Sunshine and Biscotti Club
By Jenny Oliver
Published: 19th May 2016
Moving to Italy to set up a baking club is a dream come true…
…until Libby catches her husband cheating just weeks before The Sunshine and Biscotti Club opens its doors.
With the first wave of guests set to arrive any day, Libby has no choice but to tie on her apron and get set to bake. But with a dash of sunshine and a sprinkling of old friends, Libby’s kitchen nightmare might just become the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
After all, you can’t bake biscotti without breaking a few eggs…
I received this book from a book subscription box called Thoughtful Books, who offer a range of subscriptions to choose from like preloved books which this book was at a really good price. You can also choose new releases or a mixture of the two, I think next time I will choose to have a mixture of the two books. When you receive the book it comes all nicely packaged up in some recycled wrapping paper, red twine and a little note from the person who sent it to you. The funniest thing about this book was that I had just taken it out of the library to read so I was ecstatic to receive this in the post.
So let’s get started on this book, I don’t usually read romance or chick lit books but I do seem to have a soft spot for those that are set around some kind of bookshop/bakery/cake shop. It is centred around a group of friends who all have some kind of personal trouble, Libby’s husband has just left her and her hotel after she found out that he had been cheating on her, Eve’s marriage was on the rocks and Jessica was a workaholic. There is a couple of guys in the book but it does revolve around these three especially. At first, the relationship between Libby and Eve was strained as it had broken down due to Eve having kids and Libby’s growing fame on her food blog and Jake (her husband) being slightly controlling. As the gang help her fix the hotel Libby goes from being the person that Jake has made her into, back into the person she used to be and starts to make her own choices.
Libby had also started to create a baking workshop that was going to be run on the hotel property but when she decided to give it a test run with the group it had turned into a disaster after everyone had basically gotten their heads out of their asses it went really well. After Libby and Eve had got their friendship Eve had encouraged her to open herself up on her blog as she had created this persona of herself to the point that she had almost lost herself to it.
Eve had become obsessed with comparing her life to the other mum’s in the village and with peoples lives on the internet, she also runs her own perfume company but hadn’t made a new fragrance in the last couple of months, which meant that she was losing business. At first, she wasn’t going to go until her husband sat her down and told her that he felt that their marriage needed a break and encouraged her to go to Italy and help with the renovation of the hotel. When she turned up an old friend called Jimmy was there and they used to have an on/off again relationship when they where younger, these feelings come back for both of them to the point where Eve almost has an affair with him but stops herself when she realises that she doesn’t really want him she was Peter who is her husband.
Jessica is a workaholic at her own advertising company that she co-runs with another friend called Dex, Jessica is also in love with another one of her friends called Miles but he had married someone else and she never moved on. Dex convinces her to go to Italy to help Libby with him as she needed some time off, whilst there she is confronted with her feelings with Miles and near the end of the book she realises that it is the guilt of what she had said to his fiancé before the wedding more than being in love with him. Also whilst renovating the hotel a local bar owner (Bruno) takes a fancy to her, which she also reciprocates but it scared of starting something with him as she lives in New York and he is in Italy. When she returns home she has stopped being the uptight workaholic and becomes more open to new opportunities and the people she works with. She then gets surprised by Bruno who has a sister that lives in New York. When the book jumps forward a year it turns out that they have started a relationship together and both split their time between New York and Italy.
It turns out that Jessica was not the only one to be in love with one of her friends, Dex was in love with Libby from the moment that he had met her but never got the courage to say anything to her until it was too late. During his time at the hotel he gets the courage to tell her his feelings but makes it known that he doesn’t expect anything from her, in the flash-forward she approaches him and basically tells him that she would like to start a relationship with him.
Like all chick lit/romance books it does have a happy ending for all the characters but there was a couple of spanners that had been thrown in that made me wonder if they were going to have a happy ending. I have planned to read more of Jenny Oliver’s work and I am happy to report that they also revolve around some kind of bakery which makes me very happy.