What happens after your dreams come true?
Patisserie-Chef Stevie is stuck in a rut. Her beloved Great Aunt Peggy has passed away and she’s lost both her job and the love of her life. Then she gets the call from the solicitor’s office about Peggy’s will, and everything changes.
When Stevie sees a quirky tea shop up for sale in the beautiful village of Tanglewood, she decides to take Peggy’s advice and turn her life around.
But the village isn’t as idyllic as it may at first have seemed, and when the gorgeous but grouchy local stable-owner, Nick, shows up he seems like just another fly in the pastry batter…
This was the first book I’ve read by Lilac Mills, which is disgraceful considering she’s been a guest on my blog twice! You can read our question and answer session here and her post for the Five Photos feature here.
I was looking for something light and humorous to read during lockdown. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had terrible trouble concentrating on reading lately, so I’ve started and given up on a few novels over the last few months. I loved the pretty cover on this book, and since I’d always wanted to try one of Lilac’s stories I thought I’d give it a go. I’m so glad I did.
Right from the start, I really warmed to the lead character, Stevie. She’s such a lovely, kind-hearted young woman, but thankfully, she’s not perfect. She’s a bit clumsy, a bit awkward, and let’s not mention her antics after her drinking session with Tanglewood florist, Leanne … oops, I just did! But it was a really funny scene in the book, and only added to my fondness for Stevie.
Of course, being a horse lover, I was always bound to like Nick, and I’ll be honest and say that I was on his side at their first encounter! However, he was difficult to understand at first, though as the story progressed I quickly realised why he was so grumpy and my compassion for him grew in leaps and bounds. From almost the beginning, I wanted Stevie to break through with him and give him a chance, and I wanted Nick to put aside his noble intentions and just go for it! Of course, it didn’t work out that way or there’d be no story. Things have to happen first, and I was pleased with the flow of this novel, which kept me interested throughout.
With Stevie’s new business venture comes the chance to meet several new and interesting characters, not least Peggy, the little black cat. But not everyone in Tanglewood is pleased that she’s opened a tea shop. She’s clearly made an enemy – an enemy with influence it seems. Before too long, it looks as if the tea shop will be out of business, and Stevie will be heading home to the city and her smug and annoying mother and sister. Has Stevie done enough to win the other villagers over? And will she find the help she needs just when she needs it most?
I really loved this book and I’m so pleased I found it. Be warned, though, it will make you exceptionally hungry. The descriptions of the cakes and pastries are mouthwatering, and all I could think about was cake at times! But if you have supplies to hand to ensure your concentration doesn’t lapse, settle down with this novel and lose yourself in the village of Tanglewood, its colourful and warm characters, and its utterly charming tea shop. You won’t regret it – though your waistline might.
You can buy The Tanglewood Tea Shop here.