The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they've been searching for.
Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain's best tea rooms. She knows she's found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the 'Seafront', convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind . . .
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published September 8th 2014 by Sphere
Three and a half stars: A pleasant, curl up, comfort read.
Charlie arrives in Scarborough, intent on scoping out some of the best tea rooms in England for an article she is working on. Charlie inquires at the hotel, and the friendly woman at the counter recommends several touristy tea rooms, but Charlie wants a hidden gem. The hotel clerk then recommends the Seafront Tea Rooms. Charlie finds the Seafront to be cozy, inviting, packed with delicious treats and fragrant teas. Charlie also finds something unexpected in the tea rooms, two new friends, Seraphine and Kat. Together, the three women forge a friendship, and they learn a thing or two about life, love, family and relationships.
What I Liked:
- The Seafront Tea Rooms is one of those books you can grab when you need a light, cozy, comfort read. This is an easy book to settle in with, and it is all about friendship, relationships, life and love. If you are in the mood for a lighter book to snuggle up with on a cold day, this is a good pick.
- The story follows three different women: Charlie, an up and coming writer for a popular British magazine, who is reeling from a broken engagement. Charlie has thrown herself into her work, and she has little time for friends and family. Seraphine is a French girl who comes to Scarborough, England after she accepts a job as an au pair. Seraphine's real reason for leaving France is because she is trying to run away and hide from the fact that she is in love with another woman. Kat is a young, struggling single mom, looking for work. Once the three meet, a new friendship is formed, and the three lean on one another as they explore life and love. I liked getting to know all three women, and I appreciated that they came from such different backgrounds. I also loved watching each woman grow and transform as they found love and forged and strengthened the relationships in their lives.
- There are three romances to follow. I liked that each relationship took its time to unfold and develop, and that the romances were never a big focus of the story. Each relationship was unique, and I liked that there was a F/F romance. The romances were subtle and they never overtake the story.
- The book is bursting with all kinds of delicious food descriptions and warm, fragrant teas. I loved when the girls visited different tea rooms throughout England. It made me wish that we had tea rooms here in the U.S. like the ones described in the book. I loved the warm and cozy feel that the tea room setting brought to the book, and I especially loved that there were recipes for some of the treats mentioned in the story at the end.
- I liked that this book was all about relationships, not all of the romantic sort. For instance, Charlie finds herself suddenly helping her sister, whom she has never gotten along with. I loved the new sister bond that Charley formed with her sister. Seraphine worries that family won't take her news of being in love with another woman well, and she shies away from telling the truth. I enjoyed how that all played out. I also liked how Seraphine helped the young girl whom she was caring for to heal and open up. Finally, Kat learns a big secret about her past, and even though I wasn't thrilled with the way she acted when she found out, I was pleased with how it settled out. I loved the strong focus on family and all the different types of relationships that this book explored.
- This is a stand alone, and I was pleased to find that it ended nicely without lingering questions.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though I liked that this story featured three women from different walks of life, I thought that having three voices limited the depth and detail a bit for each character. At first, I struggled with the changing characters, but as I settled in and grew accustomed to each character, it got easier. I wish that perhaps the book was just a bit longer so the author could take the time to delve further into each character and her relationships. Both the romances with Kat and Charlie were a little shallow.
- Letty, the Sea Front Tea Rooms owner, plays an important role in the book, and I was left wanting more from her character. I wanted a better understanding of her relationship with her ex husband, I kept expecting him to make an appearance, but he doesn't. I also wished that there had been just a bit more with Letty and the daughter she gave up for adoption. I was left with a few questions, such as why she never approached the adoptive father after his wife died and ask him if she could forge a relationship with her daughter? I also didn't like how Letty went about letting her secret out.
- I was disappointed that there wasn't more information on Seraphine's brother. I never had a clear understanding of what happened with him.
- The overall plot is rather predictable, aside from a couple of twists. It was easy to see who was going to fall in love with whom, and how things would work out for the characters. No big deal, but if you want surprises, you will be disappointed.
The Seafront Tea Rooms is a simple, quick, cozy read that follows three different women as they explore new relationships and friendships while reestablishing familial ties. This is a book all about life and love, perfect for when you want a light, lovely read for winter. This is definitely a book I would recommend for a winter afternoon or evening when you want to cuddle up with a warm drink and a good comfort book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.