Georgie Hart loves her job–running the luxury handbag concession at Carrington’s Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry-On-Sea , and treating herself (once too often!) to a red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing in Carrington’s café.
But Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington’s is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands.
It spells a recipe for disaster for Georgie and soon she is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her gorgeous boss, James. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie…
Cupcakes at Carrington’s is Alexandra Brown’s debut novel and the first in a new series of books based around the Carrington’s department store in the fictional British seaside town of Mulberry- On-Sea. There were so many things that drew me to this book; the seaside setting, the insider view of a high end department store, the gorgeous cover and the promise of a wonderfully girly read full of cupcakes and handbags, that I was a bit concerned before I started reading that the book could never meet my high expectations!
I’m pleased to say that Alex did a fantastic job of not only meeting my expectations but exceeding them by creating a varied and interesting cast of characters headed up by a loveable, funny and believable lead in Georgie Hart and keeping me hooked with a series of dramatic and surprising twists.
After a gentle start which introduces the store, Georgie and her colleagues at Carrington’s the scene is set for dramatic change as the uber-corporate Maxine is brought in to do a review and a mysterious (and very handsome) new male colleague, Tom is introduced at short notice.
There are many threads to the story which delves into the lives and loves of the staff at Carrington’s as well as telling the story of Carrington’s fight for its future. With a full cast of likeable characters to get behind and plenty of plot possibilities, I couldn’t guess what the outcome would be for Carrington’s or Georgie, making this a quick and absorbing read that was never dull!
From the early chapters I was engrossed in Georgie’s world and the future of the beautiful Carrington’s which is as much a character in the novel as any of the main cast. Alexandra introduces plenty of humour and pace with a good variety of customers and staff which include Georgies’s best friend Sam (owner of the mouthwatering Cupcakes at Carrington’s) , PA Eddie who loves to gossip but has a secret of his own and Georgie’s boss James who may or may not just want to be friends!
Georgie was my favourite character and I think she has potential to be up there with Becky Bloomwood and Angela Clarke as favourite chick lit heroines as the series continues. I liked that Georgie has a serious past and a sad side to her story and that her mistakes felt very believable. The novel strikes an excellent balance between scenes that will make you laugh and those that will have you reaching for a tissue.
The romance element is also nicely done – I particularly loved the crazy golf scene and Alexandra Brown kept me guessing right to the end of the book how Georgie’s love life would turn out. The story is set in the lead up to Valentine’s day which makes it a perfect purchase for those looking for a lovely escapist Valentine’s treat.
I’m so pleased that we’ll be hearing more from Georgie later this year – Christmas At Carrington’s will be out in November and is already on my Christmas wish list!
I’d like to thank Alex and her publisher for sending me a review copy of this novel.
Find out more about Alex and her writing at: http://www.alexandrabrown.co.uk/