Book Review: Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson.

Release Date: 9th October 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Twitter: @suewatsonwriter

Us bookworms are so spoilt, especially at Christmas time. There are so many pretty little books, sparkling at us from the bookshelves, just asking to be picked up and devoured, alongside a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. We are incredibly lucky that there are stockings full of talented men and women out there who send our imaginations to worlds better than our wildest dreams and keep our brains from turning into soggy Christmas pudding! 

In 'Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances' we meet Chloe. It's been a year since she separated from her husband, but Christmas time is bringing back all the good memories they shared, since they met and then married during this magical holiday. Her career has kept her occupied but winding down for the holiday doesn't seem so exciting when facing her favourite time of year alone. So, when she receives an unexpected phone call from her ex's manager asking for her help with the new restaurant he's opening in one of their favourite places, she's not sure what to do. Does she say no to avoid facing her ex and watching him move on with his life or should she agree so she can spend Christmas back in Appledore and finally find peace with her past? 

The biggest thing that made me smile with this story was how utterly frustrating Chloe's ex husband Gianni could be. I so badly wanted to not like him, with his curse words, bad temper and lack of appreciation for those around him, but do you want to know why I couldn't help but love him? Because dear readers, I've spent 29 years surrounded by one extremely passionate, fiery Italian who on one hand could wind me up when I was helping him in the kitchen, as he had to have things the best way (his way) then on the other hand could make me the happiest granddaughter in the world with his unconditional love, constant stories and brilliance. Italians are one crazy breed, but they also happen to be one of the very, very best. Am I right or am I right? With this in mind, I totally understood Gianni's moods and general way of doing and saying things. It helped that Sue Watson so accurately wrote his speech in broken Italian that made it easier to see Gianni's softer side. I kid you not, my grandparents have been in England for over 50 years but they never lost their accents and they still speak in broken English - honestly they can say anything and it comes across sweet and innocent! :p Gianni may have been infuriating at times, but deep down he was a lover not a fighter and I fell for his charm.

The second thing I loved about this story was how downright Christmassy it was. From the setting, to the decorations to the wonderfully delicious food Sue describes, it's a festive fantasy that has me geared up for Christmas like never before. This year is going to be very different for my family, after the loss of the aforementioned fiery Italian I call Grandad, but I don't want to shy away from talking about it, and, like Chloe, i want to keep going through the heartbreak and find ways to come to terms with the events life throws at us. Christmas, to me, should be a time to be thankful and a time to share the happy memories and moments that we've experienced in the year leading up to it. There are so many amazing Italian dishes that my Grandad taught me that we have to make, while listening to Christmas songs, and I'm very much looking forward to getting into the festive spirit. 

Memories are powerful things, they can stir many different emotions. Chloe's gave her a second chance at love in this uplifting story by Sue Watson. I highly recommend it with a proper Italian espresso (not the instant crap, as Gianni would say) and a piece of mouthwatering traditional Panettone! 

Happy Reading!

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