Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me
by Caroline James
‘The time to be happy is now…’ Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. A heartbroken widow, Jo finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Her two sons have moved away, Jimmy to run a bar in Barbados, and Zach to London to pursue a career as a celebrity chef. Middle-age and widowhood loom frighteningly and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from colourful friend, Hattie and erstwhile admirer Pete Parks.
Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday but their holiday sets off a course of events that brings mayhem and madness to Jo and her family. Confused and anxious for her future, can life really begin again for Jo?
This book is the second in the series after, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me, but is easily read as as a standalone.
Jo is a grief-stricken widow, the sudden death of her husband has left her bereft. Her friend Hatti, who is recently separated from her philandering husband, is worried about her friend and suggests they go on holiday to see if that helps and take stock of where to go in their lives. Jo’s son is living in Barbados and this seems the perfect destination.
What follows is a fun-filled trip, especially for Hatti, in which they make new friends, indulge in an excess of cocktails and food and find new liaisons.
Back home Pete Parks is yearning for Jo. He is an old friend who has always wanted to be more. Now he fears she is slipping through his fingers and it is breaking his heart.
I found the characters in the book to be entertaining and we hear from different viewpoints, which gives the book a well-rounded feel. Hatti is brilliant, taking life by the scruff of the neck, drinking and eating to her heart’s content and saying yes to absolutely everything.
During the holiday Jo meets rock star ‘Long’ Tom Hendry, both at a low ebb, they find themselves with common ground. I really liked Tom’s character, he had an added depth that can sometimes be missing in romantic comedies. Although I did find it irritating that he had to be called ‘Long’ Tom all the time.
Jo’s youngest son, Zach, is in London making a career as a celebrity chef and it was interesting how the two stories intertwined.
I did think that a few of the chapters were superfluous and didn’t move the story along at all, they could easily have been left out. But this is a well-written story that lovers of chick-lit will not be disappointed with.
Many thanks to the author, Caroline James, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.