ARC Review: The Pumpkin Spice Café by Laurie Gilmore

*I was given a copy of The Pumpkin Spice Café in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Harper Collins, One Chapter More and Laurie Gilmore for my copy of the book.*


Jeanie is more surprised than anyone when her aunt bequeaths her the quaint Pumpkin Spice Café. Especially since her aunt isn’t dead, she’s alive and well, and currently off working on her tan. Jeanie could have said no. And the old Jeanie would have. But now she’s determined to be the sunshiney owner of the town’s only coffee shop. Logan is not usually one to care about town gossip. In fact, he avoids it at all costs. All he wants is to drop off his produce to the local businesses and then return to the farm he runs with his grandparents. But there are strange things happening in the café, odd noises and misplaced items and lights on the fritz. And Jeanie needs Logan’s help. But Logan wants nothing to do with the pretty new girl who probably won’t stick around, it’s just a shame he can’t stop thinking about her…


The Pumpkin Spice Café was a cosy read that delivered the autumn vibes I expected. Although, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would. There was something very off with this story. I think it was the length, I don’t say often that a book is too short, but there was little to no substance. I’ll talk about this more later in the review.

One of the most off-putting things about this book was how they were both very keen, very quickly. I swear part of the story is missing because I don’t remember them talking about having a secret relationship and then suddenly they’re running off in a storm and getting it on. There wasn’t any build-up, I don’t remember them talking about liking each other. I had to go back and restart that particular chapter as I was so confused. 

I enjoyed the friend relationships presented throughout this book. Small-town dynamics are one of my favourites to read in romance books and I do like how everything was so close-knit. 
You could see the tropes coming from a mile away. Oh is Logan worried Jeanie doesn’t want to stay in Dream Harbour and oh is he about to walk into the cafe while she’s looking at a list of what other buildings in the area sold for, despite staying multiple times she has no intention of leaving. What’s that? Did someone say the miscommunication trope? Bleh. Worst trope, I absolutely hate it. 

Don’t worry, the pacing of this book is all over the place so this only lasts for about 10 pages. Honestly, I couldn’t keep up with where we were in the year. Jeanie and Logan’s relationship progresses and falls apart at such a speed, you’d think this book took place over multiple months, but no it all happens over a few weeks.

The “mystery” element also wasn’t done too well. It was quite obvious straight away what was going on, well not the tiny details, but you could probably guess very early on who was behind it. I’m going to say, from my personal opinion, that the mystery was very much an afterthought and was only added because there isn’t much happening otherwise.

I didn’t completely hate The Pumpkin Spice Café because I did actually finish it, but it was slightly lacking. If you’re looking for a quick romance read that’s a little bit steamy, then you’d probably love this, but that’s not a reason for me to enjoy a book unfortunately.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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