Christmas at the Contraband Cafe

A Year in Rum Cove, Winter

Liberty Bell & Scarlet Brodie

My Cup of Tea Press, Oct 2016

Kindle, 149 Pages

Available only in Digital format

Genre(s) Contemporary Romance, Christmas, Holiday

Source purchased at current price

Other books in this series: None at this time

My Disclaimer:

I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Chloe Charlesworth has a degree in fashion journalism and wants to put it to good use. She’s at the end of a grueling internship and the decision will be handed down today. Suddenly, she finds herself accused of theft of the boss’ dry cleaning and fired on the spot.

Out of a job, and with no job, out of a place to live, Chloe agrees to go check on her Aunt Fenella before looking for another fashion journalism job. She can’t seem to convince anyone she’s only stopping in to check on Aunt Fenella and get back to the city to look for another job. And she still hasn’t heard anything from her boyfriend, Marcus about moving in with him while she looks for a job.

Lottie is holding down the fort right now for Aunt Fenella, but Lottie needs to be writing papers for her college classes so she can get her law degree. Lottie cheerfully shows Chloe how to do things and Chloe gradually gets the hang of it all after some mistakes. Some mistakes are worse than others and really upset the local vet, Luke. He just happens to be Lottie’s brother, too. But Chloe means well and Lottie seems to understand her and points her in the right direction.

The townsfolk seem to like her. And Lottie really likes her. Aunt Fenella’s pulling for her. But can she change the young vet’s opinion of her? Or has she already?

Technical Tidbits…

The cover wasn’t terribly eye-catching with that water-color type coloring to it. The drawing underneath did relate to the story in a way. But I really wasn’t impressed with the cover at all. It was not why I bought the book this time.

The storyline was pretty good. City girl loses it all and goes off to help sick relative. Ends up staying longer than expected and liking it. Falls in love with local boy.

The characters were good. Of course, we got to know Chloe really well as we spent so much time with her, especially in the beginning. Lottie was explained to us by a lot of people. Mom and Aunt Fenella were just caricatures, but that’s all we needed. Luke was who he seemed to be and who Lottie explained him to be. If this were a more serious type novel I would expect more depth to their characters, but for this story, this was fine. The rest of the folks were characters we could pick up on easily from something they did or said or a comment someone made, so that you had a brief shot of them.

The pace was steady and at times brisk. It was well-done.

The tension was built up over each incident and allowed to drop down a bit afterward. It really tapered off at the end for a quiet ending.

The writing quality was good. I was wondering about a book written by two people whether or not you could actually tell it had two authors. How do they do that? Do they actually write different parts of it? Or is it more a brainstorming sort of thing and then one actually does the writing? I don’t know about actual writing, but I think you can sense two different brains in the story. A little bit of “push-n-pull” in parts of it. I think that may be why I felt the tension didn’t quite hold up throughout.

And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰

I really liked this book and felt very comfortable, almost familiar with it. Then I was reading the reviews on Amazon and discovered this review by Gordon A. Long that clarified all of that for me. Here is a small part of his review.

“If you’re a fan of English Sitcoms like Doc Martin and Heartbeat, you’re going to like this one: definitely written with a TV contract in mind. Picture a small, close-knit village in Yorkshire. Picture a wannabe fashion journalist from London whose life is falling to pieces, suddenly transferred there by a series of coincidental events.

Does she fit in? Of course not. Does she meet a man she finds obnoxious? Of course she does. Do circumstances keep forcing her to prolong her stay? Of course. You know the format.

What makes this story work is the characterization. The village is filled with individuals, coexisting with all the up, down and completely sideways relationships of people in small towns everywhere. “

On Amazon: Gordon A. Long Dec 2016

He’s quite right, too. This story fits that format perfectly. Come to think of it, a lot of stories do. The ones that have someone coming back to their home town or someone relocating to get away from a disaster and start over. The Cowboy Firefighter story from yesterday could fit into that format easily. I guess it’s a format or formula that we see a lot of. We probably see a lot of it because it works so well, too!

Well, it worked well for these two authors. This book is entertaining and you get hooked on the characters and care about them. I could see this town becoming part of a series and getting to know many of the “regulars”.


994 wc

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