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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 July 2012
I've got to stop taking as read that an amazon 5 star is as good as the reviews claim
I'm afraid this book was like an overdose of sugar for me - like your eyes were too big for your stomach when it came to going to the sweet shop, being able to choose what and as much as you wanted, scoffing too quickly and living to regret it hours later when the sugar rush kicked in.

Self inflicted goo
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on 9 November 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed the Cupcake Cafe books, but the Sweetshop of Dreams is not a patch on them. Plot is very predictable. Characters are not believable. The Derbyshire setting is unrecognisable, although I have lived in Derbyshire all my life. I really wonder if Jenny Colgan has ever been to Derbyshire, let alone gained any understanding of the geography of the area. There is also an obvious lack of research into the nursing aspects of the main character's life. The diary sections are irritating and unnecessary, apart from being printed in a different font which is not as clear as that in the rest of the book.

This seems like a book that's been thrown together in a rush, using the elements the author found successful in her previous novels. Come on Jenny - you can do better!
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on 17 April 2012
Jenny Colgan's latest offering is a wonderful treat fitting of the title. Warm, funny and perfectly paced with beautifully drawn charcters, it tells Rosie's story as she puts her life in London on hold to do her family duty. This is intertwined with flashbacks of Great Aunt Lillian's past. But her duty may not be as cut and dried as Rosie thinks. As Rosie brings the shop back to life what will she discover about her own? And what of Lillian? What will Rosies arrival stir up for her? So grab yourself a selection of your favourite sweets (or make some as you go from the wonderful recipies that accompany each chapter!) and meander gently through the Derbyshire countryside with Rosie some hunky farmers, sinsiter dentists and a man with past.
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After reading Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe last year I have been eagerly awaiting a new book by Jenny Colgan to come out so you can imagine the expression on my face when I was contacted by Sphere Publishing and asked to review her new book I was over the moon and then when I read the press release and see the title of the book I knew this was going to be the book for me I LOVE SWEETS!!

Jenny Colgan brings us a unique storyline that must be everyone's dream come true. I mean who has never once in their life wanted to work in a sweet shop! I really enjoyed watching Rosie working to get the sweet shop back to its traditional glory, and when she finds the different kinds of sweets in the shop it had my mouth watering and me shooting back to my childhood remembering all my favourite penny sweets!

The storyline flows at a gentle pace which helps, along with the beautiful descriptive writing, to set the scene in the idyllic little village. There were a real mix of characters some who you love and some who you just have to roll your eyes at! Our main character Rosie is full of warmth and is at a dead end in her life we instantly pick up that Rosie isn't really happy with things in her life but we hope that by taking time out of her day to day routine that she will finally find some happiness by making some changes in her life. What I liked about this book was I was never quite sure how the story was going to end which made me keep turning the pages eager to see what was going to happen next.

There was plenty of humour in this book which only added to this perfect concoction to make a deliciously delightful read.
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on 3 April 2012
I cannot praise this book enough! What must have taken Jenny months to write, has taken me 24 hours to devour- I simply cannot put it down. It is gentle, yet gripping. You care about the characters almost from page one, and I cannot decide which I enjoyed more- the modern tale of Rosie, or that set in the 1940's of her Great Aunt Lillian. They entwine together so beautifully that you eventually end up loving both characters dearly, and truly feel as though you are life long friends of both. I can only hope to write as wonderfully as this- this is a writer who writes with such warmth and depth, and with such skill that you cannot help but to become a fan! I congratulate you on creating a story that almost has a heartbeat all of its own, and any person who reads this will not be disappointed. Many, many thanks for taking the time to write this superb story! xx
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on 13 May 2014
So many glowing reviews and a book in my favourite genre, I expected a lot from this book, so perhaps my disappointment would have been less had my expectations been lower ...
The setting didn't quite work for me. With the exception of Peak House it didn't sound like Derbyshire and the village as depicted in the frontispiece was straight out of Milly Molly Mandy, where as the one the author writes about sounds more like a market town.
Some of the characters were lovely. I liked the irascible old aunt, the doctor and Edison, the little boy. I thought Gerard, Rosie's boyfriend was very well drawn and though annoying he didn't become a stereotypical villain. The same cannot be said of the evil dentist, the evil vegan lady and the evil Cee-Cee who never rose above caricature.
And my biggest disappointment SPOILER ALERT: the AWFUL consummation scene. How could the heroine go from a mild mannered sweetheart to drunken "grinding" Ugh! And then when her lover treats her SO badly immediately afterwards why on earth does she still fancy him? It is rare in a romantic comedy to find oneself longing for the heroine to ditch the hero but I did.
However there is much to like, particularly the descriptions of the sweetshop which were lovely.
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on 4 June 2013
The author obviously has an irresistible sense of mischief and fun and this is shared in her writing. I know she reads on-line reviews so here is a genuine response to finishing this book to the last page. I was loaned this one by a friend who insisted that I would enjoy it.

This is not the first Jenny Colgan book I have read and it does remind me so much of 'Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe'. I cannot blame her for repeating a successful formula for her 'best sellers', but such predictability makes it less enjoyable for me and would deter me from buying future books of hers.

I know this will not be a popular observation, but I felt that maybe Rosie's character was pushed into the bedroom scenes against the author's original intentions and wishes. The narration on these was beyond awkward and I wondered if the publisher had insisted that by page 'whatever' there had to have been some 'adult behaviour'.

Whatever magic Jenny Colgan captured on the journey from 'Do You Remember The First Time?' to 'The Cupcake Cafe' seems to have been lost here in Lipton's lethargy.
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on 23 June 2012
I loved this book from the start, mainly due to all the references to sweets and particularly all those old favourites, some typically Scottish. I could completely imagine myself in the little sweetshop I frequented before I went to school in the morning and this book definitely took me back. The characters were well drawn. I can't even choose a favourite character, as I would have difficulty choosing between them. I wasn't particularly impressed with Rosie's boyfriend, but I wasn't meant to be, even if he did have some good points. The writer really managed to bring the village to life and I could even imagine the hill down to the farm that Rosie cycled down! The book is fun, but also addresses the more serious issue of Rosie looking after her ailing great aunt. This is the best Jenny Colgan book I have read and would actually make me go back and read others in her back catalogue which I haven't managed thus far.
I loved the flashbacks into Lilian's life and the parallels which were drawn.
There is something in this book for everyone and reflects all age groups - a great read.
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on 1 April 2012
I was anxiously awaiting Jenny's new book and was definitely not disappointed. The book follows Rosie Hopkins as she goes to care for her Eldery Aunt and helps her to restore the sweet shop back to its former glory. She learns a lot along her journey in Lipton.

A Fantastic read that will have you searching for an old fashioned sweet shop :)
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on 21 April 2012
This is a sweet, frothy, no brainer read. The characters are likeable and then descriptions of the sweets are tantalising. Only think I will say is I really don't like books that hop from the past to the present so I chose to ignore the 'old bits' and read them after I had finished the book. Didn't make any diffrence to the story and actually made it feel like i was reading a 'mini' book after.
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