Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Book Review - The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Cafe

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café (Cherry Pie Island, #1)
The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Café by Jenny Oliver
Published: 27th March 2015
Publisher: Carina UK
Available on Kindle
Welcome to the brand new Cherry Pie Island series from Jenny Oliver!
Home, Sweet Home….?

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café is Book 1 in The Cherry Pie Island series. Each part of Cherry Pie Island can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story – or as part of the utterly delightful series
The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Café is the first book in Jenny Oliver’s new Cherry Pie Island series. It is also the first book I’ve read by this author, which is shocking seen as she’s been popping up on my Amazon recommendations for months.    
Annie White has returned to Cherry Pie Island after inheriting the Dandelion Café from her father. Annie has not been on the island for a while after a miss-spent youth and mistakes she’d rather forget led her to move away. The café has seen better days and initially Annie is convinced the best thing to do is sell up and continue her life back in Hampstead. However the café  slowly charms her,  and along with memories of childhood and the close-knit community giving her a sense of belonging which she hasn’t felt for a long time, Annie decides to give the café a chance.
Annie is an instantly likable character and I liked that we were given hints at trouble in her past, which we are slowly made aware of as the story unfolds. I loved the other characters too, Martha who’s very possessive of the café her mother used to run, young River and his estranged father Matt, and even Annie self-important brother Jonathon. The sense of community oozes of the pages of this book and like Annie found, it was hard to resist the charms this lovely café and its delicious sounding cherry pie, I’ll have mine with ice-cream please!
Although this is a short story I thought it was perfect and really enjoyed the couple of hours it took me to read it. It’s a story out fining out where you belong and believing you can leave the past behind you. The budding sparks of romance between Annie and Matt were lovely and I can’t wait to see what happens next for them. I loved the hints of mystery and secrets some of the characters have and look forward to finding out more about these in the following books of the series.
This was a lovely introduction to Jenny’s Oliver’s writing for me and I’m definitely going to be reading more from this lady very soon. If you love the writing style of Milly Johnson or Rebecca Raisin I’m sure you will love Jenny Oliver as she has the same sense of community and descriptions of delicious sounding food.
Thank you to Carina UK and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book. I’d rate it 5/5 it was just scrummy!

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