Review of Bella’s Christmas Bake Off

3.5 stars

I have to admit this is the first Sue Watson book I have read but being a fan of Bake Off and liking the premise of the book and the Christmas-time setting I decided to give it a go. (Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for agreeing to let me have a copy in exchange for a review).

Just before Christmas Amy Lane’s apparently happy life comes crashing down around her as she discovers her husband has been cheating on her when he announces he is leaving. Following this revelation Amy spends some time helping out her friend at the local homeless shelter and realises how lucky she is to still have a roof over her head even though her marriage is over. Around this time she also discovers that her former best friend Bella Bradley has made a recipe book from her mothers recipes and is passing it off as her own. Amy and Bella were friends until something (later revealed) happened when they were 18/19 and Bella left and never spoke to Amy again. Despite this Amy has been watching her TV show and trying to make contact for 20 years (I don’t understand why, but she has) so when she realises what Bella is doing with her mothers recipes she wins a competition to star on the show and decides to sort things out once and for all. Needless to say things are not as she expects.

Whilst I enjoyed this book and the characters in it, even the ones I didn’t like much, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I think that is partly why I haven’t rated it higher. The characters were well written, Amy’s husband is so loathsome and slimy that I’ve even forgotten his name, Amy is a bit of a wet blanket to start with but improves through the book, Bella is icy and uncaring or is she?…….. and the remaining characters all have interesting quirks or secrets that are more believable than they might seem. I didn’t find the book as funny as I expected it to be but there are definitely funny movements, including a hilarious one with a plastic ham! Despite not rating this higher than I have this has definitely not put me off this author and I would happily try another of her books.

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