I was introduced to KG MacGregor’s writing back in the heyday of the Xenaverse. Her fan fiction was/is some of the best out there. Luckily for all of us, she worked on those stories, expanded them, fixed them up, and got them published. And now, we have MacGregor’s 25th published novel. She is the embodiment of the wise saying “Write the book that you want to read.” In MacGregor’s case, she wrote the books that we all want to read.
A Proper Cuppa Tea was released in July 2018 by Bella Books. It took me a little time to get to it, but get to it I did! I’ve always enjoy reading a KG MacGregor story, and that holds true with A Proper Cuppa Tea. The setting is lush, the characters are interesting, and the romance is lovely.
While Boston certainly serves as an anchor in the novel, the true setting for A Proper Cuppa Tea is in England. Cambridge, to be exact. MacGregor does a beautiful job of describing the English countryside and Penderworth, an historic estate recently inherited by one of the protagonists. Now, I’ve never been to England. So, I can’t attest to the accuracy of her descriptions. But, I’m going to take that on faith. If for no other reason than because they are so lusciously depicted. The Crown and Punchbowl seems the quintessential English pub. I could picture it in my mind as I read. Clearly, MacGregor has done her research!
Channing Hughes and Lark Latimer are two lovely protagonists. Channing, having dual citizenship in England and the United States, has a foot solidly in both cultures. She’s seems able to move seamlessly between the two. Lark is a native Bostonian who, while well-traveled, isn’t quite as up on British customs and mannerisms. Fortunately, she is self-aware and adapts well – even able to poke a little fun at herself. Their personalities compliment each other nicely. Neither takes herself too seriously and, therefore, is approachable and likable. The secondary characters, too, are quite fun. Even though I may have occasionally wanted to assault Kenny with a well-placed ascot, he was still charming and interesting. I like him.
From the meet cute on the plane at the beginning to the HEA, the romance between Channing and Lark was really quite lovely. While the initial attraction was pretty obvious, I did like that they became friends before they hopped in the sack. The twists and turns of getting to know one another, navigating misunderstandings, and dealing with their own past heartbreaks made for a much more interesting story. When the intimate scenes did make their appearance, they did so in a way that was hot, yet not overdone.
MacGregor also handled the language difference very well. The British characters were appropriately British. The American characters were appropriately American. Of course, there was some blend for Channing and Lark. It was appropriate. I admit to a bit of dissonance with the third-person point-of-view. The narrative “voice” didn’t always remain consistent in my mind. I found it difficult to tell if there was one narrative voice or multiple. That could also just be me. I didn’t find it a hindrance to enjoying the story. It’s just the way my brain works – when I read, I’m always thinking, “How would I read this if I were doing an audio book or reading in front of an audience?” It’s just who I am. So, me not recognizing a consistent narrative voice could simply be my own limitations. In fact, it probably is.
I would have liked a more complex ending. The resolution seemed to go from “we’ll figure it out” to the HEA rather sharply. I guess I wanted a little more there, some detail about any angst or difficulties that popped up in that time. Again, it’s very likely that was just my desire to have more of this book. And it’s always good when a reader wants more!
Yes. I thought reading A Proper Cuppa Tea was a delightful way to spend my time. I was able to enjoy a lovely romance set in beautiful surroundings. And I quite possibly know more about tea than I ever really expected to learn.
Definitely a recommended novel!