Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

28 Feb
Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

“The time to be happy is now..”

What a wonderful quote to start your book. Any avid followers of my blog and / or Twitter will know that Caroline James is one of my favourite Authors.

This book is a follow up to ‘Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me’. You can read my review for that book  HERE!

Author Caroline James sent me a wonderful package with this book, all beautifully wrapped with the signed paperback book and a slice of home baked Caribbean cake! Lucky me eh! The cake was delicious and the book great.

This book can absolutely be read as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading both as they are fantastic!

** All views are completely honest and my own, despite eating the Authors cake! 😉

book and pina colada


Flying solo again in their middle years, can life really begin again for Jo and Hattie? Is there hope for the newly single baby boomers and can romance happen?

Continuing the Coffee Tea… series, join Jo and Hattie as they romp into their future and prove that anything is possible!

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me is a stand-alone read but also the sequel to Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me which shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-Book of the week in The Sun Newspaper.

Set in Cumbria and the Caribbean.

“A story about friendship and loss…is there hope for those of a certain age?”

‘The time to be happy is now…’ Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. A heartbroken widow, Jo finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Her two sons have moved away, Jimmy to run a bar in Barbados, and Zach to London to pursue a career as a celebrity chef. Middle-age and widowhood loom frighteningly and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from colourful friend, Hattie and erstwhile admirer Pete Parks.

Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday but their holiday sets off a course of events that brings mayhem and madness to Jo and her family. Confused and anxious for her future, can life really begin again for Jo?

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a finalist at The Write Stuff – London Book Fair 2015. The judge’s comments included, “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.”

coffe tea carib

Kindle Edition, 334 pages

Expected publication: February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company


My Thoughts:

This book starts off telling us about Jo and Hattie in Westmorland, unfortunately they are both single again in their later years. But they have a great friendship which we can see throughout the book. The story takes us from Westmorland to the Caribbean to London and back again. You can tell that the Author has a love for all of these places. The way Caroline describes Barbados made me want to go on holiday, and as I couldn’t just jump on a plane to the Caribbean, I made do with a rum punch.   😉

Caroline’s writing is smooth and easy reading with great descriptions. She totally puts the reader in the place, so you can just imagine yourself sitting on the white sands drinking cocktails. 

“..secluded beach-fronted gardens and palm trees swayed, as the turquoise waters lapped..”

I knew before I started this book that I was going to see characters that I had ‘met’ before, and was excited to see what Caroline had in store for them. We also got to meet new lovely characters. We meet Jo’s second son Zach, who is dubbed the ‘Gypsy Chef’. I was especially happy to read of this new character as I love Caroline’s foodie descriptions. There are the deliciously English cooked breakfasts, Caribbean food – mmm Caribbean cake, and of course Zach’s ‘Gypsy Chef’ cooking.

“..chop a bunch of nettles. He tossed them into a pan to saute, along side finely diced wild garlic..”

There are such a wide range of characters in this book. I love the positivity from Hattie, she is always there for her friend Jo with uplifting words, fun and laughter. One of the side characters was Lottie. I would like to hear more from her in Caroline’s future books. She reminds me of Bubble from Ab Fab. I love the way Caroline describes her dress sense, it gives such a sense of her character.

This is what Lottie wore to a birthday party – “..a tight green body stocking, that emphasized every bone and a bright red bob hat. The ensemble reminded Bob of a giant match”

This book is very cleverly written whereby, if like me you have read Caroline’s two previous books you can see how all the characters link up. And wow there are some surprises there with some of the characters. I wasn’t expecting that!! (No spoilers, so you will have to read and find out for yourself). 

I loved this book, it gave me an easy read with a great range of characters. There is love, comedy, emotion and food! What more can you ask for?! It was brilliant. ♥

I had a great interview with Author Caroline James. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE!






Twitter CarolineJames



If you have read any of Caroline’s books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, what did you think of the sound of this one? Do you want to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I love to read what you think! ♥ 


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized


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17 responses to “Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

  1. carolinejamesauthor

    February 28, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Wow, am blown away Amanda… Thank you! So thrilled that you enjoyed my new book, huge thanks for your kind review xx

    • chocolatepages

      February 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Very welcome, I’m already looking forward to Hattie and Jo’s next escapades.

  2. Emma Jones

    February 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I can’t remember the last book I read & used to be a prolific reader. #kcacols lifeinthemumslane

    • chocolatepages

      February 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Its never to late to get back into it. Short stories are great for when you have little time to yourself. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Sarah Doyle - let them be small

    February 29, 2016 at 7:46 am

    this sounds fab, and what a great package the author sent to you! x

    • chocolatepages

      February 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      I know, I felt very lucky to receive it all.

  4. mummyhereandthere

    February 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Interesting read sounds something I could get lost in X #kcacols

    • chocolatepages

      February 29, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      I always find that with Caroline’s books. Definitely the sign of a good book.

  5. occupation:(m)other

    March 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Ooo, I’ve got Barbados on my mind at the moment…my husband is going at the weekend and I wish I were too! I’m heading over to Amazon now to treat myself for while he’s away! I love the thoughtful packaging too, shows how much her books mean to her I think. #KCACOLS

    • chocolatepages

      March 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Yes, Caroline is so engrossed in her books, with the baking of what the characters eat too. Its brilliant. Great idea, if Hubby is going to Barbados, you should get a good book that includes it. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. florence

    March 1, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    A great interview with Caroline James and what a lovely package you had ! I am currently reading ‘So you think you’re a celebrity chef’ and really enjoying it. A real mixture of characters and am interested to see how they all intertwine. What a perfectly lovely idea to list all characters from the book at the front to refer to. I already have Caroline’s book Coffee Tea The Gypsy and Me which I will be reading next and after that her sequel – looking forward to them both after such good reviews. Florence.

    • chocolatepages

      March 1, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Wow, you sound like a Caroline fan too. I loved the idea of having all the characters listed, it was good to refer back to. I hope you enjoy Caroline’s other books too.

  7. A Moment with Franca

    March 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    What a nice parcel the author sent you! I would certainly love a book that comes with a cake too, ;-). I’m afraid that I have not heard of the author nor read any of her books but thank you for introducing her and this book to us. It is always nice to read your reviews. I really enjoy them. This book seems very intriguing with a story I think, I could get very lost too. I wish I can be in the Caribbean in the sun, having a lovely sunset view with a nice cocktail!! This sounds like a dream to me, lol. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • chocolatepages

      March 5, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you for your lovely compliments. I can’t be in the Caribbean at the moment, so a cocktail and a good book was a decent substitute. See you again on Sunday with another review. Thank you Franca.


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