Finally my stop on the blog tour is here!!! I am super excited to be sharing my review today, of Holly Hepburn’s latest release, ‘A Year at Castle Court’. Huge thanks to Harriet from Simon & Schuster for the blog tour invite and the beautiful paperback. Here is my review:
Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Her best friend from childhood, Cat, is burned out from working long hours as a chef in Paris. In need of a change, they decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.
They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cathave the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in Seb‘s cocktail bar on the third floor!
What does TWG think?
Oh my – if only Castle Court really existed!! Well, having said that I know I would be bankrupt and the size of a house, but at least I’ll be a content, bankrupt house!!
‘A Year at Castle Court’ follows the lives of Sadie and her best friend, Cat – two ladies who are trying to make their dream come alive with their delicious baked goodies. However, a perfectly baked biscuit isn’t everyone’s idea of happiness (I know, I reckon those types of people must be robots or something!!), and it doesn’t take long for things in Castle Court to get a little heated. Other businesses in the court feel as though their noses have been pushed out of joint, and they seem determined to make Sadie and Cat’s venture a bit of a burnt one.
I absolutely L-L-LOVED this book and every little thing about it! Firstly, I am the human version of Cookie Monster so the addition of biscuit heaven was definitely a plus. Secondly, Cat and Sadie are like chalk and cheese with their personalities, and I loved being able to follow their journeys both on a professional level as well as a personal one. Whilst I gelled with Cat from the onset, I couldn’t help but relate to Sadie a lot more due to her being a single mum, and my heart certainly went out to her when the storyline focused on her child’s father. That said, I couldn’t understand why she put up with it for so long and refused to listen to her heart. But that’s just me – everyone is different!
It was great to read about all different walks of life with each of the owners of the other businesses! Each character seemed to have their own journey to tell and I really enjoyed being able to get cosy and delve into their stories.
For me personally, ‘A Year at Castle Court’ ticked all of my boxes and more. The storyline was full of drama, yet was made level with the emotions behind Sadie and Cat’s heartbreak. Holly Hepburn writes from the heart in every sense of the word – she doesn’t half tell a story and expect her readers to make up the rest, no. She tells the full story in such a way that readers cannot help but get caught up in every little detail from the design on the biscuits, to the aroma of the other delicacies around the court.
I thoroughly enjoyed being able to lose myself in Holly Hepburn’s entertaining and magnetic story telling – hands down one of my most favourite books this author has written.
I am running a giveaway to win a paperback copy of Holly Hepburn’s novel, over on my Facebook page The Writing Garnet. If you live in the UK (sorry folks) and wish to be in with the chance of winning, check out the pinned post Here!!! Giveaway closes on Saturday 12th January at 11.59pm.