Review

Work Wives. Rachael Johns

The Work Wives

Published: Harlequin Australia
Date:  3rd November 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

For work wives Debra and Quinn, it’s a case of opposites attract. They are each other’s lifelines as they navigate office politics and jobs that pay the bills but don’t inspire them.

Outside work, they are also friends, but where Quinn is addicted to dating apps and desperate to find love, Deb has sworn off men. Although Deb is not close to her own mother, her teenage daughter is her life and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her. But Ramona has other ideas and is beginning to push boundaries.

Life becomes even more complicated by the arrival of a new man at the office. One woman is attracted to him, while the other hoped she’d never meet him again.

But when Deb, Quinn and Ramona are forced to choose between friends, love and family, the ramifications run deeper than they could ever have expected.

Work Wives is Rachael Johns latest novel. It explores the lives of Deb and Quinn, two women who work at the same place. They are great mates, in spite of age difference, and can rely on each other.

Debra is the very responsible mother of Ramona, who at fifteen is negotiating friendships, school life with its challenges of girls who can be rather mean. Ramona finds though that good friends exist. She is also dealing with the fact she’d like to know who her father is.

But Debra has a few secrets, well one main one and it’s about to disrupt all their lives. It didn’t take long to work out what had happened and what might be going on.

I liked the characters on the whole, however for me this was just a little over the top and maybe a little too well all tied up.  It felt just too long to me as well.  I did want to know how it all worked out and found myself happy for the way it did.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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I didn’t seem to get much reading done this week and I didn’t even have an excuse of a big celebration like Thanksgiving! But what I read I liked so that counts! Well will see you all on the other side of November, this month has sped by.

What I read last week:

During the week I finished Doctor’s and Friends. I liked it and am a reading fan of Kimmery Martin. She wrote this book just before the Covid pandemic. Kimmery is a doctor herself  and decided to write a pandemic book. Then Covid hit and she wasn’t sure whether to publish or not, but went ahead. This is a sobering book in the light of what we actually experienced. Kimmery Martin herself has had long Covid and hasn’t had an easy path through it.  Sometimes fiction predicts fact. With Covid still lingering about it was almost too much for me to read but I went ahead.

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What I am reading now:

At present this is what I am reading. It is a dual time line book.

The Sunshing Girls

I am still listening to my reread of…

Somewhere Between Luck and Trust

And my slow read had to change as These Precious Days ( my night slow read) had to go back to the library but I have requested it again and am in line! So this is what I am reading now, Lessons from the Praire while I wait for These Precious Days. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is my morning read.

Up next:

The Choice Last Week’s Posts

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey.  Serena Burdick

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Review

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey.

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey

Published: Harlequin: Park Row
Date: 1st November 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

England, 1898. When Evelyn first married the famous novelist William Aubrey, she was dazzled by his brilliance. But their newlywed bliss is brief when William is gripped by writer’s block, and he becomes jealous of Evelyn’s writing talent. When he commits the ultimate betrayal—stealing a draft of her novel and passing it off as his own—Evelyn decides to write her way out of their unhappy marriage.

California, 2006. Abigail always wondered about her father, his identity forever lost when her mother unexpectedly died. Or so Abigail thought, until she stumbled upon his photo and a message that her great-great-grandmother was the author Evelyn Aubrey, leading Abigail on a journey to England in search for answers. There, she learns of Evelyn’s shocking disappearance and how London society believed she was murdered. But from what she uncovers about Evelyn, Abigail believes her brilliant great-great-grandmother had another plot up her sleeve.

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey is a dual time line book. In the late nineteenth century Evely married William, a supposed famous author, or was he? Out of the darkness in their marriage Evelyn writes and William takes and publishes. They have one child and from this springs a sad and relatively unhappy family.

Abigail unbeknown to her is related to this family many years later, through her father – whom she doesn’t know or has met. She is a rather unsettled young woman who goes on a journey to find out who her father is, starting in England and then back to the USA.

Both women, Evelyn and Abigail, related to each other, make their own journeys into new ways of seeing things and starting over. We don’t get the full story of Evelyn but we can surmise that she went on under a different name in America. Abigail on finding what she has looked for and more, seems to have found her footing and will go on to make a good life for herself.

I enjoyed reading this novel, I wanted to find out what happened to each woman and how one life affected another. That said, it didn’t quite draw me in enough to rate it highly.  3.25 stars.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Thanks for all the sympathy over my car and sharing similar stories from some of you. Made me feel better. The ants seem to have abated, a few show up and I get rid of them so hoping that will be all for now!!

What I read last week:

I really enjoyed Still Life,  so I hope I keep enjoying the series as it seems not all readers like the first few books,  then love them after that. I finally took a look/read at The Boardwalk Bookshop, and have concluded it will be my last Mallery book I’ll read. I have moved on!

Slow and Steady Reads

This year I have really taken to slow and steady reads. Generally I choose either a classic or a book I guess will be a little slow plot wise, or a book so full of lines I just want to mull over, that I assign it to the above shelf. I read in the morning with a cup of coffee and I really look forward to it. These Precious Days I am reading last thing at night and I find that’s working too.

What I am reading now:

Most likely this book if I get engaged with it.

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Listening and also a reread. I so love this series.

Somewhere Between Luck and Trust

Up next:

The Sunshing Girls 

Last Week’s Posts

Secrets in the Stacks.    Lynn Cahoon

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Review

Secrets in the Stacks

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Publisher: Kensington
Date: 1st November 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

After an ominous Tarot reading, Sedona bookstore owner Rarity Cole must find a killer to keep her friend safe from harm—even if the cards are stacked against her . . .

Following her recovery from breast cancer, Rarity has embraced a life of healing and service in her Sedona, Arizona, community. She welcomes the opportunity to participate in the annual summer healing fair with her fittingly named new-age bookstore, The Next Chapter. The members of the Tuesday Night Survivors’ Book Club are also volunteering, maintaining a cooling station for overheated festivalgoers, and hosting a Tarot card reader for entertainment.

But one member, Darby, is anything but entertained when the Tarot reader pulls a Death card. With a mammogram coming up, she’s freaked out and goes home—only to walk into a crime scene where someone near and dear to her has been murdered. Despite the objections of Detective Drew Anderson, Rarity is determined to help her friend and protect her from being the killer’s next victim . . .

Secrets in the Stacks by Lynn Cahoon is #2 in the Survivors’ Book Club Mystery series.

Rarity has come to Sedona to pick up her life and do what she really loves, after a tangle with cancer. After the first mystery/murder she was helping sleuth, she ended up with he victim’s dog – Killer. They now have a real bond going on.

Rarity has formed a book club of mainly survivors of cancer, but now others have been welcomed in. But when is a book club not a book club? When it is sleuthing! Rarity has a student – Darcy part time working for her and its not long before the group has to go into action and solve who killed Darcy’s grandmother?

The group work together along with Drew the local policeman, with little mysterious happenings along the way, always with a sense of danger lurking. I didn’t guess the murderer, although details needed to be revealed to see what was going on.

I enjoy this group and their sense of found family and the relationship that is blossoming between Rarity and Archer. This was a gentle and readable cozy mystery.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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The Good.  The weather on the whole was very good. I planted some vegetables. I read good books, quilted happily, and enjoyed a great game of women’s rugby between England and NZ.  Plus I got a few jobs done I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

The Bad.  Despite having had the outside sprayed for ants, they have been appearing in the kitchen in the evening.

The Ugly. Driving into my garage on Friday afternoon I caught the passenger side of my car against the side of garage, took a chunk out of that and scratched two side doors of car. Despair!  So annoyed with myself, I just wasn’t concentrating – I’d spaced out.  So now Monday I will have to see about getting it fixed and maybe not going the insurance way as my premium will only go up. Yes I have done it once before in same car on a very unforgiving pole in an underground parking area. Worse that time. I think there was a bit of a dent as well and they replaced two parts of the side. Did use Insurance that time! Thousands of dollars for small dents!!

What I read last week:

Other Birds was very good. A little different to her previous books and still delightful and moving. Us Against You was my Slow and Steady read that I happened to finish this week. It was fantastic and maybe my top book for the year! Looking forward to reading the third book, The WinnersThe Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey will have its own review post.

What I am reading now:

Still Life

Up next:

A review book gathering dust on my NetGalley shelf. Because I was not impressed by Mallery’s last book I read I’ve been putting this off!

The boardwalk bookshop Last Week’s Posts

The Winter Garden.  Nicola Cornick

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Review

The Winter Garden. Nicola Cornick

The winter garden

1605: Anne Catesby fears for her family. Her son, the darkly charismatic Robert, is secretly plotting to kill the king, placing his wife and child in grave danger. Anne must make a terrible choice: betray her only child or risk her family’s security…and her very life.

Present Day: When her dreams of becoming a musician are shattered, Lucy takes refuge in her family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire. Everyone knows it was originally home to the notorious gunpowder plotter Robert Catesby. As Lucy spends more time in the beautiful winter garden that Robert made, she starts to have strange visions of a woman in Tudor dress, terrified and facing a heartbreaking dilemma.

As Lucy’s and Anne’s stories converge, a shared secret that has echoed through the centuries separating them will change Lucy’s life forever…

The Winter Garden is a slightly unusual dual timeline. We are taken back to Tudor times and the gun powder plot, mainly presented to us through the eyes of Anne Gatesby. We see a beautiful relationship that ends so soon. What stood out to me was that people died so quickly from various diseases, and to make it through childhood is a mission.

In contemporary time, we meet Lucy, who has been ill and can no longer carry on with the musical career she so dearly loved. She stays at her Aunt’s place to convalesce, and somehow her sadness connects with a woman from Tudor times. She seems to be wanting something, and from time to time Lucy can see her. Lucy combines with Finn who is restoring the Tudor garden, to solve the mystery that has a past and a present.

There is danger, someone has already lost their life and someone else will too in the course of the story. And through it all Lucy finds a new passion and a relationship that is very likely to last.

I enjoyed this story, the Tudor section was especially interesting and I really felt for Anne Catesby. I liked the slightly paranormal aspect and the link between past and present.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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The week seems to have sped by. We had good weather on the whole so that helped. I sewed and quilted of course. Now I need to get out and get some things planted in the garden. One row of beans are up but I need to plant another and sow some carrots etc. How did I ever manage before I retired!

What I finished reading last week:

Two good reads. Jennifer Ashley is certainly keeping me interested in her series, I love it and gave this one five stars.  And I finished listening to Dance Away With Me, which was a reread via audio this time. Still five stars!

What I am reading now:

A library book that arrived. Just a few chapters in. Not too sure so far but will keep going.

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Up next:

Continuing with rereads I am now listening to Somewhere between Luck and Trust. #2 in the Goddess Anonymous series by Emilie Richards. I first read it back in 2013 so can easily now enjoy it again.

book cover

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Review

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks. Shauna Robinson

The Banned Bookshop

Published: Sourcebooks: Landmark
Date: 1st November 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

I, Maggie Banks, solemnly swear to uphold the rules of Cobblestone Books.

If only, I, Maggie Banks, believed in following the rules.

When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend’s struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn’t easy. Bell River’s literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.

And in Maggie’s world, book rules are made to be broken.

To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything. 

Meet Maggie, a bit of a loose canyon. She has been living with her parents, isn’t married, doesn’t have children and just doesn’t know where her life is going. Well she is about to find out.

Yes Maggie is a bit of a rule breaker on the side. And a very loveable one really. She doesn’t do straight boring things. Well even up until this point she hasn’t been much of a reader. And now she is looking after a bookshop for her friend for a few months while said friend is on maternity leave.

It’s not long before Maggie is turning things upside down in the town. Take for a start the staid, only sells classics, from a certain era bookshop. It’s about to be turned about. Or what about the curmudgeon who lives above the shop, he doesn’t really talk to anyone. He has bargained without Maggie.

In point of fact, Maggie discovers things, she makes friends, maybe even starts a relationship with Malcolm. And she discovers where her talents lie.

I was a bit dubious at the beginning of the book but by the end I was a big Maggie fan and everything she did to sort out life in Bell River. Life is never going to be the same there and thank goodness for that.

Month in Review

October Reading Round Up

Total books read this month:  13

Book Ratings

Lessons in Chemistry  5 stars
Keeping Up Appearances 4.25 stars
The Boxing Baroness. 3.75 stars
The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks 3.8 stars
The Winter Garden. 4 stars
Emma.  5 stars
One Mountain Away. 5 stars. (Reread)
The Peach Keeper   4 stars.
Gilt. Jamie Brenner 4 stars
Work Wives. 3 stars.
Die for Me.  4 stars
Secrets in the Stacks 3.5 stars
High Spirits. 3.5 stars

New to me authors:

Bonnie Garmus *
Minerva Spencer
Shauna Robinson
Nicola Cornico
*  Would read author again

Top Audiobook Book for October

And my top book overall.

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Top Print Book Completed in October

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Top Kindle Book for October

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Looking forward to new releases in November

I have already pre-ordered Nalini Singh’s book, I’ll buy The Choice as soon as it publishes and most likely will look into buying The Bookstore Sisters as well.

Review of Reading Goals  for October

  • Read the review books I have on my calendar.  I read six of the seven I had planned so I moved that one into November.
  • Continue with my slow and steady read – Emma. I did and completed it this month.
  • Maybe sneak in one off my shelf or a library book if necessary.  I read two off my shelf and one from the library. Happy with that.

Main Reading Goals for November

  • Read four review books on my calendar
  • Read two library books.
  • Possibly five from my own shelf.
  • Complete my slow and steady book that I have started Us Against You by Fredrik Backman and then choose and start my next one.
  • Start a list of books I want to buy or get from library into my reading notebook for the next little while, I’ve taken my eye off what I want to read coming up. I realised that when Katherine mentioned The Choice.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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