Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café is the sequel I longed for. Infact, I begged Rebecca to write more about Lil, Damon and CeeCee. They were more than characters in a book, they became friends- I cared enough about them to want to know what happened next in their lives, wishing them all the happy ending they deserved. So when Rebecca tweeted me to say she had written a sequel partly because of my encouragement (or nagging, depending on how you look at it) I was absolutely thrilled. I also started hyperventilating when I saw that my review of Christmas at the Gingerbread Café was at the start of the book! This is the first time one of my reviews has ever made it into print, so on a personal level I was over the moon.
The Gingerbread Café is the same cosy, welcoming place as it was in the first book, and the tempting treats now include more chocolatey goodness...mmmmmm. One of the reasons I loved this so much is that there is a huge sense of community spirit, and as Lil, Damon and CeeCee face challenges the love and respect they have for each other is obvious. It's heart warming. It renews my faith in humanity, even if it is 'just fiction'. It's happy and cheerful and uplifting, and most of all it is written in Rebecca Raisin's charming style.
I don't want to give too much away, but the difficulties faced within this book are ones that unfortunately many people go through, and that is why I love these books so much. They are sweet reads, but don't shy away from issues, in much the same way as Lorraine Wilson's Chalet Girl books. They show how life moves on and that as humans we are resilient and strong. I felt inspired as I read this book, particularly by CeeCee's actions.
I absolutely loved this novella, and am very pleased to learn there is going to be a third instalment later in the year so I can catch up with my old friends Lily, Damon and CeeCee. I hope that the Gingerbread Café will be going from strength to strength then...and Rebecca Raisin's writing career too. She deserves it.
Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café is out now, published by Carina.
With thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.