The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane

by Sheila Roberts

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778316183
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Series: Life in Icicle Falls Series , #5
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 211,374
Product dimensions: 4.13(w) x 6.66(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (

Read an Excerpt

The party was going perfectly until the hostess clutched her stomach with an agonized cry and crumpled to the floor.

Rory Rourke, her boyfriend and star of the new TV series Man Handled, knelt by the woman's side and barked, "Someone, call 911."

"Call her doctor," said someone else.

"Call the Star Reporter" the victim said faintly.

And that was when Bailey Sterling knew she was in trouble.

She'd been so excited to land this gig catering Samba Barrett's party. Samba wasn't an Emma Stone or Kristen Stewart, but she was…someone. Sort of. And with her catlike green eyes and red hair, she was on her way up, like the rest of her party guests. It was what everyone said. And surely that had meant Bailey was on her way up, too. The West Hollywood apartment had been packed with hot young actors and actresses. As she'd slipped among them bearing trays of goodies, she'd heard more than one person rave about the food and had envisioned a whole string of catering gigs after this one.

The shrimp salsa in phyllo cups had been an especially big hit. "Oh, my God, this is to die for," Angelica Winston (from the new reality show Hard Ass) had raved. Bailey had smiled modestly and kept circulating, while her assistant Giorgio served up stuffed mushrooms. She'd been working for the past three years to earn a reputation as caterer to the stars, and things were finally starting to happen.

Except here was Samba Barrett, writhing on her living room floor, groaning in agony. Twenty minutes ago she'd been eating those shrimp cups and laughing. Did she have food allergies she hadn't told Bailey about? Samba had gone over the menu with her, approved everything. How could this have happened? Was Bailey going to be known as killer of the stars?

Thirty people gathered around the actress, some offering advice, some taking pictures with their cell phones, others texting wildly. Bailey stood on the fringe and nervously downed one of her own appetizers.

"You'll be okay, baby," Rory Rourke assured Samba.

"I think I ate something bad," she whimpered.

"Oh, no, that's not possible," Bailey protested, and everyone turned to look at her. One woman aimed her cell phone at Bailey, capturing her miserable expression. This couldn't be happening.

But it could. And it was. Now Bailey felt sick. She lost her grip on the tray of canapés she was carrying and down they went, the tray landing on the Jimmy Choos of one of the party guests busily recording her hostess's misery on her cell phone.

The woman next to her let out a yelp and jumped back, then glared at Bailey.

"Sorry," Bailey muttered and bent to scoop the mess onto the tray. In the process she managed to get in the way of another guest, nearly tripping him.

He didn't settle for glaring. He swore at her.

Catering hell—that was what this was. Bailey made a dash for the kitchen and hid out, watching the drama unfold from behind the counter.

The ambulance arrived, and the EMTs showed up to take Samba's vitals and load her onto a stretcher. Then away she went, a pitiful—but gorgeous—victim of Sterling Catering.

The guests switched from eating to drinking. Rory told Bailey she could clean up and leave, and not in the kindest tone of voice. He didn't offer to pay her, and she didn't ask. All she wanted to do was get out of that cramped apartment full of the young and the beautiful.

By the time she left, the media was waiting. Photographers snapped her picture, and reporters stuck microphones in her face. "Have you catered for Samba before?"… "Has Samba threatened to sue?"… "What's your relationship with Rory Rourke?"

Bailey stood there like Bambi staring at the headlights of a Mack truck, her toque askew, offering quotable quotes such as, "What?"

She quickly realized that it was time to scram and bolted for the van where Giorgio was loading up boxes of supplies…and telling a reporter that he wasn't involved with any of the food prep. "I'm only doing this while I wait to hear from my agent. We've got something big in the works. Giorgio Romano. R-o-m…"

Bailey tossed in the last of her serving equipment, then tugged on his double-breasted white jacket and growled, "Get in the van," even as the vultures who'd been talking to him now turned their attention to her.

He scowled at her but got moving.

They drove away with photographers pointing their cameras and shooting. "What were you thinking?" she demanded, swerving to avoid one.

"I wasn't thinking anything. I was just answering questions."

"Well, thanks a lot," she snapped.

He held out both hands. "What did you want me to do?"

"How about saying that Sterling Catering was not responsible for Samba Barrett's illness?" she suggested, her voice rising.

"I can't be sure of that," Giorgio said sullenly.

"You've been working for me for six months now, Giorgio. You know how good I am. You could have said something." Was there no loyalty in the world? She brushed away a tear.

"I told you, I'm only here until I get my break."

"And I suppose that was it," she said in disgust. "Getting your name in the paper as a caterer?"

"Every little bit helps," he retorted. "Publicity is great, even if it's bad."

Not for a caterer. She had a small liability policy, but it didn't cover bad press. Overwhelmed with misery, Bailey pulled off the road and began to cry in earnest.

Giorgio sat there in what she thought was silent sympathy. Until he said, "Here, let me drive. I've got a date."

She raised her tearstained face from the steering wheel. "A date? You were working the party."

"Yeah. But when it ended early…" He shrugged. "Sorry."

Sorry about summed it up.

After a long day of work punctuated hourly by texts from her miserable little sister, Cecily Sterling was standing in line at the Icicle Falls Safeway with her recharge essentials—a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and a bag of Cheetos. It seemed everyone else in Icicle Falls had had a long day at work, too, and the store was packed.

She'd already run into Dot Morrison, who'd eyed her purchases and said, "Now, that's my kind of dinner."

She'd planned on adding more to her "dinner," but she'd spotted Luke Goodman, the production manager at her family's chocolate company, in the cookie department with his daughter, Serena, and had decided to skip the cookies.

Not that she didn't want to see little Serena or, as Serena would insist, Big Serena now that she'd "graduated" from kindergarten. Serena's visits to the Sweet Dreams Chocolates office with her grandma gave Cecily her kid fix on a regular basis.

But Serena's daddy was another matter.

Luke Goodman was a nice guy. He had the husky build of a wrestler (which he'd been in high school), kind blue eyes and a great smile. He was a widower, and he'd been interested in Cecily ever since she'd moved back home to Icicle Falls. The only problem was that she wasn't interested in him as anything more than a friend.

She should have been. What was wrong with her, anyway? She had such a gift for matching up other people. She'd brought together friends in high school and in college; thanks to her, a lot of weddings had taken place. She'd even been in the matchmaking business, for crying out loud. She could size people up and instinctively know who should be with whom. But when it came to herself she knew nothing. She'd been engaged twice, and each man had turned out to be a loser and a user. Pathetic.

Luke was neither of those, and he wanted her. So why did her stupid hormones do the happy dance every time she got anywhere near Todd Black?

Todd had also been after her ever since she'd moved home. He owned The Man Cave, a seedy tavern at the edge of town, and he was no Luke Goodman. He looked like Johnny Depp's kid brother, and he was a heartbreak waiting to happen. He had bad boy written all over him, from the double entendre s he was so good at throwing Cecily's way to how he looked at her, as if she were a chocolate bar he'd like to unwrap. Slowly. Luke Goodman was the kind of man who married a girl, but Todd Black was the kind who slept with her and then conveniently forgot to call the next day.

She should have no interest whatsoever in Todd Black. And she certainly should never have agreed to stop by his tavern on Friday night to play pinball when she'd run into him earlier that day at Bavarian Brews.

But he'd caught her in a weak moment. She'd been worried about her younger sister, Bailey, and she'd said yes without thinking. At least that was her excuse. She really couldn't blame her moment of weakness on preoccupation, though. Insanity was the true culprit. Anytime she was around that man he heated up her hormones and fried her brain. Now she was going to go home and rewire the synapses with junk food and a long bubble bath. She enjoyed making bath salts and bubble bath and could hardly wait to indulge in her latest creation—lavender-vanilla.

She'd barely gotten in line when Cass Wilkes walked up behind her and said hi. "Ice cream—food of the gods."

Cass was Cecily's sister Samantha's BFF, but she'd opened the door of friendship to Cecily, too, and they saw each other every Sunday at Cass's chick-flick nights and during their monthly book-club meetings.

Cecily smiled, feeling slightly embarrassed. That was both the beauty and the curse of living in a small town. Everyone knew your business. "Not exactly the diet special, is it?"

"No, but I can't exactly say anything." Cass held up her shopping basket, which contained a pizza and a two-liter bottle of root beer. "You can see we're eating well tonight."

The basket also held a bag of ready-made salad. "It's not all bad," Cecily said, pointing to the salad. "And pizza has good things on it."

"That's what I keep telling myself. I also keep telling myself that I'm only going to eat the salad and leave the pizza for the kids. But I'm lying."

"Life's too short not to eat pizza," Cecily said with a smile. The smile fell away when her cell phone started singing Bailey's ringtone, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

Bailey's life had been anything but fun the past couple of days. She had called Cecily the evening of the disastrous party, practically hysterical. They'd pulled in Samantha, who had found Bailey a tough L.A. lawyer, but no legal shark could save her from bad publicity. Of course, the story had made the papers, and all the TV stations had repeatedly run the footage of her van driving away, leaving the scene of the "crime." Naturally, they'd zoomed in on Sterling Catering painted on the side of the van. Word of mouth had added to the avalanche of bad press. People who'd booked her for their events had been calling right and left and canceling.

Cecily answered, bracing herself for more bad news.

Sure enough. "Have you seen the Star Reporter?"

Oh, no. What now? Cecily turned to the magazine rack near the cash register. There, on the front of the latest popular celebrity news rag, was a picture of Bailey in her white caterer's coat, standing outside Samba Barrett's apartment building. She was wearing an expression of shock, along with her chef's toque, her big hazel eyes wide and her mouth dangling open. She looked more confused than crazy. In fact, she looked like the village idiot. The bold print above the picture proclaimed, Samba Barrett Poisoned? Crazy Caterer Tries to Take Out the Competition.

"Oh, no." Cecily dropped her junk food on the checkout conveyor belt and grabbed the magazine.

Cass, standing right next to her, took one, too, muttering, "Those creeps."

"This is the worst yet. I'm ruined!" Bailey wailed.

"That headline doesn't make sense. What competition are they talking about?" Cecily asked, trying to balance her cell phone, calm her sister and turn to the article all at the same time.

"They're saying I had a thing for Rory Rourke, which is ridiculous. I don't even know Rory Rourke. I didn't know any of those people!"

During the past forty-eight hours, Bailey's moods had swung between grim resignation and wild hysteria. It wasn't hard to tell what mode she was in now. "This is a gossip rag," Cecily reminded her. "You can't believe what you read in papers like this. Nobody takes this stuff seriously."

"My business is trashed. My life is trashed. I don't even have money to pay for the lawyer."

"Samantha and I told you not to worry about that," Cecily told her. "It's being taken care of." News had traveled as fast around Icicle Falls as it had in L.A., and Dot Morrison and Pat Wilder, two of the town's older businesswomen, had already set up a special bank account for Bailey's defense fund.

Not that she was going to need it. Anyone with eyes could see the actress had pulled a cheap publicity stunt. The lawyer was on top of things, and Cecily was sure that before the month was over, Bailey would be out from under this. She said as much, hoping to calm her sister.

"It's just…this article," Bailey said between sobs. "I'm nothing like that. And I worked so hard to build my business. Now it's…gone."

Cecily wished she could reassure her, but in Hollywood, where making an impression was everything, well, it didn't look good for Sterling Catering. "Come home," she said.

"I can't."

Cecily knew how hard it was to give up a dream. She also knew how hard it was to come full circle, right back to where you started. She'd done it herself. It had turned out to be exactly what she needed, and she was much happier working in the family business than she'd been trying to match up gold diggers with shallow men who wanted Playboy bunnies.

"Think about it," she urged. "Everyone here loves you."

"That's for sure," Cass said over her shoulder.

"I can't even leave my apartment. There are reporters hiding in the bushes."

"They won't hide there forever. And I can guarantee they won't follow you here," Cecily said. At least she hoped they wouldn't. "The story will die down as soon as the next manufactured scandal hits. Which, I predict, will be sometime within the next seventy-two hours."

"I asked her if she had any allergies," Bailey said. "I have all kinds of menus to choose from, and she chose that one."

"Don't worry. This will all work out," Cecily promised.

It was as if Bailey hadn't heard. "I'm ruined," she said again.

"Only temporarily."

"Well, how long is temporary?" Bailey cried. That was something for which Cecily had no answer.

Ruined, Bailey thought miserably as she ended the call with her sister. She'd gone to the hospital to see Samba, thinking maybe they could talk, that she could explain why her food couldn't possibly have made the actress sick. She'd even brought flowers. She'd encountered a hired guard at the door of Samba's private room, and all he'd allowed in had been the flowers, along with the get-well card on which Bailey had written, I hope you feel better soon. But now she hoped Samba contracted terminal acne.

Well, okay, not really. She liked to think she was better than that.

Samba was out of the hospital the next day, shopping on Rodeo Drive, pretending to look annoyed when photographers took her picture. Of course, she'd given a quote to any paper that was interested. "I really don't know what happened."

Bailey knew what had happened. She'd been duped.

"All I want is to put this behind me," Samba said, posing like a tragic heroine.

Sure, now that she'd milked all the free publicity she could out of ruining Bailey. Rumor had it that Samba had been offered a part in a pilot for a new TV series, some sort of female detective show. (That was rich. Samba Barrett, who had just faked her own food poisoning, solving crimes.)

Meanwhile, Bailey couldn't even get a job catering to street people. She'd been dubbed "the party poisoner," and not only had she lost business, but she was also the butt of everyone's jokes. One late-night TV host had cracked that he'd planned to hire a caterer for his birthday party but changed his mind since he wanted to live to see his next birthday. Ha-ha.

She'd finally given a quote to the Star Reporter, a diplomatic but strongly worded quote, insisting, "I don't know what happened to Samba, but I know it wasn't my food that made her sick. No one else at that party got ill."

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The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Griperang72 More than 1 year ago
As with the rest of this series I absolutely loved this book. When I start reading any of Sheila's book I want to savor each of them so I find myself reading even slower so that it will last me. I felt so bad for Bailey when the start faked the food poisoning - I don't know if I would have been as nice as Bailey was - I think I would have sued her for slander. It was so nice that the sisters stepped in and brought Bailey home to help her get through this tough time. As for Cecily - I also felt bad for her as it seems she just can't get a break when it comes to love. I don't want to spoil the story by telling you what happens but you will be happy with the ending. I would love to live in Icicle Falls as it is such a quaint little town with such good people. 
Ilana Rabone More than 1 year ago
What can I say. I love all of Sheila Roberts books. and highly recommend them. "The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane" is one of her best books. It's well written and highly entertaining!
carsue More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. It was tender and well written and I though of it as a Love story. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Title: The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane Author: Sheila Roberts Publisher: Harlequin MIRA Series: Life In Icicle Falls # 5 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 4.5 Review: "The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane" by Sheila Roberts Book Description.... "When it comes to men, sisters don't share! After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling's dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflé. Now Bailey's face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she'll stay with her sister Cecily. All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea—a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She's going into partnership with Todd Black, who—it turns out—is the man Cecily's started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there's more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she's not pleased. Wait! Isn't Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He's a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd's the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?" What I liked about this novel.... I liked this story of sisters.. Samantha, Cecily and Bailey which was of how important this family was as they were able to come together in the end in the very close community of Icicle Falls. This author really gives the reader something to think about...not only with the importance of a family but also shows the part of hopes and dreams that will come into the mixture to create a successful trade putting everything front and center of this storyline. This will definitely be a story that when you think you have it all figured out this author manages to throw you a twist that will have you shaking your head and saying I didn't see that coming! Icicle Falls is a small time where it seemed like 'everyone is in everyone else's business' in this fifth installment of this authors contemporary romance series. Be ready for lots of drama... and issues with self esteem especially from one of the sisters, relationships and small town life. Now, Bailey returns home to wallow in self pity...then will there be a game of cat and mouse by ..., a love triangle and the partnership? What is all that all about with Bailey and Cecily? I found all of the characters for the most part well developed, colorful, humorous at times, with friendships, realistic and it was so very believable. Will these sisters be able to make up and not a anyone come between them? I will stop here and say to find out about what all is going on in this storyline you must pick up this read to see for yourself how well written this author presents this detailed description of 'Icicle Falls' story to the reader. I found the story will be very intriguing as well as entertaining that will keep your attention all the way to the happy ending. Be ready for 'love, laughter, friendship, family living a good life' as this read of 'Icicle Falls' as you are presented another good series. What else I especially liked about the novel.... At the end of the novel you will be given some useful recipes that sounded good to me.....Lavender Cake & Frosting and the Lavender Honey definitely giving this novel a nice addition to this read.
lindyLW More than 1 year ago
This book I could not put down, Sheila writes a book you will love. It is in a town you want to live in, with people you want as your friends. The sister`s got in an argument, but got back together and it was emotional while they did. I know you will enjoy the book and especially the series
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars;  THE TEA SHOP ON LAVENDER LANE is the fifth instalment in Sheila Roberts’ adult, contemporary Life In Icicle Falls romance series. This is the fifth story in the series, and it can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty but saying that there are many characters from previous storylines with a history in Icicle Falls that I would have like to have met before reading this book as they are mentioned or play a significant role in the story.  Told from several third person POVs, the focus of the story centers on sisters Bailey and Cecily Sterling-drama queens to the max with issues of self esteem. Bailey has returned to Icicle Falls following a PR disaster in LA where she was accused of serving tainted food to an upstart starlet. With her now defunct catering business to the stars all but destroyed Bailey returns home to wallow in self pity when an idea from an unlikely source has Bailey partnering with her sister Cecily’s wanna-be boyfriend Todd Black in a tea room business venture.  Cecily, ex-matchmaker and part owner of the family run chocolate shop, is attracted to two men-fellow employee (and widowed father) Luke Goodman, and bad boy Todd Black-tavern owner and hot sex on a stick. One man is safe and secure, while the other is every woman’s wet dream but Cecily wants both men for different reasons, and plays one against the other in a dangerous game of courtship and rivalry. While Cecily plays push and pull with both men, she doesn’t see that Todd is falling for his new business partner and in this, sibling jealousy, is taken to a whole new level. Todd is falling in love with Cecily’s sister Bailey while Cecily continues her game of cat and mouse.  To be honest, this was one of the most frustrating storylines I have read in a long time. Cecily played with both men’s emotions and hearts, and in  this the anxiety level rose exponentially. Her immature behavior amounted to nothing but a tease for the two men in her life and, the reader as well. It was difficult to understand Cecily’s behavior, as though she was the wounded party, especially when she blamed everything on her sister Bailey. The secondary characters are colorful and add to the already unstable personas of our leading heroines. The Sterling sisters make sibling rivalry and jealousy an art form. THE TEA SHOP ON LAVENDER LANE is an interesting story about four people pulled together by circumstance and family; where jealousy makes for an uncomfortable setting; and falling in love is a matter for the heart and not the mind. There is no sex, no graphic violence and no graphic language-a throw back to another time and place.
danlovesmary More than 1 year ago
Icicle Falls is once again the place to be if hunky guys - spunky, smart AND beautiful women - gorgeous scenery - and plenty of romance in the air is what you're looking for. Sheila Roberts takes us back to the fictional town of Icicle Falls, WA where we get to check in on old friends (this is #5 in a series). When sister vs sister over a certain Mr. starts to involve the whole town, THE TEA SHOP ON LAVENDER LANE becomes a real page-turner, keeping the reader guessing until the end. The Icicle Falls series are all stand-alone books but you'll find yourself wanting to know each and every character even better. Luckily, you can do that in the rest of this romantic, funny, and heartwarming series set in everybody's favorite small town, Icicle Falls.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Welcome back to picturesque Icicle Falls, Washington! In the fifth installment of the Life in Icicle Falls series, author Sheila Roberts provides her readers with a tale of romance and sisterly bonds. In true Sheila Roberts fashion, The Tea Shop On Lavender Lane is told in the third person narrative that alternates between sisters Bailey and Cecily Sterling as they struggle to maintain their sisterly bonds when bad boy tavern owner Todd Black complicates their lives with a mixture of business and pleasure! The reader is transported back to the picturesque Bavarian style small mountain town of Icicle Falls, Washington, which is nestled in the Cascade Mountains, where they catch up with all the familiar townspeople from the previous books in the series, as well as meeting new lovable characters. This series is simply delightful, the storyline picks up where the last book left off, it flows seamlessly and is so entertaining that you can't help but become captivated and invested in the lives that inhabit Icicle Falls. The reader easily gets drawn into this story about family, friendship, support, and finding love. Through the laughter, smile, and tears, you'll find yourself cheering on Bailey and Cecily as they each overcome lifestyle obstacles, insecurities, family drama, and strive to find joy and love in their lives. With a wonderful cast of characters who are realistic and lovable, humorous dialogues and interactions, and a richly detailed description of the town of Icicle Falls, The Tea Shop On Lavender Lane is a lighthearted romance story full of love, laughter, friendship, family, and living a good life, that will leave you wanting to return to Icicle Falls for another enjoyable visit. I love, love, love this series! The Tea Shop On Lavender Lane is the fifth book in the Life in Icicle Falls series.
Kris_Kringle More than 1 year ago
Nice little cozy book and wonderful characters!
cnapper67 More than 1 year ago
This was such a great story. It dealt with love and how do you know that you have found the right one. What happens when you think you have found the right one but the right one finds your sister? That is the problem Cecily is facing with her sister Bailey. Bailey has to come home to Icicle Falls after an incident in LA ruins her catering company. Things are great with the sisters until Bailey goes into business with the guy Cecily is dating, Todd Black, to open a Tea Shop. I really enjoyed the story and always love visiting Icicle Falls. Now I want a tea shop! I would recommend this story to anyone you enjoys a feel-good romance with small town appeal. I am looking forward to visiting Icicle Falls again!
CathieN More than 1 year ago
Sheila, your Icicle Falls series gets better and better. I truly loved this one. The angst between the sisters just brought forth the angst between my sister and I as we have aged and how good it is now. And your depiction of Icicle Falls makes me wish I lived in that kind of town. I'm glad to know that this town actually exists though it's not named Icicle Falls. Thank you again for writing this one especially!!!!
Shelby_Mead More than 1 year ago
This was another amazing book by Sheila Roberts! I'd like to say that this one is my favorite so far, but then I'd like to say that after every one of them. The truth is, I love them all and picking a favorite would be like trying to pick a favorite Icicle Falls resident. It's just not possible! The Teas Shop on Lavender Lane is especially good because it's all about starting over and coming home, finding love, and the power of family...especially that close bond that can only be held by sisters. I loved getting to know the Sterling girls a little bit better. I loved the mouth watering dishes. And I loved the awesome camaraderie and togetherness that somehow is unique to Icicle Falls. I can't wait to read Sheila's next book, The Lodge on Holly Road, I can't wait to try all of the yummy recipes that "Bailey" included for us at the end of the book, but most of all I can't wait to recommend this fabulous book to all of my bookworm buddies. So send the kids outside to play, make yourself a cup of chocolate mint tea, put your feet up, and read The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane for yourself. You won't regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mmm that sounds really good right now. Are you an only child?
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane is Sheila Roberts’ 5th highly successful novel in the Life in Icicle Falls series, and can easily be read as a stand-alone story without reading prior books. Be prepared, though, because if this is the first one you read, you will want to read them all! Giving up her hopes and dreams to be a caterer to the stars in LA, Bailey Sterling moves back to Icicle Falls where her sisters and mother are. She tries to start again in her home town, but when she gets nervous, she gets clumsy – the kinds of days I thought I was the only one who had – and starting over becomes even more discouraging. Cecily Bailey works as the marketing expert extraordinaire at the family business, Sweet Dreams Chocolates. Luke Goodman is a stable, loving man who wants to have a chance to show Cecily that he is the right choice for her. A widower, his adorable daughter Serena and Luke seem like the perfect match for Cecily. But behind the scenes, she is torn in two, attracted to Todd Black, local bad boy and owner of the Man Cave. Todd has a new business venture that is perfect for Bailey, a lovely Victorian home with mature landscaping to turn into a tea shop on gorgeous Lavender Lane. Bailey and Todd begin a partnership and the sisters go to battle. First, I’d love to visit Icicle Falls, Washington. It sounds a bit like a little Bavarian town near where I grew up in the Midwest, except for the mountains and proximity to the ocean. It is hard to choose just one favorite character in this novel! I know who I would choose as the best man, and sympathize with Cecily’s dilemma regarding Luke. Conflicts, conversations, and descriptions are skillfully and creatively realistic for today’s woman (and sisters). Returning in this novel in a place of importance is Muriel, the girls’ widowed mother, who is a veritable treasury of wisdom and love. This is a delightfully well-written contemporary romance! If there was anything I was uncomfortable with, it is the change in the level of sensuality described in later novels in the series. The first two books in the series would have been acceptable for “younger” young adults, but I would definitely not want my granddaughter reading this book until she is a much older teen. There are, however, no R-rated seduction scenes, which makes this granny looking forward to the next in the series! By the way, very attractive cover! The colors, the Tea Time shop and surrounding lavender, mountains in the background – what gal in her right mind would rather be in the big city when this awaits? This cover invites one to buy the book and open it today! I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads contest. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this book. It continues the story of the people from Icicle Falls and brings in familiar people from the other books in this series. I really enjoyed this book and anything that Shelia writes is an outstanding read. I highly recommend reading this book and the others in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the latest installment of life in the fun fictional Pacific Northwest town of Icicle Falls! Sheila's books make me want to move there. Her characters are funny, real, and entertaining. The stories are always interesting. Sheila weaves stories that are so much fun to read, and I can't wait for the next book in the series. This is book five, so be sure to read them all! Just waiting for the next one. ENJOY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love going back to the town of Icicle Falls especially when an old friend that I've gotten to know in another of Sheila's stories makes an appearance. This is the case with Cecily Sterling and I like finding out what she has been up to. This book is a great summer read and should be in every persons beach bag!
miafaccheeMP More than 1 year ago
What a great book!  I so enjoy my visits to Icicle Falls!  This is the story of two sisters who fall for the same guy.  Cecily Sterling thinks that Todd Black could be "the one", despite some red flags & the attentions of Luke Goodman, who has had a crush on her since high school.  When her sister, Bailley, returns home, it's love at first sight between her & Todd Black, making for an interesting situation.  You'll love this story!
DeanPF More than 1 year ago
The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane once again takes us to Icicle Falls, an idyllic town in the mountains of Washington State. This is the fourth or fifth book that take takes place there, part of Sheila’s life in Icicle Falls series. I was first introduced to the town and it’s inhabitants after reading Better than Chocolate. This story is also about the Sterling sisters and Bailey’s return to life in Icicle Falls after a horrible publicity stunt left her practically bankrupt in Los Angeles. When Bailey returns, her and her sister Cecily, become interested in the same man for the different reasons. What is so wonderful about Sheila’s stories and writing is that Cecily and Bailey could be any two sisters, siblings, cousins, best friends, fighting over the same person. I think deep down inside we’re all looking for love and that’s what makes us so crazy in that dating stage. We’ve all been afraid someone was going to take our man. But the great thing about The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane is that it begs the question, so if someone did take your man, is he the one meant for me? Another thing I love about The Life in Icicle Falls series is the wisdom provided by town author and Sterling family matriarch, Muriel Sterling. The theme with this book is starting over, which is why Bailey returns to Icicle Falls to begin with. For writers: Every book I read, I always try to glean a lesson for my own writing. Sheila is the master of point of view, so if you’re trying to hone your POV skills, read Sheila’s books. She even wrote an m/f romance from the guy’s point of view, and did it beautifully. That’s what makes Tea Shop so good, you get to see the situation from everyone’s point of view and that creates tension and heightens the ebbs and flows of the plot. I am a member of Sheila’s street team, so I received a copy of the book well before it was released. But I still have one question for Sheila, when are we going to see Muriel Sterling’s books available????
LindaMcNeley More than 1 year ago
Another great book in the series Life in Icicle Falls. As always this town is anything but boring. The sister relationship is top notch, and deliciously testy. You will read and be trying to figure out which guy is really right for poor Cecily and rooting Bailey on in her quest to find again all that she has lost. All the old characters and there too. You can easily start this book as your first in the series, but you are going to want to read all the books. So put on the kettle and settle in for a fun trip to Icicle falls. It's a great get-away!!
disneyfan822 More than 1 year ago
Such a good book! I love reading about life in Icicle Falls, have enjoyed every book in this series to date.  Loved how this book centered around sisters. You can really relate to the characters in Sheila's books. 
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
Once again Sheila Roberts does not disappoint her readers in the next installment of Life in Icicle Falls. I was so excited to return to this town and catch up with all the town folk. I really enjoyed the story between the Sterling sisters. Does family rule out over love? Why can't love be easy? Once again lots of yummy food mentions in this book, along with recipes. I can't wait to return again to Icicle Falls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane, Sheila brings us back to Icicle Falls. The Sterling sisters are back again where Bailey, the youngest sister, comes back home when her catering business to LA's stars doesn't shine like she'd hoped. When Sheila writes you become one with the charters and part of the story. Life, love and the incredible bonds of sisters, family and friends makes this another Sheila Roberts book you won't want to put down. Home truly is where the heart is in Icicle Falls.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Just how important is family? How important are our hopes and dreams? Is it true that men will come and go but sisters are forever? Is it true that if God closes one door he'll open a window? Sheila Roberts has written a book that explores all these questions in the close knit community of Icicle Falls, where friends and families live and work closely to create a successful community where the tourist trade drives everything.  Sisters, Samantha and Cecily, are doing wonderfully running the family's chocolate business, but their other sister, Bailey, has just returned from LA with a collapsed catering business because of a fake food poisoning stunt by one of her "star" clients. Samantha and her husband are happily expecting their first child, and Cecily has the exciting task of deciding between two suitors. One is charming, the "perfect" husband material, but is the attraction strong enough on Cecily's part? Whereas, "bad boy" Todd, thrills all her nerve endings just marveously. This question gets interesting when Bailey and Todd go into partnership to open a new tea shop on Lavender Street, and sparks seem to be developing there too. This fun and tender story surrounds these sisters and the experiences they have in exploring these questions. Roberts weaves a story that is at once enthralling and also makes the reader think. A romance that explores serious issues in a uniquely entertaining way. It reads like a bouquet of flowers opening up with the warmth and light of renewing spring sunshine. Great addition to the Icicle Falls series!