All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Pretty Delicious Cafe by Danielle Hawkins

on December 2, 2016

pretty-delicious-cafeThe Pretty Delicious Cafe
Danielle Hawkins
Harper Collins AUS
2016, 352p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

On the outskirts of a small New Zealand seaside town, Lia and her friend Anna work serious hours running their restored cafe. The busy season is just around the corner, and there are other things to occupy them. Anna is about to marry Lia’s twin brother, and Lia’s ex-boyfriend seems not to understand it’s over.

When a gorgeous stranger taps on Lia’s window near midnight and turns out not to be a serial killer, she feels it’s a promising sign. But the past won’t let them be, and Lia must decide whether events rule her life or she does.

The Pretty Delicious Cafe will remind you of those special, good things we love about living. And the food is great.
A warm, witty novel, brimming with the trademark romance, friendship and eccentricity that Danielle Hawkins’s fans adore.

Oh my gosh, I love Danielle Hawkins. I really do. When I opened up a hefty parcel from the lovely people at Harper Collins Australia and this tumbled out, I might’ve squealed. Firstly, because I adore her two other books. Her previous novel, Chocolate Cake For Breakfast is one of my favourites. And secondly because I didn’t know that she had a new book coming out and it was such an awesome, fun surprise! Of course I pretty much had to read it straight away.

I’ve never been to New Zealand but this book has made me even more keen to visit. The setting is truly beautiful and described as such a natural part of the story. Lia and her friend Anna run a cafe which is still in the ‘taking off’ stage but the busy season is just around the corner and they have high hopes that it will be successful. I feel as though I must warn potential readers – don’t read this book when you’re hungry! It will have you craving the amazing delicious treats Lia describes as she makes them but helpfully the book does come with a half dozen or so recipes in the back, things that Lia makes to sell at Pretty Delicious Cafe.

Lia is single, having recently broken up with someone who seems to be having trouble accepting that what’s done is done. When new-to-the-area Jed knocks on her door at midnight and turns out not to be a crazy serial killer, Lia sees the potential for something with him. Jed has his baggage though and although there’s a strong attraction between the two of them, the way things in his life are means that his stay isn’t going to be permanent. Danielle Hawkins writes cute but realistic romance so well and I loved the blossoming friendship plus a bit more that Lia and Jed are experiencing. Jed has some quite serious commitments and I appreciated that his situation was not something I read about too often in fiction, but in this time is increasingly more common.

Anna is engaged to Lia’s twin brother Rob and the three of them have a somewhat complex dynamic due to the deep connection that Lia and Rob share. I’ve always found twins really interesting, I’ve known several pairs of twins both identical and not and it does seem as though they do often have special connections. As Rob’s partner, I think Anna is somewhat wary of this connection, it’s something that she can’t be a part of, either with her partner or her best friend. And I think it’s something that she perhaps finds a bit difficult to accept because of the nature of it. I didn’t particularly blame her about that, I think it’d be something that would be quite difficult to be comfortable with.

Although this book is super funny with plenty of quirky characters, amusing moments and that lazy, laid back feel of rural coastal life, it also has a very serious side, tackling an issue that is very prevalent in society today. The novel did end up taking a darker swerve than I anticipated towards the end but I think that Hawkins did a great job balancing out the lighter side of the book with the darker and nothing felt out of place or jarring. Lia’s situation slowly escalates but in a way that still makes you surprised at the act towards the end.

Like her other books, this one was a winner for me. I loved every turn of the page and it lives up to the expectations I had of a good read when it arrived. I would be super happy if every book I read left me at satisfied as Danielle Hawkins’ books do.

8/10

Book #192 of 2016

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