Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is a charming seasonal novel written by Jessica Redland. It is set in the small seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. I have read two other companion novels also set in Whitsborough Bay (Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes and Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café) and it was so wonderful to be back on Castle Street again.
Charlie is a chocolatier who has been working at her Grandfather’s former chocolate shop. When the current owner retires and his daughter takes over, it isn’t long before Charlie knows that she is going to have to find a new place to work. She decides to move to Whitsborough Bay with her boyfriend Ricky and open her own chocolate shop. She has no ‘traditional’ family left to support her and she feels that this move would be good for her. Of course nothing comes easy when you’re trying to start over again, right?
Charlie is a strong woman but, she has recently been hit with too many real life tragedies. Not only had she left her job but, her grandmother who raised her had recently passed away. She is vulnerable and looking for support from her boyfriend. Unfortunately, her boyfriend is useless and a bit of a snake. Charlie was so easy to root for as a character. I really enjoyed watching her grow and find her way and build a new life in Whitsborough Bay.
I also enjoyed the dynamic that developed between Charlie and the local plumber Matt. The two characters have a connection from the very beginning but both are spoken for so friendship is all that is available. Over time, the feelings that they have for each other get stronger but, neither is willing to act on them. I usually enjoy a slow burn romance and this was no exception. The romance wasn’t the central part of Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop and I think that is why I enjoyed the little tidbits that were periodically shown throughout.
There is many messages regarding female empowerment and friendship throughout Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop which were so enjoyable to read. I loved the connection between Charlie and her best friend Jodie who joins her at the chocolate shop as well as her connection with the other shop owners on Castle Street. Charlie stands up for herself when needed and gets supported as well. She also makes discoveries about her birth parents and grandparents that help build her into an even stronger and loyal woman.
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is filled with the magic of the holiday season as well. I loved envisioning Castle Street during the holiday season with all the decorations and tree lighting ceremony. It felt like I was actually there witnessing everything that happened over the course of two years. If you enjoy curling up with a holiday book that will leave you will with warm fuzzy feelings and a smile on your face, this will be the one for you.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**