The second chance tea shop, by Fay Keenan.
Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.
But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.
I’ll say right from the off that this book does follow the well worn formulaic path of chic lit.
Girl meets boy – they fall for each other- a bad thing happens- will they get through it? (Although it’s obviously a well worn path because it works).
But there is so much more to the story than that.
The story is set over the four seasons, which I liked because you really know where you are with the timescale and I enjoyed the Wassail, a ritual to ensure a good cider apple harvest, I even felt like I learnt something.
I loved the setting, the village of Little Somerby. The author described the village well and I was able to picture the street with the takeaway, butchers, wine shop, and at the top of the street, the Little Orchard Tea Shop. Something I really enjoy in books set in quaint little villages is meeting the other villagers, and I would have appreciated a little more of that, but that really is just splitting hairs.
I really liked the Little Orchard Tea Shop, I would have enjoyed even more of the story to happen in there. Apple & rose water cupcakes, and vanilla & orange carrot cake had me wishing I could pop in for a tea and a slice of cake.
The characters were, in my opinion, well written, with plenty of back story, and I particularly liked the relationship between Anna and Merry – who was really keen on the idea of a stepmother.
The romance was the main subject of the book, with quite a bit of sexy time, although not so much that it overshadowed a good story.
Aside from the romance the story is actually more about Matthew, his family, and their history, which was interesting enough to keep the story moving, and keep me reading.
The second chance tea shop is a debut novel, and I will definitely look out for Fay Keenan’s future books, I’m especially hoping there will be a follow up to The second chance tea shop because there’s definitely more I want to know about Little Somerby, Anna, Matthew and their families.
I’m giving this book four out of five because it’s a perfect lazy weekend read with interesting characters a lovely setting and a slightly predictable but charming storyline. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I read this book for free with kindle unlimited on Amazon.