Review: 'The Christmas Cake Cafe' by Sue Watson (2016)
As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose. But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection. Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.
A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.
When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.
As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?
Even though Christmas 2016 has officially been and gone, I still have a few festive-themed reviews to share with all of you before the end of the year is really here, so we can at least pretend it's Christmas for a few more days...! Over the past few years we've been treated to a festive read by author Sue Watson each December, such as 'Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake' and 'Bella's Christmas Bake Off' (click here to read my review), and I'm glad to have received a review copy of this year's novel: 'The Christmas Cake Cafe.' I liked the cover and the blurb sounded promising, so I looked forward to sitting down with this new Sue Watson read, one that would hopefully transport me back to those lovely Christmas days...!
Almost a year ago Jen Barker was incredibly excited to go out with her boyfriend Tim, expecting a proposal after years of dating. However, there is no ring in a champagne glass waiting for her, but actually a break-up speech. Newly single, Jen finds it difficult to get her life back on track again, so when her sister Jody suggests for her to come to Switzerland with her and her friends for a working holiday, Jen decides it might be just what she needs. Yet, Jen didn't count in the age difference between her and Jody and the non-stop partying soon takes its toll. Luckily, Jen meets ski-instructor Jon whom she can't get out of her mind. Is this Switzerland trip really what Jen needs in order to move on with her life or isn't she ready for this new phase just quite yet...?
Sue Watson’s ‘The Christmas Cake Café’ tells the story of Jen Barker, who is still struggling with the single life after her long-term boyfriend dumped her almost a year ago. Dreading spending Christmas by herself, she says ‘yes’ to her younger sister Jody’s offer to join her on a working holiday in Switzerland. The snowy mountains and ski resort really served as a great back-drop for a festive story and I enjoyed reading about Jen and Jody and their time in Switzerland. The age difference between Jen, who is forty-one, and Jody, who is in her twenties, resulted in quite a few funny and embarrassing situations, which in the end only contributed to Jen’s journey towards becoming a stronger person who knows what she wants from life.
Sue Watson is a funny author and I definitely laughed out loud a few times while reading this novel. While I did really enjoy the story, I couldn’t help but feel as if something was missing. Perhaps another storyline starring some of the other secondary characters could have added something; something that would have made me not want to put the novel down while reading it. I also didn’t really feel the sparks flying between Jen and Jon, the ski instructor, which was too bad. However, overall, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a Sue Watson festive read to dig into, and I really enjoyed ‘The Christmas Cake Café’, which is great to pick up if you’re looking for a funny and light-hearted winter read!