Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas in London by Anita Hughes

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin

A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge's in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge's. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.

And then there’s Kate, the show's beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew's in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.

Set during London's most festive time of year and filled with delicious food, Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season's most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness. 

My Thoughts…

This is my first Christmas book on 2017.   I read it when it was 80 degrees out and could not put it down.   Anita Hughes is already on my must-read list so I knew when I saw this was available I could not wait until it was more Christmas like to read it.     

I love the idea that normal, no-body baker from a little bakery in Manhattan can be discovered and given the chance of a lifetime to make her dreams come true.   Louisa shows how wise she is to take this chance and make the most of it. An all expense trip to London, the chance to show her baking skills on a national TV show alongside well know bakers, and being able to sight see all the must visit tourist spots is not an opportunity many would pass up on.       I loved that Louisa knew what she wanted (a famous restaurant) and knew that she had to do everything she could to make that happen.   Nothing, not even love, would get in her way.     Luckily she had wise friends who would help her find her way.

The other story, Kate’s story, was fun.   The idea that her best friend from high school just happens to be in the same town at the same time and they run into each other just proves how small the world is.    I liked that they were able to confront their history, fix some miscommunications, and find their friendship again all while knowing that they would be separated again soon.  

Anita Hughes took London and brought it to life for me.   I am not a traveler and have never been to London but I enjoyed taking a tour of the city through Anita’s words and Louisa’s eyes.     The reader visits the well known sights as well as those that are less known allowing them to get a peek into life in London.    

This is the perfect holiday, winter time story.   I am excited to tell my friends that I found the perfect winter read.  

Thank you Ann-Marie at GetRedPR and Brittani Hilles at St. Martin’s Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

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