I hate to admit this but only picked up my very first Jenny Colgan book towards the end of last year (yes I know it's ridiculous) but that book was The Cupcake Café. I devoured it and was thrilled when I realised there was a follow up book that had just been released. I eagerly picked up this one, Christmas at The Cupcake Café, and couldn't wait to see where Issy was in her world.
For those that maybe haven't read the first one, fear not this can still be read as a stand-alone. However, it was so much more enjoyable being able to go back and see how all the characters were getting on. Issy took the plunge in book one and started up her very own Cupcake Café. We now go back to the café to find Issy, along with her two workers Pearl and Caroline running the café in their usual no-nonsense way. Issy is in love with her boyfriend Austin who works at a local bank, and things seem to be going smoothly for her. That is until Austin is called away on business to New York.
The distance between them is the start of things going very wrong for Issy and pretty soon it seems that nothing is the same as before and she has no control over things. The one major difference between this book and the last although I still wanted to know about Issy, I was also really keen to see more of Pearl and Caroline. Although Issy is the main character, Jenny Colgan has done a stellar job of making the reader really engage with all the characters. Austin's younger brother Darney, Issy's mother, Doti the Postman, they all caught on with me and I just wanted to keep reading about all of them.
This book didn't have nearly as much impact with me as the first (not sure why), but this certainly isn't to say I didn't enjoy it. I really enjoyed it and as usual it took me only two days to read it. The one thing I love is that these characters are memorable; I would really love to see the return of not just Issy but the other characters too. The story itself was good, but like I said just didn't have as much impact as the first. There is the addition of recipes all the way through the book which is a really nice touch, although it did make me quite hungry more often than not. Having finished it I am eagerly planning on getting stuck to other Jenny Colgan books. Another really good book!