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Review of 'The Gatehouse Cafe' by KT Dady

The Gatehouse Café

Welcome to Pepper Bay, where you’ll find love, drama, and a happily ever after.

Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Alison Sherlock, Rachael Lucas, and Holly Martin.

The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters. Best enjoyed when read in order.

The Gatehouse Café: Vivien leads a double life. A happy one the world sees, and a miserable one that’s hidden away. Nobody knows what goes on in her home once she has closed up the café for the day. She doesn’t think anyone will believe that her partner is a horrible person, especially as he is a policeman.Finn has been secretly in love with Vivien since he was a teenager, but she’s only ever viewed him as a friend. When he discovers she’s in trouble at home, he does everything in his power to help set her free, because even if she never falls in love with him, she’s still his best friend, and she needs help.


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As has been the trend in the latter books of this series, this is slightly darker in tone than previous books and deals with more realistic life issues. In this case it is domestic violence and the aftermath of leaving that type of relationship. I was a little concerned when I saw that this was the theme of the book, as usually, when it is used in HEA novels, the events are usually some way in the past and there has been a degree of recovery time for the survivor. In this series, the break-up is often quite a recent thing and therefore I was concerned that there was the potential for the theme to be treated too lightly.

Conversely, there was also the risk that if DV was treated with the seriousness it deserves, that the book might be too downbeat. However, I think KT has struck the right note with this and although Viv does begin dating quite quickly after leaving the abusive relationship, it is only because the next man in her life also happens to be her best friend and therefore, it seems much more realistic that she would feel comfortable with him more quickly, by virtue of the fact she knows he is so different from Brody. The other thing that makes this storyline work is that whilst there is a HEA, there is no sense that Viv is completely recovered from her ordeal and there is an acknowledgment that she still has a lot of work to do to regain everything she has lost.

I also liked the fact that there was no question of anyone not believing Viv, no hint that she was in anyway to blame and the community rallied round to protect her. Whilst, unfortunately, this is unrealistic in the real world, it is completely fitting for the Pepper Bay residents and was lovely to read about and dream that perhaps one day the real world might follow suit. As always, the people of Pepper Bay encourage the rest of us to be better people.

There is also a trip to Scotland and Honeydale Farm included in the plot. I have yet to read the spin off series from Pepper Bay as my TBR pile is already close to toppling over, but this book definitely made me curious about the new cast of characters, who seem utterly likeable. Now, I'm looking forward to reading Rhett and Heath's story.

Author Bio – Hello, I’m K.T. Dady. I’m the bestselling author of the Pepper Bay series. I’m also a chocolate lover, mum to a grown-up daughter, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, baking cakes, or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers.


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