Book Reviews

Book Review: ‘Meet Me At The Art Café’ by Sue McDonagh, published by Choc Lit


‘Would you take a chance on a bad boy with a leather jacket and a vintage motorbike?

That’s the question single mum Jo Morris has to ask herself when she collides with local bike mechanic Ed Griffiths on a rainy Welsh hillside. Working at the Art Café, Jo hears the gossip and is all too aware of Ed’s reputation. 

But whilst he’s certainly no angel, there is something about Ed’s daredevil antics that Jo can’t ignore. And as she gets to know him better and watches the kind way he deals with her young son Liam, she beings to wonder – is there more to this ‘bad boy’ than meets the eye?’

Well, Sue McDonagh has done it again … truly brilliant! 

Meet Me At The Art Café is the second in the Art Café series (check out my review of the first book: Summer At The Art Café). You don’t have to have read the first book to be able to understand or enjoy this one, but trust me – it’s brilliant and you should definitely read it.

This story focusses on young single mother Jo and her developing friendship and romance with Ed, the totally handsome local motorbike mechanic that most women seem to swoon over. 

Jo is a somewhat mystical character through the story in that she seems to have a past that she want’s to keep quiet. She comes across as a fairly strong, independent woman that is sensible and level headed. Her world revolves around making sure her son Liam, who comes out with such comical comments they had me laughing aloud, is well and happy.

As the story progresses you can feel Jo relax in her life and start to enjoy herself as she develops new friendships and a confidence to allow herself to be happy.  

She makes a new friend in her older neighbour Beryl, who is likened to a sunbeam when we first meet her, due to her brightly coloured clothes. It’s not only her clothes that are like a sunbeam though; her nature is like a sunbeam. Beryl is a friend that everyone needs – I’d love a friend like her. She coaxes Jo’s happiness and deeper character out of her gently, through friendly chats, help and becoming a friend that Jo can rely on. Oh, and may be also the odd glass or two of wine.  

And then there’s Ed … gorgeous Ed. We are briefly introduced to him in the first of the Art Café series ‘Summer At The Art Café’, but in this story, he is one of the main characters and we learn so much more about him. 

It turns out that Ed has a reputation as a bad boy and a bit of a player. So Jo’s impression of him from what she’s seen and heard, don’t exactly paint a glowing picture of him (well maybe it is a glowing picture to look at him, but not in terms of his reputation). 

However, we learn, and so does Jo, that there’s a lot more to Ed than meets the eye. He’s a genuine, caring person that is utterly dependable and selfless. He is amazing with Jo’s young son Liam who adores him, and the feeling is mutual for Ed too. Out of character for himself, he seems to be drawn to Jo in a way that he can’t shake off. It’s different to how he’s ever felt before. 

But Ed also has something he seems to want to keep to himself. Something that seems to trouble or upset him. 

I’m not going to give too much away as I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I want to try to express how lovely these characters are. I fell in love with them and their story.

Their story also gives us a reminder that there is more to a person than meets the eye. We need to try to stop second guessing, jumping to conclusions and basing judgements on flimsy or no knowledge, but rather get to know a person for yourself and make your own mind up. It can be hard to trust people, especially if you’ve gone through a difficult time, but sometimes opening up can be just what we need. Sometimes, if we take a step out of our comfort zone we can grow and find new things we love that we would have only ever dreamed of, and some things that we couldn’t have even imagined in our wildest dreams that we could achieve or enjoy. 

Meet Me At The Art Café is a wonderfully warm, joyful, feel good story. It brings a huge smile to your face reading it and gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside of pure joy and delight.

I thoroughly recommend this book!

The next instalment in the Art Café series: Escape To The Art Café, is due to be published later this month. I can’t wait! 

26 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Meet Me At The Art Café’ by Sue McDonagh, published by Choc Lit”

  1. Inspired! I used to do blog reviews too but you have got it down, this is well written. I have a favourite book Trilogy that similar to this in that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or its reputation😉 It’s called Lost Boys, The Lost Girl and, Lost and Found by Lilian Carmine. I think you might find interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂
      Sue McDonagh is a brilliant author – she really brings the character and their stories to life. I love this series so far. I’ll definitely be re-reading them.


  2. There is always something more to a person that what we see or hear…I strongly believe in that…Amazing article. When you have time, give a read to my blog at and comment your thoughts about my writings. Keep up the good work. Good Luck !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t usually go for romance books but this sounds really good. Plus, it involves a bad boy with a motorbike. I’d definitely read even if it’s just for that. I’m adding this to my reading list and hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did’t used to go for romance books either – I stumbled across the first one by accident and it was definitely the motorbike that attracted me and I fell in love with the book, so I just had to read this one and it’s also just as brilliant.
      Hope you enjoy it when you read it 🙂


    1. Romance books weren’t my thing ether until I discovered the first two in the Art Cafe series and they have totally changed my mind. They are fantastic. x


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