Little Teashop of Horror

Secrets, lies, carrot cake  – and an owl called Skrillex!

Amy Knowles has always been the plain sidekick to her pretty best friend Jules. And whilst the tearoom they both work in on the Monkpark Hall estate in Yorkshire is not exactly awash with eligible bachelors, it’s obvious where the male attention is concentrated – and it’s not just on the cakes!

There is one man who notices Amy. Joshua Wilson also works at Monkpark, where he flies his birds of prey for visitor entertainment. He lives a lonely existence but he has reasons for choosing isolation – and, in Amy, he may have found somebody who understands.

 Then a management change brings slick and well-spoken Edmund Evershott to Monkpark. He’s interested in Amy too, but for what reason? Josh suspects the new manager is up to no good – but will Amy? Because Edmund could leave her with much worse than a broken heart …

I thought this was a beautiful story of friendship, its importance, and the effect others can have on our lives. It was my first novel by Jane Lovering and I found a refreshing, humorous work of fiction.

I felt like I got to know the characters, Amy and Julia, intimately; as if they were newfound friends whose lives I was given the privilege of witnessing. At times I liked Amy more than Julia just because of personality differences. Amy was definitely the one who pulls the heartstrings more particularly as you discover why she’s at the tea room and why she doesn’t seem to believe in her own self-worth as much as she should. Another character, Josh, is broken in a way that will make your heart ache nearly bringing you to tears at times as his storyline carries out but what is particularly interesting about him is his fondness for birds which become their own unique characters in a way and showcase more of his personality traits.

 As great as her well-developed characters appear Lovering still needed a plot equal to the task of carrying out her creations and luckily the rest of her writing proved itself worthy. You’ll be flipping pages faster than you would have believed going in as the drive to go deeper into the story unfolds. The author still managed to balance the various themes and emotions so just as you think the book is going to showcase nothing but the darkness of humanity’s actions the humor fights its way to the surface with some really great laugh out loud scenes along with some witty one-liners that will find themselves stuck in your head ready to make you laugh at the oddest times.

 I think my favorite part was that it wasn’t the prototypical book where a gorgeous-cinderella like woman is waiting on her prince charming to rescue her because Amy is definitely not described as the size 0 blonde and Josh is so damaged he needs more rescuing than she does. For a book with such a strong romance theme it appeared to break the mold by not falling into that familiar trap of woman meets man, they overcome some surmountable odds, fall in love and now their life is Disney perfect. Lovering really seemed to want to shoot for some realism in her characters, their interactions and how that would play out. Overall it was such a good book you could easily find yourself getting lost within its pages for hours.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Choc Lit for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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