I opened this book with slight trepidation, having seen that it was no. 16 in a series. I can confirm that this is a great standalone read; the fact that it comes from a fairly long pedigree line is an excellent sign, as I can only assume that those who read the books in this series want more. Having finished the book, I feel compelled to read the others, such was my experience – having nothing but positive things to say about it.
Ruby had a lot on her mind, with starting a new job in a bakery, and dealing with the fall-out between her Mother and her Aunt, all while trying to support her Mother who had been diagnosed with leukaemia. To add fuel to the fire, she is also tasked with keeping her Mother’s diagnosis secret from her Aunt Joy. Indeed the Joy seems to have disappeared from their relationship with Joy.
On the first day of her new bakery job, Ruby bumped into the hunky Hudson Holmes – I would describe him as gorgeous with a chance of grumpiness, although I had high hopes for him and Ruby, as she seems to have been unlucky in love.
I was utterly taken with Ruby’s new boss Ellie, when she helped Ruby out on her first day, without hesitation. What a gem! In actual fact, all Ruby’s new colleagues seem great – almost to good to be true!
While Hudson is giving Ruby a lift, he loses his temper pretty badly with Ruby, when she undies her seatbelt to reach her phone. His reaction clearly resonates badly with Ruby; it makes her reminiscent of her relationship with her ex. I really felt for her, in what in what is all too real situation with many women. No woman should ever feel threatened by a man, whether it is raised fists or a raised voice. No woman should ever have to feel afraid of a man. I realised at this point that despite this book appearing quite light at first sight, it clearly had undertones of darker times in Ruby’s past. Plaudits to the author, for raising awareness of all to common an issue, that SHOULD never happen, but unfortunately all too often does happen.
I was actually disappointed with Aunt Joy,, with the deal she tried to make with Ruby, in return for getting tested for a stem cell transplant to help save her Sister (Ruby’s Mum). What a piece of work! I could only hope that she would to the right decision and do the right thing without resorting to underhand tactics! However before Joy had a chance, Ruby ended up doing what Joy had asked of her – anything to help save her Mum’s life – although I was still a little disappointed with her decision. But still, who knows what any of us would do, if faced with the same kind of dilemma, and I tried hard not to judge Ruby.
Things start going wrong in the cafe; too many times for it to be a coincidence – but who can be behind it! I do love a good mystery and it appears that Ruby does too, as she tries to get to the bottom of who is behind the skullduggery at work, trying to ruin the reputation of Ellie’s bakery. I found myself loving this about Ruby – that she was prepared to whatever she could to get to the bottom of things, to help protect her now friend’s reputation. Ruby and Hudson end up combining forces to become amateur private eyes, to solve the mystery and I loved that they both wanted to do this.
Will they uncover the villain and is there any chance of romance between them? You will have to read this charming book for yourself to find out.
To buy this book for yourself, just use this link: https://amzn.to/3feTsKn