2017 Reviews · Australian · contemporary fiction · women's fiction

Book Review: Champagne for Breakfast by Maggie Christensen

Title: Champagne for Breakfastchampagne

Author: Maggie Christensen

Published: April 28th 2017

Publisher: Cala Publishing

Pages: 256

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Australian

RRP: $12.99

Rating: 4 stars

Rosa Taylor is celebrating her fiftieth birthday with champagne. By the river. On her own.

After finishing her six-year long affair with her boss, Rosa is desperate to avoid him in the workplace and determined to forge a new life for herself.

Harry Kennedy has sailed away from a messy Sydney divorce and is resolute in kick-starting a new life on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Thrown together at work, Rosa and Harry discover a secret. One that their employer is desperate to keep hidden. To reveal it they must work together, but first they must learn to trust not only each other but their own rising attraction.

Are these two damaged people willing to risk their hard won independence for the promise of love again?

My review:

Champagne for Breakfast is such a catchy title that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take Maggie Christensen, the author of this book up on her offer to review her latest novel. Maggie does fantastic things for the mature readers market in Australia, tapping into a niche in the publishing world. Maggie’s books, which I have had the pleasure of being introduced to last year, show us how the mature woman has the ability to love and enjoy life again, after life’s complications get in the way.

Champagne for Breakfast brings us the story of Rosa Taylor, at a pinnacle moment of her life. Celebrating her fiftieth birthday with the essential glass of champagne, Rosa decides to end a six year relationship with her married boss, Ken. She also decides enough is enough and also seeks out some essential changes to her career. It is a process she hopes will distance her from Ken. Soon after requesting a change in her position at work, Rosa is forced to take a redundancy package. Unfortunately, Rosa has uncovered some financial discrepancies in the accounts of her employer. Rosa worries that she may become implicated in these dodgy dealings and as a result, makes the difficult decision to jump ship. This process leads her into the arms of Harry Kennedy, a man who helps Rosa in exposing the secrets her ex employer is trying desperately to hide. Harry has only recently moved from Sydney, after his marriage broke down. A scandal involving wife, who ditched Harry for his business partner, brings him to the sunshine coast. Rosa and Harry soon find they are attracted to one another, but it is unclear as to whether these two damaged souls can find the strength to love again.

It was nice to be reminded of Maggie Christensen’s embracing style of storytelling, through the experience of reading my second novel from this author. Fans of Maggie’s books will be pleased with her latest offering, as there are some familiar faces that appear, while her new characters are very likeable indeed. The best way to describe Maggie Christensen’s books is like visiting a dear friend after time apart and finding nothing has changed. Newcomers to Maggie Christensen’s work need not be concerned at all, Champagne for Breakfast can easily be read and enjoyed as a stand alone novel.

As with the previous novel I read by Maggie Christensen, her characters are warm, realistic and well formed. Rosa was a great lead to get to know as the book progressed. Although Rosa is older than me, I was able to see many of her traits and could relate her experiences to those close to me. This enabled Rosa to come across as an authentic character. I found myself infuriated with Rosa’s ex Ken and cheered Rosa on as she made the important but difficult break from him. The entry of Harry into the fold added interest, as well as an extra layer to the storyline. I enjoyed how Rosa and Harry’s relationship played out. I also want to point out that the attraction between the leads, Rosa and Harry, is handled tastefully by Christensen.

My favourite aspect of Champagne for Breakfast was the location. The setting was simply stunning. We are provided with a set of beautiful and vivid descriptions of Noosa, a part of Australia I have not had the chance to visit but I would dearly love to in the future. I like the relaxed way of life and local community that emanates from the pages of this novel. I could easily imagine myself with the characters in the novel sharing a glass of champagne… for breakfast! It sounds delightful!

It isn’t all sunshine and hearts in Maggie Christensen’s latest novel. There is a sub plot of suspense that runs quietly in the background, adding further intrigue to the storyline. It also kept me turning the pages fast, as I wanted to know if Rosa and her former company would be implicated in the questionable financial problems. Further complications to the story also come from the arrival of Harry’s daughter and the baggage that the leads carry with them, jeopardising their chance at future happiness.

Champagne for Breakfast was a gentle tale of two mature souls taking a risk in love and life again, after mistakes in the past are realised. Maggie Christensen’s easygoing tone and engaging writing style, makes Champagne for Breakfast a book I would happily recommend to contemporary women’s fiction fans.

Champagne for Breakfast by Maggie Christensen was published in April 2017 by Cala Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

For more information on Maggie Christensen, check out her website here.

 

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