Reviews, Scottish Reads

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery

It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…

When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

I was absolutely delighted to find that Jenny Colgan is Scottish and has a huge collection of cosy sounding Christmas books. I have two of their books and this was my first introduction to Jenny Colgan and it was an enjoyable read, I gave this a respectable 3 star rating.

This book was part 3 in a series but all of the reviews that I read told me that I would be fine jumping in at book 3, some reviews suggested that this was perhaps a good thing.

In December I enjoy reading some light and magical festive reads. The sort of book that could be a Hallmark movie. I want to have my heart warmed. This book included a puffin called Neil. The puffin had his own little character and joined in with conversations. There was a puffin sanctuary but Neil had no desire to live there. I absolutely love puffins! The addition of these puffins made me so utterly happy. Every time that Neil was featured, I just smiled.

Of the human characters, I didn’t really like any of them. Polly, the main character was a bad friend and a bit of a doormat. One of the key rules of friendship is, keep your friend’s secret (obviously unless it puts someone in danger). Polly tells her fiancé a secret that was not hers to tell and this really put me off of her. Bad friend. Polly’s fiancé Huckle was so dull. He also told Polly to share her friend’s secret and seems to think that just because you’re engaged, you share other people’s secrets. Other than that, I just found him to be boring. Reuben was annoying! He threw money at everyone so that he could get his way. Polly wanted a day off for Christmas but he just throws money to convince her not to have 1 sole day off. Kerensa was probably my favourite character as she had some strength of character and stood up for herself. I was very surprised to enjoy this book despite not liking any of the main characters. A puffin really can make up for a lot of dull, annoying characters.

The blurb of this book said that a secret threatened the life that Polly and Huckle had built together. That wasn’t really the case though.

So many parts of this book were completely unrealistic and, were this not a festive book, I’d have found that to be so irritating. But in a festive read, this is expected and I really enjoyed it.

I didn’t expect the book to be so emotional though. There were some very emotional parts with family relationships and I must admit that i shed a wee tear. Just a wee one though.

The ending of this book was laughably unrealistic and i absolutely loved it! I got what I wanted from this book. I wanted a light, quick Christmassy read. This book gave me that. Yes it was pretty unrealistic but I’ve read enough festive fiction that i expect and embrace this. I didn’t like the characters but i loved that silly little puffin.

This book was fine. I will most likely be reading another Jenny Colgan this month. I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed this book at any other time of the year. I was very happy to read a Christmas story written by a Scottish author though, i look forward to the next one.

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