Okay, I ask myself multiple times just why I read any books by Jenny Colgan. Her novels are contemporary women’s literature with a love story mixed in. I don’t like books like this except for novels by Anne Rivers Siddons, Dorothea Benton Frank, Dorothy Allison, and, and, and then it occurs to me (the horror of it all) that I do kind of like contemporary women’s fiction that has a small love story involved. When did this happen? I’m almost appalled at myself for admitting it.
So now I told you about my secret love for this genre which of course explains why I’ve read every book that Jenny Colgan has written. What happened to me? I’ll blame it on old age.
“The Christmas Surprise” is Jenny Colgan’s third book in her Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop novels. Basically the novels center around Rosie who moves from big, busy, bustling London to the little village of Lipton to help care for her aging great aunt Lillian. Lillian owned a sweet shop (candy store for us Yanks) when she was younger and had to let it go to disrepair when she got too old to work. Lillian lives in a small cottage right next door to the shop. As Rosie was helping her aunt she thought about fixing the shop up and reopening it.
That’s the basis. You get the idea and can probably figure out that she did reopen the candy store and how it became a huge success. No big secret there. But during the course of the three books you meet the many characters who live in Lipton and how they took Rosie in as if she’s lived there for many years. Sounds boring to you? Sounds predictable? Yeah it is but I keep reading the Rosie Hopkins books because there is something very appealing about them. You see all the problems she encounters, how she fights for what she wants, how she met her boyfriend, and her friends, and how she gets along with her family who lives in Australia.
Honestly, if I read what the series was about I wouldn’t go near it. Thank goodness I didn’t read anything about the books or Jenny Colgan and just picked up the first book by accident, or luck. Ugh, in a whispered voice I’ll say that I’m happy I did. Don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation to maintain of being a mean old lady.
In “The Christmas Surprise” we read about Rosie’s further adventure in Lipton and how how her life grows even more. No big tragedies here, happy endings all around, and an easy read. If you think you might like to give the series a try you have to read them in order so start with Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams (Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop, #1). Yes, I do recommend this series and all of Ms. Colgan’s books.