27 October 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
The Gingerbread Café is always full of Christmas magic. Come rain or shine (or even a July heatwave), there's always a hot chocolate bursting with cinnamon and marshmallows waiting for you. For introverted Gretel, it's been the perfect escape from 'real life'. The owner, Nell, is Gretel's last link to her late mum, and hiding out at the café feels so much safer than making new friends.
So when Nell suddenly passes, Gretel is left heartbroken. Then she discovers that Nell has left the café to her - but there's a catch. Gretel has to share the running of The Gingerbread Café with the least festive person ever: Nell's nephew, Lukas. Head chef at the local fancy restaurant, Lukas makes it clear he has no time for the café, Gretel or even Christmas itself, and Gretel's too busy struggling to save her burnt batches of gingerbread to work out why.
Gretel is determined to keep Christmas alive and make the café a success before Lukas hands the keys over to the scrooge-like developers. But she can't do it alone; besides an over friendly ferret and a waitress with a secret, the only person she has now is Lukas. Will it take a Christmas miracle to get the pair to finally see eye to eye, or could the ice already be melting?
What a scrumptious festive treat this has turned out to be, filled with warmth and wit the story is the perfect antidote to festive stress although lovely Gretel Rosenheart has her share of stress when she is bequeathed a part share in The Gingerbread Café, a place which is very dear to her heart, but which is not something she ever envisaged taking over. The least festive person ever is Lukas who shares the other half of the cafe and together under the terms of their benefactor's will they must run the cafe together. This is no easy task as there is someone waiting on the sidelines who is determined to make a take over bid for the cafe and turn it into one of those ghastly chain coffee shops.
With a strength of will she never knew she possessed Gretel aims to make The Gingerbread Café a success and with no culinary skills and constantly at odds with Lukas, Gretel has a hard task on her hands. However, with skill, perseverance and the help of friends she shows that anything can be achieved. There's so much to enjoy in this lovely story, from the idea of a Christmas themed cafe which is open all year round, to the interaction between the characters, especially lovely Gretel, and the brooding Lukas, everything just seems to fit together perfectly and right from the start The Gingerbread Café oozes festive appeal.
Best read with...a gingery lebkuchen biscuit and a comforting cup of hot cinnamon chocolate
About the Author
Anita Faulkner writes warm and fuzzy romcoms from her upcycled bureau in the south west of England. She grew up sniffing books and devouring stories. And she insists it was perfectly normal to squirrel boxes of pretty stationery that felt far too magical to actually use. She's also accumulated a brave and patient husband and a strong-willed little boy who brighten up her world.
Twitter @anita_falkner_ #TheGingerbreadCafe