Let’s go surfing?

content?id=jocBEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&source=gbs api - Let's go surfing? Meet Me in Hawaii
Georgia Toffolo
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon,
March 18, 2021
four star - Let's go surfing?

Where an ocean of love awaits

Malie Pukui doesn’t believe in happy ever after. After a tragedy caused her to flee her family and friends in Devon she found a fresh start in Hawaii. Here, working at a surf school, she can give back to those in need and try to overcome the greatest loss in her life.

Moved around foster homes throughout his childhood, Todd Masters has worked hard to be able to offer a brighter future to young disadvantaged children. Now he has his own charitable foundation working with a surf school in Hawaii, a job he loves, but he still can’t put his past behind him.

When Malie rescues Todd from the sea a spark ignites between them, and the two wounded souls find a common ground. But amidst the surf, sunsets and sizzling kisses, can Malie let go of her past and risk something she’d locked away forever… her heart?

This is part of a series about girl friends who had an accident in Cornwall when they were teenagers.

Each girl has issues as a result of this car accident including one who is paralysed.

But this is Malie’s story.

Malie comes from a family who ran a surf shop in Cornwall and thus spent all her life surfing until  her family shut up shop and she was forbidden to undertake a dangerous sport.

It appears that at least one of Malie’s parents is from Hawaii, but the story doesn’t tell us how they ended up in Cornwall.

I found that some of the story line was confusing. There didn’t seem to have been enough time elapsed for Malie’s surfing competition wins in Hawaii to have occurred considering she didn’t move there until after she left school.

There was a lot of mental angst  on Malie’s behalf but I didn’t find it convincing.

Overall not as good the previous stories in this series.

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Find your craft…: Book Review

confessions - Find your craft...: Book Review Confessions From The Quilting Circle
Maisey Yates
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
Mills & Boon
(4 May 2021)
four star - Find your craft...: Book Review

It takes secrets of the heart to unlock their future The Ashwood sisters have never had anything in common. Except their ability to keep secrets. But when their grandmother dies they must all return to their hometown to clear her estate… and face up to the reasons they all left. Lark has been running away from her past for years. But now finally she must face up to the secret she's been hiding…and the man she's never stopped loving? Hannah spent her whole childhood dreaming of escaping and she plans to leave as soon as she can. Until she comes face to face with the only man who's ever been able to distract her… Avery has built the perfect life in her hometown. But can she carry on paying the price of perfection? Or will the support of her sisters help her find a different version of perfect? The Ashwood family must learn to heal. But first they must learn to trust each other like never before…

The heartwarming, feel-good romance of 2021 of family secrets and finding your happy ever after. Perfect for fans of Veronica Henry and Robyn Carr’s Virgin River.

A book about strong women and their relationships with a family set of dynamics. Being multi-generational we see issues from many different different viewpoints. The skills and emotional mindsets of the different characters also combine to enliven the storyline.

Quilting Circles are quite traditional in certain areas within the USA. In fact, the Encyclopaedia of the Great Plains University says that quilting served as a means to connect women within the Great Plains. They connected them also with their past homelands especially through using traditional patterns, and they also gave women an ‘acceptable’ creative outlet as the object they were making was practical. Quilts would be made, as with rag rugs, from scraps of fabric from discarded clothing. No piece of fabric could be discarded as it was too expensive to purchase new.

Quilts were given to mark important life events such as marriage, the birth of a child, a family member leaving home, or graduations. And often had particular patterns associated. For instance, for a marriage the quilt might be of interlocking rings: this was thought to come to America through German immigrants, as during an engagement the man wore one ring, the woman the other, and after marriage she wore both.

quiltmarry - Find your craft...: Book Review
Double ring Pattern example

Another type of quilt, often made now, is as a going away to University/College gift. Fabric from the child’s clothing through the years would be put together in a suitable pattern (or not – there is a ‘Crazy’ pattern) as a reminder of home life and family.

Modern quilts are often pieces of exquisite art and not intended for use on a bed, but rather as a wall hanging, and may have applique and embroidery on them.

artquilt - Find your craft...: Book Review

Here the Quilt is used as the device that brings the family of women together and enables their reconciliation and sharing of secrets brought about by the trust engendered in sharing of a delicate craft.

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Lady Painters: Please check them out.

viscount - Lady Painters: Please check them out. The Viscount's Unconventional Lady
The Talk of the Beau Monde, Book 1
by Virginia Heath
Romance | Women's Fiction
Mills & Boon
Pub Date 21 Jan 2021
four star - Lady Painters: Please check them out.

The notorious Viscount And the most gossiped-about lady… After years as a diplomat in the Napoleonic wars, Lord Easton is reluctant to return to London society. His scandalous divorce has made him infamous, not to mention cantankerous! To halt the rumour mill, he should marry a quiet noblewoman – instead it’s bold, vibrant artist, Faith Brookes, who’s caught his attention. They are the least suitable match, so why is he like a moth to a flame…?

awesome in the dining room berthe morisot interior design for home remodeling marvelous decorating in design ideas 1024x648 - Lady Painters: Please check them out.
Berthe Morisot, The Sisters (1869). National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, []

A nicely written story that reminds us that in the 18th and nineteenth century (not to mention before) having a female name meant it was difficult to get published if you wrote a novel (looking forward to this next story in the series), or get accepted to have a showing if you were a painter, let alone accepted in the Royal Academy.

The Royal Academy is still prestigious for painters but perhaps less so than it used to be? Certainly, the Summer Show now incudes paintings that are perhaps rather on the twee side – that is to say, lots of paintings of puppies, (bunny) rabbits and kittens in the area for the ‘less professional’ artists.

But to become an Academician that is something else.

“There were several reasons for women’s exclusion from the institutional structures that provided entry to the art world. Women were simultaneously viewed as a threat—male artists hardly needed more competition in an already-crowded field—and as naturally inferior and incapable of creative genius. While it was useful for women to draw recreationally, or even to make a living with decorative china painting or other stereotypically feminine work, they were not taken seriously as professional artists.” [women-artists-in-paris-1850-1900-clark].

And as is mentioned in this article from Clark, most of them had to decamp to Paris to be recognised.

Indeed Christies’ says when considering female-artists-of-the-Victorian-era: ‘When one thinks of Victorian artists, it is generally the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and various Royal Academicians, who spring to mind,’ says Sarah Reynolds, Victorian Art specialist at Christie’s in London. ‘While images of women predominate their canvases, what is less known is that there was a group of highly talented female artists working alongside them and sharing ideas.

Traditionally these women have been viewed in relation to their male counterparts, implicitly seen as inferior to their famous husbands, fathers and brothers. But in recent years, they have begun to be recognised as talented pioneers in their own right.

I always like an historical novel that brings out, however unlikely, some of the issues around society and culture during the period in which it is set. Especially, being female as I am, if it looks at the constraints among women (and a lover of art). So this book hits the spot in that respect for me.

I also rather liked the characters and their families and enjoyed the basic storyline and the young nine year girl was certainly very astute for age, and this will have been a result of being encouraged to be so, by her family and especially her uncle.

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What you and your sister might do:

content?id=L2MFEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&source=gbs api - What you and your sister might do: The Stepsisters
Susan Mallery
Fiction, Contemporary Romance,
HarperCollins UK
May 25, 2021

Who better to mend a broken heart than your sister?

When Daisy’s dad married Sage's mum, Daisy was thrilled to get a new sister. Except Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.

Sage found herself living in a palatial home where she felt she didn't belong. She didn't have her new sister’s intelligence so she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down at every opportunity. After the divorce, the stepsisters' rivalry continued until the final straw: Daisy married Sage's first love, and Sage fled to Europe.

Eighteen years later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But brought together by an accident involving the little sister they have in common they must learn to put aside their differences. Slowly, the stepsisters begin to view the past through one another's eyes and long buried feelings are revealed. Until their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences….

image 16 683x1024 - What you and your sister might do:

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Steal that – Bride? book review

content?id=vK4GEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Steal that - Bride? book review Stolen In Her Wedding Gown
(The Greeks' Race to the Altar, Book 1)
Amanda Cinelli
HarperCollins UK, (Mills & Boon Modern)
May 27, 2021
three star - Steal that - Bride? book review

When the something borrowed…
Is the bride!

About to walk down the aisle of her Manhattan wedding, determined Priya realises it’s impossible. After the news Greek playboy Eros has just shared about her convenient groom, she can’t go through with it. To save her father’s business she flees in her white dress…and weds Eros instead!

To beat his brother to the family inheritance, Eros must stay married for one year. Stealing Priya as his wife was the first step. Then, he discovers her deepest secrets – and a burning mutual desire. What started as convenient suddenly got very complicated…

When the something borrowed… Is the bride!

Here we have 2 tropes interconnecting.

1.marriage for inheritance – both parties

2. revenge

but add in evil uncle on one side, and nasty mother on the other.

A nice style with a good twist having both needing to marry for inheritance – and stay married for 1 year.

And then we have illegitimacy – quite a lot of trope s now – maybe too many? Distant parents. Mother uninterested. Father drinks himself to death when mother dies. A debutante who doesn’t want to be one – and we are getting too many storylines.

And a private island in Greece for a honeymoon…

Initially I thought 4 stars, but by the end, there were just too many storylines and it muddied the waters. so 3 stars.

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