For travel blogger Fiona, Japan has always been top of her bucket list so when she wins an all-expenses paid trip, it looks like her dreams are coming true.
Until she arrives in vibrant, bustling Tokyo and comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart ten years ago, gorgeous photographer Gabe.
Fiona can’t help but remember the heartache of their last meeting but amidst the temples and clouds of soft pink cherry blossoms, can Fiona and Gabe start to see life – and each other – differently?
I knew that this was a book that I was going to love, when I discovered that our leading lady, Fiona, was a travel blogger. Bloggers just love reading about other bloggers, am I right? Fiona is given the opportunity of a lifetime to be mentored by one of the best photographers in the world, Yutaka Araki. It’s clear as day that Fiona could not be more over the moon with this adventure to becoming inspired and the best she can possibly be – nothing can take this moment away from her, not even her hypochondriac, anxiety-ridden mother begging her to stay home. Glowing with confidence, inspiration ready to strike, Fiona is set to capture every stunning moment in sight and around every corner, however, life has other plans and she is abruptly reunited with a man who broke her heart ten years ago. Yutaka is unable to mentor at the last minute, leaving Gabe Burnett to put his mentoring skills to use – or not.
Fiona was such a gorgeous character to read about, from following her on her journey to capturing photographs for her upcoming show, to putting her heart and soul in to exploring the cultures Toyko has to offer, with the help of Haruka and her family. I absolutely adored the friendships Fiona created amongst Haruka, her daughter and grand-daughter. They grew fond of each other rather quickly and from the get-go, they got on like a house on fire. If anything, I believe these three ladies inspired Fiona during her stay in Tokyo more than anybody. They created a true friendship for life and I think when travelling, there’s nothing more wonderful than that. Her journey was filled with the most gorgeous of sights including; The Sky Tree, the Digital Art Museum, Ueno Park and Mount Fuji. Not only was this an eye-opening, educational trip for Fiona, but I, as the reader, also really benefited from all of the knowledge that Julie captured in this story. I have never visited, nor read about Toyko before, so I dived in to this book, with little expectations of what was going to be offered. Julie’s descriptions of every location visited was absolutely divine and had me entranced until the very end. I haven’t ever had an interest in visiting Tokyo, however, Julie has unleashed my fascination towards what sounds like such a gorgeous city and that most likely wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for her words sparking an interest in me.
Gabe was a stubborn man indeed, and his lack of enthusiasm towards supporting Fiona with her photography had me irritated more than enough times. With every location they visited, he left Fiona to her own devices and never offered his knowledge when Fiona would have appreciated and benefited from it. As the story progresses, we find out why Gabe has turned into a massive grump and it was an interesting backstory indeed. You go from being irritated by Gabe to wishing him the best. Yumi is an influential character on our leading man indeed and it’s safe to say she most certainly knows how to keep a man at her feet, no matter how much she is hurting them. I’m really glad Fiona stepped back in to Gabe’s life, despite the remorse she felt every time she was near him at first, as she allowed him to open up his eyes to a world where he could have full control of his own life and that if he was willing to also open his heart, he could find happiness for himself, instead of using it all on a woman who didn’t deserve a single second of his time. The enchantment Gabe had towards Fiona, as their friendship began once more was heart-warming to witness – he had been stuck on Yumi as his muse for so long, causing him to neglect a career he once loved, until Fiona and her luscious red hair and tall legs came and stole the spotlight. She was just the refreshing change he needed and their chance of reuniting could most definitely be described as luck with fate.
The Little Teashop in Tokyo was a stunning, uplifting and inspiring book, filled with adventure, friendships, culture and all the romance you could possibly want. Thank you, Julie, for opening my eyes to a world I had never had the pleasure of knowing until now, through your beautiful descriptions and an even more beautiful story.