- Author: Linn B Halton
- Published: 15 January, 2016
- Category: Contemporary, Romance
Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …
Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.
But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.
But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …
Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.
Katie has achieved her dream and Sweet Occasions, her bakery, is up and running. She is a skilled cake maker and specialises in amazing celebration cakes and delicious cupcakes. Katie and her partner, Steve, have been through a rough patch and Steve’s brush with death has changed him, their relationship is still on shaky ground. When Katie finds herself struggling to keep Sweet Occasions afloat, Steve comes to what he believes is the rescue with a business plan, taking the shop in a completely different, and not altogether welcome, direction. Katie is not motivated by money, enjoys being her own boss, loves her bakery and what she is doing. As long as she can make ends meet she’s happy.
‘I didn’t mean to be tough on you,’ he whispers, ‘but you worry me sometimes. I meant what I said this morning. I earn enough to keep us both. You don’t need to work and you certainly don’t need to work such long hours just to cover the overheads of that shop.’
I look up at him, trying my best not to let him see how his words hurt. Whether it’s the harsh appraisal of my ‘dream’, or the thought of being a kept woman, I’m not sure. What would I do at home all day? Sensing the emotions welling up inside me, Steve wraps his arms around my shoulders and gives me a gentle squeeze.
Katie begins to question what it is she actually wants and the direction her life is taking. When a cold and wet refugee from the storm comes into the shop one day, Katie takes pity on him and offers dry clothes and food. He buys a Christmas cake for his grandmother which begins a couple of years of visits for special occasion cakes. Although each feel an attraction to the other neither believes it will lead anywhere even though there is a developing friendship.
Told mostly from the perspectives of the two main protagonists, whose stories invite you into their lives to share the highs and lows, thoughts and feelings, while getting to know and like them as the layers of their personalities are revealed. Two caring, thoughtful people trying to change their lives to bring in more happiness. The secondary characters have depth and are well-formed. Grace is fabulous, I love her strength and compassion, and the way the paranormal is incorporated.
The story deals with life issues, not least learning that guilt and a feeling of obligation is not a good basis for a relationship. The results of a life threatening illness on that relationship, and the difficulties and loneliness of being a single dad after the end of a marriage, are also explored sympathetically. The writing has the warmth, emotion and feel good factor I’ve come to expect from Linn Halton.
A very enjoyable, deliciously warm read.
My review is based on an ARC from the author and is reviewed for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. This does not influence/alter my opinion or the content of this review.
About the author
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.
Linn Halton’s media links ~