You are invited to the wedding of the year!
Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams – in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!
The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives… Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.
In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?
Firstly, I really have to give some appreciation to that cover. Each book in the series has a beautiful cover, but this one takes the crown; it’s simply stunning.
We’re back in Ashford following Lil and Damon in the run up to their Christmas Eve wedding, and it was so lovely to see them as adorably loved up as ever. I loved catching up with every one, particularly the familiar faces of Cee Cee, Sarah, Missy and Chalrie; all of whom I’ve fallen in love with like my own dear friends. Rebecca creates a beautifully festive feeling, which made the welcoming warmth of Ashford even more alluring – I honestly want to move there!
Lil and Cee Cee are rushed off their feet at the Gingerbread Café, with all the wedding goods to make on top of all the usual Christmas treats. It’s well worth it though, as the wedding looks set to be perfect, and everything seems to be surprisingly going to plan.
Then Damon’s parents arrive. His father George is a sweet, older version of Damon, and Lil instantly feels comfortable with him. Her mother-in-law-to-be though, is quite a different matter. She certainly can plaster on a smile and seems to be as sweet as pie, but there’s one too many seemingly off the cuff remarks that are a hitting a little below the belt for Lil’s liking, and she’s instantly put on edge. There’s definitely an icy cool under that seemingly perfect exterior, but what on earth is her problem? It’s obvious to everyone that Damon and Lil are deliriously happy together, so why isn’t Olivia happy for them? Suddenly, Damon and Lil’s relationship is tested like never before, and they haven’t even made it to the church yet.
Having grown so very fond of Ashford and all it’s inhabitants, Olivia’s attitude was instantly unsettling. I felt so protective of Lil and of Ashford life in general, so this unwelcome hostility did not sit well, and I think Rebecca did a fantastic job of building the tension.
I was so sad when I learnt that this was the last of the Gingerbread Cafe books, as it feels like saying goodbye to old friends, but I can’t deny that Rebecca has ended the series on a perfect high. The story is utterly charming, romantic, fun and genuinely moving. This was certainly the most touching of them all; my eyes welled up a few times throughout the story, and by the end I had several tears rolling down my cheeks. It was beautiful. Rebecca’s familiar writing is evocative, inviting and wonderfully descriptive.
5 whole-hearted Christmas Penguins for a book that’s sure to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, with a healthy dose of Christmas Spirit.