2014

Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin

Out now
Published by Carina
Purchase from Amazon here

The blurb:

You are invited to the wedding of the year!

Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams - in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

The Gingerbread Café series:

Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe

Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe

(The Bookshop on the Corner)

Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café

My review:

How would I sum up Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe? Irresistible, delicious perfection! I cannot tell you just how much I loved this, and the other books in the Gingerbread Cafe series. They are simply magical and once I picked them up I was unable to put them back down again.

Part of me has been dreading reading this book, but purely because I know it is the final book in the series and I don't want it to end. Rebecca has written such great characters who don't feel like works of fiction, they feel like real people who are so kind, and funny, and quirky that I would love to be part of their friendship circle.

The books are set in a small town where everyone is one big community. There is the cafe, the hairdresser, the book store, and other small stores that make them one big family. I adore all the characters but Lily and Cee Cee who run the gingerbread cafe are my favourites.

Lily is the main character in the books and we have previously seen her transform into a wonderful lady who has left her past behind her, and found love with Damon. As this book starts we are ten days away from their wedding, and each chapter counts down day by day as the wedding approaches. I love the warmth of Lily's character. She is one of life's good eggs and I can't imagine any reader not wanting her to have a fairy tale ending.

I simply adore Cee Cee. She is one talented baker, but more than that, she is a confidante,  a loving and open person with a knack for seeing what happens to people. She has endured heartbreak in the past, but rather than being destroyed by it she seems to be even warmer and more loving from it. I love how she isn't only a employee of Lily's but is also like a mother figure for her.

I could almost single out all the other characters for various reasons too. Rebecca has an exceptional way of writing characters and settings that feel like a home from home. So down to earth and loving, warm and safe. I adore her writing and will be reading all her books from here on in.

We know that weddings can be tense affairs, with so much to do, and with families coming together often for the first time. This wedding is no exception. As the clock ticks down of course there is drama, both on the practical side, but also emotionally as we meet Damon's parents. His mother Olivia is a force to be reckoned with, and at times I wondered if Rebecca had modelled her on someone I know (I shall say no more!!).

I could gush about the book all day but I really don't want to give away any of the storyline. I lapped it up and would hate to have read any spoilers. I hope you as a reader enjoy it just as much as I have.

I have to admit that I pretty much sobbed my way through the last third of the book, and stayed up well past my bedtime totally engrossed, and needing to finish it before I could rest. There are some parts that tugged at my heart strings and had me crying my eyes out with sadness, but equally I was like a  voyuer who couldn't get enough of the love and affection in the book, which had me crying with happiness.

My Mum is Irish and grew up in a small village on the border of Cork and Kerry. We spent every summer there as kids and it is somewhere I still hanker after to this day. If I could move back there I would, in a heartbeat. It has a small close knit community, where everyone knows eachother, but more importantly, everyone looks after eachother. This is how this series feels for me, and probably part of the reason I am so sad to see it end.

If you love a good series with great characters who you feel part of, and uplifting tales, this is perfect. I would really recommend reading them in order, and particularly leaving this til the last of them.

Thank you to Carina who provided a copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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