“Christmas at the Contraband Café” by Liberty Bell and Scarlet Brodie

Does she fit in? Of course not. Does she meet a man she finds obnoxious? Of course she does. Do circumstances keep forcing her to prolong her stay? Of course. You know the format.

What makes this story work is the characterization. The village is filled with individuals, coexisting with all the up, down and completely sideways relationships of people in small towns everywhere.

The main character, Chloe Charlesworth, is fully developed, human, and likeable. The supporting cast all fulfill their roles with panache. It doesn’t take us long to like them all, and to worry about Chloe’s job prospects, her romantic possibilities and basically, what the heck she’s going to do next.

Having said that, I must point out that we know pretty well what she’s going to do next, because it’s a series of several books, and if she doesn’t stay, then “A Year in Rum Cove” is going to be a very short year. In fact, I must prepare you for the ending, which leads pointedly into next week’s… sorry, the next volume in the series.

Basically, this book is about a bunch of unpredictable characters playing out a rather predictable plot in a highly picturesque social and natural environment. The TV producers ought to come running.

Recommended for sitcom and innocent romance fans.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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