It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the café at Seashell Cove, where there’s hot chocolate to keep you warm – and the man of your dreams could be waiting…
Interior designer Tilly Campbell loves being carefree and single. But her latest job is redecorating the cosy local café for a Christmas party, and when her friends confess their plans for the big night – including a proposal, a declaration of love and a pregnancy announcement – Tilly starts to wonder if she might be missing out…
Transforming the café into a winter wonderland is more of a challenge than she thought, so when she bumps into gorgeous newcomer Seth, Tilly welcomes the distraction. Seth is a single father, struggling to settle his son Jack into their new cottage, and Tilly is determined to help them make their house into a home in time for Christmas.
But with the café still in chaos just days before the party it looks like it’s going to be a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons… With friends old and new relying on her, can Tilly save the Christmas party?
And could she finally find love waiting for her under the mistletoe?
A heart-warming, hilarious read about friendship, family and the meaning of Christmas. Perfect for fans of Sue Moorcroft, Holly Martin and Debbie Johnson!
What readers are saying about The Christmas Café at Seashell Cove:
‘A heart-warming, hilarious read about friendship, family and the meaning of Christmas… Get swept away as I did with this book.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Funny from the first page – in fact make that funny from the first paragraph! I so enjoyed this light-hearted and feel-good read… I found myself chuckling along… Engaging and very witty.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘If this book doesn't get you into the spirit of Christmas then I don't know what else will!… I love this series… The setting is fabulous… Sit back and enjoy every aspect of this wonderfulnovel. The Christmas Café at Seashell Cove is one that will definitely warm your heart. It's a fabulous story… One to put a smile on your face and joy in your heart!’ By the Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars
‘Fabulous… I loved reading every moment of this story… Gwen from the cafe was as amusing as ever… A joy to read, this is another lovely story from an author who is fast becoming a drop-everything-and-read-now author – in fact I pretty much did that with this book and didn't regret it. Such a pleasurable story to lose yourself in for a few hours.’ Rachel’s Random Reads, 5 stars
‘What a delightful book!’ Goodreads reviewer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This appears to be the week for "café" books. If holiday stories aren't set in cafes, then they are set in bookstores. Regardless of the setting, however, The Christmas Café at Seashell Cove is a delightful, humorous holiday tale. Seashell Cove is a series by Karen Clarke that features a different resident in each book, although past and future featured characters all make at least a cameo appearance in the current storyline. Tilly is a free spirit who loves to work wherever her heart leads. Currently she is doing interior design work but she refuses to take it too seriously or even call it a "job." She likes getting paid to do what she loves without the strings of a "business" attached. This Christmas, however, her friends and the café owners, are putting a great deal of pressure on her to turn the new addition to the café into something spectacular, each wanting to use the grand opening holiday celebration as a very special occasion to reveal big surprises. In addition, there is a new man in town with a young son who may, or may not, hire Tilly to redecorate his new home. The man, Seth, unfortunately comes with a very overbearing mother who has ideas of her own. There are all of the usual holiday read must-haves: a bit of intrigue, encouraging friends, a colorful character or two and, most importantly, romance with missed cues and crossed signals that can keep the reading enjoyable and interesting. The folks of Seashell Cove always are a delight to catch up with and Tilly's character is one of the best and most interesting to date. If you are a fan of cozy books - mystery or romance - and like a good holiday tale that is not too over-the-top Christmassy, then The Christmas Café at Seashell Cove is a must read for you. Once you've read this one, I encourage you to catch up with the other folks from Seashell Cove. You will be glad that you did.
This is Tilly’s story: Tilly the happy-go-lucky, drifting from one ‘thing’ to another with a flair for decoration. Tilly has always been different from her best friends Cassie and Meg: by the time she was born, her father was eminently successful, her sister was resentful of losing her place in the family, and Tilly didn’t experience the financial struggles her friends had. Now returned from her family’s relocation to Canada, and with her sister and toddler daughter back at home for ‘a break’, an extension on the Café that is to be opened for a party on Christmas Eve and a ‘boyfiend’ her first ‘adult relationship’ in her life – she’s got plenty to keep her busy. The work on the extension is backed up due to a burst pipe, and only a few days are left to get things done. Dating Rufus is making her increasingly uncomfortable, he’s demanding more commitment from her – and pushing her into uncomfortable situations. Her best friends Cassie and Meg are both ‘in love’ and happy- and her sister Bridget is busily applying all of her control freak tendencies to her two year old daughter Romy, while never missing an opportunity to snipe at Tilly and her ‘lack of”. Meanwhile, Tilly is completely obsessed with not breaking her promise to have the function room complete and ready for the party – even as she’s hitting roadblocks left and right, and isn’t completely comfortable with the brusqueness and manner of Gwen – now managing the café as Cassie’s parents are on holiday. An escape walk along the beach leads to Tilly’s diving in the icy water to save a young boy who went in after his dog – an interesting first impression of good parenting from his father, the gorgeous Seth. A former Formula One driver, Seth has purchased a small cottage to live with his son as he tries to bond with the little boy who seems, to Tilly, cloaked in sadness. Seth is trying his best with his fear of rejection keeping him from pushing his son, Jack, into closer quarters. In the midst of a nasty custody battle with his mother, who uses his former career and his history with women after divorcing his son’s mother as a bludgeon – she’s judgmental, sharp, controlling and utterly intimidating Seth- as he’s desperately ceding ground in order to keep Jack with him. With his attraction to , and perceived debt for saving his son, Seth likes Tilly, and the feeling is mutual. But, aside from being kind and mostly happy, Tilly is also completely unselfish – thinking that Seth and her sister would be perfect together – and perhaps that would make things better between them. Clarke does a lovely job of exploring difficult issues with characters who have long played background roles in their own lives. Tilly has the ability to bring laughter, peace and sunshine into the lives she touches, yet rarely thinks of her own desires. Everyone knows that they can rely on her for anything, as long as that anything doesn’t involve her finding just how marvelous she is. This is the book where Tilly learns just how strong, capable and important she is to both Seth, her sister and her friends – and along the way discovers some simple truths about herself: she won’t allow those she cares for to be hurt, and she’ll always go out of her way, in every situation to do what she thinks is best. When she dumps Rufus (far too long after he vandalized the function rooms of the café to ‘make a statement’, she’s more angry than hurt, and learned that her unease with Rufus is a complete contrast t
I love Seashell Cove and want to live there. I want Meg, Tilly and Cassie as my best friends. I previously read The Bakery at Seashell Cove and knew I had to read the next book in the series. The book was a fun read and revolves around Tilly. I loved Tilly and felt bad that no one seemed to have faith that she would get the function room ready on time. Her sister was her worst critic and was obviously jealous of Tilly. Tilly promises to have the new function room ready at café by Christmas Eve. Unfortunately Tilly runs into a few unforeseen problems- a leak, mismatched floorboards and an electrician with a broken arm. Tilly's also having her first grown-up relationship with a man named Rufus. Rufus is definitely an odd character. He wants to be called Roo and is desperate for Tilly to be his date at his brother's wedding. Then there's Bridget, Tilly's older sister. She showed up at home with her three year old daughter Romy. Bridget doesn't seem to like Tilly very much and constantly puts her down. Tilly happens to meet Seth when she saves his son from drowning in the ocean. Of course Meg, Cassie and the always delightful Gwen make appearances. Loved the story, characters and writing style. It's a perfect read for the holidays. Honestly, I pretty much guessed how the story was going to play out as soon as Tilly met Seth. I stilled enjoyed it. I absolutely LOVE Gwen and her innuendos. She singes her eyebrows off and doesn't even bat an eye, just colors them green and red for the holidays. She still loves her cat Dickens. Rufus was a creep fellow. Not sure how vandalism can be seen as a romantic gesture. I can't wait to find out what will happen next at Seashell Cove. Definitely recommend the book and the previous Seashell Cove books. I look forward to reading more by the author. Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author, Karen Clarke, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
My rating: 4.5 Stars Tilly is a woman without a job. But, she certainly has a passion for interior designing. Currently she is renovating at the café in the picturesque sea town of Seashell Cove and is under all sorts of pressure. Meanwhile she runs into Seth Donovan, former race car driver. She manage to save his young son and he is indebted to her. On the home front, Tilly is dating Rufus. At thirty years of age, she truly wonders if this could possibly be her first "real relationship". Also, Tilly's sister, Bridget, and little niece are now living back at home. Tilly learns very quickly that although Simon really wants to repay her for saving his son, that she herself has some saving to do. What she proposes to do to help Simon is genuinely kind, even if it means the man who possibly may have snagged her heart might never, ever be hers. All the while, Simon likes Tilly very much. However, he must contend with his role as a father and with his overbearing mother. The relationships explored in this book are warm and endearing. We are privy to the difficulties that fatherhood brings to Simon and why. We also watch the difficult relationship between Tilly and Bridget ride so many waves. With their age difference and circumstances, as well as the fact that Simon is now in both of their lives, there is the firm question as to whether or not the sisters can actually ever become friends. Lastly, the relationship between Tilly and her friends is absolutely wonderful. They have found love and fulfillment in their lives, and watching the three women together is touching and rewarding. The Christmas Café at Seashell Cove is a wonderfully sweet romance story. Both Tilly and Simon are truly endearing characters and I could not help but to be drawn to both of them. There is a lot of angst and pressure as to whether or not Tilly and Simon will ever find a way to each other. The hurdles they face are numerous. Despite this, the story had quite a few humorous moments and I actually found myself giggling more than once. The comic relief in this book was Gwen, the Café owner. What a hoot! On the flip side, there was Felicity, Simon's mother. The tit-for-tat between Tilly and Felicity was quite fun, despite the seriousness of the situation facing Simon and his son. Not only did this story flow really well, but it pulled on my heartstrings. Ultimately, this is happy story with a delightfully happy ending. This is the third in the Seashell Cove series, of which I had the pleasure of reading the second book. Each story, however, does well as a standalone, but certainly do not hesitate to grab up this entire series and find an enjoyable few days devouring each title. Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for a honest review.
This is my first time reading Karen Clarke's books...I see that there are 2 others in the Seashell Cove story line...glad they are stand alone books Tilly Campbell, is an interior decorator, and he current job is to renovate a room off the side of the cafe...things don't go to plan and problems arise...and she is suppose to have the room done by Christmas Eve. As the story goes along a few people keep telling they have announcements planned for that evening at the party...putting more stress on Tilly... Tilly meets the new resident of Seashell Cove, Seth, in an heart stopping way...but it all works out.. This is a family based, heartwarming story with a Christmas theme that you will want to pick up to read... I can guarantee that this will not be the last book I read by Karen Clarke...