#blogblitz – Heartaches and Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller @AmyBratley1 @Bookouture #bookreview

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for Heartaches and Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller today. Thank you to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the review copy through Netgalley and the place on the blog tour. I loved this book and will be sharing my review but first here’s what the book is about:

December, 1940: All that Audrey Barton wants is her family together for Christmas. But the war changes everything… 

The Barton family bakery in Bournemouth has been at the heart of the town for generations: Audrey and Charlie Barton have never been rich, but their bread and cakes – and their love and advice – have enriched the lives of others in the town for many years.

When war breaks out, it doesn’t take long for trouble to arrive on the bakery doorstep. Audrey’s brother William has joined up to fight, and William’s fiancé Elsie fears she may lose him before their life together has even begun. Audrey’s stepsister Lily comes to stay, but Lily is clearly hiding a dark secret.

And a silent and strange little girl is evacuated to the town – will Audrey get to the heart of what is ailing her?

Audrey battles to keep hope and love alive in tumultuous times. But when disaster strikes at Christmas, will her efforts be in vain?

This is the first book in a heartwarming and romantic new saga series, perfect for fans of The Gingerbread Girl, Nadine Dorries and Ellie Dean.

I have been known to be partial to a WW2 saga but I don’t read a huge amount of them these days. When I do read one I need it to be a good one and I’m happy to report that Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is up there with the best of them.

We meet Audrey Barton and her family in Bournemouth right at the start of the war. She and her husband, Charlie, run a bakery and it was the shop being so central to the story that really attracted me to the book in the first place. It’s a real hub, as shops often were then and I always think about how it must have been to go from individual shop to shop buying all that you need. Hard work but something quite lovely about it too.

Audrey is a bit of a magnet for waifs and strays. Her brother has just joined up and left behind his fiancée, Elsie, who gravitates towards Audrey in his absence. Then there’s Lily, her stepsister, who arrives on her doorstep one day looking for help, and she also takes in an evacuee. I liked Audrey a lot. She’s such a kind, loving person and is the heart of the story.

With any good saga there are numerous ups and downs but strong spirits and love for family and friends win out in the end. Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is a truly heart-warming story and I was engrossed in it from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed reading about the ingenuity needed to survive food rationing and the community spirit which led to everyone helping each other.

As the story ends early on in the war I was pleased to note that this is the first in a series and it’s definitely one I will continue to read. I absolutely loved this first instalment!

If you like the sound of Heartaches and Christmas Cakes then here are the buying links you need:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

And do have a look at the other blogs taking part in the three day blitz.

Amy Miller is the pseudonym of Amy Bratley, who started her writing life working on magazines and newspapers. She has previously written three women’s fiction novels published by Pan Macmillan, the first of which was a bestseller in Italy. Her day job is being a freelance managing editor of both a vintage interiors magazine and a food magazine, two subjects she’s passionate about. Amy lives in Dorset with her husband and two children.

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