Coming Home to the Comfort Food CafeTitle: Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK/Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…

Moving to the little village of Budbury, Zoe hopes the crisp Dorset sea breeze and gentle pace of life will be a fresh start for her and her goddaughter, Martha.

Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the café provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha’s enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for.

Have Zoe and Martha truly found their home at the Comfort Food Café?

The Review

In my four and a half year of doing book reviews I have had the pleasure and the privilege of getting to read the work of some really great authors. The greatest aspect of reviewing though is meeting an author through their writing and then having them become one of your favourite and trusted authors. For me that writer is Debbie Johnson. For me, she can do no wrong and once again she has proven me right with Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café.

I truly believe that Budbury, the Comfort Farm Café and the characters that live there have magical healing powers. I want to live there. I want to be in the novel, in every book in this series.

In this third instalment we meet Zoe and Martha; both broken by the loss of Kate (Zoe’s best friend and Martha’s Mother) and are looking to be healed. Martha has become self destructive since her mother’s death so Zoe makes the decision to relocate to Budbury.

Like the previous novels in the Comfort Food Café series, more than just comfort food will help with the healing process.

Ok, as cheesy as this may sound these books are aptly named. Whenever I read them I do feel comforted. It may be that I feel like I am meeting old friends in the staple characters or the fact that they have managed to remain happy and now are helping others. I just love these books. Long may the series continue.

Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiemjohnsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpulse.com.

5 Stars

A to ZTitle: The A to Z of Everything

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 420 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

P is for Paris where it all began.

J is for Jealousy where it all came undone.

But the most important letter is F.

F is for Forgiveness, the hardest of all.

Sisters Poppy and Rose used to be as close as two sisters could be, but it’s been over a decade since they last spoke. Until they both receive a call that tells them their mother has gone – without ever having the chance to see her daughters reunited.

Andrea, though, wasn’t the kind of woman to let a little thing like death stand in the way of her plans. Knowing her daughters better than they know themselves, she has left behind one very special last gift – the A-Z of Everything.

The Review

Ok, so let me start by saying that I have read nearly all of Debbie Johnson’s novels and I have loved each and every one of them. I am at that stage of book love where I actively look for the next release and get giddy when I know one is coming.

I was very giddy about The A to Z of Everything but I was less giddy about having to wait until April to have to read it but huzzah the great gods of bookish fortune bestowed a magical copy to me.

I realise I am fangirling a bit here but what are you gonna do?

The A to Z of Everything is brilliant. It is best described as a warm hug of a book. There is no way that you can read about the lives of Andrea and her daughters Poppy and Rose without feeling moved. It is a story of dying but not necessarily through death. It is about not living, it is about forgiveness and it is about having no regrets. It is a multifaceted story that touches you on so many levels and it has the kind of writing that makes it difficult to put the book down. It is an honest-to-god page turner.

Overall, I feel it is a cathartic novel. Johnson has managed to put feelings that I have had into the perfect combination to accurately express my own feelings. It is rare when that happens but when it does it is purely magic. Yes, what I am saying is that you all need to read this book.

The A to Z of Everything is Debbie Johnson’s best work yet.

The A to Z of Everything by Debbie Johnson is available from 20th April 2017.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.Facebook.com/debbiejohnsonauthor.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.

5-stars

christmas-at-the-comfort-food-cafeTitle: Christmas at the Comfort Food Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 187 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Blurb

‘Full of quirky characters, friendship and humour, you will devour this engaging and heartwarming novel in one sitting’ – Sunday Express’ S Magazine

‘My new favourite author’ – Holly Martin

Becca Fletcher hates Christmas so much, she’s considering getting ‘Bah Humbug!’ tattooed on her forehead. She has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch; Reasons that make this the very worst time of year for her.

Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura, and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, the smell of pine trees, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

But little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill on a windswept bay, it’s a place full of friendship; a place where broken hearts can heal, and a place where new love can blossom. It’s a place where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

Inviting readers new and old to pull up a cosy armchair, Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe is the novella-length follow-up to the 2016 best-seller Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe.

The Review

I’ve just read the final page of Debbie Johnson’s latest book Christmas at the Comfort Food Café and let out an audible sigh. Many readers will know the sigh that I am talking about. It is the one of contentment; one of complete satisfaction with the story you have just finished. Yes, it is one of comfort.

That is what I felt when I read Christmas at the Comfort Food Café. I felt like I was returning home to friends who I hadn’t seen in a long while.

Christmas at the Comfort Food Café follows Laura’s sister Becca; the one who was the problem child, the black sheep. We learn who she is and how and when she developed this reputation. But things aren’t always what they seem and it appears that Becca is harbouring a secret. Can the magic of the Comfort Food Café cure her like it did Laura?

I loved Christmas at the Comfort Food Café. It had everything you wanted in a story: romance, family drama and Christmas thrown in for measure. Johnson has created a story which is warm hearted and just plain lovely. I genuinely hope we visit the Comfort Food Café again. Maybe this time we can learn more about Willow or even a flashback to Edie’s younger days? Basically, I’m begging you, Debbie Johnson, for more comfort reading.

Christmas at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiejohnsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@Harpermpulse) please visit www.harperimpulseromance.com.

4-stars

Summer at the Comfort Food CafeThe Blurb

‘My new favourite author’ – Holly Martin, bestselling author of ‘Christmas at Lilac Cottage’ & ‘Summer at Rose Island

The brand new book from best-selling author Debbie Johnson will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you raid the pantry in the middle of the night…

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.

For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

The Review

Oh what do I say about Summer at the Comfort Food Café? Before I get into the things I loved (not liked, loved) about this story I want to say how if this book had arms it would grab you and pull you in to the most amazing hug ever. I felt like healed after reading it. I’m not sure what I was healed over…nor was I aware I may have needed healing but Summer at the Comfort Food Café is just magical.

Meet the Walker family: Laura, Lizzie and Nate. They are a family drowning in their grief over the death of a father and husband. They are barely keeping their heads above water with their grief but when Laura sees an advert for a job as a cook she makes the life changing decision to up-sticks from their Manchester home and relocates to Dorset for the summer.

What I loved about Summer at the Comfort Food Café is that Johnson tackled an emotional issue with sensitivity and still managed to make the loss of a husband/father still come across as raw and emotional. It is unthinkably heartbreaking to even imagine what this must feel like yet Johnson portrayed so delicately but still managed to make me cry. Well done!

I really enjoyed the bourgeoning love story of Lizzie and Matt and how they danced around each other – both not sure how to approach each other, they were nervous and ridiculously endearing.

Overall, what I took from Summer at the Soul Food Café is that people can be inherently good. The characters that frequented the Comfort Food Café all tried to help one another; sometimes these may be big gestures and other times they might be small – sometimes a small gesture is all you need and that, to me, was the heart of the novel.

I have yet to read a novel by Debbie Johnson that I haven’t loved and Summer at the Comfort Food Café is no exception. She really is an amazing writer; a writer whose books I eagerly anticipate and you should too.

Summer at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available from 29th January 2016.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnshon) via Twitter.

5 Stars

The Birthday that Changed EverythingThe Blurb

‘A lovely, emotion-filled, giggle-inducing story’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

The Review

Some authors just do it for me. They write stories that I just fall completely in love with. Debbie Johnson is one of those authors.

In her latest novel The Birthday that Changed Everything we meet Sally. She’s about to turn forty. Her daughter, Lucy, makes it obvious that she has no respect for Sally – she eff’s and jeff’s with vim; her son, bless him tries to steady the rocky relationship but even his patience is wearing thing; and she has a husband who has up sticks and left her for lap dancer. Things aren’t looking good for Sally but in a fit of defiance against her crumbling life she books a family holiday that changes her life.

What I loved about The Birthday that Changed Everything is that Johnson breaks down a lot of societal walls. She has a woman who knows that her life isn’t perfect. She knows her relationship is obviously not perfect and she does not have the perfect family (i.e. muck mouth of a daughter). Yes, what Debbie Johnson has so accurately captured in her novel is that people aren’t always perfect and can’t be pigeon-holed. Sally makes you feel ok about yourself. She makes you see that life is messy and you are not always going to be the prettiest, youngest or slimmest person but…and this is the important bit…you can still nab the hunkiest man around. Yes, I used the word “hunkiest” and I am not ashamed of it.

In all seriousness, Debbie Johnson’s The Birthday that Changed Everything is a story with a big heart. It will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed, covered my face in agony and shame, screamed in frustration and felt the truly full happy feeling that you get when you turn the final page of a great story. Sally was the perfect protagonist; Bridget Jones, eat your heart out. There is a new hot mess in town!

The Birthday that Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson is available from 28th January 2016.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) on Twitter.

5 Stars