The Pumpkin Spice Cafe by Laurie Gilmore
Social media is a strange beast. On the one hand it can drive you absolutely mad with images of carefully curated and seemingly perfect lives. Adverts pepper our feeds for items that we never knew we wanted or even needed. At it's worst it can affect our mental health as we forget to look at the world around us and just be. But every now and then social media can be a force for good. It connects people with shared passions, we find new stories to read, and it sometimes allows us to tell a very important story.
In the case of some very clever marketing, it can also lead us to a lovely autumnal series, with the promise of lots of coffee, oranges and russet browns and a hint of romance. Such was the case with The Pumpkin Spice Cafe that began to feature on a lot of my social media feeds. And with uncustomary abandon, I treated myself to a copy. (On the kindle, I hadn't completely given myself over to wilful wildness!). So how did it fare? Is it worth the hype. Let's find out shall we?
When Jeanie’s aunt gifts her the beloved Pumpkin Spice Café in the small town of Dream Harbour, Jeanie jumps at the chance for a fresh start away from her very dull desk job.
Logan is a local farmer who avoids Dream Harbour’s gossip at all costs. But Jeanie’s arrival disrupts Logan’s routine and he wants nothing to do with the irritatingly upbeat new girl, except that he finds himself inexplicably drawn to her.
Will Jeanie’s happy-go-lucky attitude win over the grumpy-but-gorgeous Logan, or has this city girl found the one person in town who won’t fall for her charm, or her pumpkin spice lattes…
These marketing people sure know a thing or two about getting a book out there! And thank goodness, they have directed us to The Pumpkin Spice Cafe. This is the first in the Dream Harbour series, the next title due in Summer 2024 and hinted at, at the end of this novel.
The first thing to say is the obsession with Gilmore Girls. Look at the author's name (a mash up of Lorelai Gilmore and the actress playing her perhaps??), the same quirky small town, the comical town's meeting, a mayor who makes decisions based on his dreams, and the Pumpkin Spice Cafe serving a cup of delicious coffee and freshly baked goodies. It could be Stars Hollow. This will definitely appeal to fans of the programme and why not? There's a reason why the show's quirkiness appeals, especially in Autumn.
The plot is great. Jeanie inherits the Pumpkin Spice Cafe from her Aunt who has retired to the Caribbean, she meets handsome farmer Logan. Logan is struggling to love again after a disastrous marriage proposal that was turned down but is equally attracted to Jeanie. Throughout the book is a will they/won't they scenario but peppered with lots of other details. A mystery at the cafe, sabotage, an apple festival. It is all going on here.
This reminded me very much of Sarah Morgan's Puffin island series, the same likeable characters, a lovely setting and the promise of another romance on the horizon.
This was a lovely autumnal read, and I would say if you are a fan of The Gilmore Girls or just want a cosy Autumnal read, then this is definitely for you. I very much enjoyed this, and am already looking forward to the next book.