I’m not a great reader of novels described as ‘heartwarming’, particularly with cheerful pastel-coloured covers. But as an impulse read for a winter day when I was feeling under the weather and in need of comfort, Tea for Two at the Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot proved to be a bit of a surprise. Second in the Little Cornish Kitchen series, I hesitate to call this a ‘cosy romance’ but it is fun, flirty and funny. Novels set in Cornwall are almost a genre of their own and the fictional seaside village of St Aidan with its pastel-coloured houses set on steep windy streets leading to the beach is ideal for a ‘community’ novel with a strong list of characters.
There are lots of alliterations, hashtags and cute names starting with Cressida Cupcake, the social media name for hit online baker Cressy Hobson. Dog and apartment-sitting for her brother Charlie [owner of the Little Cornish Kitchen Cafe and star of the first book in Linfoot’s series, one of a collection set in St Aidan] Cressy will be at Seaspray Cottage for six weeks. She’s glad to escape London and the embarrassing fallout after an online baking disaster. She’s trending on social media as #CrappyCupcake, her book deal has fallen through, her blog sponsors have disappeared and she is short of cash. But when confronted with her sister-in-law’s circle of best friends, she hides the truth and is determined to work things out on her own.
Inevitably she is soon pulled into the community and joins the fundraising plans for the financially-struggling Kittiwake Court community care home. Cressy’s private baking parties take off, as do her sales of bake boxes via the local Facebook group. Add in a meeting with her handsome teenage crush, assorted sheep to be fed and eggs to be collected, a collection of adorable cats and dogs, various cute children and babies, and the scene is set for Cressy to lurch from disaster to triumph to embarrassment and disaster again and again. There are serious themes too – miscarriage and infertility being the main two – but in general there’s a light hand when it comes to the reality of seaside living, seasonal unemployment, online hate, poverty and the struggles of an ageing population. This is romantic comedy, a getaway from the real world. In this pastel-coloured village, reality is pushed firmly to one side.
Not my normal reading but great for the time when a Bakewell tart blondie is preferable to a single digestive. Oh, and if you enjoy baking there are some great recipes at the end.
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And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
TEA FOR TWO AT THE LITTLE CORNISH KITCHEN by @janelinfoot #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5wE via @SandraDanby