The Cafe By The Sea by Jenny Colgan
Having adored The Little Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan a couple of months ago, I heard from a few people that they loved this book The Cafe By The Sea even more. I was reading a very heavy book for my book club this week and needed something light at sweet to balance it out, and this book was just the thing.
Flora is from a remote Scottish island and has made it big by becoming a paralegal in London. She has an unexplainable crush on her jerk boss, who doesn't even know she works for him. When a client approaches them for help navigating the legal waters to get his new resort off the ground on Flora's home island, Flora is assigned to handle the case. She returns home for the first time since her mother died three years ago, apprehensive to interact with her father, brothers, and other islanders again, having left after saying some things she regrets out of grief at her mother's funeral. Things patch up at home more easily than she expects, though, reminding her of the power of her family's love for her.
Soon the client requests Flora's boss join them on the island. Flora looks different than she did in the office, island living having infused her cheeks with color and her green eyes shine on Mure in a way they never did in London. He finds himself smitten with her too, but resisting it. Over the time that they work together, their feelings for each other become apparent, but then a local man also starts paying romantic attention to Flora, and Joel returns to London and doesn't contact Flora for weeks.
The decision is made that the client needs to further involve local farmers and tradesmen to garner the support he needs for his resort, and Flora helps him open a local cafe that will also supply the restaurant at the resort. It's only supposed to be open for the summer until the resort gets established, but Flora finds that she enjoys running the cafe and cooking there with her mom's recipes more than she ever expected. At the end of the summer, the client decides to keep the cafe open permanently and of course he needs Flora to run it. The ending wouldn't be complete without a gorgeous reunion of Flora and Joel, and I closed the book with a full, happy heart and an overwhelming desire to visit Scotland as soon as possible. Loved this one!