Publication: 27th December 2018 – Simon and Schuster UK
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 Cat have 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!
Welcome to Castle Court, a place where you can find international food, friends, and love. That’s where the two protagonists of the latest novel by Holly Hepburn, Cat and Sadie, are opening their own biscuit shop, Smart Cookies. Cat and Sadie have been best friends since they were children. Now, Sadie is facing motherhood alone after separating from her cheating husband while Cat is back in town after leaving her high-flying job as a chef in a renowned restaurant in Paris. They find new friends and a few enemies amongst the owners of the other businesses in the court and there is never a dull moment as they try to survive their first year at Castle Court.
I really liked the two protagonists of A YEAR AT CASTLE COURT and I enjoyed reading about their close friendship. Cat and Sadie have been best friends since childhood, they are different, but they support each other, surviving even the distance created by Sadie’s marriage and Cat’s job in France. They are realizing their dream of opening their own biscuit shop together but they have to face the hostility of some of the owners of the other businesses in the court while also dealing with problems in their personal and professional life. Luckily they are surrounded by a group of new friends that help them through their complicated love lives, scandals, jealousies, exes, and natural disasters.
A YEAR AT CASTLE COURT has an atmospheric setting, a close-knit community feeling, entertaining drama, and an immersive and romantic plot. If this is not enough to make you pick up this novel, then you should know that it’s full of descriptions of delicious food that will make your mouth water and it will make you dream of pancakes, decorated biscuits, and fabulous cocktails. If you are looking for a heart-warming and entertaining read to enjoy while curled up under a warm duvet, then the latest novel by Holly Hepburn is the right book for you and I’d like to thank Harriet and Simon and Schuster UK for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Holly Hepburn is the author of A Year at the Star and Sixpence and The Picture House by the Sea. This is her third novel. Follow her on twitter at @HollyH_Author or visit her website at http://hollyhepburn.com