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Elizabeth the First Wife (2013)

Elizabeth is a professor who teaches community college Shakespeare and English Lit. Her ex-husband returns home asking a favour of Elizabeth - that she be his acting coach for a new play at a Shakespeare festival. This would be an easy task if her ex-husband was a nobody or an average Joe, but he is in fact FX Fahey, the Hollywood action star. If the pressure to help him wasn't enough, Elizabeth is stuck on her current book proposal - a Look at Shakespeare and Love in the Modern Society. Can her journey of accompanying FX help re-ignite her passion of Shakespeare and re-discover love? Without giving too much away, Elizabeth the First Wife is a wonderful book that all those who hold even the slightest candle for William Shakespeare and his plays will cherish and enjoy thoroughly. (PP)

Helen of Pasadena (2010)

What do you do when your husband dies suddenly and you find that the life you thought you were living isn't in fact the life you should have been living? This is what happens to Helen Fairchild of Pasadena when her husband Merritt dies through an accident just after he has confessed to an affair and stated his intention to leave Helen for the other woman. Suddenly gone is the marriage to a supposed pillar of the local community, gone also is a life of volunteering on all the fashionable committees as Helen is left with huge debt and no money to provide for her son's private education. Given that Merritt's family is old-school Pasadena this shouldn't be a problem but it is. Helen fortunately manages to secure herself employment as a research assistant for an archaeologist who is rather attractive and this easy-to-read novel unfolds from there, full of humour and insight on re-inventing oneself. (LM)

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