New week, new blog tour, and what a blog tour it is! Just look at all those fabulous names! It was such an honour to receive the e-mail asking me to be involved in the blog tour, for one of THE most talked about books so far this year. Thank you Michele Gorman! I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square’ by Lilly Bartlett. Enjoy!
One chance isn’t always enough…
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.
She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.
This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?
What does TWG think?
‘The Second Chance Cafe’ is book two from the ‘Carlton Square’ series. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone to a point, I would recommend reading the first book (The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square) beforehand, to give yourself a bit of a head start character wise. That’s exactly what I did and I must admit, I am glad that I started with book one before reading this one, as I was able to enjoy the whole storyline without worrying that I wouldn’t be able to follow the characters lives. Not only that, book one is amazing (review to come this week), so it’s a bit of a win-win situation really!
Emma Billings wants to make a difference. She’s well aware that a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to receive a second chance in life, due to assumption after assumption, judgements after judgements. Emma knows what it’s like to be near the bottom of the ladder so to speak, so if she can make a difference, she sure as hell is going to try.
That, and a load of information that you’ll only find out once you have read the book, is how The Second Chance Cafe was born. Unfortunately, not everyone is enthusiastic about Emma’s charitable idea. Judgemental much?
I am truly surprised that I managed to finish this novel in one piece! I cannot even begin to count how many times I snorted like a pig, squealed like a hyena, and created a waterfall in my own house; all by laughing! I’m sexy and I know it….
I LOVED how the vibe of the storyline was just so relaxed. Obviously, there were a few jumped up characters who were looking to cause trouble, but even with those characters the author still managed to make me chuckle with her sarcastic, yet realistic, humour.
On several occasions my heart went out to Emma. Her man needed a mighty good shake!! Yes, vague once again, so go and buy the book! I’m sorry, but Daniel did annoy me once or twice, but there we go!
In my opinion, The Second Chance Cafe is the ideal book to lose yourself in. My only slight irk was that I wished Emma’s backbone made an entrance a lot sooner. Whilst she is such a fantastic character to read about, and has such a different life in comparison to book one, I felt as though she had lost a bit of her sparkle. But that’s just me.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to ‘The Second Chance Cafe’. I loved seeing certain characters come out of their shells and grow into their personalities. I thought the humour was on point. Whilst many of the characters had me in hysterics, it was lovely to come across characters who, whilst happy to laugh, just wanted to be loved. If the vibe of this novel can be bottled, I bags first dibs. There is something rather special about the Carlton Square series, I am rather looking forward to what else appears.
Thanks Harper Impulse and Michele Gorman.
Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.