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The Cake Shop in the Garden

by Carole Matthews

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563347,538 (3.94)1
Fay Merryweather loves her home on Honeysuckle Lane. Running her tea rooms from her house, looking after her mother and trying to be a good girlfriend and sister doesn't leave Fay with much spare time. When she does get a moment, she finds herself at the bottom of her garden, which is full of lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms, sitting alongside the peaceful canal that runs through her hometown. It is Fay's favourite place. Then Danny Wilde walks into her life. Danny makes Fay feel things she's never felt before and try as she might to resist, Fay is inexplicably drawn to this man. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay's entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn't know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision - even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?… (more)
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This year Carole was awarded with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Romantic Novelists' Association for 25 novels which have consistently appeared in bestseller lists. This is number 26 and in my opinion is as good as all that have gone before. Having written so many I don't how she manages to keep things fresh, but somehow she does.

In the Cake Shop in the Garden our heroine is Fay, and as per the title she runs a cake shop and cafe from the family home and narrow boat moored on the canal at the end of the garden. She is ably, if not always, politely assisted by Lija, a waif like, goth looking Latvian who is a brilliant character. She is the perfect comic and say it how it is foil to Fay's warm but self deprecating personality.

Fay's life revolves around the Cafe, her selfish and bedridden mother, a needy and self centred sister and a rather unexciting boyfriend of 10 years. All this changes with the arrival of the "Dream Catcher" which moors up nearby bringing with it Danny and his dog Diggery. Danny is tall, dark, handsome and Irish, certainly a winning combination for me, as his dog is also a Jack Russell I was also smitten never mind Fay!

His arrival serves as a catalyst in Fay's life and when things get problematic she has major decisions to make and not just about her love life (or lack of it).

This is a great read and not just formulaic Chick Lit dealing with the will they, won't they. It deals with real life issues of family relationships, friendships and self discovery. It has great characters apart from Danny, Fay and Lija there is the wonderful Stinky Stan. I will never eat soup again without thinking about him! If you want a heart warming and emotional read with added cake, then this is your book.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

( )
  Jilldoyle | Mar 27, 2016 |
Fay Merryweather runs Fay's Cakes from her family home by the canal in Milton Keynes. She also sells cakes from her late father's beloved narrowboat, The Maid of Merryweather. Ably helped by her rude and abrupt, but fiercely loyal, Latvian assistant, Lija, she also looks after her mother, who just won't get out of bed. Fay is basically a doormat but a lovely one, in a relationship with the very steady, Anthony. That is, until the gorgeous Danny Wilde glides up on his narrowboat and rocks Fay's world.

This is the first Carole Matthews book I have read in a long time but the title of this book made me want to read it so much and I absolutely loved it. It's certainly made me want to read another by this author. Fay is a lovely character and I wanted to shake her when she was letting people walk all over her. And I can certainly understand what she saw in the young and handsome Danny. Probably my favourite character was Lija, I just loved her attitude.

This book made me smile and also feel the injustice of Fay's life. And who could resist such a wonderful setting. I found myself imagining the tables and chairs by the canal with gorgeous cakes on them. Fabulous book - couldn't put it down. ( )
  nicx27 | May 17, 2015 |
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Fay Merryweather loves her home on Honeysuckle Lane. Running her tea rooms from her house, looking after her mother and trying to be a good girlfriend and sister doesn't leave Fay with much spare time. When she does get a moment, she finds herself at the bottom of her garden, which is full of lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms, sitting alongside the peaceful canal that runs through her hometown. It is Fay's favourite place. Then Danny Wilde walks into her life. Danny makes Fay feel things she's never felt before and try as she might to resist, Fay is inexplicably drawn to this man. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay's entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn't know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision - even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?

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