*Thank you Karen, Netgalley and Bookotoure for my copy of this book*
Last Christmas, Nina gave away her heart – only to have it broken. But this year, at her family’s cosy café, could she find a second chance at love with someone special under the mistletoe?
This was a great follow-up book from Summer at the Little French Cafe and was an absolute delight to see the return of Dolly and Charlie.
The time round, we meet Dolly’s niece and Charlie’s cousin, Nina, who has decided to take a break from the real world and her recent heartbreak. She is adamant that she will stay away from all things Christmas and all things romance, however Dolly, the world’s biggest matchmaker, has completely other plans in store for Nina’s stay. I love how much of a matchmaker Dolly is, no matter how stressful it can be when Nina is trying to get on with her own life! She did it with such care and only wanted the best for her niece. It was also great to be back in Dolly’s cafe, with the most mouth-watering baked goods just waiting to be eaten.
Nina was an absolute delight to read about, she built friendships up with the community pretty quickly and embarked on a new journey with such motivation, even if her plans weren’t exactly where her heart truly lay. With the help of the community, she soon found her passions and set on to making it a reality for when she returned home.
Ryan, was an intriguing man to say the least, who had a very mysterious way about him, – he was retreating to France in order to take time away from his broken engagement and hit the deadline for his second novel, until Dolly stepped in and made sure him and Nina always came in to contact. The way Karen described his appearance as well had me immediately falling in love. If you have a male lead with curly hair, you can count me in!
The chemistry between Nina and Ryan was instant, although they denied it multiple times through banter, which had me giggling more than enough times. The two had definitely found each other at the right time, however, there was some baggage that needed to be dealt with before feelings were admitted, making it all the more exciting when they was able to come together and find a way to make their relationship work.
Nina and Ryan’s growing romance wasn’t the only one we got throughout this story, as Nina found letters written by her late-grandmother and a man that wasn’t he grandfather, opening up a whole new set of questions. Nina feared that this would devastate Dolly and her mother, therefore, took it in to her hands a little while longer to find out everything she could about the romance and how her grandfather fit in to the whole thing.
It was so exciting to be back in the cosy and idyllic Chamillion with all of the familiar faces from ‘Summer at the Little French Cafe’ – we see an anticipated book launch finally happen, Charlie’s girlfriend Elle makes a return, Dolly and her new husband, and many more. They all had a great impact on Nina and her life after heartbreak and made Christmas the best they possibly could, along with all of this, I got a little opportunity to see what it felt like to experience the Northern Lights!
I have absolutely loved reading this series by Karen, which was jam-packed with humour, love, warmth, healing and a whole lot of Christmas spirit! Whilst it can be read as a stand-alone, I would recommend the whole series, if you have the time. I can’t wait to see what Karen has up her sleeves next – it will be without a doubt just as gorgeous as this one was!