There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…

Santa is coming to New York!

Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!

Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.

If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

Title:  Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe
Series:
Author:  Katherine Garbera
Genre:  Contemporary Christmas Romance
Published:  November 10, 2017
Publisher:  Harper Collins UK – Harper Impulse
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Every now and then a Christmas romance comes along that is so emotional, that touches upon just about everything magical and human about this season that it will melt your heart.  Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe is just such a book and it won’t take long to immerse yourself in this touching, beautiful world.

Iona and her partners, otherwise known as her best friends, own and operate the Candied Apple Cafe in New York City.  They are successful, happy and decked out for the season.  There are business decisions to be made but nothing that has to overshadow this wonderful night of showing off their new Christmas window display.

Mads is waiting on a business decision by the owners of the Candied Apple.  As the man at the top it’s up to him to keep on top of these things.  Thinking to take care of two things at once Mads heads off to the Candied Apple with his young daughter, Sophia.  Both are a bit heartbroken, neither have any Christmas spirit or excitement at all this year.  But that is about to change as three lives meet and magic can begin.  No swirling sprinkles of color and light, but real connections that will matter and make a difference – it just might take a little time and patience.

There are so many aspects of Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafethat made this a touching, emotional story for me.  Overall it’s a wonderful story, but there are a few things that stand out for me.  Mads lost his wife, the woman he’d loved most of his life and Sophia had lost her beautiful, loving mother to a lingering, deadly disease.  Both are still shell-shocked in many ways.  Sophia particularly has lost every touch of belief in any kind of Christmas magic.  She asked God, she asked Santa… and neither could give her the wish she wanted most for Christmas last year – her mother well again.  So now, she’s done with belief.  She will politely allow others their own belief, but don’t ask her to believe for she just cannot.  Sophia broke my heart.  She’s adorable, wise beyond her years yet there is that small little place that wants someone to show her that it’s okay to believe again.  And that person will be Iona.

Mads and Iona are both wounded, in different ways.  Neither is really thinking of romance but they laugh, they smile at the same thing, and slowly there are more reasons to spend time together… and the feelings simply won’t go away.  You could call their romance a slow burn, you could call it finding that person that makes sense while making the heart sing.  These two have chemistry, emotions and issues – all are dealt with realistically and believably.

I believe you will find a wonderful Christmas-time love story in Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe.  It’s a story like this one that fuels my love for Christmas romance year round.  It’s a beautiful love story, and I believe these characters and their wonderful support characters will capture your heart.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle