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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious festive read
The Gingerbread Café is a special place, especially at Christmas. At the heart of the community the café is a delightful haven, warm and welcoming with owner Lily and employee CeeCee full of the Christmas spirit. Lily is recovering from the breakdown of her marriage and CeeCee is determined to matchmake. When handsome, mysterious Damon opens up a shop...
Published 16 months ago by K. L. Beeden

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy day read
This was an OK Christmas read - nothing exciting ot unexpected - but quite to nice cosy up with by a log fire with a piece of Christmas cake.
Published 14 months ago by Wayward Witch


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious festive read, 18 Nov. 2013
By 
K. L. Beeden (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The Gingerbread Café is a special place, especially at Christmas. At the heart of the community the café is a delightful haven, warm and welcoming with owner Lily and employee CeeCee full of the Christmas spirit. Lily is recovering from the breakdown of her marriage and CeeCee is determined to matchmake. When handsome, mysterious Damon opens up a shop across the road, CeeCee encourages Lily to make a move for him, but before long it becomes apparent that Damon's business is in direct competition with the Gingerbread Café...

The relationship between Lily and CeeCee is one of the key features of Christmas at the Gingerbread Café, and their friendship is heart-warming and reassuring. CeeCee is like a mother hen, desperate for Lily to find love and she was my favourite character, coming across as larger than life. The combination of her and feisty Lily is fabulous!

I also loved how the café was portrayed as a cosy, snug place, somewhere full of warmth and festive shimmer. I wish that I had a café like this near me-I'd certainly be a regular customer.

Christmas at the Gingerbread Café is a lovely, cheery festive read, a good old fashioned feel-good romance to warm the cockles of your heart. This is one of my favourite Christmas reads of the year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope we meet Lily, CeeCee & Co again, 1 Dec. 2013
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Lily has been running her Gingerbread cafe alongside employee CeeCee for a number of years offering the locals delicious home-cooked delights and with Christmas fast approaching they are busy preparing mouthwatering dishes for their customers. But when a handsome stranger Damon Guthrie opens up shop across the street and it looks like he is a direct competition to her business, it looks like she might have a battle on her hands to stay afloat...

What follows is a hilarious tale of one-upmanship tactics that both Lily and Damon devise to try and get one over on the other but underneath the rivalry there's definitely something else brewing...

There is so much to love about this novella, the descriptive writing of the various food dishes will definitely tempt your tastebuds, I even loved the sound of the gingerbread creations and I don't like gingerbread! But that's not all there is to offer there were so many different moments to enjoy; comedic - I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions, sentimental - the mention of Amazing Grace was both emotional for Lily but also for me as it brought back so many memories for me of my mum as it was her favourite Hymn and she'd always be singing it around the house, and of course romantic.

I loved the relationship between Lily and CeeCee, they were a unique partnership and were more like mother and daughter than employer and employee especially when CeeCee has her matchmaking hat on. CeeCee was definitely my favourite and I would love to hear more from her in the future.

Overall this was a real feel-good read that was the perfect story to kick-start my Christmas reading challenge. Thank you Rebecca for sending me a copy of your book to review as I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short festive read, 6 Dec. 2013
By 
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What a delightful short story this is! Just what I needed - a feel good, romantic, Christmas story.

The author has written something reminiscent of the film "You've Got Mail". A shop, The Gingerbread Cafe, has been in a small town for years, and has been an extremely successful business. Then someone else comes in and opens up something similar right across the road (as opposed to 'just around the corner' in the film.)

This starts a battle between the 2 proprietors to gain business from the townsfolk.

Who will win? Will it be the reliable young woman, Lily, who has been a constant in the lives of her customers for years? Or will it be the young interloper, Damon, who triumphs due to his good looks and apparently irresistible charm?

The author has written a lovely novella, with just the right tone and information, to make this a great story.

The character of CeeCee, Lily's partner in crime in the cafe, is a great one! She is such a sassy woman.

My only gripe is that the story wasn't longer! I would love to know more about Lily and the cafe, CeeCee and her family, and the heartache Lily went through a few years before. Perhaps a prequel in the making? Hint hint Ms Raisin?

All in all a great short read which left me with a huge smile on my face when I finished it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Christmas Read!, 15 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The author Rebecca kindly sent me an e-book in an exchange for an honest review. I must say, prior to conversing with the author I’d heard a lot about these books from my good friend Abbey from MissBookWorm Reviews. She’d recommended them to me and she sang praises for them.

I started this book as soon as I downloaded it onto my iPad Kindle app, and I climbed into bed to start reading. I didn’t put the device down until I completed it two hours later. I should say, this book is a novella, which is why I completed it so quickly. I think this is absolutely ideal for me, and probably for quite a few people that are busy and are finding it hard to scheduling time to read. In the run up to Christmas I know I’ll be working a lot, so reading a novella means I can complete a festive book to get into the spirit.

I was instantly hooked, and I was laughing straight away. There is an image of a woman with her hand stuffed up a turkey, bawling her eyes out listening to Christmas Carols. For some reason, this completely tickled me and I was in stitches laughing. This meant I was immediately attracted to the character and was invested in her story. Lil is a lovely character, very kind at heart but has a feisty side that keeps her interesting. She’s the owner of The Gingerbread Café and is still struggling with the break-up of her marriage.

To make matters worse, there is new competition just across the street. A rival company has just opened its doors and threatens to ruin her business. Not to mention, the owner of the establishment is the dishy (an understatement), Damon. All I can say is, if you’re looking for a new candidate for book boyfriend, this one will definitely be a contender!

I haven’t read many novellas in my time, and I did wonder how a shorter story could satisfy my need for riveting plot, and strong character development, but this book certainly delivers. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I took from this book in such as short time, the plot is engaging, quickly paced (as you’d expect) and full of drama! I couldn’t put this book down and had to steam my way through in one sitting, despite it being 2am.

This book left me wanting more, and I immediately started the follow on novella, Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of that book too.

Definitely pick up this book if you’re looking for a quick read that’ll give you all the warm and fuzzies this Christmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Christmas.....I want more, 12 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I want a Gingerbread House...I also want Damon! He can teach me to cook ANYTIME ;-)

A perfect, cookie of a Novella, but oh i wish it was more...maybe it could be, will be..hint hint!
Although set at Christmas, it isn't over tinselled.....i could read this anytime, but it did give you that warm glow of ahhhh.

When the new shop owner across the street starts selling some of the same products, stealing customers from Lil, Cee Cee, her wonderful employee ( who i ADORE, as she had me in stitches) go to war!

But who can compete with a hot, good looking man offering his goods? Especially when there is a steady stream of their customers plumping up their Sunday best bosoms queuing out his door!!! Lol...

Can Cee Cee see some twinkling in the lights? Something Hot brewing? There isn't any sex in this, there is chemistry!! you can fill in the blanks yourself ( i did he he he)

Really enjoyed this, had me a little teary eyed at one point too! Could read more from these characters.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a fab christmas book, 20 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
CHRISTMAS DREAMS AT THE GINGERBREAD CAFE BY REBECCA RAISIN

THE BLURB
Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café in Ashford, Connecticut was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

WHAT I SAY
As you know by now i love all carnia covers this one another one i love they all seem to make you want to pick up the book to read

This is the first gingerbread cafe book you can read in order or as a standalone book but i nice to read in order you may be able to read all 3 books in a day as they are nice quick reads

The Gingerbread cafe is the heart of the community i just want to work in this wonderful little cafe it just seem so cosy a warm and seem to have a lot of festive shimmer not like were i work .
Lily the owner so nice she just recovering from her marriage breaking down she was just such a warm lovely character so full of life you all will love her you will be able to connect to her
Cee Cee worked for her she all way there to help their friendship is so heartwarming to hear about so true friends they have so much fun .They seem to be great fun to be around they just bring the cafe to life together a fab team . I felt they were more like mother and daughter they work mates which is so nice to hear .

Cee Cee trying to do a bit of match making between Damon and Lily . Damon just open a new shop over the road that seem to be in direct competition to them .or is it ?
The tactic Lily and Damon use on each other is hilarious but i think a bit of love could be one the cards very soon what do you think?

The book just paced with drama it a book you can not put down it a very short novella but the characters are so strong and you just get pulled into the plot so easily.

I love all the nice treat they make in the cafe i could eat them all it does tempt you tastebuds the way Rebecca describes them all she just seem to make thing real in your mind that a good writer for you .

The Lily and Damon war was so funny but i felt this was them getting to know each other their flirty comments soon flow a lot more a boy meet girl kind of relationship it was so nice to read about i want to tell you so much more but you got to read this wonder full book

By the end you felt Lily ,Cee ,Cee and Damon were family or your best friend you will just connect with them all so easily
I feel this book just s wonderful christmassy romantic read you will just be transported to this warm little cafe . It just so nice and easy to read its so good Great to for 89p at the min on amazon
5 stars a fab read please check it out
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Festive, 12 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was a late discoverer of Rebecca Raisin’s books, and now I’ve read them, I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on them for so long!

Lil is feeling pretty down and out in the run-up to Christmas, and when a handsome new-comer, Damon, seems to be stealing her business, she refuses to stand for it.

Christmas at the Gingerbread Café is a beautifully warm and cosy read that transports you right to the heart of Ashford. It is full to the brim of wonderfully vibrant characters, who quickly feel like they are your own close friends. I adored Lil, and couldn’t help but feel protective of her. She’s so lovely and endearing, I was rooting for everything to turn out well for her from the get-go.

As for Damon, well, now, there’s one lovely hunk o’ man right there. Excuse me while I just daydream for a moment…

I also particularly adored CeeCee, Lil’s best-friend-come-mother-figure colleague at the Gingerbread Café, who’s straight-talking, Southern ways and huge heart make her a delight to get to know.

Be warned – you will have a sensory overload from the incredible descriptions of the Gingerbread Café. Rebecca created such a perfect vision where I could have sworn I could see, hear and taste everything in there. You’ll definitely be left with a craving for Gingerbread (and-if you’re anything like me-for Damon, too!)

It’s a deliciously festive read, perfect for snuggling up with on a wintry Sunday afternoon, that you’ll just have to finish in one sitting. An easy 5 stars from me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tasty treat without the calories, just the love and laughter of a good book, 12 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Having wanted to read this book for ages, the opportunity presented itself to me when Rebecca sent me all three books to read which I promised to review for her. So this is the first of the three in the series.

Lil owns a sweet little shop called Gingerbread Café, whom she runs with her best friend and widow, CeeCee who is just the funniest, most upfront woman I've ever read. She's so relatable and instantly made me think of my best friends Mum and Nan with her honest and protective yet humorous influence on Lil.

It's coming up to Christmas so the whole town is preparing for the festivities, with Lil and CeeCee baking delightful and mouth-watering scrumptious food. I don't know how I didn't devour a whole box of chocolates whilst reading this! The shop over the road from Lil's is recently been taken over by a guy named Damon... he's from a rich family who've lived in the town forever... but Lil doesn't have any idea who he is. Both CeeCee and Lil assume he's selling small gifts.... but when they find out that he's competition, Lil heads over to give him what for!

CeeCee thinks it's time Lil moves on from her ex, Joel and sees sparks between Damon and Lil... but Lil thinks she's out of her mind. With the town not being the big enough for the both of them, how will Lil cope when Damon starts taking her customers, and with them, her profits? She can't let the Gingerbread Café run to ruin, yet she's hardly a match for wealthy Damon is she? How will she be able to match his shop interior? They couldn't exactly join forces could they, so that no one loses out? Could they?

Lil does what she does best, and cooks her heart out, which seems to soften it and before she knows it, she's over at Damon's shop handing him her delicious treats, but is that all he gets of her?

At one point, when I was reading about CeeCee I laughed so uncontrollably, that I had my mother looking at me like I was high on something.... I absolutely loved this little treat of a book, short and a sweet introduction to the beautiful masterpieces of Rebecca Raisin. With two more follow up books to continue to tempt your tastebuds, I can't recommend this ebook enough as a short festive read with likeable, realistic characters whom warm your heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real sweet treat......., 5 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was lucky enough to get talking to Rebecca, a lovely lady. She very kindly gave me the links to both of her Gingerbread Cafe books for me to review on here, which was a real treat as I’m new to all of this.

I started Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe (book 1) early last night and I couldn’t put it down. Once I’d started reading the first couple of pages, I was addicted, it didn’t matter what else there was to do last night, all I was interested in, was finding out what was going to happen at the cafe. I can’t believe I’ve had a kindle all this time and never downloaded this book before- kicking myself as it’s the kind of book that I always enjoy and love reading!

The first character we meet is Lily, the owner of the Gingerbread cafe. You instantly love Lily; she’s a real down to earth character with a big heart. Rebecca has written Lily’s character is such a brilliant way, that as you read the book your able to connect with her and feel her emotions- It’s really easy to put yourself in Lily’s shoes and imagine yourself there in the gingerbread cafe.

The next character we meet is CeeCee, Lily’s employee at the cafe. She’s the mother figure in the book and you can tell she thinks a lot of Lily. CeeCee is one of those characters you just want to hug, she makes you laugh out loud with the different remarks she comes out with, but she always gives sound advice. CeeCee reminds me a lot of my own Nan with the way she always wants to help and support her friends, family and the local community. Every book needs a character like CeeCee.

Then we get to meet the fine looking thing called Damon, who owns the new store opposite the Gingerbread Cafe. He’s the kind of character every girl dreams off; he’s the perfect fictional boyfriend. Damon’s kind, sexy and sounds as scrumptious as the chocolate does! The thing I love about him the most is he’s mysterious; it gives us the opportunity to try and guess what secret he’s hiding from Lily. I love that in a book and I think Rebecca done it brilliantly.

I read the book in a couple of hours, only breaking to eat my dinner- all I wanted was to get back to reading more about the Gingerbread cafe. I loved Rebecca’s writing style and how real she made everything sound- when she describes the different things Lily and CeeCee make in the cafe it makes your mouth water. If only we could have our own Gingerbread cafe in Pembroke, I’d be a regular customer.

Once I’d come to the end of Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe, I went straight on to book 2 Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe. The second instalment was just as brilliant as the first with all the same lovely characters. I stayed up till 1am this morning to finish it. The more of the series you read, the more you want. Reading both the books last night provided me with more entertainment and joy than the television did! Best Saturday night I’ve had in ages. I can’t wait for the next instalment, book 3 A Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe.

I can’t thank Rebecca enough for allowing me the opportunity to review her books. I thoroughly enjoyed both instalments of the Gingerbread Cafe and will be recommending the books to friends and family as she is a brilliant author. I am defiantly going to download Rebecca’s other book, The Bookshop on the corner. If you haven’t read any of Rebecca’s books yet, I truly recommend you do as they both are a real sweet treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little treat to get you right in the chrimbo spirit., 10 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Christmas at the Gingerbread Café ((Once in a Lifetime) The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a short yet sweet story that will have you feeling as cosy as a roaring log fire. If the evoking descriptions of yummy food and smells coming from the Gingerbread Café aren’t enough to make you fall in love with this novella, then the endearing nature of the three main characters sure will.

CeeCee is a women not to cross! I loved her character and the way her and Lily cracked up with laughter at regular intervals, which made their close relationship all the more real. I’ll be moving on the the other books in the series and I really hope CeeCee and her brilliant one-liners feature just as heavily.

Although Lily and Damon are initially at war, the pair’s attempts at one-upmanship become slightly comical and this opens the door for them getting to know each other. I would have loved to have had their relationship explored more in the early stages – lots of lingering looks, flirty comments, that sort of thing – however, Rebecca Raisin skilfully manoeuvres the story along in the limited amount of pages to give readers some feel-good romance.

A nice little treat to get you right in the chrimbo spirit.

review by Charlotte Foreman on behalf of BestChickLit.com
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