Hmm I did like the first book in this series better than the second book (more on that in another review). Roberts decides to tell her story through two characters POVs (Ellie and Joe). Ellie is a 20 something working a job she doesn't love. Still at home with her parents and wishing to make her dream of opening a bakery a reality, Ellie interviews for a job at a castle running a tea shop. Though she has no real world experience besides baking for family and friends, Ellie thinks she can make the tea shop a success. When she gets the job she finds herself pulled more to the general manager of the castle, Joe.
I did like the central plot. Young woman decides to move away from home (just an hour) in order to follow her dream of owning her own bakery. Ellie loves to bake and has her grandmother's old recipe book in hand. When she moves into the castle though you see that she has not thought everything through. It would have been great if Roberts had included more missteps by Ellie such as ordering too much or not enough for visitors. Learning how to make other recipes. Dealing with difficult customers, something. Instead we have Ellie having some minor difficulties with one of the older waitresses and having to go and ask Joe for help and almost crying because he was harsh with her for not knowing how to run a bakery. Did I mention that Ellie lied during her interview? Yeah. I would have been harsh too.
Joe's story was much more interesting. I don't want to spoil for potential readers though. I found him less interesting as the story went on since Roberts just focuses on how sexy Joe is finding Ellie and when the sex scenes start that is just the rest of the book really until the end.
The writing was okay. I think it just got way too repetitive for me towards the end. We know that Ellie is worried about making the tea shop a success, we get that she's worried about what to order and bake. I just really wanted something more. We know she had a broken engagement, but it's given no real depth in the book. I wish we had gotten a prologue or something with the ex fiancee or something. He was just some faceless character.
The flow was wonky between segues of Ellie and Joe's POV.
The setting of the castle should have been played up more than it was I think. I love the idea of a castle with a tea shop attached to it. We also know that Lord Henry (the owner) is dealing with the costs to keep up the place and I loved the reality of owning something like that and the taxes and other things you need to worry about.
The ending was okay but felt flat. Things felt very rushed to me and I wish we had more time with the main character with them interacting and talking more. Seriously, towards the end there was just a lot of boom chick a wow wow. I love that in a romance, but I didn't see a connection between Ellie and Joe. This book made me long for the Escape to New Zealand series (the first few books). That's the way to give you some red hot romance with plot/tension mixed in.