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  • The Tide Is Never In

    I realised when reading this book that in any book set in a seaside location the tide is rarely in. No matter the time of day the characters can often be found walking on the beach and this holds true here. There seem to be no early morning or evening high tides in Warkton and during the day it is always a blissful stretch of sand. I have no real idea why this occurred to me or why it irritated me so much - actually, it may have been to do with the fact that I didn't really engage with the book or get engrossed in the tale. We have been at The Chocolate Shop By The Sea with Emma in a previous book and although it was a while ago I soon remembered the various characters and got into the swing of things. Unfortunately the plot is largely similar to the first one - problems with the landlord of the premises Emma operates out of. Actually let's pause there for a moment. That raises another question if the premises are rented how does she get away with making so many alterations to the fabric of the building? There is little of that this time around but the events in this book made me hark back to the first one. Anyway back to the plot similarities - the on/off relationship with Max is still on/off, we are reminded of the death of her fiance every other chapter, lots of chocolate making described in loving detail. Apart from a couple of set pieces this really could have been the first book all over again and although it felt comforting to be back in Warkton-On-Sea I was disappointed in the book as a whole. You could flag up exactly what was going to happen to the business from the first time The Eel makes his appearance in the shop. Unfortunately, the same could be said for Emma's romantic attachments. I never really engaged with this book at all, despite my familiarity with the setting. It is inoffensive and passes the time nicely so a good holiday read if you're going to be busy but other than that nothing really to recommend this sequel.

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