Heartaches and Christmas Cakes: A wartime family saga perfect for cold winter nights

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7 reviews

About this ebook

'An absolutely brilliant family saga. A perfect read for these colder nights curled up with a nice cup of tea!' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

December, 1940: All that Audrey Barton wants is her family together for Christmas. But the war changes everything… 

The Barton family bakery in Bournemouth has been at the heart of the town for generations: Audrey and Charlie Barton have never been rich, but their bread and cakes – and their love and advice – have enriched the lives of others in the town for many years.

When war breaks out, it doesn’t take long for trouble to arrive on the bakery doorstep. Audrey’s brother William has joined up to fight, and William’s fiancé Elsie fears she may lose him before their life together has even begun. Audrey’s stepsister Lily comes to stay, but Lily is clearly hiding a dark secret

And a silent and strange little girl is evacuated to the town – will Audrey get to the heart of what is ailing her? 

Audrey battles to keep hope and love alive in tumultuous times. But when disaster strikes at Christmas, will her efforts be in vain? 

This is the first book in a heartwarming and romantic new saga series, perfect for fans of The Gingerbread Girl, Nadine Dorries and Ellie Dean.

What readers are saying about Heartaches and Christmas Cakes:

‘Wonderful ... A book I literally could not put down … I loved every minute of it and I didn’t want it to end … A heartfelt and truly wonderful read. A story that you will easily lose yourself in’ By the Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘A truly fantastic, emotional and heartwarming story… If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would. It deserves the entire constellation that's for sure!... by far my favourite saga novel of 2017.’ The Writing Garnet, 5 stars

Genuinely heartwarming… I loved everything… I cannot recommend this book to you enough - I thought it was superb!!’ Donnas Book Blog, 5 stars

'I absolutely loved it... a wonderful story of love, romance, family, friendship, secrets, charity and a tasty bakery.' Little Miss No Sleep

'An absolutely brilliant family saga and one which I can highly recommend. A perfect read for these colder nights curled up with a nice cup of tea!' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

'If you are looking for the perfect Christmas read then look no further than this wonderfully festive read. The characters are wonderful, the descriptions make you feel that you are part of the action and you are left with a feel-good feeling... This is the first book in the series and if this book is anything to go by then this will be a very charming series indeed. Filled with warmth, love, hope and romance.' Goodreads reviewer

'I loved this World War II story.' Cayo Costa

'You will get sucked into the characters' lives, their heartaches and celebrations, and their joy, and will find out on the last page that it is the first of a new series. And then, you'll head over to the author's page and sign up to be notified when the second one comes out.' Goodreads reviewer

I absolutely loved every minute of it!… a truly heart-warming and uplifting story and I honestly can't wait to read more.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘This is a beautifully written story of how the war affected those left at home… I loved it!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Ratings and reviews

7 reviews
Kristina Anderson
January 19, 2018
Heartaches and Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller takes us back to the fall of 1939 in Bournemouth, England. Audrey and Charlie Barton own Barton’s Bakery providing delectable delights for the people in their area. The bakery is a place where everyone knows they will be welcomed and have a chance to exchange a little gossip. War has caused many changes in their lives including rationing of food and clothing. Audrey’s brother, William heading off to fight with the British Expeditionary Forces. William is engaged to Elsie and she wonders if he will return home to her. Audrey’s stepsister, Lily shows up unexpectedly. Lily had been working as a typist at the Ministry of Information headquarters in London. Lily’s father, Victor is a controlling man who hit Lily. Audrey knows there is more to the story, but Lily is not yet ready to confide in Audrey. The Barton’s have taken in wounded French solider, Jacques who becomes fascinated with Lily. Audrey and Charlie have been unable to have a child of their own. Evacuees arrive needing homes, and Audrey takes in little Mary Lintin. Mary has been traumatized and does not speak. Audrey knows that the little girl needs their love and a safe haven. The family is worried when the fail to hear from William after he was posted over overseas. Life is a constant struggle, but they have their family, friends and hope. Will William return home to his family and fiancé? Can the Barton family help Mary to heal? What is Lily’s secret? Will romance bloom between Jacques and Lily? Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is a lovely story. It starts in 1939 and continues through 1940. I found the book to be well-written with good characters. Audrey is a strong, thoughtful woman who cares about her friends and family. She will do what she can to help. Audrey is the glue that holds her family together. We get to experience the ups and downs of the Barton family and those connected with them. They have so little, but are willing to share it to help others. The story has family, secrets, loss, love, friendship, pride, delectable baked goods, and hope. They have hope that the future will be better. We get to see how the war changes people and their character. Women stepped up and assumed roles that had previously been held by men. Thanks to rationing, they had to get creative and inventive. The people from this era were strong and resilient. It was fascinating to learn about how rationing worked in Great Britain. It was very different from what Americans experienced. Readers get to read about their daily struggles. I admit that I had a little trouble getting into the story. Once I got into it, I was hooked. The author did a wonderful job at incorporating the events of the war into the story and I appreciate that she did not just make this a feel-good book. The characters experience loss and have their share of troubles as well as happy moments. Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is a heartwarming story. I am ready to continue their story in Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes.
Riannon Green
February 10, 2019
This author somehow manages to capture every single detail. She is absolutely faultless & her writing is effortless & keeps you wanting more. I did not put this book down & read it in a day!! If you love learning anything regarding ww2 I would highly & strongly recommend this trilogy. Hats off to the author, spectacular work.
Kim Grattage
December 5, 2017
I really loved this story. Will the new one follow up on Audrey and the rest of the family and all those who live in the village, can't wait to read what happens next?
1 person found this review helpful

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