Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Book Review: Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop

By Sara Steven

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true...

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee's Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street... Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn't know if she'll make it in time. With no 'traditional' family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee's dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means...  (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Most of the time when I’m tasked with reading a holiday book, I have a pretty good idea that the majority of it will be holiday-themed, a heavy emphasis on sweetness and romance. That isn’t the case with Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop, and I found that to be incredibly refreshing! 

The holidays are still well and good within Whitsborough Bay, but intermixed are events that Charlee has to deal with and go through; family tragedies, hidden secrets that ultimately are revealed, and the useless boyfriend leaves little to be desired. Then when Matt enters the picture--a man who Charlee finds herself drawn to, but he’s taken--it only adds more drama to the situation. Charlee has always fancied herself to be the type to remain within a committed relationship, but given how poorly she’s been treated by her boyfriend, it’s hard not to enjoy the company of someone who has shown nothing but respect and decency to her. 

There are a lot of changes that happen all at once for Charlee, and it was obvious just how hard it was for her to take a moment and just breathe. But the new business on Castle Street requires every waking moment of her time, and as the synopsis indicates, she finds out soon enough who her real “family” is, and who it isn’t. What’s tradition, anyway?

I enjoyed Christmas Wishes! It spoke volumes on what it takes to gather up the strength and courage to branch out on your own, that gleaming entrepreneurial spirit that Charlee has and wants to contribute to Whitsborough Bay. There is scandal, too, mixed in with moments of humor and humility, with Charlee and other characters having to decide on what needs to be done to best serve not only their own needs, but those of the townspeople, too. This may not have been completely oozing with holiday cheer, but it fulfilled my Christmas quota and then some; still sweet, but with an edge. A worthy five-star read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds. 

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1 comment:

Jessica Redland said...

Thank you so much for joining in the blog tour for Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop and for your lovely comments about this story. Delighted you enjoyed the story and that it surprised you by being a little different to what you might have expected. Really appreciate your kind words x