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Christmas at the Candied Apple Café Kindle Edition
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Mads is a widower going through his first Christmas without his wife, who died shortly after Christmas the previous year. His young daughter Sofia had lost the spirit of Christmas after her mother died so close to the holiday.
Iona had always been a very hard worker, trying to prove something to her father. When Mads and Iona meet over a business deal, the magic of Christmas just seemed to come through. They are both finding their way in life and together the three of them seemed to work well together.
I loved all of the characters. It was a very touching and emotional story. I don't even have words to describe all of the feelings I experienced.
Iona and her partners, otherwise known as her best friends, own and operate the Candied Apple Cafe in New York City. They are successful, happy and decked out for the season. There are business decisions to be made but nothing that has to overshadow this wonderful night of showing off their new Christmas window display.
Mads is waiting on a business decision by the owners of the Candied Apple. As the man at the top it’s up to him to keep on top of these things. Thinking to take care of two things at once Mads heads off to the Candied Apple with his young daughter, Sophia. Both are a bit heartbroken, neither have any Christmas spirit or excitement at all this year. But that is about to change as three lives meet and magic can begin. No swirling sprinkles of color and light, but real connections that will matter and make a difference – it just might take a little time and patience.
There are so many aspects of Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafethat made this a touching, emotional story for me. Overall it’s a wonderful story, but there are a few things that stand out for me. Mads lost his wife, the woman he’d loved most of his life and Sophia had lost her beautiful, loving mother to a lingering, deadly disease. Both are still shell-shocked in many ways. Sophia particularly has lost every touch of belief in any kind of Christmas magic. She asked God, she asked Santa… and neither could give her the wish she wanted most for Christmas last year – her mother well again. So now, she’s done with belief. She will politely allow others their own belief, but don’t ask her to believe for she just cannot. Sophia broke my heart. She’s adorable, wise beyond her years yet there is that small little place that wants someone to show her that it’s okay to believe again. And that person will be Iona.
Mads and Iona are both wounded, in different ways. Neither is really thinking of romance but they laugh, they smile at the same thing, and slowly there are more reasons to spend time together… and the feelings simply won’t go away. You could call their romance a slow burn, you could call it finding that person that makes sense while making the heart sing. These two have chemistry, emotions and issues – all are dealt with realistically and believably.
I believe you will find a wonderful Christmas-time love story in Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe. It’s a story like this one that fuels my love for Christmas romance year round. It’s a beautiful love story, and I believe these characters and their wonderful support characters will capture your heart.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Let’s talk about the story first, because that’s the part I did enjoy. It was cozy, romantic and had a heavier touch to it. This was caused by one of the themes being grief.
The thing that bothered me, though, was that I never felt like I was really a part of it. It would’ve helped if at least one of the POV’s got to me, but that wasn’t the case. I was looking at it from an outsider’s POV and this story would’ve had much more of an impact if that had been different. I’m sure this had a lot to do with Garbera’s writing style.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing about the writing that bothered me. Some parts were vague, skipped from one thing to another, jumped from one evening to a day three days after that without clearly stating it.
Honestly, I often found myself quite confused and had to reread parts on a regular basis. It’s something I don’t like doing, at all, when I’m reading a romance novel.
Apart from that… If there’s one thing that a novel like this should have it’s tension. Sexual tension. A spark. An explosion. Something. I missed all of that. Yes, the sexual scenes were heated, but it didn’t light a spark in me at all.
I love reading romance novels like these because of that spark… Not getting that is just… such a disappointment, really.
When it comes to the characters and their growth, I was confused as well. Although it’s safe to say that our MC’s, Mads and Iona, do change throughout the story, the start and ending felt ridiculously rushed.
For starters, Iona and Mads got way too personal way too fast for my liking. And regarding the ending… I’d seen it coming but I was still hoping it wouldn’t be as rushed as it was. Wanting and saying one thing on one page and stating the completely opposite on the next… It didn’t feel real and made it seem like the author just wanted to wrap it up and be done with it already.
Conclusion of the day: I liked the idea, the general story but when it comes to the execution… It could’ve been a whole lot better.
2 / 5
I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are entirely my own. I’m not being compensated in any way.
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