Book Review: Snowflakes over The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland

Two broken hearts.

Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…

An unexpected meeting.

Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…

The chance to love again.

Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around? After all, with courage, nothing is impossible…


Hollie puts her all into the Starfish Café, trying to keep her mother’s spirit alive as she grieves for her family.

Jake has never let anyone get close to him, especially since his tragic childhood left him without his parents.

A chance encounter involving a lost dog brings these two together. Can they overcome their own grief and find a new life?

It was initially the cover of this book that drew me toward it. It conjures romance and so I couldn’t wait to get started on the novel.

Told from the point of view of both Hollie and Jake, I immediately felt so much empathy and emotion for these two characters. They have both been through so much and I really just wanted to hug them.
These two are at the heart of this novel.

There is a real sense of community within this book. The supporting characters were all lovely although there was one I really wanted to scream at. If you read it (which I hope you will,) you’ll soon know which one I mean.

The setting for this book was so beautifully written and I could imagine myself in this town, sat at the café, looking out over the water. It made me feel a little nostalgic for home (as I grew up on the south coast.)

There is a large theme of grief and loss through this book but it is tackled with care, warmth and humour.

Overall though, there’s a promise of hope. There were moments where I laughed, cried and felt incredibly uplifted. I found it hard to leave Hollie and Jake to the point where I read it in pretty much one sitting.

Snowflakes over the Starfish Café was an uplifting, inspirational novel. It’s a perfect escape. I loved it. This is the kind of book I’d love to be able to write one day.

(Thank you to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.)


About Jessica Redland:

Jessica lives in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. Her home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where she sets some of her books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

Jessica lives with her husband, her teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. She’s a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love her), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

Her career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. She had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage her own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing her debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

Her latest novel, Snowflakes over The Starfish Café is due to be released on 31st August 2021. Click to pre-order on Amazon UK

Say hello to Jessica on Twitter


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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