Chanel Sweethearts is the third novel from Cate Kendall (otherwise known as the dynamic writing duo Michelle Hamer and Lisa Blundell), and as the back cover states it is â€˜a sassy, engaging read from the bestselling authors…\’
So it fits right in here. This book jumped out at me at just the right time. A bit under the weather last weekend I needed something that I could just curl up on the couch with, something I didn\’t have to work too hard at but could still help me feel a bit less miserable. And it was just the thing.
Chanel Sweethearts is the story of country girl Jess Wainwright. A talented artist / designer she lives in the town where she grew up, having made a successful business out of the old, very run down general store. Now a thriving cafe and gallery it is the centre of this small town and Jess runs it with passion and a distinctive flair for knowing what people want. She has great friends (even if they are a bit out there), and is close again with old friend Nick after losing touch for a while.
But after a hell of a year where she lost not only the man she thought she loved but the stepsons she adored, something is missing. Jess wants more. And when an old flame appears out of the blue and offers her an opportunity too good to be true, Jess jumps at the chance to move to the city and work as a top designer. Keen to reinvent herself as the sophisticated city chick, Jess tries hard at work to impress her boss, finds herself a flat in a trendy suburb and flirts with the old flame.
But is life in the city really all it\’s cracked up to be? As her life takes yet more dramatic (and tragic) turns, Jess begins to wonder if she\’s done the right thing. She misses her friends, misses the country air, and is beginning to wonder if there was more to her friendship with Nick than she thought.
Chanel Sweethearts is a terrific story of one woman\’s attempt at finding who you really are, what matters most to you and realising that perhaps what you wanted all along was right there under your nose. I read the book in record time, despite feeling miserable, and thoroughly enjoyed every word. The characters were great and you could relate to them and the joys and heartache in their lives â€“ all of it believable. And the town of Stumpy Gully is just like every small town you\’ve ever been to – with a warm community feel and an odd assortment of characters that make it unique.
I have not read Cate Kendall\’s previous books but will be sure to look them up when I get a chance, having enjoyed this one immensely.
Available now: Random House RRP$32.95