Monday, January 25, 2016



Genre: Chick Lit
Release Date: 15 January 2016
Publisher:  Choc Lit

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes … 

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.

But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed.

But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.




Grandma Grace peers at me with interest over the top of her glasses,

taking the box from my hands and placing it on the side. She wraps her 

arms around as much of me as she can reach, being at least a foot 

shorter, and gives me a fierce hug.

‘Thank you, my dear, but the only present I wanted was to see you 

standing here in one piece. It’s such a long journey and the weather! That 

rain is relentless, so many places are flooded. To think of you at the side 

of the road worried me to death and I will admit to saying a few little 

prayers as one hour turned into two, then three …’

She raises her eyebrow sternly, but it’s a brief moment before those 

twinkly blue eyes are full of love and laughter again.

‘My boy is here and that’s all that counts.’

‘Grandma, I haven’t been a boy for many years,’ I retort, softly, as she 

releases me with a tender pat on my back. She might be in her twilight 

years but her spirit is strong and her mind as sharp as ever. We all 

thought she’d fade away when Pop died, but the truth is he’s the one who 

would have faded if she had gone first.

‘You will always be a boy to me. Now, tell me more about this guardian 

angel of yours.’

While the tea is brewing and the cake is sliced, I hang around the kitchen 

as I did when I was growing up. Grandma Grace was always easy to talk 

to; she seemed to understand even when the words wouldn’t come. Her 

instincts filled in the gaps at times when even I couldn’t make sense of 

what was going on inside my head. After this failed relationship I began to 

despair of ever finding someone special.

‘You can’t hurry love,’ she’d told me. ‘It takes time to find your soulmate 

and in the process you change and grow. That’s why young love often 

withers, as Pop would have said. Two people either change and grow 

together, or they grow apart. Love is about sustaining what comes after 

that first hormonal rush.’

‘But that wasn’t the case for the two of you,’ I remember pointing out.

‘There has to be an exception to every rule,’ she’d replied, with a wicked 

smile. ‘We were lucky. Fate was kind to us. But with hindsight, we were 

too young and naive to understand that until much later in life. Don’t fret, 

Adam, there’s a wonderful young woman out there for you when the time 

is right.’

Sadly, when I reached that point it too turned out to be yet another huge 

failure. This time the consequences had been more painful than I could 

ever have imagined. Kelly was everything I thought I wanted in a woman 

and, after adjusting to the shock of an unplanned pregnancy, she was a 

fantastic mother. With hindsight I can see now that parenthood came too 

early in our relationship, we hardly knew each other. Suddenly I was a 

family man and yet, surprisingly, the role seemed to come naturally to 

me. I loved Sunday mornings the best. When a little head would appear 

on the pillow next to me at some unearthly hour and a warm little hand 

would wind its way around my neck.

Lily Grace is my sanity, my raison d’être.

If you want a sweet, emotional, clean, romantic read, dive in.
You can read all the other reviews about Katie and Adam and how it just seems meant to be, 
even if it takes the long way to get there. There is even a mystical element about it that I loved.

I want to talk about the elephant in the room.
Katie and Steve's relationship makes him look like a self-centered, manipulative monster much of the time. Even when author Linn B. Halton goes behind the scenes to show us that he, too is struggling. Give the man some slack and some credit! 
He is not holding Katie back by any bonds she has not emotionally tied on herself. 
Katie is strong and intelligent and ambitious. She has so much going for her, including a support system if she'd reach out and use it.

There are several very strong themes running through this wonderful novel and depending upon where you are in your own life and relationships or career, I bet some will yell at you louder than others. Katie has a dream. Steve has been her partner for years and seems less supportive of her dream than she wants him to be. Of course there are excuses, but all the way through it has been this way.
Steve has "indulged" Katie's dream for years even when he feels that it interferes with their home life and his dreams. He feels OBLIGATED to indulge her but his snippy remarks cut through even when he is trying his hardest to be polite. At least he does reach out to his support community. However he doesn't act on what he knows very quickly.

So when things come to a head as they inevitably must, both are surprised. 
Shocked. Regretful. Hurt yet relieved. 
Who was really in whose way? Who was stopping the dreams each of them had?

This is an emotional book about following your dreams, not just your business or romantic goals.
I would recommend it to high school age readers through senior citizens.
Granny Grace was my hero.

I did receive a copy of this book via netgalley to review.


“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. 

Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.


Twitter: @LinnBHalton FB:


Amazon UKAmazon US 


  1. Nicely vintage! Looks intriguing!

  2. Evocative of childhood winter memories, the cover would definitely make me pick the book up and investigate.

  3. Its looks wintery, vintage and fun.

  4. I really like the Wintery scene, looks great.

  5. I like the cover,Winters scene like the snowflakes in the background.And as the pictures are of real people you feel like the book will be the same.

  6. Very eye-catching and matches the title very well.

  7. Just showed my wife and she said it would make her pick the book up and look further!

  8. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of the cover, I like the hanging sign but the couple looks happy & the little girl sad & it makes me feel it would be quite an upsetting book going on the cover alone I would not pick it up.

  9. I love the cover it would definitely turn my head and make me pick it up.

  10. I like the cover, it looks inviting x

  11. It makes you want to open it up and start reading

  12. cover is cheerful, bright and very eye catching. I would pick this up to have a look

  13. I like the design, nice bright colours

  14. Nice & bright, reminds me of Christmas

  15. I like it. Looks very romantic and cosy.

  16. The cover looks appealing

    Lynsey Buchanan

  17. I like it, it makes the book look interesting to read.

  18. I think the cover looks lovely and eye catching

  19. lovely wintery scenery! I love it x

  20. The cover is clear & attractive - I'd certainly be drawn to it

    Kelly Ellen Hirst


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