|Tea for Two
By Trish Perry / Harvest House Publishers
Counselor Tina Milano has been visiting Milly’s Tea Shop regularly for the past several months. She has many friends but no steady man in her life. Zack Cooper is a local farmer who provides Milly with fresh fruit and vegetables. As a single parent, Zach is doing his best to raise his teenage son and daughter on his own.
When the kids get in minor scrapes with the law, Milly gently encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before their rebellious natures land them in even hotter water. At first Tina sees the relationship in only a professional capacity, but soon her friends notice the luscious scent of romance in the air and decide to help things along.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to my favorite Tea Shop Owner, Millicent Ashford Jewell, better known as Milly. This sweet savvy character common to Trish Perry’s Tea with Millicent series tells her story of how this British ex-patriot in her mid-fifties, ended up running Millicent’s Tea Shop in charming historic village of Middleburg, Virginia.
The child of a World War II American fighter pilot and his British wife, Milly lived her first ten years in Essex, England, before she moved with her parents to Washington, D.C. It took living this side of the pond for Milly to run across a fellow Brit, the handsome young musician, Paul Ashford, with whom she fell passionately in love. Neither Paul nor Milly lived a Christian life at the time, and when Paul convinced her to move back to England with him, when they were both in their early twenties, she dropped out of Georgetown University, happily married him, and tried to help him find success with his musical career in Surrey, just outside London.
Not only did Paul struggle with his music, he struggled with alcohol, too. Over the following ten years, he and Milly saw their marriage deteriorate amid tumultuous, often public, arguments. Still, when Paul, drunk, died in a car crash, Milly was devastated by the loss. As she told Steph in The Perfect Blend,
“I hurt so much I stayed in bed for weeks after the funeral. I can barely remember the funeral, really.”
“That’s so sad.”
“Yes. It was. Finally a relative convinced me to get up and go to church with her.”
Milly laughed softly. “You would think so, wouldn’t you? But I had heard enough at the funeral about Paul’s death being God’s will. That much I did remember, especially once I heard it from several of the women at church. I flew off the handle at them as well. Never went back. I left for good.”
“And England.” She smiled. “That truly was God’s will, because I found Him here.”
“Your second husband?”
Milly laughed. “Well, yes, him too. But I meant I found God.”
And it was after Milly found God, and three years after she lost Paul, that she fell in love with and married wealthy American businessman, William Jewell. William was fifteen years her senior, and her life with him was as calm and contented as her life with Paul had been passionate and troubled. It was Milly’s life with William that brought her to Middleburg, Virginia, where they bought a lovely old home on thirty rich, green acres of land.
But, as Milly said, “The Lord wanted him home a bit sooner than we expected. Marriage often turns out differently than we anticipate.” Twice widowed by her early forties, this time she had her faith to carry her through the pain and look forward to the future.
Milly found herself alone, well provided for, but surrounded by too much land and too few people. So she sold the estate, moved closer into town, and opened Millicent’s Tea Shop. Now she leads an active, lovely life, creating tasty pastries, serving comforting teas, and helping her ever-increasing group of friends to find love, faith, and a bit of happiness whenever possible.
My Review: Trish Perry takes us one again back to Middleburg, Virginia and Milly’s Tea Shop. In this story we meet Tina Milano, a widowed therapist who brings her support group to Milly’s Tea Shop. Not only does this provide a safe and comfortable environment for her patients but she meets the handsome farmer and single parent, Zack Cooper. There is an immediate attraction that both parties quickly dismiss. But Zack is struggling with his teenage kids and Milly knows just the person to help.
What I liked: Once again, Trish Perry gives readers a delightful story within the backdrop of Millicent’s tea shop. I love Tina! She is spunky and self-confident, yet she has a vulnerable side that makes her real and appealing. Zack is a struggling dad with two teenagers that are being very typical “push the limits” teenagers. Zack like many men who find themselves in this situation over reacts to situation and is under involved where his kids need him most. There is also a “bad guy” of sorts that you just want to kick. You’ll cheer and laugh at Tina’s altercation with him.
I also liked the kids, not only Dylan and Sherry, but the youth group kids as well. The youth group kids displayed what I think all youth group kids should, accepting and a welcoming attitudes toward new kids.
What I didn’t like: No Steph Vandergrift from book one, The Perfect Blend. I love it when authors bring in previous characters from other stories even it is just a brief “cameo.” Of course, this also means if you haven’t read book one you won’t be lost. Although, part of a series, the author makes them independent of one another. If you have read The Perfect Blend you’ll enjoy seeing Milly’s newest creations.
You can win a copy of Tea for Two by leaving a comment and since our setting is a English Tea Shop share your favorite type of tea. If you don’t like tea (like me!) Share your favorite comfort beverage. The winner will be chosen May 12th at 9:00 PM PDT using www.random.org. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries. This is for those of you 18 and older within the United States.
To learn more about Trish Perry and her books check her out at: www.trishperry.com
I would like to thank Harvest House for the opportunity to review this book, the opinions are strictly my own!