Review by Veronica

Series Name: The Little Cornish Kitchen, # 3

Our first visitor appears to be amazing to look at, which is not something I’d ever bother to pick up on either. Since my last relationship fizzled out it’s been easier on my own. Obviously I’ve heard people dish out the ‘drop dead gorgeous’ label, and I never really knew what they meant before. But when I look more closely, backlit by the sun, this guy’s like a composite of all the men I’ve ever swooned over in pictures–

A Winter Warmer at the Little Cornish Kitchen is a heart-melting, feel-good romance.

A clean slate in the world’s cosiest cottage by the sea…

When Gwen Starkey and her best friend, Ella Simpson, arrive in St Aidan to take on a cottage renovation, it’s the fresh start they both so desperately need. But when their new adventure begins with them unintentionally breaking into their neighbour, Ollie Lancaster’s cottage – thinking it’s their new home – and Gwen accidentally flashing the gorgeous Ollie before they flee, the life-long friends realise that life in Cornwall is going to be anything but quiet!

They also quickly discover that they’re in over their heads and it’s going to take a village to turn their cottage’s narrow walls into the luxurious hideaway of their dreams. St Aidan is full of colourful characters just waiting to welcome them, if only Gwen and Ella can find the courage to start leaving the past behind them…

I liked the other two books in this series, but I LOVED this book. I was not expecting to fall so head over heels for the characters and the story. I couldn’t get enough of this book and ended up re-reading it; even though I really don’t have the time, my reading schedule is packed! It is this perfectly cozy fall/winter read and left me feeling just so happy and light. First, let’s talk (gush) about the cover. It’s warm and welcoming and fits the story well, and I love how it stands out from the more cartoonish romance covers out there. So well done, whoever picked that cover.

A Winter Warmer picks up a little after the second book in the series. Like most romance series, this book can be read as a stand-alone. But as usual, I would recommend reading the other two books because they are delightful and filled with delicious food talk. This book would be considered a Christmas holiday book (which you all know I love) since the plot leads up to Christmas day. But this book isn’t inundated with Christmas stuff; Jane weaves the festive holiday throughout the plot but ensures that it doesn’t overwhelm her readers. This story has it all: romance, humour, two fabulous reno projects, and set in that quirky small coastal town. I felt like all the story elements just came together so beautifully. Readers got to meet some fabulous new characters, catch up with the old ones, and of course, there are some adorable animals in this book. The plot moves at that perfect charming romance pace, and along the way, we get to dig deeper into Gwen, Ella, and Ollie’s (the main male character) lives. Each of these characters has wonderful backstories, and there are moments when you will find yourself tearing up. What made me fall in love with this book was Gwen, she is just darn sweet, shy, and likeable, and chaos follows her wherever she goes. She is one of those characters that I instantly connected with. As I read this story, I found myself rooting for her and hoping she would find the courage to start living again. 

The food talk in this book had my stomach growling and wishing I could hop on a plane, so I could eat some wonderful English food. I also loved how Jane added some of Gwen’s recipes at the back of the book. This is great for those keen on trying to recreate some of these yummy dishes. There are also two fabulous reno makeovers in this book! I ate up every description of the two cottages and felt like I just saw how they transformed into two beautiful homes.

The romance between Gwen and Ollie is sweet and delicious, just like a cup of hot chocolate. Their meet-cute moment was hilarious. Gwen’s clumsiness always seemed to come out when Ollie was around, which meant there were lots of awkward moments for poor Gwen. The progression of Gwen and Ollie’s relationship was slow, but it worked for the story and for the characters. Both Ollie and Gwen are trying to cope with the loss of a loved one that has left them scarred and afraid to live their lives. I love how they supported and understood each other. They encouraged each other to step out of their comfort zones. They really were just so well matched. I think I lost count of the number of moments between these two that made my heart go pitter-patter.

A Winter Warmer at the Cornish Kitchen is a sweet and heartfelt holiday novel that you will want to read again and again. 

Thank you, HarperCollins UK and Rachel Random Resources for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.