A Little Sugar, a Lot of Love
by Linn B. Halton
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publishing Date: 15th January 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 202
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …
Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.
But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.
But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …
I am probably the last person in the universe to know that „A Little Sugar, a Lot of Love” was previously published as „Sweet Occasions” that I’ve read, but not knowing it I’ve requested this book on NetGalley and started reading it, with more and more confusion, as I immediately got a feeling that I: Have. Already. Read. That. Book. Re – reading is not a big deal for me, oh no, I used to re – read books but now I just don’t have time for this. Sadly.
This book was a little different to all the romance books that I usually read, and although you can say, well, what is so different, a girl meets a boy, they fell in love although they don’t realise it, they overcome all the obstacles to stay together, yes it was different, because it was about mature people who learn that life isn’t quite as they want it to be but nevertheless, they take matters in their hands and make small steps towards their happiness.
Katie is struggling to keep her dream shop „Sweet Occasions” over the water, while her boyfriend wants her to either stop or take the business in other, more aggressive and expanding, direction. One very rainy day a stranger comes into her shop and Katie not only dine him, but also lends him her clothes… He buys cake for his grandmother and leaves. But they both find they can’t forget each other… Then life makes them meet each other from time to time, Katie get to know Adam’s daughter Lily and grows found of her very much, but life goes on, and they must live their lives. But still thinking about the other one…
The characters were so nice and so understanding that there were moments I thought oh my, can you please do something wrong, say something wrong? But despite this they were likable and very warm people, all of them carrying their cross and fighting their own demons. Katie, because she wasn’t sure if she was in the right relationship and I liked the way she grown to her decision and although there were some strong strings attached she did what she thought was right for her. Adam, trying to find the right way to spend as much time with his daughter together as possible, earn a living and finding a new love, in between having to take care of his beloved grandmother. So they don’t know it yet, but they have some things in common, and it’s that they are actually unhappy.
Grace, as it often happens with the older heroes, was a warm, wise woman, with some of very true wisdoms, and her story was a very beautiful one. The characters feel really realistic, with all their feelings of love and fear.
What didn’t work out for me though is the fact that everybody and their kith and kin were trying to match – make Katie and Adam, and I thought, why? They didn’t know each other so good, they didn’t know if they have something in common, they used to see each other twice a year, so really, why? What did all the other people see that I didn’t? Don’t get me wrong, but how would you feel if a woman that you only heard about invited you to your house and told you that she knows/feels/is absolutely sure that you should be together with her grandson? Well, yes, they liked each other, there was some kind of attraction between them but I would never say that there is chemistry.
The chapters are told alternately from Katie, Adam and a few from Grace’s point of view, so we know what all of them are feeling and thinking. I guess I have never read a book written in such style as „Sweet Ocassions”, when we meet the characters on Christmas and then half a year later, and then again on Christmas, although they tell us then what happened in the meantime. The narration concentrated more on the present, and like I said, we are informed about some things that happened in the past, but those were just short dialogues between the characters, although it was enough to keep me on track and not lose the overview. Interesting and refreshing, though I must admit I think I’m more into details. But the story has a good pace, and I really liked the idea of it telling it over two years. I didn’t have a feeling that the author is dragging it out, no, it all felt very realistic and natural, and Linn gave the characters a chance to grow, develop and to find out what they are really looking for in life. There was nothing forced or pushed in this book, there were no things happening out of the blue, we got to know the characters on the same day as they got to know themselves, and we followed their story together with them, without a feeling that something has happened out of nothing.
Altogether, it was a sweet, warm, optimistic book with a feel – good factor, written in a very subtle, gentle way, without any exaggerated drama. Touching and with an original story line, with some twists, will let you to dive into Linn B. Halton’s world for some time.