The Christmas spirit is on the blog today! Get comfortable and grab a piece of cake and maybe a copy of Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes!
When all-round buttercream princess, Millie Carter, becomes stranded at Craiglea Manor Cookery School, she believes her chance of enjoying a merry festive season is over.
The village of Aisford is Christmas-card perfect, but Millie hates it – she hates the snow, her freezing fingertips, and being forced to look like her Aunt Marjory in a mud-splattered wax jacket and wellies instead of her beloved shorts and sparkly sandals.
She plots her escape but ends up locking spatulas with the estate manager, Fergus McKenzie, who is forced to rescue her before she succumbs to a severe dose of hypothermia. Things start to improve with the arrival of handsome Sam Morgan, fresh from the beaches and rum shacks of the Caribbean.
Can Millie accept her fate? And will Aisford sprinkle some of its seasonal magic on her troubles?
Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a festive story of love and friendship and reaching for the buttercream icing and edible glitter when life gets tough.
Put it on the Christmas spirit if you will but I quite enjoyed the story. I admit it took me a while, mostly due to the main character, Millie. Now, let’s get a couple of things straight lady. Living in the South of France is awesome, you get some of the best food, beaches and millions of tourists a year, but in December, whether you live in Nice or anywhere else in the south, you need a coat. You can’t just walk out there with sandals, a tee-shirt and a cardigan. 12 degrees don’t allow this kind of outfit. I know, because I’ve been there, and I’ve done that (stupid bet!). I said before that I am always a bit leery when a book is set in France, and this is the kind of tiny mistakes that tend to annoy me a little. Get a sweater, nice winter shoes, and you’re ready to enjoy La Riviera for Christmas.
My second issue with her was her personality. I know, some of us have terrible personalities and it is a lot of work to change this. But Millie did nothing to make me warm up to her for the most part of the book. Very judgemental and narrow-minded from the start, she constantly sounded selfish despite the efforts of everyone around her to make her feel at ease. Oh, another French thing. Yes, we see food as art, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy local cuisine. I’m only talking for myself here, I can’t talk for 66 million people, but I would not turn down mince pie because it is not sophisticated enough. I don’t eat canard laqué every week. I eat cheeseburgers and pizzas, too. I’m not a chef, but I doubt it is very different from them. I just wanted to slap Millie for the remarks she kept making about how it was not worthy of her. You’re not the Duchess of Cambridge, lady!
Now, let’s see if the story delivered what I expected from a holiday read!
Food? Checked! It was nice to imagine the smells and the sight of all the food mentioned / cooked / baked. Maybe it is because I love baking myself, but reading about someone’s marvelous creations makes me want to follow their example. I might leave Millie her disorganized ways, though!
Snow? Checked! Being stranded in a place I don’t know, with people I don’t know, for Christmas is my kind of nightmare! But the ballet of snowflakes slowly building a wall between you and the rest of the world is one of the most beautiful thing to see. Millie is lucky enough to find herself in what seems to be a perfect little island of winter, with a warm community and magnificent surroundings. The author managed to make me wish for a snowy Christmas with her delicious descriptions of the magic of snow.
People showing you what Christmas is about? Checked! Can I spend Christmas in Aisford? Everyone is welcoming and the spirit of a small community sprang from the pages. Lindsay created a bunch of characters you want to spend time with at the pub, or share a good meal. Different enough from each other to avoid sounding like cardboard characters and familiar enough to be comfortable with. My perfect mix of the perfect group of friends.
Love interest? Checked! I enjoy romance in small doses, here and there, and it’s exactly what I had in this cute story. A little fun, adorable interactions, hints of interest, the right recipe for a nice moment.
These elements alone would have made a nice story to devour by the fireplace, but Lindsay Paley has a surprise in store which turns Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes into more than just a Christmas story. You can see this book as a surprise cake. You take a first bite, it’s okay, though a bit cold. Then your spoon dives a little more and you start tasting all the flavors. When you finally reach the heart of the cake, there’s a shiny cherry filled with Rum. This cherry is the last chapters. If you thought (like me) that Christmas stories couldn’t get any action, Lindsay proves you wrong!
The creamy twists and turns contained at the end of the story entertained me enough to forgive Millie her little (and big) mistakes and flaws!
The only downside about the end is that we never get to spend Christmas Day with Millie and her new friends!
Overall, Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a quick and easy read that will make you crave for Christmas food!
This is my unbiased opinion. Thank you to the author and Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for giving me the opportunity to participate in this tour.
You can buy Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes on Amazon UK and Amazon.com or try and win 1 eBook copy of Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes and an actual Christmas cake with the rafflecopter link below! Warning, UK ONLY
About the Author
Lindsey Paley is a Yorkshire girl and author of contemporary romance novels with page-turning plotlines and satisfying endings. When not scribbling away in her peppermint and cream writer’s retreat (shed) she loves baking cakes, enjoying a spot of afternoon tea with friends and taking long walks in the countryside. Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is the first book in the Camille Carter series set in the beautiful Lake District and the Caribbean. The latest in the series is April Showers and Wedding Flowers and is out now.
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