When being apart is not as good as being together

Better Together Book Cover Better Together
One Fond Embrace
Crista McHugh
Crista McHugh
(1 July 2018)

Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.

Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.

As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?

 

I’d love to go to Maui.

And I have heard about the cowboys but didn’t realise the following:

British Captain George Vancouver brought the first long-horned cattle to Hawai‘i in 1793 as a gift to King Kamehameha I. The grateful king placed a kapu (Hawaiian code of conduct)—carrying a death penalty—on their slaughter so they could multiply on Hawai‘i Island. Soon, there were enormous herds terrorizing everything in their path.

To contain the wild-eyed beasts, Hawaiian royalty summoned the seasoned cowboys of Old Mexico to the islands in 1832. The dashing vaqueros quickly taught Hawaiians how to tame the unruly bullocks. It’s thought the Hawaiian word paniolo originates from the Spanish word, español. These early island cattlemen are credited with supplying beef to the hordes of prospectors during California’s Gold Rush.

All this comes from the tourist board information. and makes the island even  more attractive.

But setting aside the location of the novel, the actual storyline followed the usual romance tropes. In that boy meets girl. They have a whirlwind romance. They break up for some reason. They meet again and…

But this is OK if the writing is good enough and the actual characterization makes you want to continue reading. Which it did in this case.

I found this a sweet novel with good ideas and nice writing style. Not the most difficult of reads, but good for light reading on planes and beaches.

 

 

 

Author

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage:

www.cristamchugh.com.

http://www.cristamchugh.com/wordpress/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3035791.Crista_McHugh

https://www.facebook.com/CristaMcHugh

https://twitter.com/crista_mchugh

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All mums together….

The Single Mums' Mansion Book Cover The Single Mums' Mansion
Janet Hoggarth
Women’s Fiction, Family Drama
Aria
October 4, 2018
368

For all fans of Motherland, Allison Pearson and Hurrah for Gin.

Amanda Wilkie unexpectedly finds herself alone with three children under five in a rambling Victorian house in London, after her husband walks leaves them claiming he's just 'lost the love', like one might carelessly lose a glove.

A few months later, Amanda's heavily pregnant friend, Ali, crashes into her kitchen announcing her partner is also about to abscond. Once Ali's baby Grace is born, Amanda encourages them to move in.

When Jacqui, a long-lost friend and fellow single mum, starts dropping by daily, the household is complete.

Getting divorced is no walk in the park, but the three friends refuse to be defined by it. And, as they slowly emerge out of the wreckage like a trio of sequin-clad Gloria Gaynors singing 'I Will Survive', they realise that anything is possible. Even loving again...

A fun book all about the trials that beset women who have suddenly become single mums as their husbands decide that they no longer love them.

So, left alone with lots of young children, they form a self-support group in Amanda’s victorian house in South London, which is only half renovated as her husband left before completing it. With little money, the group find themselves dependent on each other for everything – including support after monster hang-overs and crying jags.

This is a light and fun novel but yet it still manages to highlight the desperate feelings and often poor living conditions of the ‘first’ wife and the emotional toll that having a husband leaving and then acquiring a second family often imparts.

I enjoyed this book even though I have little experience personally of what the characters written about go through, I found that the writing gave me that knowledge and made me very aware of just how awful it must be to be in that situation. A well written book with enough humour not to make it too emotionally draining.

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Size-ist?

The Husband Diet Book Cover The Husband Diet
(Amazing Erica) #1
Nancy Barone
Fiction humour
Bookouture; 1 edition
May 31, 2013
312

Erica Cantelli's life feels more suffocating than a size 4 dress. On the surface she's maintaining the image of successful career woman, perfect wife and a doting mother with two wonderful children. In reality she's running out of hours in the day; 6 dress sizes bigger than she wants to be; and the only man who shows her any affection is her gay best friend. In fact fantasizing about how to kill her increasingly disinterested husband is just about all that keeps Erica sane. That and a whole different type of fantasizing about the incredibly handsome new school principal, Julian Foxham. When her husband jokes about trading her in for two size tens, Erica knows something has to change. But is another diet really the answer? Or is getting rid of him the fastest path to happiness? Now if she could only stop thinking about the gorgeous Mr Foxham... For any woman who has ever felt under-appreciated, or thought about giving up on their dreams, Erica is a hilarious breath of fresh air.

I initially liked the 3 books in this series as chick lit in the genre.

The Husband Diet

My Big Fat Italian Break-Up

Romance, Rivals and Ravioli

But then I realised that our heroine wasn’t fat at all! She was a larger size than her mother and sisters true, but I looked up the weight to height ratios on the health sites and found that 78 kilos at 5 foot 10 inches is just within the normal range. And is probably a UK size 14. US size 10/12. True at 88 kilos she was overweight – not obese but… and she was only that weight at times.

This spoils the books in my opinion.

If you are going to have all that angst about weight and curves and whether your boyfriend/lover/husband would prefer someone slimmer then you really need to be overweight… and honestly she would only struggle up a hill if she wasn’t fit, and not because she was too heavy!

So my initial assessment of a 4 went down to a 3 or even a 2 (?) as this book hints of fat shaming when a normal sized woman anguishes over her weight. And also is a very bad example for our young women.

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Why enter retail?

The Shop on Main Book Cover The Shop on Main
Comfort Crossing #1
Kay Correll
contemporary
Rose Quartz Press
(14 July 2014)
208

Sometimes, doing the right thing backfires... Bella Amaud is desperate when she learns her business and the home she lives in with her two boys is about to be whiskedout from under her. As shescrambles to maintain her fragile financial security andindependence, she fears she may lose more than just The Shop on Main and her home. Nothing is working out like Bella planned-she finds out the man she is falling for, Owen Campbell, is the businessman at the center of all her problems. Owen has secretly longed to belong-somewhere-anywhere-his whole life. When he decides to give his long-lost brother, Jake, back his birthright, he unknowingly thwarts his briefly held hope of a place where he can put down roots and a family he longs for. Nothing is working out like Owen planned-neither Bella nor Jake wants anything to do with him. How can a man who is used to being in control and a woman determined to make it all on her own find a way to happiness? The Shop on Main is Book One of the Comfort Crossing series. Bella and her best friends, Jenny and Becky Lee, navigate the heartaches and triumphs of love and life in thesmall southern town of Comfort Crossing, Mississippi.

This is another storyline which doesn’t make logical sense and was never explained.

If her husband wanted the divorce, and she was not in any way in the wrong:

  • Why wasn’t he paying her sufficient alimony and child support to enable her to live in the style to which she and the children were accustomed?
  • And, why wasn’t she still living in the family home?

Any good divorce lawyer/judge would have allocated these items to her without fail.

So bearing that in mind, the remainder of the story doesn’t make sense as the original premise on which it is based doesn’t.

At no point does she even fight for herself – any lawyer would take on her case for a percentage as she was so clearly in the wrong.

This type of story, where the women are lacking in spine and any ability to think logically and clearly annoy me.

 

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Divorces, marriages, and just what about those policemen?

Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig

In this book it mentions that the mother AND grandmother had both been married some 6 times – or were about to embark on their sixth marriage. Which made me think. Just what was the divorce rate like in the US? And was 6 marriages a very unusual sum? Or not?

So I trolled the trusty internet and found the various government databases such as the census and looked up the US divorce rates. It made interesting reading, so I am adding some tables below.

Firstly –  the divorce rate for the very first marriage that anyone has is now over 40%.

  • The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
  • The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
  • The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

So by the time you come to your 3rd marriage it really is hope over evidence bearing in mind that over 70% end in a further divorce!

I then thought well, just who are these people who marry more than once. Turns out that they – perhaps o surprise considering – were older rather than younger people.  According to the census (http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p70-125.pdf), the percentage of people being married 3 or more times is at age 18 to 19 years – 0; 20 to 24 years – 0; 25 to 29 years  – 0; 30 to 34 years  0.8; 35 to 39 years 1.9; 40 to 49 years 3.8; 50 to 59 years 5.9; 60 to 69 years 6.2; 70 years and over 4.4%.

And yet the census publication also states that marriages are most susceptible to divorce in the early years and after 5 years, approximately 10 percent of first marriages overall had ended in divorce. How quickly do people remarry?  In 2009, first marriages which ended in divorce lasted a median of 8 years for men and women overall. The median time from marriage to separation was shorter—about 7 years. Half of the men and women in all of the races and Hispanic-origin groups who remarried after divorcing from their first marriage did so within about 4 years.

Here are some very interesting statistics that show you where, if you don’t want to get divorced, where you should live. And that yes, the figures also show, that once past that dangerous 5 year marker, the older you are now, the more likely you are to stay married for longer. Take the 10th anniversary. If you married between 1960 and 64 you had a 93% chance of reaching this goal, whereas if you married between 1990-94 (the worst record) you had only an 87.1% of reaching this goal in your first marriage.

Divorce Statistics in America for Marriage

Description Statistics
State with the lowest divorce rate Massachusetts (2.4 per 1,000 population)
State with the highest divorce rate Nevada (9.1 per 1,000 population)
Percentage of US population that is divorced 10%
Mean age at first divorce For Males: 30.5 yrs.
For Females: 29 yrs.
Median age at second divorce For Males: 39.3 yrs.
For Females: 37 yrs.
Median number of years people wait to remarry after their first divorce For Males: 3.3 yrs.
For Females: 3.1 yrs.
Average length of divorce proceedings 1 year.

Bearing all this in mind we still find that some women in the
US never marry and more only marry the once.

  • Never married – 27.2%
  • Married once – 57.5%
  • Married twice – 12.1%
  • Married 3+ times – 3.2%

So this book is the first in a series about divorced women and their lives after divorce.  They are ‘desperate’ because they want to date again and are scarred by their divorces and first marriages. They also, some of them at least, have really cute dogs and then they get involved with really sexy policemen.

I must say that I find policemen in uniforms are much higher on the sexy scale than plain clothes. I have met several just recently here in the UK and they are uniformly  tall (but then I am very short) with nice broad shoulders. They look really hunky and are charming and with a good sense of humour too – at least those whom I’ve met and not all young either – the Superintendant was well over 40…  So I get why they might like them – I guess under-cover cops have that added essence of danger due to their circumstances. But plain clothes – well they could be anybody. Except that policemen, like firemen, need to keep fit – or should if they want to pass their physical exams – and at least when young, have a good physique with nice muscles.

Delicious of course refers to what the men think of the women – the new men in their lives that is – and of course, these are not really you and me with all our faults but they have good skin, nice curves and pretty faces at the very least. Our fantasy of what we might look like – sigh…

I checked out the author’s blog – just to find out about her daughter’s feet and she looks a fun person – just as her books are a fun read. Not serious, and great to read when you are having a duvet day! 4 stars and I’ll read some more in due course – when my ‘to read’ pile gets a little smaller…

 

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