Author: Lilly Bartlett
Series: Carlton Square #2
Published by HarperImpulse on June 23, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: HarperImpulse, NetGalley
Book Rating: 9/10
One chance isn’t always enough…
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realises that getting back on track means travelling in a different direction.
She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.
This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is cancelling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realises things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbours and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?
Humorous, heartwarming, and exceptionally captivating!
This is an amusing story that reminds us that everyone needs a place they can feel at home, a place where memories are created, strangers become friends, laughter never ends, and everyone knows your name.
The characters are genuine, funny, and appealing. The prose is polished, clear, and smooth. And the plot is a charming mix of new business woes, young motherhood struggles, familial support, competitive rivalry, marriage, friendship, and the importance of community.
This truly is a perfect summer read that’s entertaining, uplifting and proves that Lilly Bartlett (aka Michele Gorman) can write heartfelt, believable stories with intriguing, unique characters you can’t help but fall in love with.
This book is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Michele Gorman for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.