4-star · Book Reviews

Book Review: Autumn Leaves: Chick-lit Anthology

★★★★/★★★★★
Title: Autumn Leaves: Chick-lit Anthology
Authors: Samantha Bond, Carla Caruso, Laura Greaves,
Georgina Penny, Katie Spain and Sandy Vaile
PubDate: March 23, 2015
Page count: 102

Leaving Princess Kate by Samantha Bond

“She is excited, like a little kid and the bits aren’t just adding up. Dread is building like a rock in my gut. Tanya is naked in our bedroom and my girlfriend isn’t acting like she’s about to dump me.”

I think Leaving Princess Kate is the story some of us might have already experienced before. The story of having a beautiful relationship with someone but one text or email or misunderstanding ruined everything. This first story in this chick-lit anthology by 6 of Australias’s chick-lit authors tells us that sometimes we just need to trust the one we love and though we might doubt them at times, we must not lose faith in the love we have for them.

Mark knew the moment he laid eyes on Kate that if he worked hard, then Kate would be a part of his life. He was out in a bar one night with his workmates when he saw Kate, all beautiful and playful with her friends. He stole glances at her and he knew Kate was doing the same. From then on, Mark made sure that he always catch Kate at the bar everytime. Soon enough, with a bit of courage and maybe a couple of beers, Mark decided to be a man and walked towards Kate and kissed her. It was when he knew that Kate was feeling the same. After some time, they saw a beautiful townhouse, one Kate really loved, and realized it was where they wanted to build a life together. For a year everything was fine and easy and hot until Mark saw a text message in Kate’s phone. He knew he wasn’t supposed to see it but unfortunately he did. Since then he started to suspect Kate which eventually led to his foul moods.

I know it’s just normal for a couple to fight once in a while, it’s healthy they say, and you can’t really control your partner but I think all you could do, if you really love him/her, is to trust him/her. Because loving someone means trusting them. I knew Mark wanted to believe that Kate was still that girl who loved him but after that incident of reading her messages, he knew she had broken his trust. It was hard for him, it took everything in him but if only he trusted Kate enough, if only he trusted Kate to still be that girl he fell in love with and if only he waited.

Stolen Kisses by Carla Caruso

Finally, Misty cleared her throat. “You know, Katy Perry’s doing her first tour date in Adelaide next month. I could ask to cover it and put in a request for you.” She shrugged, her mouth twisting. “We could take it from there. See what happens.”

On her last day of covering the story of the band The Stolen, on their show in Adelaide, Misty Welbourne could only wish for time to drag on for so long. She wasn’t so excited when she was first assigned with this assignment but as she spent the last eight days with Jesse Ramage, freelance photographer, she suddenly wished for an extra time with him. Jesse, as a freelancer, didn’t have much of a choice but to take this assignment. He wasn’t quite thrilled about following some rock band on their show but with Misty along with him, he realized that it wasn’t bad at all.

A cute, spontaneous, blooming romance from Carla Caruso about a writer and a photographer who found themselves enjoying each other’s company and would rather get to know each other better than actually covering the band they were supposed to cover. A fast and charming read of a blooming relationship that will surely make you smile.

Run To You by Laura Greaves

“This marathon is supposed to be my catarthis, my phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes moment. It’s not supposed to be a first date.”

When Melissa Burnley decided to run for the New York Marathon, it was to prove her ex that she wasn’t indecisive, that she can commit to something and see it until the end. And so it was a cold November and she was running (away from her ex) along with 50,000 other participants including Mr. Polar Bear who happened to decide he wanted to become her running partner. What a not so good beginning turned into a heartwarming talk and run between Melissa and a man she named Mr. Polar Bear.

Run to You was probably my favorite among the six stories. Melissa and Mr.Polar Bear started off as strangers but somehow along the marathon they got to know each other a little. At first, Mr. Polar bear was too fussy for Melissa but when she heard his story she somehow soften to him. And who hasn’t fancied a firefighter anyway? Melissa also didn’t want to tell her story but what’s the harm of telling your story to someone you wouldn’t see again?

It was a beautiful story of moving on and letting yourself heal after an awful relationship. I actually wanted to read more but unfortunately it was only a short story. And his name was Brooks, by the way.

 Rebound by Georgina Penny

“Come by the station tomorrow and I’ll give you the details
“Why not now?
“Because I like to see you pissed off.”

As if losing her job wasn’t quite enough, Samantha Plimpton had to be dumped by her boyfriend, ex, of two years so he could have a fling with a new girl. To make things worse, Samantha was also back living, temporarily, with her OCD mother who liked keeping the house as it used to be, like Samantha was still in highschool, until she can find a new job and so she can pay for a new place to live in. Enter Police Officer Craig Lawson, Samantha’s nemesis, who unexpectedly offered his house in exchange of Samantha keeping the lawn green and the garden watered. Having no intention of staying another day inside her mom’s house, Samantha grabbed the offer and found herself ‘okay’ with Craig’s company.

I’ve read a lot of stories like this one with the girl and the guy always bickering but turned out they actually liked each other. Because sometimes it was easier to tease someone than actually admitting that you like them. (Sounds like YA, I know!) And Samantha was just too busy hating Craig that she wasn’t able to get the hints Craig was giving.

Just Friends by Katie Spain

“I’m not sure why but that day he chose me as his ‘girl’ and over schnitzel, salad and a love of vino we vowed to tackle life on our new turf together. We skipped straight to best-mate status without a second thought.”

Nathan was the man of her dreams. Too bad she wasn’t the man of Nathan’s dreams. They agreed that by thirty if they weren’t still married then they would marry each other then have a baby (or babies). Everyone around them can tell that they loved each other more than best friends loved each other but what can she do when Nathan liked men more than he liked her?

This story wasn’t what I expected it to be but it was lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. Nathan was adorable and he was probably my favorite character out of all the stories. It’s just that it was too sad that she can’t have Nathan all to herself because Nathan wanted to marry the man of his dreams, one day, even if he was already married to her. And I loved that Teenage Dream by Katy Perry part!

Deluge by Sandy Vaile

“Autumn would no longer be a sign of loss. Now it was a new beginning.”

Carly Shaw had no choice but to leave Cockatoo Flat to find a high paying job so she could pay the debts her father left them. When she left she didn’t only leave her mother behind but she also had to end things with the love of her life, Elliot Fraser, who took the break up the hard way. Now that she was back to look after her sick mother, Elliot still seemed mad at her for leaving but when her mother, Jean, decided to play matchmaker, Carly had to at least indulge her mother for wanting to see her daughter get married.

I always love stories about second chances because everyone deserves a second chance, right? This last story by Sandy Vaile was about Samantha giving up her chance at love for the sake of saving her family from debts. Because sometimes life decided we only get to choose one between love and family and most of the time we choose family over love which is unfair but life is a bitch like that. But hey, that’s the reason why we have second chances right? And third and fourth and who’s to say we don’t get a fifth chance?

Overall, I enjoyed this collection of short stories! My favorite was Run To You but each was lovely in its own way. Hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

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