Christmas at the Cornish Café – Phillipa Ashley

51PotjCREuLReally getting into the Christmas spirit with this one, the second part of the Penwith Trilogy. Now, I loved book #1 (Summer at the Cornish Café). It was essentially Poldark fan-fiction, which was fine by me, but for book #2 Philippa Ashley came up with some more original story lines: Cal and Demi are successfully running Kilhallon Park and Demi’s new café, all while trying to work out their personal relationship as well. In the run-up to Christmas, a writer named Kit comes to the park for a few months – an unusually long stay. Despite (or perhaps because of) Kit’s charming nature, Cal doesn’t trust him. But Kit’s not the only one with a secret.

I loved this book just as much as the first. It’s light and breezy, easy to read and well-written. The setting is as good as ever (it’s hard not to love Cornish scenery). I liked all the characters already, and the new ones slotted into the story seamlessly. The only real criticism I have is that Cal’s ‘dark secret’ seems to have come from nowhere. It’s meant to be something he’s been struggling with internally, but there was absolutely no mention of it in the first book, so it was a bit out of the blue. Cal’s particular storyline in Christmas at the Cornish Café also creates some confusion to the overall feel of the book, because it is actually rather dark and serious, where the rest of the story is light and romantic. On the other hand, it did give the book a bit more depth.

Really, I’m just being picky. Will definitely be picking up the last book when it’s out.

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