Callie Fulbright wants nothing more than to impress her new boss, Flora, at the bookshop, but she never expected to be given the task of opening an adjoining café. However, after it takes off, Callie finds herself juggling a ragtag group of regulars and a Gramps who’s suddenly … well, a bit extreme. And that’s before the biggest heartbreak from her past, Noah, comes rolling back into her tiny Cotswold town.
Sometimes an author crafts a book that feels so natural and effortless it makes readers want to dip into the pages and settle into the world. Author Liz Eeles has done that here. The Cosy Kettle is an utterly charming café inside a bookshop in an idyllic village— what’s better than that?
A huge part of what makes this book work is the heroine, Callie. Smart and focused, she initially struggles with self confidence. It’s completely realistic. Stuck back in her hometown without a solid career and living with her grandfather, she’s at a point in her life where she feels stagnant. However, as her boss gives her more responsibility and her friends and family challenge her, Callie plunges head-on into uncharted territory. As the café progresses, so does she, and these moments of self-discovery are absolutely joyous.
The secondary cast of characters really puts this book over the edge. Gramps is also concerned with bettering himself, though his version takes the form of skydiving. Flora struggles with building the bookshop into something both profitable and community-oriented. And then there’s the bookshop regulars— each bring their own insights and problems to share over a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Of course, there’s a bit of romance in the air, and Eeles gives it proper attention. Callie and Noah have a complicated yet totally believable past. They so obviously belong together and yet Eeles does everything in her power to keep their interactions thorny and packed with so much delicate tension. It’s more than effective, resulting in a satisfying conclusion.
It’s sweet, quirky, and a fabulous slice of small town Cotswold life— just perfect for reading with a hot drink and a pastry.
Title: New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle
Author: Liz Eeles
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.