Book: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: Adult fiction, contemporary
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
You can find my review for the first installment, Little Beach Street Bakery, here.
The review below will contain spoilers.
Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery picks up 2 years after the events in Little Beach Street Bakery. Apparently there is a book in between these two called Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery (which at this point, I doubt I will read). I was really looking forward to snuggling up with another cozy Jenny Colgan book. It’s Christmas time. This should be the perfect book, right?
Let’s recap the main points: Polly and Huckle are now engaged and they’re living in the lighthouse they bought from the previous book. Neil the puffin (our main saving grace, IMO) is still around. Polly’s baking business is thriving, but she’s overworked and tired. All she wants to do is spend Christmas holed up in her lighthouse eating carbs and snuggling with Huckle.
Then shit hits the fan. Kerensa is pregnant, but the baby might not be Reuben’s. The puffin sanctuary needs major funds or it will be shut down. Polly has to participate in a Christmas fair and cater to Reuben’s huge Christmas party. Huckle is mad because Polly is getting cold feet about marriage. And the biggest bomb of all: Polly’s biological dad is dying and his last wish is to see her.
This ain’t a cozy Christmas story. This is just a bunch of stress. Me no likey.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the good and the bad:
- Just like the first book, I love the small town vibes. It feels like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Polly has become a bit of a Lorelai Gilmore, where everyone seems to turn to her for help. This, of course, leads to all her problems in this book.
- Neil the puffin is back. I love him so much.
- Polly was able to finally settle her issues between her mother, Doreen. I like that we got a backstory about Doreen’s affair with Polly’s biological father, Tony. We also get to meet Carmel, Tony’s wife. The meeting between Polly and Tony was short and sweet.
- Huckle is a piece of shit. He wants to pressure Polly into having a baby. He throws a tantrum because Polly swore secrecy to Kerensa’s secret. He storms off (AGAIN) when things get slightly complicated. He resents Polly for working. I have wanted to love him so much. I just can’t. He sucks.
- Not sure why Colgan decided to make Huckle an American from the South, because he speaks 100% like an Englishman. He uses phrases such as “gave me a fright”, and “I use that loads”. He calls people “love”. These aren’t the most Americanized phrases. It’s like Colgan forgot he was supposed to be American.
- The ending. Kerensa and Reuben throw Huckle and Polly a susprise, lavish wedding. It all happened so fast, within maybe the last 10 pages. It did not fit well into the story at all.
I don’t even want to talk about this anymore because this book just stressed me the fuck out. Polly and I are similar in that we cannot say no to people, and sometimes that stretches us thin. Between her having to bake shit for a million people, to fundraising for the puffins, to keeping Kerensa from having a nervous breakdown, to her family issues… I was stressed. I guess the holidays can be stressful, but I did not want to be reminded about that.
Overall I still adored the writing style and the characters. But, man… I feel like a need a vacation after reading this book.