Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

Review: The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett

Series: Carlton Square #2

Title: The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square

Author: Lilly Bartlett

Publisher:  Harper Impulse

Published: June 23rd, 2017

Pages: 243

Rating: 5/5

My Review:

Ready to read a story about life, living and dreams? Step right this way and visit the Second Chance Café! Emma, from London’s East End, is married to Daniel, from a very wealthy background. The difference in their upbringing doesn’t stop this being a love match but the pressure of twin offspring, setting up and starting the Café, a secret saboteur and so many other life pressures are all impacting on them. This is their story but is also a story of community and motivation, with great characters, plenty of laughs and drama as well as heartwarming incidents.

The Café soon becomes a base for folks using it as a work base, teenagers as well as other young Mums with their offspring. It is the second chance café because Emma has deliberately chosen to employ teens with issues who she thinks deserve a second chance. The two she employs are complete opposites in so many ways but as more about them is revealed they prove to be fantastic characters.

I don’t want to say any more in case I reveal any spoilers – but it really is a well written, enthralling story with characters who grow to be familiar and endearing in very different ways. It is a story of community, charity, rivalry, sabotage and love, a thoroughly enjoyable read that I have no hesitation in highly recommending.

I requested and was gifted a copy of this novel; this is my honest opinion after choosing to read the book.


‘The perfect blend of sweetness and substance, with plenty of laughs along the way’ Debbie Johnson, bestselling author of Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe

One chance isn’t always enough…

Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.

She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.

This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?


Buy Links:    Amazon (UK)         Amazon (US)      

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