"The Travelling Tea Shop" by Belinda Jones

Get ready for the sweetest and most delectable road trip of all time.

Laurie has just landed her dream job with a woman she has always admired, well-known British baker Pamela Lambert-Leigh.  As a travel specialist, Laurie is up for anything but this job may be the hardest of all.  Along with Pamela’s mother and sullen teenage daughter, Laurie and Pamela are setting out in a London bus to travel the East Coast of the United States.  Their mission is to bring classic British baking to the US and bring American goodies back home.  But as the women travel the country, family secrets and past heartbreak come to the surface.  Will the English tea shop make it to its final destination, and will romance pop up along the way?

The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones is a mouth-watering tour of the United States combined with the fun and love of a chick lit novel.  Whether you’re a baker or a snacker, you’ll find true enjoyment in this book.

Lately it seems as though books with baking/bakery themes are flooding the market and usually when something like this happens I wonder just how much a new book can add to that.  But this book is unique in its plot and setting which makes it stand out from the rest.   This is part travel guide, part history of baked goods, and all chick lit.

One thing you can definitely say about this book is that it is well-researched (and what fun that research must have been!)  What I liked most about this book was how much it uses real places and people in the story.  Anyone who is familiar with this part of the United States will enjoy travelling along with the book. As well, anyone who is a baker will enjoy the history of some of England’s and America’s favourite desserts.  

Which brings me to what I didn’t like about the book.  For me, as someone who loves to eat desserts but isn’t exactly into making them, there was a lot of descriptions about food that were a bit too lengthy to me.  The desserts overtook the stories.  Now I know I hear a lot of people saying “and what’s the big deal with that?” So it’s just a warning that at times it may come across as more of a cookbook or travel book than a novel.

I enjoyed all of the characters in this book and I thought that their stories were great.  There could have been more development of them, especially the romances that bloom throughout the book, but they seem to have been sacrificed a bit for the other parts.  I definitely wanted to spend more time with these characters and learn more about them.

This is the first book I have read by Belinda Jones and it seems from looking around that most of her books have travel elements.  I love a good chick lit novel set against a foreign backdrop so after reading this book I will definitely give some of her other books a read.  This one definitely made me want to jump on a London bus and travel the United States in search of cake.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley.  The opinions expressed above are my own.


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