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Review by Tanya
Becca Fletcher is the original party girl who does not want to be tied down by or rely upon a man. Something that happened to her as a teenager has led her to hate Christmas and anything relating to it, so she is not looking forward to spending her Christmas with her sister, Laura, and her two children in Dorset. Whilst there she meets the charming Irish surfer Sam, who likes to appreciate women. There are immediate sparks between the two, but will Becca allow it to go further than a little fling? Will Christmas grow on her and does the warmth of the Comfort Food Café and the people who eat and drink there make a difference in her perception of the holiday?
Christmas at the Comfort Food Café flashes back to what happened to Becca when she was younger. It reveals what has led her to hate Christmas and not want a relationship with others. It also demonstrates how she is caring and puts her sister and her family first by the catalyst for her change in attitude towards alcohol, cigarettes and one night stands. I found myself worried that she may fall off the wagon and wanted her to open up to her sister and tell her all about her past and then to be wrapped in great big hug, which is exactly what the healing quality of the Comfort Food Café and its customers is like.
Some of the characters from the first book, Summer at the Comfort Food Café, make another appearance. I loved reading about the continued new relationship for Laura, which led to the family staying in Dorset after only going there for the summer to try to build some confidence after the death of her childhood sweetheart and husband. The story shows how the children have changed and how the café got hold of them all. Of course you also have the spectacular wedding of the café owner, Cherie, and one of her long term customers, and farmer, Frank which of course may not go as planned!
The characters, as always in Debbie Johnson's books, are colourful and fantastically described, so that you feel like they are your friends. Also, the food sounded amazing and I like the fact that some recipes are included at the back of the book. Debbie Johnson will have you laughing out loud with the characters and at the same time feeling for them and the situations that they find themselves in. If this is the first book by Debbie Johnson you read it certainly won’t be the last.
This is the second book set at the Comfort Food Café in Dorset and is a great follow up to Summer at The Comfort Food Café, although can still easily be read as a standalone.
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Christmas at the Comfort Food Café.
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