Published October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin
This book has Louisa Graham being in the right place at the right time. She is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery in Manhattan the week before Christmas when the assistant for a cooking show barges in after closing and insists he needs to buy the freshly baked rolls that Louisa had just finished to sale the next morning. Initially turning him down, she relents when he offers free publicity for the bakery on the show. The problem is that the star of the show has an allergy to nutmeg, which is one of the ingredients. The next day the assistant returns claiming the rolls were a hit but the star of the show had a serious reaction and the producer now wants Louisa to replace her on the already scheduled trip to London to film a Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. Of course, Louisa jumps at the opportunity. As the story progresses, Louisa meets a chef, Digby Bunting, an idol of hers, begins to develop feelings for the show’s assistant and has the opportunity to do some sightseeing. Meanwhile, Kate, the show’s producer, runs into an old flame from University and they rekindle their relationship as well.
Christmas in London, by Anita Hughes, is well written and the descriptions of the places made me feel like I was there. I also loved hearing about the various foods prepared and eaten, some that I have never had before. I enjoyed the way the author blended the two stories of romance with the television show and all the other commitments the characters had. The point of view switched back and forth to establish both relationship and was to follow along.There was also some remembering of events from the past in Kate and Trevor’s relationship, but again, it was easy to follow. Of course, there was some angst and controversy in both of the relationship stories, but I was satisfied with the way Anita Hughes ended the story. I will definitely look for more stories from this author. I recommend this book to lovers of romance, armchair travellers and lovers of Christmas fiction.
About the Book (From Goodreads): A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge’s in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.
It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren’t hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.
The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.
And then there’s Kate, the show’s beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew’s in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.
Set during London’s most festive time of year and filled with delicious food, Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season’s most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness.
About the Author: Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named “One of Australia’s Next Best Writers.” (She still has the newspaper clipping.) She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing program. Her debut novel MONARCH BEACH was released in June 2012. She lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets.