Andrea from Love is said this about my novel, The Happy Endings Book Club:
*ARC courtesy of Momentum Books on Netgalley.*
I LOVED this book! Jane Tara pulled me in right away, with her amazingly different characters. I read it in less then a day, because I couldn’t put it down! I felt like you got to know some better then others, but I still felt connected to them all. Your still pulling for them all to get their happy ending. This book made me laugh out loud, (a few times) & really made me think. Which is something I don’t think you find in many books. I truly enjoyed it & will differently be reading more Jane Tara books in the future!
I’m not sure when I started disappearing. One minute I was clearly visible, with the confidence of a woman who knows that. The next… something had shifted. I felt invisible. More than that… I quickly expected that others wouldn’t see me either. They didn’t. Heads failed to turn. I was often overlooked in a queue. But it was more than that. Suddenly my quirky collection of vintage clothing seemed ridiculous. I would enter certain restaurants or bars and feel like a dinosaur. Women around me were getting work on their face. For some it is subtle, but others look ridiculous. Surely that isn’t the alternative to my wrinkles? It was an internal shift as well, not just physical. At a point in my life when I really knew myself, I wasn’t sure what to do with that hard earned wisdom. It wasn’t valued. Youth is celebrated, embraced, feted. Women my age often feel… invisible. Welcome to womanhood in the forties. Not everyone feels invisible, but many do. I know. I’ve discussed this with countless women: friends, acquaintances, and strangers at parties. It’s something I experienced myself, with mounting dismay, until earlier this year I was handed a gift:
This is a delight of a book consisting of a number of loosely linked stories about important moments in the lives of several women who have an issue to resolve – as you can guess from the title, all the stories have happy endings although they are not all what you might imagine.
Despite the title, books and a book club play no part in the stories – it is merely an artificial device to join the stories. The only time that the book club meets is right at the end, in a rather cheesy couple of paragraphs designed to tie up all the loose ends.
All the stories are individually told but some are told in installments, interspersed with other, shorter, episodes. The author’s premise is that these women all need to change something in their lives, often their perception of things, and that a small change will make a huge difference. Each story is touching and often amusing. Most of them are about very small things in people’s lives but they touch on big issues such as aging, bereavement, forgiveness, abandonment and abuse. Some of them have a mystical, whimsical tone (there are fairies here) but it is very well done and creates a fairy tale air about the book. In at least one of the stories there is some detailed description of sex so this is not just about romance in the abstract – I thought that it didn’t go too far.
I was hooked on these stories and wanted to see these ordinary women experience something new in their lives. I identified with them and rejoiced when they got that happy ending. This is feel-good writing at its best. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley but I shall seek out future writing by this author. I also (ironically considering the title) highly recommend this book for a book club choice as it is light reading but there would be lots to discuss about each story and what makes the happy ending.
“How do you see the world? Happy endings come not through events but through a shift in perception.”I absolutely loved this book. Jane Tara brings us seven wonderful women, sorting through endings in search of new beginnings – some directly, some indirectly. A few of the characters are finding new beginnings to end happily ever after. This is such a feel good story with a great message of perception. Humorous, touching, just a joy to read. The characters are endearing and each vignette warms your heart. I know there will be at least one character you will be able to relate to, for me each woman in the story I felt a connection with. This book just warmed my heart, I laughed out loud and teared up but one thing is certain I sure felt warm and fuzzy after reading this little gem.
I will be looking for more writings from Jane Tara, great story, very uplifting, happy reading indeed, downright magical. Loved, loved, loved The Happy Endings Book Club.
Momentum Books provided a copy in exchange for an honest review
Trouble Brewing is an enchanting romance by Australian author, Jane Tara. Though ostensibly the second book to feature the magical Shakespeare family (the first is Forecast), it can be read as a standalone.
Calypso Shakespeare is a witch whose psychic ability allows her to brew cocktails to, amongst other things, mend broken hearts, instill confidence or encourage love to bloom. Though based in her parent’s London pub, Calypso’s wanderlust sees her traveling the world, never staying in one place very long but eventually The Winds of Change finds her and Calypso is forced to consider if she is always running to, or from, something…or someone.
Heartbreak haunts Calypso and the arrival of former fling Taran Dee in London is the impetus for her to move on, despite only just having arrived. But this man isn’t willing to let her run far, following her to Vienna and then Paris before convincing her to spend just three days with him. Calypso and Taran’s relationship is fun and sexy, the chemistry is obvious and the push and pull is believable given their individual histories.
Though primarily a lighthearted romance, Trouble Brewing has some additional depth as it explores grief, loss and love. Calypso struggles with the fate of a former love and her family faces a frightening health scare, while Calypso’s Viennese friends are plagued by their unexplained infertility and Simon faces being disowned by his family.
Trouble Brewing is enhanced by its eccentric cast made up of Calypso’s family and friends, several of which have their own stories explored in the novel. For her sister Nell, the focus is on her search for a career, while for Calypso’s unconventional best friend Megan, it is finding love unexpectedly with the wealthy and repressed Simon. I adored the Shakespeare matriarch, known as Batty.
Fun, charming and contemporary, Trouble Brewing is a lovely read ideal for those that believe in the magic of romance.
Well now they’ve given Trouble Brewing 5 stars! Read the great review below, and click through to CUWAGB for other top reviews.
Love this book! Better than the first one in the series Forecast! I never like the second book better than the first but this one was an exception!
In Forecast the reader was introduced to the Shakespeare women that live in New York. In Trouble Brewing the reader gets lost in the mystical world of the Shakespeare women in London. Calypso Shakespeare is the young psychic who drifts all around world trying to help people through her magical brews. She is a special kind of bar tender that can make you a drink that will help solve all your problems!
Calypso thought she had loved and lost and would never love again until Taran Dee blew into her life! I was devouring this book so fast to learn what happen between Calypso and her first love. The connection that was revealed during the art show was mind blowing and awesome!!!
I highly recommend both Forecast and Trouble Brewing! I give this one 5 stars!
When I was a little girl and just starting to read chapter books I stumbled upon a series about a funny witch and all these years later I am a sucker for a book with witches and magic. Trouble Brewing did a great job blending magic, wit and love into one great story!Trouble Brewing is book #2 in the Shakespeare sisters series, and even though I haven’t read Forecast (book #1) yet and I was able to enjoy, and understand Trouble Brewing just fine as a stand alone book!
I loved reading about Calypso Her magic is in creating the perfect potions to help others let go of things and move on. She is funny, care-free (on the surface), loyal and easy to like. Calypso is different that your typical female lead in a story, she is independent, confident and satisfied with her lot in life. Her gypsy like ways of collecting friends (and lovers) all over the world was a nice change and made it more enjoyable to watch her fall for Taran.
Taran is a man that knows how to get the ladies and they usually flock to him until he decides it is time for them to go. Then he meets Calypso and everything changes. How can he not chase after the one woman he can’t forget?
I really enjoyed Trouble Brewing, it was a fun, light-hearted, emotionally charged story, with the perfect touch of magical whimsy. The secondary characters were very engaging and enjoyable to read that at times I wanted the story to expand and tell me more about them. (I can’t wait for Nell’s story). Jane Tara does a wonderful job creating a world where you believe in magic and destiny and all the wonderful (and crazy) things that go along with it.Trouble Brewing is a great book to get lost in for a few hours. This was my first Jane Tara book and I will be anxiously awaiting more from this author. If you like a bit of magic with your love stories then this is the perfect blend for you to 1-click away!
Another review in the inbox this morning, this time from Victoria’s Gossip. Gotta say, these reviews are a lovely start to the day.
Reviewed By: Patricia
Trouble Brewing is the second book featuring the Shakespeare women. I never read the first one but honestly you don’t really need to read the first one. This book can stand alone. The book is set in London and follows the lives of Batty, Calypso and Nell. All witches in their own right with flaming red hair and attitudes. Batty the mother and part owner of the family pub. Calypso the wild child that mixes potions for the people who need them. In her own small pub in the basement. Then there is Nell the most sensible of the two daughters . Calypso is wild and carefree, but is running away from heart break from her past. She is quite content traveling all over the world . Until one day the winds of fate changes her life . In walks a man into her life or should I saw renters her life. Taran , a tall hot witch from America, turns her life upside down and makes her rethink the one true love . As she runs from the love that Taran offers, he follows keeping her off balance as she falls in love again. She realizes that you can really have a second chance at love.
I truly enjoyed this book. It was a laugh out loud look at a family, friends and a second chance at love. The cast of characters were well rounded and loved the quirks of each and everyone of them. Makes me want to get the first book and get to know the rest of them. the English slang didn’t even bother me in the least.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a great summer read.
I adored this book. The first time I noticed it was flipping through the pages of books available for request on Netgalley. I may be something of a cover snob and when I saw this one, it said “CANDACE! I AM MADE FOR YOU! PICK ME UP! LOOK – A PINK MARTINI! YOU LOOOOVE PINK MARTINIS!”
Ok, ok, ya got me. I do. CLICK.
And THEN I read the blurb – it had me at “psychic” and “magical cocktails”. I clicked that REQUEST button hella fast.
So first, thank you to Momentum Books for the ARC!
Second, Trouble Brewing was every bit as charming as I thought it would be.
Calypso (fabulous name, btw) has this inherent need to be free to explore the world on a whim, never settling too long in one place, yet making friends and feeling at home wherever she goes. She serves up magical cocktails all around the world, easing broken hearts, giving reassurance to the insecure, motivation to the stuck, but most of all…bringing love to those who desire it.
Calypso had her chance at finding one true love, only to have it end suddenly, leaving her brokenhearted and resigned to the fact that she would never love again (Shakespeare women only have one true love in their lifetime). She loves ‘em and leaves ‘em until one persistent man from her past arrives out of the blue to try to change her mind, and her heart…
This is such an enchanting story. I’m a sucker for witches, potions, cocktails, fabulously quirky characters and traveling. I’ve been thinking about backpacking through Europe and damn if this wasn’t the perfect book to set the mood. Most of the book is set in London, Paris and Vienna. How’s that for a gorgeous backdrop?
Have you ever just liked the feel of a book? Do you know what I mean when I say that? Like you just want to jump through the pages and experience that world and live with the characters and for the hours spent reading, you really did.
Speaking of characters – fiery Calypso, intense Taran, hysterical Megan, adorable Simon, affable Alf, quietly strong Nell, larger than life Batty – I loved every one of these eccentric personalities. Though I have to say, stand-up comedian Megan stole the show every time she appeared. The girl can come tell me jokes all day every day.
A number of people in the audience laughed uncomfortably, unsure how the slip of a girl onstage would handle the large drunk.
“You’ve got no tits and look like a boy,” the drunk slurred.
Megan just nodded sympathetically and in a voice dripping with disdain said, “You’ve got no manners and look like a cockhead. Difference between us is that I can buy boobs and put on a dress. What the fuck can you do?”
And this one, which is the perfect example of how using your/you’re can completely change a sentence:
“Hey, did you hear about the two nuns who were driving through Transylvania?” Megan asked in a perfect Irish accent.
“Okay, give it to me,” said Calypso.
“Suddenly Dracula jumped onto the bonnet of the car and bared his fangs. The first nun turned to the other nun and said, ‘Quick, show him your cross.’ So the other nun rolled down the window and yelled, ‘Get off the fucking bonnet, you blood-sucking bastard!”
Please tell me you got that joke. Please. Go back and read it again. Get it now? Good.
Trouble Brewing focuses time on each member of the family, so you’re not only getting a great love story with Calypso & Taryn, you’re getting SEVERAL! Perfect for greedy readers like myself.
I loved this book and I can’t wait to go back and read the first in this series, as well as future Jane Tara novels. Strongly consider tapping that one-click button for this one! I know I am. 🙂
*This is the second book in the Shakespeare Sisters series, but don’t let that stop you from reading! I haven’t read book one yet, but apparently it focuses on the New York set of Shakespeare women, while Trouble Brewing is the story of the London women.*
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really cute book! I haven’t read the first book in this series, but was in no way impacted by that. There are a bunch of love stories interwoven in this little gem. I found myself eagerly turning the pages to see who we would follow-up with next. The romantic in me wished their stories were simpler, but the reader in me loved the drama. There’s some smut, but not too much (or enough, if you’re exclusively looking for that).
The main story follows Taran and Calypso on their tumultuous journey back to love. That sounds horribly romantic, but it really is true. Their friends and family were fun to watch pair up or work things out and I really want to know what happened to everyone. The one thing this book is missing is a comprehensive epilogue that tells me where everyone ends up. Maybe that’s for the next book? One can hope.
Here’s a fabulous 5 star review of Trouble Brewing from Mad About Books. I love how the reviewer Natalie says “This is more like a dramatic adventure romance.” She’s absolutely right in that my books cross a few genres. I love it when a reader recognises and appreciates that. Here’s the review:
The second installment by Jane Tara focuses this time on the London Shakeapeare witches Batty,Nell and Calypso. Unlike other Shakepeare women Batty was blessed with two magical daughters with very different gifts.
Calypso is back in London after her recent stint of globe trotting and is ready to see to her regulars in her Cauldron. Her family has always been based in a pub so what better way to give your witches brew than in a Martini or possibly a tea. She’s always had itchy feet since her old boyfriend Scott and has been hard pressed to settle anywhere so when a gorgeous artist named Taran says he’s falled for her she doesn’t dance with glee but runs for the hill.
All this is good and well for Calypso but Taran isn’t giving up easily so when he’s offered an art exhibition in London he sees it as fate and follow’s his heart across the pond.
Nell is kind, reserved, intelligent and finds lost things better than a blood hound, not that there’s a comparison. She loves history as everything has a story but her current job just isn’t paying the bills. Opportunity knocks in the way of a position at a Museum and a sweet boss.
Batty has always been known as the slightly odd one but no one would have it any other way. She looks out for her girls and is in turn looked after by her true love Alf but things aren’t running as smoothly between them as she’d like.
All three Shakespeares and their friends go through dramatic life changes, discover romances and change the course of their lives in this whirlwind feel good romance. Very light hearted with some dramatic twists. The reveal of how Taran came into Calypso’s life had me on tender hooks and restored my belief in love.
All the characters were in depth and relateable, i’d be shocked if you didn’t familiarise yourself with one or more of them. It’s told from different characters viewpoints so you really had four books in one.
This is more like a dramatic adventure romance and i’d recommend it to anyone who wants a lift from the same old books out there right now. Hope there’s another to come.