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A year at Castle Court by Holly Hepburn

Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Her best friend from childhood, Cat, is burned out from working long hours as a chef in Paris. In need of a change, they decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester's bustling streets.

They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn't think Sadie and Cat have the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there's support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in Seb's cocktail bar on the third floor!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book for several reasons. 

Firstly I loved the strong female characters in Cat and Sadie. While they might not have personally felt like they were strong female characters all the time they certainly were in the way that they were working together towards a dream whilst dealing with all the rubbish thrown at them. I particularly loved how they supported each other throughout as you just don't see enough great female friendships in books and I loved seeing their relationship over the course of the book. 

I loved the romantic elements to this story because it they were done so well and showcasing how the path of true love definitely never runs smooth and how sometimes you have to go through the rubbish to get to the good bits.

I loved the story itself and seeing how the first year of Sadie and Cat's business fared with all the ups and downs thrown at them over the course of the year. I particularly enjoyed seeing how they came together to overcome every challenge and came out of the other side stronger for me.

Another real strength of the book is the whole host of brilliant secondary characters who were in and around castle court on a day to day basis. They really made the story for me in the ways in which they interacted with Sadie and Cat making this book feel like a story about community and family.

All in all a book I devoured and thoroughly enjoyed. If you want a lovely read about friendship and never giving up this is the perfect read for you.