Review: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant

Friday 14 October 2016
Title: The Little Village Bakery
Author: Tilly Tennant
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 15th June 2016
Pages: 286
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Help yourself to a generous slice of Victoria sponge, a perfect cup of tea and a big dollop of romance. Welcome to the Little Village Bakery.

Meet Millie. Heartbreak has forced her to make a new start and when she arrives at the old bakery in the little village of Honeybourne she is determined that this will be her home sweet home. Her imagination has been captured by the tumbledown bakery but with no running water and dust everywhere, her cosy idea of making cakes in a rural idyll quickly crumbles.

Luckily the locals are a friendly bunch and step in to help Millie. One in particular,Dylan, a laid-back lothario, soon captures her attention.

But just as Millie is beginning to settle in, an unexpected visitor from her past suddenly turns up determined to ruin everything for her. It’s time for Millie to face the skeletons in her closet if she’s going to live the dream of running her little village bakery, and her blossoming romance with Dylan.

Tilly Tennant is an author I first became aware of not long after I started blogging as some of my new blogging friends spoke very highly of her books. Fast forward over two years later(!) and I started The Little Village Bakery with great excitement and wasn't left disappointed. Well, only that there was hardly a cake or baked good to be had anywhere within this book's pages despite what the cover and blurb had me believe. That said, there was so much story packed into these pages and I fell in love with the characters so much that I ended up forgetting all about the sweet stuff. It's bad for you anyway...

Millie arrives in the gloriously named village of Honeybourne after heartbreak forces her to start afresh and she thinks the best way to do this is to pay cash for a bakery she is yet to see the inside of. Arriving at the bakery and she soon discovers it's going to take a lot of work, and maybe a minor miracle for this to ever be the thriving bakery that she envisioned in her mind. Luckily for Millie the residents of Honeybourne, most of them at least, are incredibly welcoming and she soon has a queue of people ready to help her transform the bakery into a real business again. The village of Honeybourne is so well-captured and relayed to the reader that I could see myself there alongside the characters. The village setting is hardly unique in this genre but it's a setting I could never ever tire of reading about.

Millie is a mysterious character and I wanted to know just what all that excess baggage was that she brought with her to the village. A village is of course one of the worst places to move to if you've got something to hide or don't want people knowing your business because in a village, everyone knows your business especially with busybody neighbours like Ruth who Millie soon finds out loves to talk. In the beginning I did find Ruth to be quite an annoying character but she quickly grew on me and I really liked her. The story in this book isn't just Millie's as we also follow the quirky Jasmine, who lives with her husband Rich (ugh) and their triplets. Millie strikes up a friendship with Jasmine but her past forces her to be quite standoffish at times which has Jasmine and Rich (but mostly Rich) questioning just who she really is. Jasmine's brother Dylan also notices the new arrival to the village and is quick to introduce himself and is of course the chiselled, perfect stud you would expect from a book like this. I also loved the character of Spencer who I won't say too much about, nor will I mention too much the face from the past who turns up at just the wrong time for Millie.

For those expecting a sickly sweet romantic story, The Little Village Bakery is anything but and I loved it because of that. It's the story of a hugely likeable character trying to find her way after a life-changing tragedy. I so wanted Millie to find the happiness that she so obviously deserved and craved, and because she was so likeable, it was easy to root for her the whole way through. 'The course of true love never did run smooth' and at times reading this I wasn't sure where it was going to run at all. Jasmine too was a mostly likeable character but I wasn't overly fond of her at times idiotic husband Rich. I naively didn't spot one of the plot developments that was revealed partway through the story and that was a surprise that then had me wishing for a different outcome for two of the characters than that which was delivered. As some of these characters feature in the sequel to this book, perhaps there might be some developments there. I am so excited that there is a Christmas sequel to this book because these characters deserve more than just the one outing. Now that the bakery is finally up and running, I am hoping for a huge serving of cake with a massive side order of Christmas in that sequel and it's sitting on my Kindle ready to read very soon. I am so glad to have finally discovered Tilly Tennant and have no hesitation in recommending this book.

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