I love visiting Whitsborough Bay and meeting up with new and familiar characters. With a Lifeboat Rescue Station, Seals on the beach and a wonderful street with small businesses, this is a village, I would love to visit. Read on to see if these books interest you and join me in visiting Whitsborough Bay.
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland
Published August 3rd 2021 by Boldwood Books (originally published October 1st 2017 as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I love Christmas and I love Whitsborough Bay, so Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was calling my name. I have enjoyed all my visits there, and meeting up with some of my favourite characters from previous books made this an enjoyable read. When master chocolatier, Charlee is a master chocolatier, but when her grandfather sold his store, she found herself working for the new owner and his nasty daughter. When her boyfriend gets a new job in Whitsborough Bay, she quits her job and decides to take a chance and open her own store. Things do not go as planned and with her lazy and useless boyfriend not giving her any support, she begins to depend on a stranger, another business owner. As they get to know each other better, they share more and realize they have feelings for one another. Will Charlee’s Chocolates open on Castle Street in time for Christmas?
This was a lovely story full of secrets, friendship, community, new beginnings, and romance. The characters were great and even the ones I didn’t like very much were well developed. Charlee was a bit of a pushover during the first half of the book and she did frustrate me at times. I was glad to see her develop a backbone and do some investigating into her own history. When her nana died, she was basically alone, so I was glad to see her show an interest in her family history. I don’t want to give away the story, so I will just tell you that this was a book with some complex storylines that all come together at the end and I was rooting for Charlee to find happiness, especially at Christmas. As always, the narrative itself flows effortlessly and is a quick read. This is a well-plotted story, with a lot happening, and enjoyed this story from beginning to end. If you enjoy stories about new beginnings, family and community, especially when set around the holidays, then you will enjoy this story.
Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland
Published August 31st 2021 by Boldwood Books
I really enjoy Jessica Redland’s books and this one was no exception. Snowflakes Over the Starfish Café is set in Whitsborough Bay, a setting that I have come to love. This is the story of Hollie and Jake. Both of these characters have had an amazing amount of tragedy in their lives. It is shared with the reader throughout the story. Hollie and Jake are loners, smiling at work and in public, sad and alone in private. When Jake finds Mr. Pickles on the beach during a rather stormy evening, he stops at Hollie’s café to see if she knows who he might belong to. She doesn’t, but that chance meeting begins a wonderful friendship all because of Mr. Pickles. Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around?
I have to say, this is a sadder story than I am used to reading from Jessica Redland, but rest assured, there is an uplifting ending. I really loved the characters in this book from Hollie and Jake right down to the elusive Mrs. Sultana. Everyone has something to share and learn from one another, but it is shared in natural circumstances and through actions. The story is told from two POVs, Hollie and Jake, as well as some flashbacks sharing what happened in their past that influenced their lives. This was also a much more emotional book and had me in tears several times. There are some great themes in this book including: life after tragedy, grief, guilt, heartache, new beginnings, traditions, friendship, family, and romance. I loved the Starfish Café and all it’s eclectic customers and wish there was one near me. I recommend this uplifting story, but make sure you have tissues handy.
About the Author: Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.