Brides by the Sea, the cutest little wedding shop in all of Cornwall, has it all, including cake baker Poppy who lives upstairs. But wedding planning is not the piece of cake Poppy thought it would be, and when her best friend Cate’s wedding planner walks out, Poppy has to tie up the loose ends so her bestie can tie the knot.
Double-booked venues, ‘rustic’ locations and gorgeous but grumpy farmer Rafe have this wedding pro feeling like she could be Cate’s ‘something blue.’
Will the wedding, the shop and the cake all come crashing down on her? Or will Poppy pull it off to give Cate – and herself – the happy ever afters they deserve? (Goodreads)
A great summertime read that combines weddings, cake and the countryside, Cupcakes and Confetti by Jane Linfoot is the perfect pick-me-up if you’re in need of some romance. The book is all about protagonist, Poppy, who has been living in a tiny flat above bridal shop, Brides by the Sea, since her break-up with her ex, Brett. She had become over-reliant on Brett’s income and had lost her independence, now scraping a living as a wedding cake maker and reluctant to return to the flat to retrieve her belongings.
Poppy is perfectly content to while away her days at the wedding shop, but with her best friend’s wedding fast approaching and the venue in jeopardy, Poppy is called in to become the wedding planner at Daisy Hill Farm. Convinced she is totally inappropriate for the role, Poppy is surprised when cantankerous farm owner, Rafe, offers her the job. He only tolerates the wedding business for the revenue it generates, and would prefer not to suffer them at all, making it clear that this year will be the last.
With the previous wedding planner having left the office in a mess and lost important client records, Poppy has a gigantic task on her hands if she is to have all the weddings running smoothly before the end of the summer. She has a fight on her hands with bringing Rafe to task, not to mention coping with the farmyard animals that continually try to invade her office. This job could be the very thing Poppy needs to get her confidence back, giving her an opportunity to demonstrate her skills and experience that sparkle of romance once more.
I must say that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, as Poppy totally sucked me in as a main character and was so overwhelmingly likeable. She was adamant that she wanted to stand on her own two feet and had no interest in love, giving as good as she got in her heated arguments with Rafe. I thought her way of handling him was witty and produced several laughs as I was reading, as neither are willing to back down. Seeing her grow as a character was admirable, as she realises that she can have her independence as well as enjoying a relationship.
The way her exchanges with Rafe bounce off each other introduced chemistry from the start, and I liked how Linfoot succeeds in making him such an enjoyable character despite his moody nature. He had his demons too, and I thought the pace at which he opened up to Poppy was perfect, with there being a suitable amount of time for them to adjust to each other first. Like Poppy, he has been burned in the past, but I think he was more willing to see the future potential and take the risk, giving her the encouragement she needed.
As far as the plot goes, there were plenty of mishaps and humorous moments to keep me reading and enjoying the book up until the final chapter. There might have been the odd cliché, but this was to be expected in such a light-hearted, romantic novel. That said, there were plenty of ingenious twists and exchanges that made this book stand out from other summer reads and leave you wanting to see even more of Daisy Hill Farm and its potential.
A highly enjoyable romance that leaves you with a warm summertime glow, this novel not only builds up to a great love story but takes the heroine on a life affirming journey. Poppy finds herself at Daisy Hill Farm in a way that she never thought she could, and it is only through this self-discovery that she can really be part of a healthy relationship. Rafe was a breath of fresh air in every scene with his moody and dark sense of realism, and seeing him slowly unwind was just as satisfying as experiencing Poppy’s journey. If this was just the first instalment to the series, then I can’t wait to see what the second brings.