Saturday, September 4, 2021

A Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed

 Reading a book set in a chocolate shop just sounds like a delicious way to spend a few hours, don't you think?

Reviewing A Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen
Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen - Buy Here!

Now as much as I love a good murder mystery or dark psychological thriller I also like to read some light-hearted, feel-good fiction on occasion and this book by Cynthia Ellingsen definitely falls into that category.

I have never read any of Cynthia Ellingsen's books before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but she wrote the characters really well and I found myself invested in Emma's life.   I was really happy when I finished this book to discover that there were two other books written that are based in Starlight Cove (where this novel is based) and you can be sure they are being queued in my Kindle!

The main heroine of this story is called Emma and always wants to see the best in people and help people.  Like many other people with this trait, she's not so great at accepting help!  She is running a chocolate shop in Starlight Cove that her late father opened.

Prominently displayed in the chocolate shop is a painting of Emma as a child that is titled The Girl with the Butterscotch Hair.  We are introduced to this painting right at the beginning of the story and it is part of a mystery that runs through the book.

I love the layers of different stories that run through the book bringing it together in a delicious read that would only be better on a lazy Sunday afternoon if enjoyed with a Chocolate Dream (something served in the Starlight Cove Sweetery that we also get introduced to on the first couple of pages).

Emma's need to help anyone that needs it extends to strangers as well and one of the storylines that weave through this novel centres around a woman and her child who start off as strangers before becoming friends.   

We also get to meet Emma's best friend, her grandmother, stepmother and many other Starlight Cove residents.  Each person we read and the stories they bring to the novel helps to enrich it and create a rich tapestry of Emma's life.   There is also a little love interest that is introduced although it doesn't dominate the story, it's just another thread in the book.

If you're looking for a light-hearted book to whisk yourself away to another world for a couple of hours then I recommend reading this one and transporting yourself to Starlight Cove.

I got to enjoy this book for $0 as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership - I highly recommend this membership if you enjoy reading, I liken it to a virtual library card.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Oh, fabulous! This sounds like a book for me, and my mom, for sure. I often prefer a feel good fiction that will give me a break from real life stress. I need the oasis of relaxation that reading provides. How cool that you have introduced me to another book that is available through Kindle Unlimited too. That membership has allowed me to venture beyond my normal genres since I am not monetarily invested in a specific book and know I can stop reading it if it doesn't suit me for any reason.

  2. I have read a lot of "heavier" books lately and I'm ready for a feel good book. Thanks for your excellent recommendation. This one sounds perfect.

  3. Something light hearted is right up my alley for right now. Like many others I feel I have had my fill of heavy topics for right now. This sounds like a good book to break my chain. Thanks for this recommendation Lou!

  4. This sounds like a wonderfully “cozy” sort of novel, just the thing to help me unwind and get some respite from the daily barrage of mostly upsetting, sometimes infuriating and often heartbreaking news. I love the choice of setting and the premise, and the fact that it’s part of a series. Thanks for this welcome recommendation!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful book - this part of your review reminds me of myself! " Emma and always wants to see the best in people and help people. Like many other people with this trait, she's not so great at accepting help!" - lol, I can relate to that!

  6. What a delightful "feel good" book and all set in a Chocolate shop !! It sounds perfect for a bit of cosy relaxing reading to take a break from the stresses of the world for a while. Thank you for the recommendation!

  7. Sounds like a fun and light-hearted book to read. I've read other cozy mysteries that take place around a book store, a bakery and a restaurant. Having a setting in a chocolate shop sounds scrumptious. :)


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