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First book club of the year … wine with a story, romance, thrillers, and, it being Valentine’s month … how to recognise a cad!


Oh … bliss. A new Taylor Jenkins Reid. In Forever, Interrupted we meet Elsie Porter, an average twentysomething who, one rainy New Year’s Day, heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Within weeks, the
two are head over heels in love. Within months, they’ve eloped. Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room, where she must face the mother-in-law she has never met, and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists. Simon Schuster.

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One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and job have gone. The last thing she wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village, and she certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again. Then there’s Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction and luckily one’s about to turn up. Promise Me is Jill Mansell’s latest chick-lit read. Headline

Every day, The Housemaid (by Freida McFadden) cleans the Winchesters’ beautiful house. She collects their daughter from school, and cooks a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in her tiny room on the top floor. She tries to ignore how Nina Winchester makes a mess just to watch her clean it up, how she tells strange lies about her own daughter, and how her husband seems more broken every day. It’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband. But she reassures herself that the Winchesters don’t know who she really is. They don’t know what she’s capable of. Little Brown

Are you dating Boring Bert (he wears quilted anoraks and his mancave has a trainset from his boyhood). Or a Tradie Ted (he drives a bakkie, calls you his woman and slaps your arse as he walks past you). Are there red flags in your relationship … he asks to borrow money, delays and evades, sulks, withdraws and stonewalls you. If there’s a resounding yes anywhere here, it’s probably time to pick up a copy of Caroline Hurry’s Flow – 21 secrets to refresh your relationship. Full of hysterical descriptions of Drunken Duncans, Stingy Steves and Slobber Stans (his breath is beery, and feels damp), Caroline doesn’t shy away from nasty truths … manipulation and gaslighting, blame shifting and abuse. She talks about dating duds (don’t overinvest, or stalk him on social media) and relationship flows. All very tongue-in-cheek … which doesn’t mean she doesn’t get it spot on! It’s not, she firmly points out, another find-a-husband book (she did that in Handbook for the Huntress), but ‘more of an outstretched hand to those who slipped on the treacherous rocks of romance and need a little help getting up again’. Hygge Books

Nobody sits us down and teaches us how to love. We’re often thrown into relationships with nothing but romantic movies and pop culture to help us muddle through. Until now. In 8 Rules of Love, instead of presenting love as an ethereal concept or a collection of cliches, Jay Shetty lays out specific, actionable steps to help you develop the skills to practice and nurture love. He shares insights on how to win or lose together, how to define love, and why you don’t break in a break-up. Inspired by Vedic wisdom and modern science, he tackles the entire relationship cycle, from first dates to moving in together to breaking up and starting over. And he shows us how to avoid falling for false promises and unfulfilling partners. Harper Collins

Journey’s End … wines with a story on every label
We love a wine with a story, and Journey’s End, the boutique estate on the mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Helderberg basin, have released their rebranded new-vintage Tales Series range of wines … new classic labels but still with the tales behind the wine. This February we’ll be trying Journey’s End Weather Station Sauvignon Blanc 2022. The Tale …. This wine is named after the famed SB11 Weerstasie Kloon (Weather Station clone) which is one of the core components used in this wine. First propagated in Stellenbosch in the 1920s, it made a huge resurgence in the late 1970s. The clone is nicknamed ‘The Weather Station’ as the original plantings were made beside an old weather station, which proved invaluable in enabling the farms to spot upcoming
changes in the weather and thus pick their fruit at its optimum condition.
The vegan-friendly wine is a refreshing aperitif but also enjoy with fresh oysters, asparagus, smoked salmon, mussels, tempura prawns or seared tuna.
You’ll find it for between R100 and R120 from shop.journeysend.co.za

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