The Cafe by the Sea is the first of Colgan’s series set in Mure, an island off coast of Scotland. It is followed by Endless Beach, Christmas on the Island, and Christmas at the Island Hotel. (It is preceded by A Very Distant Shore, which I haven’t read yet.)
Flora MacKenzie left Mure after her mother’s death and never looked back. London may be dreary and full sweaty Tube riders and the smell of rotting garbage, but she wouldn’t consider going home- until her boss (and secret crush) demands she do just that.
Colgan is a master of weaving rich characters and bringing the vivid, fresh air and vast open spaces of Scotland to life. She takes a flat stereotype you think you know and paints it into brilliant and surprising 3D. You will root for these characters- all of them, from the spoiled toddler to the rich American entrepreneur. Also, her books are full of food. Really good food.
Several of Colgan’s series include a Christmas book. While I love Christmas, I often find books set at Christmas overdone. Colgan holiday books recognize the good, the bad and the unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others for Christmas. You won’t be disappointed.
These books are delightful in print or on audio, especially with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Highly recommended.