The Chic Boutique on Baker Street
by Rachel Dove
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Publishing Date: 21st April 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Amanda is making the idyllic escape to the countryside to find a new life. Ben is picking up the pieces of his life after his wife left. Could a chance encounter outside Amanda’s ‚chic boutique’ set them on the road to renewed happiness? Shop owner Amanda leaves London behind for life in the country and find’s love with local vet Ben in this fun, addictive winner of the Prima Flirty Fiction competition.
„The Chic Boutique on Baker Street” by Rachel Dove was one of the most feel – good books that there are to read. Not too demanding, not too overwhelming but few hours of pure entertainment. I started to laugh out loud already after reading only a few pages and I kept smiling almost all the way through it. Yes, the story started quickly and with a kick but then it lost its impact, it slowed down a little and went a little downhill, but still the storytelling was full of warmth and humour and the book ticked all the boxes for a great read: will they/wont they lovely characters – tick; old life coming back – tick; troublesome family that knows better what is good for you and what’s not – tick; not so obvious romance – tick; brilliant atmosphere and the sense of community – tick, a little drama – tick, an ex – boyfriend from hell – tick… well, whatever you wish for, it was in this book.
There are some great characters in this novel – larger than life but also down – to – earth, with their own problems and anxieties. Amanda needs a change, so after being fired from her job (and we learn soon that it was not her fault and she didn’t make any mistake) she moves to a colourful, lovely Westfield, where people are verrrry close and like to know as much about each other as possible. Or even more. And they’re very friendly – well, all but Ben, the owner of the business next to Amanda’s one, where she sells hand – made items. Ben seems not to want anyone from the city to come to the village and mess up.
But then we also have Agatha, who takes Amanda under her wing – although Agatha has her own reasons, namely she plans on making a couple out of Amanda and Ben. But – can one meddle with other lives?
Yes, Amanda and Ben were great characters, though there were moments – many, many moments – when I so wanted to bang their heads together! They were so stubborn and they jumped to the wrong conclusions All. The. Time and sometimes I felt really desperate with these two. Because they weren’t saying all the things, they had some secrets of their own and they didn’t open so easily, there were tons of misunderstandings between them, misunderstandings that could easily be explained when they started to talk! Oh, give me their heads to bang, really! I could growl with frustration at them and yet it made me smile as well. Sure, there came a moment that I wanted nothing more as these two to sort the situation out, as there were so many missed opportunities, so many vague hints and I started to think it’s too much already – sometimes it’s better to stop than to wade through messing around even more.
Normally I think I would be outraged with the way the ladies were meddling as I follow the rule live and let live and don’t meddle and keep your nose out of other people’s business, but this time this meddling was incredibly funny, I’d say hilarious, and as I also saw that Ben and Amanda are destined to be together, I was cheering the ladies and keeping my fingers crossed that everything went well with their different plans to bring these two together. And, as they were tough cookies and hard nuts to crack, the ladies didn’t have an easy job, but the author gave as a great insight into why Amanda and Ben were like this, telling us about significant events that happened in their lives that made them so reluctant to open and towards a new relationship. I also liked the glimpses into Amanda’s previous place of work where the ex – boyfriend sleazy Marcus had some problems, ha.
Rachel Dove has in a great way described Westfield and its inhabitants, and her words are full of warmth and sympathy to the place and the characters and it is impossible not to like them all. Even the unpleasant ones. I loved the atmosphere in this story, so cosy and full of friendship and understanding. I adored the setting of this story and the village full of eccentrics, but eccentrics in a positive way, who were at the heart of the village and who loved their place, and who also loved meddling and knowing everything about other people and I loved how well organized the ladies were when it came to communicate about Ben and Amanda – who would have thought it :)You know, sometimes you want to read a book with some troubles but not necessary with earthquakes, not too complicated, where the characters are nice and good – natured, and „The Chic Boutique on Baker Street” is this kind of read.
It was really one of the warmest, nicest reads. It put a smile on my face more than often, and I am still laughing out loud when I think about one of the first scenes with the dogs and Sebastian. Rachel Dove’s writing style is light and so easy to follow and she is a great storyteller. Sure, it was not a life – changing novel, more on the predictable side and you could have tell from the beginning how it’s going to end, but it was a feel – good read, so easy – going and there were some brilliant one – liners and really, and I am looking forward to reading more from Ms Dove.
BE SURE TO CHECK THE OTHER STOPS ON „THE CHIC BOUTIQUE ON BAKER STREET” BLOG TOUR!
(Guys, I’ve just realised that I’ve made mistake and I should have posted my review yesterday. I have no idea how it happened, it is the first time that I mixed up the dates – I hope that all involved are going to forgive me for this mistake, I promise it will never happen again)