The Pretty Delicious Café by Danielle Hawkins
What a charming, heart-warming novel! Lia runs a café in a small New Zealand seaside town, with her friend Anna. Running a small business is challenging enough, but Anna is about to marry Lia’s twin brother Ro and has taken to a diet of lettuce leaves and not much else in preparation for her big day – which makes her a grumpy business partner for this time. Overworked and unlucky-in-love, Lia is fed up with the unwanted attentions of her ex-boyfriend as well. But then Jed, a handsome stranger turns up on her doorstep. Their first meeting scares her out of her wits, not helped by her twin brother picking up on her terror via the unusual telepathic connection they share, wielding a gun and thinking Lia is in trouble. But then Lia slowly gets to know Jed after this unusual first meeting and finds herself attracted to him. Although he has his own issues, with a troubled ex-wife and the responsibility of a four-year-old son, and he may not be staying in town for very long…
The characters are engaging and believable, and there is a lovely thread of humour and quirkiness that runs through the book. It’s not a challenging read, but instead fun, light escapism. I particularly enjoyed the small New Zealand town setting and its familiar landscape. It’s a story of food, friendship, family and love – and you can smell the baking as you read it.
This is a light-hearted, engaging and easy read. This is Danielle’s third novel, so I hope she is working on another story. I’d definitely pick up another of her novels – the perfect, lazy afternoon read. Light, sweet and tasty! The Pretty Delicious Cafe is a lovely romance novel that is quintessentially Kiwi. Oh, and there is the bonus of some of the recipes from Lia and Anna’s café in the back of the book.