One of the many joys of reviewing books for The Scotsman is that I see lots of them before they are published. I’ve never quite got over the excitement of knowing that I’m reading a book that the general public hasn’t seen yet!

A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of Love, Lies & Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon from Stripes Publishing. It’s not due to be published until May and, although it was on my reading shelf, I hadn’t quite got around to it. Then last week I had a gentle nudge from the publicist so I thought I’d take it home (my main reading shelf is at work and I only take a few books home at a time; they balance precariously on a reading pile) and read it over the weekend.

In fact, I read it on Friday evening and hardly stopped until I’d finished! The book looks like it’s a light and frothy summer read and the sun was shining in Lossiemouth last weekend so it felt like a good match. Actually, without wanting to give away too much of the plot, the book isn’t as light and fluffy as all that.

It’s the story of six teenagers who, for different reasons, end up joining the Bake Club at school. Lottie, the main character, is struggling after her Dad’s death. She tells the story in the first person so we see everything through her eyes. Mac is at Bake Club as his last chance. If he messes this up, he’s going to be kicked out of school. The other four teenagers are there from choice, or so it seems. In fact they all have secrets and no-one’s life is quite what it seems.

I loved this book. Yes, everything works out slightly too easily but this is a feel-good story, not an angst-ridden tome. I’ll be buying it for the Libraries Service and recommending it to my young teenage readers. Realistically, it’s the girls who’ll read it but there’s no reason at all for the boys not to enjoy it.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. In between each chapter is a recipe. They all sound delicious but the one that might get me to break out my rarely used baking bowl is the cinnamon rolls.

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