*This book was sent to me by the publisher Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.
The smell of a bakery is home to Issy Randall, who grew up in her grandfather’s bakery. Now that he’s ailing and in a nursing home, Issy asks him to transcribe her favorite recipes while he still can. Baking isn’t Issy’s job, but she fills her evenings experimenting with recipes, and her coworkers at an estate agent company reap the rewards.
When the company announces redundancies, especially hard as Issy has been in a relationship with her boss for nearly a year, Issy is despondent. The only thing that perks her up is the thought of her own bakery in the sweet little shop at Pear Tree Court. Plus, it diverts her attention from the fact that Graeme, the ex-boyfriend/former boss hasn’t called.
When Issy decides to try her hand at owning a business, she meets several influential people – Pearl, an out-of-work single mom who knows her way around a catering shop; Austin, a charming banker with a complex home life; and Caroline, whose raw food restaurant lost out to Issy’s cafe. With their help, Issy might just have a chance at making it; that is, if she can stand up for herself when Graeme shows back up with plans of his own.
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan is as full of charm as the cover suggests. Though Issy seems intentionally dense when it comes to her ex, I know many women who have fallen into that same trap, and Issy still manages to pull herself free when it matters most.
Her relationship with her grandfather and her fond memories of his shop are warm and endearing, as is her relationship with her roommate Helena. Though chance has much to do with Issy’s success (but doesn’t it so often happen that way?), it was fun to read about Issy setting up shop and carving out a successful life for herself.
A couple odd insertions near the end kept this from being as good as I would have liked, but I mostly loved this fun, lightweight novel and spy what looks like a sequel on the way.
Add this to your Goodreads shelf.