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The Other Woman (2012)

Kennedy Cafes and Chocolate is in its centenary year, and owner Owen Kennedy has decided to branch out into the world of wine. His right-hand woman Ruby Hart embarks on a journey with him to Italy to meet their potential partners in the venture, the Boselli family. But right away Ruby suspects that the relationship between Owen and Emma Boselli is a little more than professional. Meanwhile Owen's wife, Katherine, is on a journey of self-discovery in Kenya. She is enthralled by the beauty of Africa - and its inhabitants. Ruby is left shouldering the responsibilities of the business, but she has some dark secrets of her own to protect. What first struck me about this novel was the author's exquisite use of descriptive language. It brought the scenes to life, you could almost smell the wine in the Italian vineyard and feel the hot sunshine on safari in Africa. However, at certain points in the story it lacked action, and I didn't warm to Katherine as a main character at all. Despite relating to her grief, I just couldn't get to like her, in stark contrast to Ruby who was likeable from the start. There were a few good twists towards the end and I felt this redeemed the story. Overall it was a well-written page-turner, with descriptive passages that were a joy to read. (LO)

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