Cupcakes at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I used to very much love reading Brit chick-lit & it's been quite a while since I've delved into one. This caught my eye for a few reasons, the Brit chick-lit thing, that its setting is a department store & that I'm looking very much forward to Mr. Selfridge. This is part of my Downton Abbey season gap therapy, so don't judge. I am also happy that this book is the first in a series. I liked all of the characters & really liked Georgie, so I want to see how this all plays out.
There's the usual retail therapy, brand name flurry & the main character with money troubles but instead of it being staid & boring, Georgie made it fresh. The descriptions of Sam's tea shop made me want to pull up a cupcake & stay a while. The same feel applied to the description of Carrington's. I liked taking a break & "shopping" vicariously as Georgie narrated. She had me at "handbag". I automatically adored Cieran, Sam & Eddie. Tina not only had a bad attitude she had horrendous taste. Her description of what she was having at the wedding was cringeworthy, gave me Kyle/Chardonnay (Footballer's Wives) nuptial flashbacks & I rooted for & then reveled in everything crashing and burning around her. It was great payoff & only second to Camille's epic takedown. Maxine was also perfect in her role as stress-inducing hatchet woman when she swooped down on Carrington's to revitalise & restructure. Kon Malikov was easy to spot as a problem & it only got worse when the necklace entered the picture. And James... ugh. Not worth half the angst Georgie expended on him. I was all-in for Tom from the start. He just struck me as the one for Georgie. Through it all, as Georgie was trying not to but still creeping along making the small mistakes that inevitably would snowball, I cringed & waited but I never stopped caring that she'd make it all okay in the end. Even when she was being a ninny, double-doubting herself & not speaking up when she should, I was never fed up enough not to stick with her. I was willing her to quit the job, get out from the work stress & paranoia & get a decent night's sleep. I liked her & rooted for her all the way.
This was just the thing I needed to read. A bit of a light-hearted story with pretty things & just enough problems woven in to keep the story fresh but not weigh it down. I was smiling when it was over. I'll be looking forward to the next in the series.
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