'A little bit of heartbreak, a little bit of romance, Hill has the ability to make each page delicious with her light and entertaining story-telling ability.' (Sunshine Coast Sunday)
'If you miss Maeve Binchy .... (Melissa Hill) will cheer you up. A jewel of a novel, sparkling with warm yet delightfully flawed characters' (Romantic Times)
'Doesn't get much better than this sweet and romantic page-turner' (Closer)
'A warm, beautifully crafted read with a storyline that will make you forget about everything except turning those pages' (Scottish Daily Record)
From the Inside Flap
honest, the first thing that crossed my mind was that it must be my doughnut
delivery,' Ella began. 'Or a delivery of some kind - it isn't unusual to find
fresh stock on the doorstep of the café so early in the morning.'
time was it exactly?'
'Well, let me think,' she replied, pausing for a moment. 'The milk is usually dropped
off around five, a good two hours before I open up, and my usual half a dozen
litres was tucked away to the left of the doorway. But the box was right in
front, making it impossible for me to miss.'
'I was a bit annoyed actually and was thinking I was going to give the
wholesaler a piece of my mind for not letting me know they'd be delivering
outside opening hours,' she continued, her tone measured. 'And then, just as I
was about to open the box to see if they were indeed the culprits, I heard ...
well some kind of sound coming from it.'
of whine, I suppose? Very weak, like from a small animal or something. Of
course straight away I thought; here we go, another wretched creature to add to
thought that someone who knows you take in strays was leaving another one for
Everyone here in Lakeview knows what I'm like and that I can't say no.' She
smiled a little. 'But then I thought well, at least this one was coming with a
ready-made name. So I reached inside, already deciding that if it was a cat,
dog, hamster or whatever that I would call it Doughnut.' She shook her head.
'But when I pulled back the folds and discovered exactly
what I'd been landed with this time, I got the biggest shock of my life.'
quiet for a moment, as the impact of her words began to sink in.
did you do then?'
called the guards of course ... Frank was here within a couple of minutes, the
police station is only walking distance but he took the car anyway. And I rang
Jim Kelly too.'
'The local GP.''
'Yes. An ambulance too just
in case, although the box looked well insulated and there were plenty of
blankets. Still I thought it best to be sure.'
like you were very clear-headed about it.'
all,' she protested, sounding a little nervous. 'Truth be told I was in
complete shock. It was only when the ambulance left and Doctor Kelly told us
that vitals looked good and there were no signs of hypothermia that I managed
to relax a little. As I said, I doubted the box was there that long - and we
all agreed that whoever left it must have been acquainted with my routine.'
excuse though, is it? I mean what kind of person would dump a new-born baby in
a cardboard box on the side of the street in the freezing cold?'
'I know and Frank suggested that maybe the mother was hiding nearby, keeping an eye
out, waiting for me to show up. To be honest I was so taken aback that I didn't
think to look.'
reckoned that it was most likely a misunderstanding of some kind and that he'd
have it all sorted out in no time. He said to me "Ella, for what it's worth, I
think leaving it outside your place was intentional because if there's one
person in this village who'd know exactly what to do it's you. You're great
with kids and sure aren't you always taking in strays? This place isn't
nicknamed The Heartbreak Café for nothing." She shook her head sadly. 'And
while I agreed with him, I just thought that this was a lot more than a
miserable old mongrel - it was a poor innocent little baby. And not only that,
but this is a small town, a small community where people look out for each
other - not some anonymous city.'
what you mean.'
had very little sympathy and as far as I was concerned there's nothing -
absolutely no reason in the world that could justify abandoning a poor
defenceless baby on the street. But,'
Ella added with a heavy sigh, 'I suppose it's all too easy to play judge and
jury until you know the whole story.'