The Little Board Game Café

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Pub Date Apr 13 2023 | Archive Date Apr 18 2023

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An irresistible story of love, friendship and the power of Games Night, perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Christie Barlow.

When Emily loses her job, house and boyfriend all within a matter of days, she's determined to turn a negative into a positive and follow her dream of running a small cafe in the gorgeous Yorkshire village of Essendale.

But she quickly finds she's bitten off more than she can chew when the 'popular' cafe she takes over turns out to secretly be a failing business. Emily desperately needs a way to turn things around, and help comes from the unlikeliest of places when she meets local board game-obsessed GP Ludek. But when a major chain coffee shop opens on the high street, Emily is forced to question if she'll ever be able to compete.

Has she risked everything on something destined to fail? Or can a playful twist, a homely welcome, and a sprinkle of love make Emily's cafe the destination she's always dreamed of?

An irresistible story of love, friendship and the power of Games Night, perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Christie Barlow.

When Emily loses her job, house and boyfriend all within a matter of days...

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ISBN 9781804548349
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 216 members

Featured Reviews

This book is adorable. I loved the premise of the games nights and the competition of the other coffee shop to add a touch of drama. And the romance was sweet. I enjoyed following Emily’s journey to happiness

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What a gorgeous little book. It was, not only the title, but the cover that drew my attention to the cover. I love books set in cafes and I have read a lot through the years, but never one set in a cafe.

Bascially Emily is sacked by her fiance, a man who is, how can I word this, blind to see what an amazing woman he has in front of him. Unsupportive he pushes her into become somewhat of a wallflower. Emily frustated me so much through this book. Undecisive, she's a bit of a push over always complying to what he wants until finally she snaps and ends the relationship. Becoming homeless she moved in with her best friend who encourages her to buy Nico. But as you as you can guess it she's undecisive wither or not to take the plunge and do it.

Problem - with little footfall, a bad location can she turn it around to become the title of the book? Well you need to read her journey, find that out for yourself as it made me want to be there.

It was the draw of reading a cafe story with a difference which made me want to read this book and keep pushing through. I'm so glad I didn't put this on my DNF because it's a story you want to read. Along with new friends, a new romance love interest in Ludek (Polish GP!) she becomes the person you want her to be. The book is set in the town of Essendale in Yorkshire. We get to take whistlestop tours of Harrogate and London as Emily follows her's and her mother's dream of owning a cafe.

This is my first book by Jennifer Page that I have read and I will be looking out for more.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publicists for allowing me access to this title in exchange for a honest review. I hope I get to review many more.

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Oh I just adore books like this and this book is no exceptions. It had a place that I would adore to visit and hang out at. Characters I would love to befriend and a love story that is very sweet and enjoyable.

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A lovely story of following your dreams and even failure not putting you off . Emily was an amazing character. Strong in many ways. When her father showed it was fab. Her best friend was amazing and supportive. I loved all the board games. Her x was a piece of work in so many ways but he did help .A great ending and we had love and laughter. Loved it

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Well this book and I... it was love at first sight.
I am board-gamer myself, so the title was enough to pull me in. But it mentioned it was recommended for fans of Holly Martin... and well, Holly is my favorite feel good author since years.

Lucky the book actually delivered with it promised! I was enchanted from the very first pages and couldn't put it down!

We follow Emily on a life changing mission. After she looses her job and her fiance, she wants to invest in a dream she had with her mother for years. Owning their own cafe. But she soon realizes that a normal cafe won't cut the deal. She needs something extra for her cafe. And that are board games.

I must say I was a little annoyed at first by the depiction of the board game club and their members. Jennifer Page went with the whole boardgamers are geeks approach and I cant have had it with that. Have you ever been to a board game club? Cause even D&D players aren't all geeks. So yeah.... she could have handled that better. But that is actually the only comment I have.
Lots of very well know games are mentioned, so even non boardgamers will recognize a ton, because they are pretty basic games.

What I especially loved was the overall story arc. There is of course a love interest, but the book isn't a romance. It is all about Emily finding what drives her, finding who she is after loosing so much and starting this whole professional adventure.

I cant wait to see what Jennifer Page comes with next! Definitely an author I will keep my eyes out for.

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Absolutely loved this.

What a fantastic idea a board game cafe, Emily makes her dream reality after being made redundant by her fiance.

Mr B is just the sweetest man!.

Really looking foward to reading more from this Author.

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A lovely take on a classic romance really beautiful and a fabulous debut - the board games were a great twist.

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What can you do when your fiance and boss suddenly makes you redundant, not only that you have moved into his house and have a future mother in law who thinks you aren't good enough for her son? Naturally you break off the engagement, move out and follow your dreams of owning your own cafe. Premises found and decorated, baking going least that is something you can do., but where are the customers? one a day won't make you a profit. Gradually the local pensioners are a life line and when asked to go to a board game evening what else do you do? Love and life start picking up but is this the life but is this really all the future hold

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I really enjoyed this book.
Emily is pursuing her lifelong dream and setting up her own cafe in a quirky little town in Yorkshire.
A snappy start hooked me straight in and the book rolled along with lively dialogue between Emily and her supporters. There is a delightful set of supporting characters and the story itself does not stray from being believable.
As the title suggests, this book has a board games theme which adds an unusual element to the book. The games are incidental to the plot, although accurate in description. If you play boardgames they will raise a familiar smile but they don't dominate the plot, so if you don't have an interest in games, you can roll with Emily's ups and downs regardless.
I loved seeing Emily's character develop as she battles her self-doubts and various business setbacks. I also enjoyed the developing romance between Emily and Ludek and the ending was cute.

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3.5 ⭐️ After Emily loses her job, fiancé, and home in quick succession, she decides to pursue her life-long dream of owing a cafe. After little foot traffic and customers, she decides to revamp the cafe into a board game cafe in order to attract more customers.

As a board game enthusiast the title and synopsis immediately drew me in. I loved the mention of Azul- my favorite board game! I feel that you can still enjoy this book even if you are not interested in board games. I liked that there was enough detail about board games for those who enjoy them, but not so much detail that it would be overwhelming for those who know nothing about board games.

I enjoyed this book- it was different from a typical romance novel. This book focuses more on Emily’s journey to happiness and turning her dream into a reality, and the romance aspect is secondary. Overall this is an adorable story and had good character development. I also thought the romance was really sweet. Overall, I would recommend this book.

💕“It’s a risk I’m willing to take Em. For you.”💕

Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for this ARC.

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I enjoyed this story of a woman who is looking to realize the dream she held with her late mom to open a cafe. After a break up and losing her job, she finds friends who become like family and opens her cafe only to of course struggle. Really cozy story.

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Set in Essendale, Emily had always dreamed of running her own cafe with her mum Diane. It all started when Mrs. Benton who ran Tricia’s Treats was going on a six-week cruise 🚢 with a man she met through a dating agency. She asked Diane to run the cafe in her absence. Diane would manage the kitchen while Emily did her mom’s job waiting tables.

Emily’s distraught when learns she’s been fired from her job. Worse she’s been fired by her fiancé James. She’s been living in Essendale for three years.

While ruminating about the day’s events and wondering how she’d cope now that she has no job, she stumbles on an unattractive one-storey building that’s for sale.

Soon after taking over a poloular cafe in town, Emily realizes she’s gotten more than what she’s bargained for. Undeterred she decides to move forward with her plan and not too long she meets a man named Ludek, who’s a GP.

Overall, an interesting read. Would recommend

Thank you to Jennifer Page, NetGalley and Aria for the arc of this book.

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Really enjoyed this novel. I’d never heard of this author before but I loved her style of writing.

It was quite a unique storyline and I loved reading about all the different games.

Will definitely be looking out for more books by this author in future

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3.5 stars!
this book was interesting! i love the game aspect! i really enjoyed the relationships that were built along the way. i also liked that lots of known board games were mentioned. it was fun seeing that.

the cover is SO CUTE I LOVE IT.

would recommend and will be looking out for future books by this author!

thank you to NetGalley and the publicists for allowing me access to this title in exchange for a honest review!

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I was immediately attracted by the title of The Little Board Game Cafe and the cute book cover. Some of my favorite social outings in real life have centered around games and I have to add an extra star for the mentions of Carcassonne and pierogi.

The story starts out pretty typically with a heroine on the skids - lost her job, living in a lackluster relationship and no clear future ahead. Emily does have a dream and decides to take a chance. With the support of best friend Kate, hot doctor Ludek and sweet Mr Baranski, Emily survives the pitfalls and challenges of starting a new business. She even maintains a good relationship with her ex James and he supports her efforts too. That was a nice touch.

I did find the romance between Emily and Ludek a bit strange with the push/pull between them. The attraction is there but not the emotion behind it. I wasn't even sure that maybe she was going back to James, but wasn't feeling that either. Actually not a bad plot point if it had been clearer. After all, Emily discovers a love of board games, Ludek even makes a handmade game for her and she tries to master Polish cooking with the help of Mr Baranski.

Overall, I did enjoy reading about the cafe, I wish such a place existed near me because I would definitely become a regular. The story moved along at a good pace and I wanted to see Emily's venture succeed - perhaps even more than her romance. I recommend The Little Board Game Cafe for readers who like a plot with their romance.

Thank you to NetGalley, Jennifer Page and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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**I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest review**

Emily and her mother had a dream of someday running a cafe. A place for the community with good food and friendship. When Emily loses her job and her fiance in the same week, she decides to take the chance on a small cafe off the beaten path. During this business adventure she makes new friends, gains a love for board games, and has the chance to fall in love with a board game enthusiast/doctor.

I grabbed this book because I own over 80 board games and my board game TBP (to be played) is just as long as my TBR. So an idea of a board game fueled romance sounded fun. I will say that I feel like the romance takes a backseat in this book. We do have a relationship build but we only get to see the love interest in shorter spurts in between everything else happening in Emily's life. Really this book focuses on Emily, her dreams, and her budding courage to pursue what makes her happy even if means taking risks in love and business.

I LOVED all the board game references tossed in throughout and Emily's character development. But I missed out on Ludek's character. I don't feel like I got to know him as well and so his character arc fell flat for me. The pacing threw me off a little bit as we have a pretty slow pace up until the end where everything seems to speed up VERY quickly.

This was a cozy fiction read with romantic subplot. Despite missing some of the heavier romance I was expecting (there is some mild spice) I still enjoyed this book. Emily was a great character to follow and the side characters were all dynamic and delightful.

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This book had a wonderful plot line and a romantic story that was both realistic and dream worthy all at once. The main character, Emily, was quirky and lovable in a way that made you want to vote for her the entire book. The emotional connection to her could be seen in my tears in the sad moments as well as in my smile and laughter in the good ones. Additionally, the authors telling of Emily’s story made me want to read more and more to discover all the different plots being alluded to.

As a member of a big board game family, this book immediately caught my eye, and I was pleasantly surprised that the board game selections weren’t your typical Monopoly and Life. This truly was a book showing every board gamers dream, a FLGS meets a small town bakery.

Thank you to both the Publisher and the Author for providing a complimentary digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel via NetGalley. This is my fair and honest review. (All opinions are my own, and were not biased in any way)

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I enjoyed this book, I thought the characters were really interesting and loved the relationship with Mr B, someone who would help you completely, without really knowing you. It's a book that really touches on grief and the realities of what it can do to a person
Thank you netgalley for the advanced copy

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Ohh i really enjoyed this book, something a bit different i like the idea of a board game cafe, wish there was one near me

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As a recent board game addict I had to read this book immediately! I'm pleased to say I absolutely loved it. The characters were mostly all likeable (a bit more support from her friend early on would have been nice) and the storyline took a few turns before reaching the expected happy ending. I will look for more books by this author.

And the bonus is I now have some new board games to check out :)

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What a fantastic read! I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Little Board Game Cafe'. It's an engaging story that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next. There are twists and turns along the way with unexpected outcomes and many tender and poignant moments. It has a satisfying ending that will leave you with a warm glow. I also loved the brilliant descriptions of quaint villages and cosy cafes, I wanted to step inside the book and snuggle up with a hazelnut latte, a slab of cake and a board game on the go!

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First of all, I love this cover. I was immediately wanted to pick it up based by the title and this most adorable cover. This story follows Emily's journey to happiness and self discovery with a touch of romance. Emily is tired of her "average life" and takes us on a journey of her pitfalls and challenges to succeed. I loved the game nights and the competition of the other coffee shop in town. I wish I had a place like this near me. Sounds like a dream.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Really enjoyed this read, was a lovely story too! The community of the cafe and the board game sound wonderful!

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I received this book from Netgalley. The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover, and then the title. It's been a dream of mine for quite some time to open up a little coffee shop so this book seemed like a great choice.

It's easy to read and the character descriptions are really good. I feel like I got to know the characters really well. I find the idea of buying the business a bit odd. Probably because it's a café that is closed. So why would she need to buy it? Couldn't she just rent the premises and open her own from scratch - then again, I'm no expert.

Having Costa open up wouldn't change the business that Em's Café has. I love Costa but sometimes you want to go to a cute, independent place instead. Also, I'm sure she would have a better selection of treats.

I like Emily as a character but I so feel like she gave up too easily. She just sold/donated all of her things without even trying to make enquiries about finding a new place - that was disappointing.

Where can I find my own Ludek though?! Man, he is such a great character. Definitely book boyfriend potential ;)

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A cozy, lovely story about finding the courage to follow your dreams despite life's hard knocks.

I really enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting. I could commiserate with Emily on feeling stuck and unsure of where to head next when she finds herself unemployed. The big feeling of "what now?" becomes "what if?" when she allows herself to believe in an old dream she had to open a cafe as a teenager. The unique theme of the cafe certainly made it a fun ride. I myself got into board games through my spouse so it was a lot of fun to watch her relationship evolve with board games and the man who got her into it all!

If you're looking for a sweet and light read that feels like a warm cup of tea, this is the book for you.

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My first book by this author, and what a delightful read! We meet Emily who pursues her lifelong dream of owning a café! The cafe she chooses though turns out a bit of a nightmare with no passing trade and not many customers, but can it all change when she comes across the idea of introducing board games?

This was a lovely story. I liked Emily’s character and felt quite sorry for her right from the beginning when she loses her job, her house and her fiancé all in one go. I’ve always loved the idea of running a café, so could totally relate to Emily’s enthusiasm for running her own! I loved the idea of having a theme café, and when board games were mentioned and tables were decorated, I could totally see me sitting down for lunch whilst playing a game of draughts or snakes and ladders! Some of the games however I’d never heard of, and to be honest I never realised there were so many different types of board games! I loved Ludek’s character and the surprise of what he was hiding in his house was…well surprising!! He was such a lovely character though and would have loved him as my GP!

The story flowed along at a lovely pace. There was the required romance, lots of café related talk (the Polish food sounded so tasty!) and some heart-warming friendships amongst the regulars to the café. I loved the relationship that Emily had with her dad, and whilst I didn’t really like James initially (or strangely her best friend Kate for that matter!), I did warm to them all as the story moved on. The location was perfectly chosen and the storyline was light-hearted, emotional at times and very easy to read! Grab yourself a latte and sausage and bacon sandwich and settle down to enjoy!

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This novel is all about love  ❤ and friendship.

When out protagonist Emily loses her job, boyfriend and home in one day we know that her life is going to change dramatically.
She live  in  West Yorkshire in village called Essendale. She dreams of owning her own small cafe thereand this is going to be the best time to do it,  as she has literally nothing to lose. 

The only problem is the cafe she buys does not have many passing trade 'no foot fall' therefore not many customers at all. She needs to turn this failing business around and make it a brighter and make it nicer place to work an eat in. If she cannot do this the business is bound to fail.
But at present Emily is 'working six days a week and mostly on her feet than sitting behind a desk- was taking its toll and she was tired'.

Local board game obsessed GP Ludek he is Polish and he partner hasintroduces her to the world of board games, the group play games about taking risks, Ludes Emily watched him 'fascinated by how meticulously sorted out all the pieces' 'He  looks  after his games' say Malcolm (His friend)'the way other people look after their children '.

Is this new business destined to fail or can Emily and her friends turn things arou she first saw him'.
Need a 'Unique Selling Point' for the Lancashire Hotpot Cafe. 'Something that would make it a destination to persuade people to drive a mile out of their way to visit. Or, at least a few hundred yards from Essendale's high street instead of going to sweet delights' her rival cafè so
'She was going to transform The Lancashire Hotpot from an ordinary back-street cafè into a board gamers paradise'.

Opening night 🌙 òf cafè and Ludek states 'It'd  risk I'm willing to take for your' after he brings lots of (expensive) games to the cafe.

Kate, Emily's flatmate and best friend, turns up at the grand opening 🌙 night with new  boyfriend Freddie but they are drunk, and as soon as they arrive  they spoil one of Ludek's special games.

Things go from bad to worse when Emily find out  that Costa is to open in three weeks time, on the High Street!!!
'Now she was back to square one.  No, worse than square one.  When she was at square one, she didn't have a reputation. Now it has a bad one'

This is a easy to read novel,  and has a overall upbeat feel to it😊 ! I can quite see this being the first of a series of books 📚 as we have a knowledge of town, characters and challenges, they might face. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me a complementary digital copy of this ebook in exchange for a honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Emily has always wanted to open a cafe. It was her and her mum's dream. A cafe is up for sale and she decides to buy it but then discovers it wasn't such a good deal as she thought. Ludek a local games enthusiast persuades her to let his friend suse the cafe for their games night. Loved it

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This is my go to kind of book, when I want to curl up on the sofa on a cold winter's day & disappear into an easy to read tale.
This is a lovely little book, set in a newly opened cafe and how it's customers and owner all get to know and help one another

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What an enjoyable book this was, my first one by Jennifer Page (and I've just found out through Instagram that it's her debut novel, which makes it even better!).

It had been Emily's dream for years to run her own cafe, one where people could come to enjoy themselves, and get wholesome, home-cooked food. When she got fired by her fiance, split up with said fiance, and came across a run down cafe for sale all in a few days, it seemed like the perfect time to take the leap. However, it doesn't turn out exactly as it had in Emily's dreams, and she has to overcome many obstacles if she wants her new cafe to be a success.

I was drawn into this book by the sense of community - Mr B especially was a lovely character. It was great to follow Emily's journey and to watch her grow in confidence with the help of her friends and family, new and old.

The romance was lovely too, but this one was Emily's story, and I was rooting for her the whole way through.

What a lovely read! 💕

Thank you so much to Aria & Aries, Jennifer Page and Netgalley for the ARC.

#thelittkeboardgamecafe #netgalley

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A story of friendship, life changes, love and a bit more. This is the story of Emily and how she copes with lose and moving forward in life and with her life.

It is a lovely story, a story that many of us can probably relate to. It flows well, it is sweet and even light-hearted. It is a story for everyone.

Easy to read, entertaining and a bit of fun. I enjoyed this one.

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A very sweet and enjoyable read! This novel follows the story of Emily - a young woman with a lifelong dream of opening a cafe, but who faces a lot of self-doubt, trauma and challenges along the way. Although the premise of the novel seems very simple, the author does a fantastic job of creating complex, realistic and likeable characters. I was cheering on Emily throughout the story and the plot decisions were very satisfying.

This novel also provides a great commentary on the importance of relationships - family, friends, acquaintances and work colleagues. Although there is an element of romance throughout the novel, Emily's relationships with her dad, clients and other supporting characters throughout the novel were so well written. The author did a commendable job in illustrating how these connections all contribute to our successes and challenges, no matter how small a connection seems to be.

I also love the unique premise of writing about a board game cafe. I love board games and that contributed to my enjoyment of the book. I even picked up a few ideas about new games to buy! However, even readers who are not fans of board games or only know the classic games (Scrabble, snakes and ladders etc) will be able to follow along. Readers who enjoy games, small town stories, stories about friendship, or who are looking for a heartwarming read will surely enjoy this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read and will be recommending it to others once it is published this spring (April 2023)! Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing me a ARC of the novel.

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I received a free copy of, The Little Board Game Cafe, by Jennifer Page, from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Emily has lost everything, so she decides to pursue her dream and buy a business, a cafe. Not knowing its not a successful business. Will Emily be able to survive and thrive, or is this just another loss for Emily. A really good read.

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I was drawn to this book by the title, as a board game enthusiast, I was excited to see a book featuring them. Although this is pegged as a romance, I personally think it is more of a women's fiction, with romance as a secondary plot.

I loved that board games were mentioned in detail, but not so much as to overwhelm someone who was not familiar with them.

Overall, a cute, fun read that can easily be read in an hour.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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This book is cosy romcom heaven! I quickly got lost in its pages and loved the light, comic voice of the author and was willing Emily on from the very outset. She is very relatable as is the hero, Ludek, who has all the qualities needed to make readers fall in love. Both characters were well-rounded with flaws and vulnerabilities that made them that much more realistic and provided understandable barriers to their romance before they each grew in confidence. I particularly loved the way the community developed around the café and these supporting characters and that sense of community was a real strength of the book. The board games aspect was a great USP for the novel as much as it was for Emily’s new venture and reminded me how much I love board games.
Overall, a heart-warming romance perfect for curling up with. Strong on friendship, love, growth and community, it really was a delightful escape. I absolutely loved it and am excited to read Jennifer Page’s next book.

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This is a good book. I enjoyed the flow of the story, it had well rounded robust characters, a good dose of fun and romance and is a all round general good read.

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I started reading this book and thought oh no this is going to be so predictable. I can see she is going to split up from her long time boyfriend and probably buy a café just like she has always dreamed of.... and yes these things do happen but, this is only a very small part of the story. There are so many twists and turns and real curve balls , real challenges for the characters making it anything but, predictable.
Humorous in places and on the whole a light hearted read with likeable characters. I think this which would make a great holiday read.

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What an enjoyable read. Both light hearted and with a real depth of emotion running through, this book about the trials and tribulations of running a cafe is an absolute belter.

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The place, coffee shop, the atmosphere i’d like to visit! It’s so adorable and charming story with real character development we face in our life and lovable friendship i’d like to be around with. More plot twist as the story goes but it was worth to read and suits summer the best! Can’t wait to read more books from the author.

Thank you Aria & Aries and NetGalley for providing me the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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"Kitchens shouldn't smell of Cif. They should smell of roast garlic and cinnamon and freshly baked bread"

In the Little Board Game Café we meet Emily as she is about to lose both her job and her fiancé (and his fancy house) in a matter of days. As she picks up the pieces, Emily decides to. for once, take a risk and pursue the dream she and her mom had when she was little: start a café. When she sees her business failing and her money dwindling, she goes to find the one thing that can make people venture of the main road of the small-town and into her café...

I am all for small-town novels where a woman starts a venture of her own, especially one with yummy foods and cakes. All the more so when it includes an interesting best girl friend who dashes from crush to crush, an elderly Polish man who instantly feels like the grampa you want to adopt, a nerdy love interest, and a cackle of other (female) characters who are just a hoot-and-a-half. Add to all that my other hobby, Board Games, and I. Am. Sold. The Little Board Game Café is just a sweet, sweet novel, filled with characters who will steal your heart. It's nothing spectacularly new, but just the right amount of odd for my quirky heart.

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An enjoyable light read to relax with making it an ideal holiday read. Good portrayal of characters, some a little quirky, although I did rather blow hot and cold with the main one of Emily. A little predictable in places but a good book displaying community spirit and friendships with a touch of romance. Set in a small town in Yorkshire with a background of baking and board games. I certainly didn't know there was such a plethora of different board games out there being stuck in the playing of more traditional well known ones.

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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy in return for an honest review. I really enjoyed this story, it was entertaining and kept me wanting to find out what happened in the end. It was heartful, emotional and funny, exactly what I wanted from this novel. An excellent debut and I will definitely be looking out for what the author produces in the future.

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A lovely read, following Emily as she pursues her and her mums dream of opening a cafe. Whilst Emily goes on such a rollercoaster of a journey with her cafe, and creates a wonderful community of delightful characters, it was the grief storyline and the process of learning to love again that made the book for me.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley UK for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a rollercoaster and I mean it in the best way possible.

After Emily loses her job, the place where she lives and her fiancé in just a couple days, there's no way to go but up so she decides to open up a little café, following her and her mother's dream.

Everything felt so real, starting a new business is never easy and I loved the way Emily's went, with its ups and downs and some bumps in the road that were out of her control.

Along the way she doesn't only get to know herself better but she also starts to develop some lovely friendships with people around her town and has a new shot at love.

I loved every single second of it, the detail put into every description and the overall theme with the board games.

It was refreshing and inspiring and so easy to fall in love with each character.

Thanks so much Netgalley and the author for this ARC in exchange of an honest review.

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Knew from the first page I was going to love this book and it didn't disappoint, the wonderful characters and the unusual board game cafe storyline were an amazing combination I could not put this book down
After Emily gets made redundant from her job working for her fiance she decides after much thought to take a risk on her dream of owning a cafe in memory of her mum, after struggles and a break up and making 'new friends along the way she may just succeed in her and her mum's dream.
A wonderful book I thoroughly enjoyed reading would highly reccomend this story

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Delightfully charming!

I think my opening two words sum this book up perfectly, it's such a sweet and touching story, full of friendship and family and of course board games - it makes me want to pull out the dusty Scrabble box from the attack!

I really liked this, when I say it's cute and cosy, I absolutely mean it, it's easily one of the most enjoyable books I have read for a while, I loved the simplicity of the story, of how incredibly easy it is to read. I love how it's a gentle stroll instead of a whirlwind dash through the story - which has to be said is a little odd for me as I am usually one who loves faster-paced plots, but this one is incredibly enjoyable.

There is nothing heavy about this book, some readers may say it's a bit too sickly sweet but I loved it, it's refreshingly feel-good, I loved the characters as individuals; Emily is a lovely woman, one who I connected with right away and I was willing her on in trying and fighting so hard for her dream and Ludek is a gorgeous charismatic doctor (why haven't I got one like him?) so as individuals they were wonderful, but (and this is my only negativity) I don't think they worked as well as a couple then they did as friends, I thought the romance between them was lacking something.

I loved the concept of a board game cafe, it is so relevant to what people are going through at the minute, where people are a little lonely and worried they can escape reality for a moment and become absorbed ina an innocent board game - we really need cafes like this!

Overall, The Little Board Game Cafe is charming, it's the perfect lazy weekend read, full of friendships and relationships and lots of those much-needed feel-good emotions!

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A light hearted enjoyable read. Perfect for Sunday afternoons and pure escapism. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book.

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A charming book, especially for fans of board games. A sweet romance novel that brought tears to my eyes at times. The FMC was relatable and the character development in all characters was good.

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Three and a half stars.

Emily and her mother always dreamed of owning a small café selling good old-fashioned cakes and soup and sandwiches to the local community. When Emily's boss (who also happens to be her fiancé) makes her redundant, she begins to hop to make her dream a reality, even if the only vacant café in her price range is a scruffy, deserted, ugly café in a cul-de-sac away from the main run of shops and cafés.

Initially afraid to take a risk Emily buys a one-year lease on the café and starts about making it her own, but aside from one elderly Polish gentleman who turns up at eleven o'clock every day for a cappuccino and a cake, she has no customers. It appears the vendor may not have been entirely honest about the profitability of the business and Emily risks losing the small inheritance she received from her mother, until local GP Ludek asks if the local Board Games group can use the café one Friday night when the pub they usually use has an event. Suddenly the café is reinvented as the Little Board Game café.

This was a cosy romantic read, very reminiscent of some of Jane Lovering's early Yorkshire romances. There was a bit of angst, but no real villains, a sweet romance and a bit of personal growth. I liked it, but I didn't love it. 2023 the year of three and a half stars continues.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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I absolutely adored this book. I could connect with the characters which is very important to me. The struggles that Emily went trough were very realistic and I could relate to her. She looses her job, fiancée and home and she has to build a new life while staying with a friend and realising her dream of owning a cafe. I would definitely recommend reading this book!!

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Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book. Emily, the main character, was fantastic, and I was rooting for her all the way. I also love the premise of the board games themed cafe. The one thing I didn't think was developed as well as it could have been was the romance. I know this story was more about Emily's personal journey, but I would have liked to seen a little more emphasis placed on the romance.

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I adored this book! Emily and Ludek are the cutest! Meeting each other in a running club, who knew how their lives would become entwined and their love for board games would become a trademark.

I'm not a huge board game fan as I'd rather watch than play them but I can see the draw to them when it comes to building a community and make new friendships along the way. Emily definitely found her feet and her saviours when she bought the shop in Essendale.

Mr B sounds amazing, Annie was an angel in disguise and Kate is well, Kate!

Very heartwarming and lovely read, thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to others!

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Love. Board games. Cafe. That has cozy written all over it. A delightful romcom story that will have you hooked from the very beginning

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An enjoyable read that brings multiple love stories to fruition. I did tend to skip over the explanation of the games!

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A lovely warm, optimistic read. A story full of life events - both good and bad, decision making and trust in future happiness.
I enjoyed being in the cafe very much.

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What a sweet and enjoyable read! This was my first book by Jennifer Page and I’m excited to check out more from her. I really enjoyed reading about the cafe and it was an easy read and was a good pace. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a plot with romance and just a fun read.

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What a charming book this is. So good to read a different perspective on 'romance,' with the addition of Board Games into Emily's cafe. I was fascinated by the names of many of the games and wondered if they are in fact real? However, the main thing is that this is a delightful book, well written and with highly believable charaters.
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and enjoy it.

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. What a nice feel good easy read, great characters, great location and a nice storyline.

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A charming story about finding the courage to follow your dreams and finding love and friendships along the way. I was immediately attracted to this book from it’s cover and title. As a board gamer myself, I was curious to see how the author would incorporate gaming into the story and if the games would go beyond classics to introduce modern hobby games. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of games mentioned and how the author drew the main character into this hobby. The relationships she built along the way to realizing her dream were a great addition to the story. My only critique is the way the author initially portrayed the gaming group as a bunch of nerdy men. Gaming groups today are a variety of different people from both men and women to couples and families. Otherwise, this was a lovely story that I would highly recommend to both gamers and non-gamers alike.

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So cute and fun! Definitely a bit out of my comfort zone, but I appreciated this book a lot. The plot had a cute premise and was really enjoyable and light. It wasn't heavy on the romance, which was pretty great to me. I liked spending time with those characters and following their lives. I'd love to read more from this author when I'm in the mood for more stories like this one.

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I really enjoyed this book and found it easy to read. A different concept on a cafe, this time with board games and I was intrigued to see how it would turn out. Throw in some relationship drama, love and humour and you’ve got a winner!

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TW: death of a parent which affects the FMC Emily and her other parent. This was a cute story about Emily and Ludek. It is about Emily who is finally going for what she has always wanted. She meets Ludek throughout this new adventure. Her cafe is her dream from her and her mom. As she changes it to a board game cafe she is starting to feel better about herself and getting her dream. I love board games and and this book was super cute. There is growth with Emily and Ludek too.

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This is an adorable, charming, and cozy story. I loved the author's writing style, the way she described things just enough and how she ended scenes immediately once the action the reader needed was through. It was told in succinct episodes within chapters. The supporting cast was lovely and interesting. Even though it touches on themes of lose and grief, it was an uplifting and overall happy read.
I loved the twist on the little cafe setting by including board games.
A very enjoyable book and I look forward to more from this author.

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Wonderful, a tale of someone following her dreams. Huge pitfalls along the way in both her business and love lives . Hard to put down, loved it .

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The Little Board Game Cafe by Jennifer Page is about Emily and her dream of owning a cafe. Emily spent a summer in her teens managing a Cafe with her mum whilst the owner was on holiday. Her parents planned for Emily to get a university qualification to help run her own cafe business. Things hadn't worked out as planned. We meet up with Emily as a twenty-something-year-old, engaged and working for her fiancee, James. Her seemingly idyllic life is upended when she is made redundant by James. Emily finds herself without a job, a fiancee and a place to stay. With no job to go to, Emily decides to turn her and her mum's lifelong dream into a reality. She happens upon a recently closed cafe off the beaten track for sale. The story takes us on the journey of Emily's discovery. The book introduces us to dynamic characters like Emily's childhood friend, Kate, the local GP Ludek and customers who became her friends and helped her with the rollercoaster life that was her reality. The book is easy to read but still manages to fill the story with friendship, romance, grief, self-doubt, humour, failure, success and interesting three-dimensional characterisation. I recommend the book to lovers of board games and those who enjoy quick reads.

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**this review contains spoilers**

'The Little Board Game Café' begins with Emily being fired by her fiancé, James, and using this opportunity to finally follow her and her mum's dream and open her own café. The story then follows Emily through the up's and down's of business and relationships whilst we see her dream come to fruition.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I adored *almost* every character in this book, and those I didn't like at the beginning redeemed themselves further in. The first note I made whilst reading simply said "I hate James", so needless to say I was very pleased when Emily broke things off with him🤣

The storyline in this book was fairly traditional, in that you knew there would be a happy ending, but was also thoroughly enjoyable with a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

I absolutely adored the addition of the board games in this story, and loved that you could tell that Jennifer Page herself is a board game fan; seeing the names of real games that I love made me so happy. I mean who wouldn't want to call their cat Catan? It is one of the best board games there is!

I gave this book 4🌟 overall and would recommend it to anyone who likes a romance intended to brighten up their day.

And on that note, I'll leave you with my favourite quote from the book, one that made me laugh and immediately read it aloud to my boyfriend: 'Afterwards, Ludek wrapped his arms and legs around her, clinging to her body like one of those little koalas you see sometimes in toys shops that grips on the top of a pencil.'

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I am a sucker for romances that revolve around someone starting their own business and this certainly delivered on that! I love how romances like these have a theme of 'finding your purpose in life' and when the main character then also finds the right person to share their passion with I am sold! I loved all the board game references and how everyone in this town came together to make this café a success and support Emily.

I don't think this book will stay with me forever (which is why I didn't give it five stars), but I certainly had a great time reading this!

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This is such a sweet, delightful and easy read, that I quickly got drawn into the story. It had a nice twist with the games element, compared with the usual cafe owner romance genre stories. I loved reading about the different games and have noted a few to look into for myself. The writing flowed well and the storyline was really engaging and complex enough to keep my interest all the way through.

I loved the characters, especially Emily, the would-be cafe owner, she is so sweet that really wanted her to succeed. This story has a wealth of secondary characters, which I liked more as the book went on. I did feel the breakdown of Emily's relationship with her fiance was rather abrupt but it did move the story along. The characters are well-developed and realistic too.

This is a debut novel for this author and it was an excellent first book, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. If you are looking for a sweet romance with a few twists then this one is worth getting.

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I’ve not read anything by Jennifer Page before so wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the blurb sounded good & as I frequently judge a book by its cover I was hopeful of a good book. I wasn’t disappointed, it’s a lovely gentle story featuring believable, fully-formed characters and a storyline that held my interest from beginning to end.
I will definitely be looking out for more books by this author.
A lovely feel-good story & a great read for the summer.

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I really enjoyed this book. Losing everything in a couple day time sucks but emily is determined to have a good life. I love the idea of the board game Cafe. I would definitely recommend this book.

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This is such a cute, heartwarming story of starting over and living your dreams.

Emily works for her fiancee James's company and the story starts out with him firing her (making her "redundant") which throws a wrench in their relationship. Emily tries to deal with it and stay together, but the more she thinks about what she wants to do now that she isn't working, the more she is convinced that she wants to fulfill her Mom's dream of opening up a cafe. When her friend, Kate signs them up for a running club, and she stumbles in front of an empty cafe advertising it is available for rent, she knows she has to do it. But James isn't supportive and so she moves out, signs on the dotted line, and tries to live the dream.

This wouldn't be a good story without some bumps along the way though! Despite her prowess in cooking, no one comes to the cafe at first and she is left trying in vain to figure out how to be successful. Thankfully, Ludek, who she met at the running club, has a weekly board game group that Emily has attended a few times and she gets the idea to re-make the cafe into a board game cafe. Things start to really improve and her relationship with Ludek is getting more serious, but her fear of commitment and the landlord selling the building to developers throw her for a loop and she is left trying to pick up the pieces and re-create her dream.

I loved reading about Emily's dream for a cafe, her grief over her mother's death, and relationship with Ludek. This story started out right away and never was there a dull moment. I thought the story line of Emily and her father learning how to move on after her Mother's death was particularly well done and I appreciated that the author didn't gloss over how long grief can have a hold on you. The romance with Ludek was pretty well done, but I was getting a little frustrated with the continued misunderstandings so I was happy to see everything worked out in the end.

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Fun, sweet read. What does one do when they lose their job, home, and fiancé in a matter of a couple of days? Open up a cafè on a side street. Not enough people coming in to make it a viable source of income? Make it a board games café. Throw in romance, insecurities, a friend in search of her own romance, and a father who won't leave home, makes for a fun read with ups a downs. The characters are realistic but fun.
I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Emily's life is imploding. She loses her job, her fiance and her home. Sleeping on a friend's couch is not a long-term solution. Emily and her mother had a long-held dream - to open a small cafe and serve good food and good friendships, but alas, her mother died.. A small cafe comes up for sale, and Emily, with no experience, buys it, only to discover the foot traffic on that street is almost non-existent. She watches her money dwindle away. An older gentleman becomes her one regular and encourages her when she wonders about turning the cafe into a board games site. After a lot of sweat equity and going deeper in debt, she re-opens. Gradually the cafe plus Emily's wonderful baked goods starts to take off.

The story is not just about games - it's also about relationships and how important it is to cultivate and cherish friends from all walks of life. Emily and her father are close. Emily and her sometimes-boyfriend, Ludek, spend time trying to develop their relationship and determining where it will go.

A lovely, feel-good story.

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Emily has to endure the trials and tribulations of a relationship that she is uncertain of, being made redundant and then chooses to go it alone to fulfill her lifelong dream of opening a cafe. Hardwork and good ideas don't guarantee success and Emily finds this out the hard way but the Little Board Game has a lot in store for her throughout the story.

This was a really enjoyable read and I hope there's another book to follow but I do';t know whether there are any plans for this. A recommended read for sure!

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This book is exactly the type I love - relationship ends, girl takes on ambitious project (cafe/bookshop/rundown cottage), falls in love, miscommunication briefly ends things, happily ever after.

This time the ambitious project is running a café with no customers, and then turning it into a board games cafes (another thing I love).

The characters are well written to the point of actively disliking a couple - James is pompous and Kate is self absorbed. My issue with Kate is she's Emily's best friend but doesn't support her. She promises to help market the new café but then doesn't actually do anything until it's failing. She spends most of her time with her latest love interest rather than actually supporting her friend - or taking any interest in what's going on until right at the end.

Anyway, the book has a great story, well researched board games (although a handy list of those mentioned in the back would be good so you don't have to go through the book to find them again!), lovely sounding food and a romance worthy of Hallmark.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced ebook copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Emily and her mum always dreamt of owning a cafe. When Emily loses her job, boyfriend and home in quick succession, she's tempted to buy a run-down cafe and fulfil her dream.
This is a sweet book, with a great cast of characters. Somewhat predictable but just what you want from this type of read.
A great holiday book.

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A lovely, lovely read. Great cast of well written characters and a real feel good ending. Highly recommended.

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The Little Board Game Cafe is one of the only two books that I was able to finish reading for the month of February this year. I was able to finish reading it because it was accessible as I was reading it through my iPad that I would bring to work from time to time.

I got a hold of this book through Netgalley and I grabbed this particular book because I honestly thought the cover was so cute and I found the premise quite interesting. I have always wanted to read cafe stories but never had the chance to do so.

I adore how appetizing the author, Jennifer Page, painted this story through words. The way Emily, our main girl in the story, and her cooking was described were delectable and sweet. The story follows Emily’s self discovery and all the kind and supportive people she meets along the way. It was also a cute story of learning how to express yourself better and getting yourself together and reaching your goals. There were romantic scenes too, that could well be more about friendship and how to navigate through relationships all while building and finding yourself.

There were just moments in the book where I felt like the pacing was getting a bit slow and repetitive. The built up drama with Emily’s ex in the beginning didn’t sit well with me. I ended up not liking him for most of the book but he ended up being a very decent character, like, he was kind to Emily towards the end and I felt sorry for ever not liking him. It was just that they weren’t a match. This is important to mention because I believe his character, for certain parts of the story, stir up a love triangle trope and I thought maybe we could have had more to his character.

I was able to annotate and highlight parts of this book, specially towards the end. I thought there were a lot of really well relatable paragraphs towards the end of the book which makes for such a wonderful conclusion to the story. The author was able to tie up the story well.

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Such a sweet feel good story! The characters are all friendly and seem like people you would like to know in your own life. The story did seem to slow a bit in the middle, but overall was such a nice relaxing read.

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This was a cute read but it was a little uncomfortable reading about Emily opening a board game cafe when she doesn’t know a thing about board games. She should have had more time to immerse herself in the hobby before running headlong into this business. The romance was lacking but I did like that she stayed friendly with her ex, that’s always nice to read about instead of vile comments about an ex.

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This was such a cute, fun, easy read. I loved it!
At some parts, I was very annoyed with the main character because she held back a lot of her trauma and almost missed out on love.
I love how we got to watch the process of how the game board cafe came to be. It was hard work for Emily but it all paid off!
I would really recommend this book!

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Emily works for her fiancee. She also lives with her fiancee. When he makes several employees redundant, he includes Emily in the group. She is not amused.

She slowly realizes that she does not feel intensely about him. So, she leaves. She moves in with her best friend, Kate. And she has a brilliant idea.

Emily’s late mother always had a dream. She hoped that she and Emily would one day own their own cafe.

Emily decides to take her inheritance from her mother, and buy a small cafe. She cleans and cleans. She paints and redecorates. She knows she can make her dream come true.

The cafe is on a cul-de-sac, without a lot of foot traffic. There are a few regular customers, but there is not enough income to survive.

Then, she has a brilliant idea. She will redo some things and reopen as The Game Board Cafe.

One of her regular customers is her biggest supporter. Mr B is a Polish man who paints for her, gives her recipes and then shows her how to cook them and generally gives her a great deal of physical and emotional support. He is one of the best characters in the book.

There are many good characters in this book. Emily’s former fiancee is a very nice man. Emily’s best friend is truly a good friend. Emily also finds herself falling for a doctor. He is a game board addict, and a really charming character.

Emily has issues with emotional connections. There were times I was not thrilled with her. She is self involved and it takes quite some time for her to get the message that in life, you must connect to people even if there may be pain along with the joy.

I liked this book and learned about games that were completely unknown to me. I also learned what a meeple is.

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I am voluntarily writing this review and all opinions are completely my own.

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A real fun and entertaining story with some quirky characters.
I really loved the overall story and the theme of not letting the bad rule and taking some positives from them instead.

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A sweet book about Emily, her lovelife abd fulfilling her dream of starting her own business. It is an easy and quick read which is quite interesting and entertaining. Set in Yorkshire . Reading a lot of thrillers, it is good to occasionally read something less gritty .
Perhaps a little too much obsession with meeting the love of ones life, but mostly a heartwarming story of friendship and a small town.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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Gorgeous, heart-warming read. Credible characters and situations that resonated.

A beautiful up-lifting story.

Highly recommend.

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A brilliant read and one I really enjoyed. The characters are loveable and varied, the plot is one that is engaging and medium paced. I found myself completely drawn into the story and enjoyed the writing style.

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Emily fulfills the dream that she and her Mom had of owning a cafe after she loses her job, home and fiancé in quick order. Emily has even more ups and downs owing her cafe….(think no customers) than in her personal life. Only when things get worse and Emily is ready to give up, does she find how much her friends want her to succeed. This sweet board game cafe does indeed turn out to be a sweet book. I received this arc through Netgalley, Publisher Aria and Aries. This review is my opinion.

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"The Little Board Game Café" by Jennifer Page is a cozy and heartwarming romance novel that revolves around a board game café. The story follows Kate, the owner of the café, as she navigates the challenges of running a business and finding love. When a new competitor threatens to take away her customers, Kate must come up with a plan to keep her café afloat. Along the way, she meets a charming man named Matt who shares her love for board games. As their relationship develops, Kate realizes that there is more to life than just work.

Page's writing is engaging and vivid, transporting the reader to the quaint English town where the story takes place. The characters are well-developed and relatable, making it easy to root for them throughout the story. The theme of community and the importance of finding joy in the simple things in life are woven seamlessly into the plot. Overall, "The Little Board Game Café" is a delightful and entertaining read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

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I love books about cafes and so this one would be right up my street. I loved it. The slightly different twist on the trope with the board games was great .I loved both Emily and Ludek but absolutely loved Mr B. The up and downs of the little rundown cafe was great and at times I really did feel for Emily. It was a perfect distraction to the current bad weather and I read it in one sitting with hot tea and biscuits. Perfect

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This is a cute romance novel, with friendship, love as the main themes of the book.

Meet Emily, who has been recently laid off from work by her fiance James. She then returns to her hometown, where she comes across an abandoned cafe. Emily had been having dreams of owning a cafe of her own that she soon decided to open up a cafe. Emily then meets Ludek, her friend Kate and the community of people in the small town who help Emily to succeed in running the cafe.

This was actually in my opinion a good romance book. The characters are all likable and friendly and above all, the difficulties that Emily was facing in opening up the cafe was realistic. There were some boring parts but then it was in my opinion an engaging story. I do like the community setting in the book and the fact that the story takes place in a small town makes it interesting to read. Also, the book cover is really pretty!

So if you like reading Holly Martin books or Jenny Colgan's, maybe you should try out this book,because this book has a similar vibe to it--worth four stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Aria for the ARC. The review is based on my opinion only.

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When Emily comes across a café for sale in the beautiful village of Essendale it feels like fate. Emily has always dreamt of owning her own little café and having recently lost her job, fiancée and home she thinks it might be time to take the plunge.
Working hard Emily gets the rundown café ready to open but, as it’s a bit off the beaten track, she worries about the lack of custom.
Meeting local GP Ludek and his friends at the Friday night Board Game club might just throw Emily a lifeline. When a national coffee shop chain opens a new branch on the local high street Emily thinks she is beaten. Will she give up on her dream or can her friends help her turn her fortunes around?
This is a lovely story about friendship, love and daring to follow your dreams.
It warms you like a mug of hot chocolate on a cold day.

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I can't believe this is a debut novel, it is so so good.

I kept having to pick the book back up to discover what would happen next, as you may think you know what is likely to happen but there are definitely a lot of ups and downs.

And this is a book that appealed to my inner gamer geek self. I love a board game, and have even heard of or played quite a few of the games mentioned in this book, as well as having to google to just see what some of the others really looked like. Even recall being as distracted as Emily was while I had my one attempt at one of the more complicated games - although in my case it was because I had been stung by a bee earlier in the gaming day, and not for reasons of the heart as was the case for Emily.

And the way the cafe was described and set up, I could picture it so so clearly, and it had so much more character than the time I went to a board game pub! I just loved the whole idea of a board game cafe, and so glad that Emily decided to give that a go, after a false start and losing her job (her fiancee made her redundant), and then the fiancee and place to live.

Nothing was particularly smooth and I loved seeing the various ups and downs, both in the business attempts and also her personal life. And as you get to know her background, you can't help but feel for Emily and understand her that bit more.

The characters were all really realistic, and it was great to meet such a wide variety of people. And the little sub groups of the initial board game evening where Ludek introduced Emily to his love of games, well let's just say I know people that would fit into so many of those groups. And it was also making me feel like I really need to go to my local games club and say hello to people, as I never do that enough!

This just spoke to me on so many levels, it was just totally my sort of a book and I'm so glad I spotted the cover on Netgalley and couldn't resist requesting it. As it was fabulous.

Thank you to Aria and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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