Review: Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson

afternoon-tea-at-the-sunflower-cafe

Publisher: Simon & Schuster AUS
Release date: June 18, 2015 (will be re-released on December 1)
Format: eARC via NetGalley
ISBN13: 9781471140839
Pages: 513
Goodreads || Book Depository

Her marriage is all washed up. It’s time for a clean start…

Connie Diamond has always been her husband Jimmy’s ‘best girl’ – or so she thought. But then she discovers that he’s been playing away for the past twenty-four years, and that the chocolates she believed he bought her as a sign of his love were just a cover-up, and she is determined to get revenge.

Along with Della Frostick, Jimmy’s right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, Connie decides to destroy Jimmy’s life from the inside. Together they will set up a rival business called Lady Muck, and along with the cleaning ladies who meet at the Sunflower Café, they’ll make him wish he had never so much as looked at another woman.

Then Connie meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kind chocolate-brown eyes start to melt her soul. Can the ladies of the Sunflower Café help Connie scrub away the hurt? And can Brandon cure her affliction and make her smile again…?

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

I received a free electronic copy of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe is a fun, fast-paced story about getting revenge! The novel follows three women, who have been used by the men in their lives, and what happens when they decide to take their own destiny into their own hands. Even though this book is over 500 pages long, it definitely felt more like a 300 page book. I finished it in just two sittings because it was so fast-paced and engaging.

I thought the plot was extremely fun and the secrets and revenge had me hooked from the very beginning. We have Connie, whose husband, Jimmy, has been cheating on her since the beginning of their marriage 24 years ago and has been absent for most of their daughter’s life due to “work”. He claims that their cleaning business is just getting by when he’s really hiding away the money and spending it on lavish gifts for his mistresses. There’s also Della, Jimmy’s administrative assistant, who has been in love with Jimmy for the 15 years she has worked for him. When Della finds out that Jimmy is having an affair with the office junior he made her hire, she is outraged that he has never returned her feelings. Together, Connie and Della devise ways of taking down Jimmy’s business, which includes setting up a rival business and stealing all his cleaners and clients.

What I loved most about their revenge plot was that it wasn’t only about revenge. (Although the revenge was pretty good. Some of the things they did to sabotage Jimmy’s business were so funny!) It was also a book about friendship, and finding people who will support you and be there for you. It was about a group of ladies banding together and helping each other out, while making a fresh start.

We also get to see Cheryl’s story. She’s a cleaner who works at Jimmy’s business but lately she’s only had bad luck. Her long-term boyfriend has gambled away all of her savings again and her house is being egged. But then some good luck comes her way, and suddenly her life doesn’t seem so bleak anymore. I enjoyed Cheryl’s story the most out of the three. I loved seeing the relationships between Cheryl and each of her clients. They were so heartwarming to read about.

I was really rooting for all of the ladies in the book. They were all such believable characters. They all had doubts about what they were doing, and I just wanted them to succeed. My only criticism was that the book didn’t end on as big of a bang as I would have liked. I thought it was a bit predictable so I wasn’t as satisfied as I would have wanted to be. The Sunflower Cafe also doesn’t play that big of a role in the book. We do see sunflowers being used as a motif throughout the book, but I thought that the cafe would have played a bigger part in the story.

Despite what the description suggests, the new romances didn’t play a huge part in the book. Obviously I’m happy to see our ladies find new people who will make them happy and give them what they deserve… but I’m also glad that we didn’t see too much of the romance. It would have felt a bit unrealistic if the ladies just jumped into relationships with the first men they meet.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I read it so quickly that I didn’t even stop to take any notes (which is why this review is a bit incoherent). There is also lots of chocolate involved, so prepare yourselves!

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