The Work Wives by Rachael Johns is the latest standalone by the popular West Australian author. I enjoyed much of this novel about two women – work friends, but very different and at very different stages of their lives.
What a delightful read this was! It’d be easy to say that it’s predictable… which it kinda is, but I went into it expecting that. Wanting that. I needed a happily ever after.
The blurb suggests it’s You’ve Got Mail meets The Proposal. I’m not entirely sure how it relates to the latter other than being about the book industry but it also reminded me of The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, in which love grows from notes left between two people sharing a an apartment – albeit at different times so never meeting.
There’s often a bit of a discussion online in relation to the use of ‘women’s fiction’ to group books that mostly target female readers. I’ve got a long-buried post about the weirdness of it, given that we don’t say ‘men’s fiction’. And quite frankly I’d be insulted if many of my favourite crime fiction novels or thrillers were labelled thus. In some ways I’m torn about the issue*. I know some male readers and reviewers who do read books predominantly about women and women’s issues but at the same time recognise books like How to Mend a Broken Heart by Rachael Johns predominantly target female readers.
And here Johns offers us two leads for the price of one, with her latest novel centred equally around a mother and daughter at very different stages of their lives. She also introduces an older woman, who I very much enjoyed meeting.
I’m always nervous when I read a book by someone I know. Let alone someone I see as a friend. Thankfully every time I read one of Joanne Tracey’s books I come away a little agog – that someone I know could create something like this. Something magical. Something that makes me care. And something that makes me cry.
Escape to Curlew Cottage is loosely linked to Wish You Were Here, which I read in 2016. I spent much of last year in my self-absorbed little bubble so missed two books Tracey released in 2020, but her warm style of writing, her development of very real and likeable characters and yarn-spinning ability was exactly as I remembered. Although I didn’t remember that until I started reading…. if you know what I mean.
I knew her latest, Spirited was a little different and, as it combines a couple of elements I usually avoid—historical fiction and the supernatural—I was a tad nervous. And though it’s set in the 1850s its themes resonate today. Cohen’s books are often hard to describe but I saw this from a fellow author on Twitter and it seemed apt.
The most important thing you need to know about The Sight of You by Holly Miller is that I bloody loved it. Like LOVE loved it. I randomly picked it off my overflow TBR pile (on the trolley in my bathroom) not entirely sure what I was in for. Although if I’m honest I was probably slightly worried by the mention of premonitions as I’m not a fan of the illogical in my reading.
But… oh my god, I was smitten from the get-go. By Miller’s writing. By her characters. I was in love. I note a quote from Beth O’Leary inside the book and think it’s reminiscent of her book (I also loved) The Flatshare, which offers readers a growing relationship from both a male and female perspective. This does the same and Miller’s written it in a way that Joel and Callie are funny, charismatic and likeable as individuals; so as a couple who perfectly complement the other, they’re addictive.
I’ve not read any of Mandy Magro’s books before though heard of the Far North Queensland-dwelling author who has over a dozen novels to her name.
This appealed as it sounded as if it included some suspense and though I don’t read ‘romance’ I don’t mind romantic suspense. (Or apparently books featuring ‘romantic elements’ which I hadn’t realised was a sub-genre of some sort!)
I’ve read a couple of Nicky Pellegrino’s books, One Summer in Venice and Under Italian Skies, and I enjoyed both. Of course it had long been my dream to travel to Italy. It was my big bucket list item and since reading those books I’ve been able to tick it off my list as I spent just over 3wks in Italy last September / October including a fabulous week at a Tuscan villa.
Pellegrino lived in Italy (and England) before settling in New Zealand and her passion for Italy – its culture and cuisine in particular – shines through in each of her novels.
Oh my goodness oh my goodness. Well usually I’d say something far more blasphemous but I’m trying to start this review in a vaguely professional manner so too many ‘f’ words first-up might be a bad thing.
I broke my ‘no reading during the day’ rule for this book. I’d been doing chores and got sweaty, so decided to pop into the bath for a soak and a very short half-hour read before getting into my afternoon plans.
Three hours later I closed this book.