Title: And Then She Shines
Author: Helen Libby
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
My Rating: 4 out of 5
And Then She Shines brings together brings together four previously published novelettes, along with Helen Libby’s new story, Cassie’s Choice.
Can you keep a secret? All the clothes Ruby’s bought may have filled her wardrobe, but they haven’t helped her to feel fulfilled. She’s been holding back on her dream of travelling for years. And now Ruby’s in debt. A LOT of debt. She’s so ashamed. She doesn’t want anyone to know, not even her boyfriend, David. He’s so careful with money – he wouldn’t understand. Ruby’s trying to change. She wants financial stability AND a good relationship. Will she be able to resolve her debt before David discovers her secret?
Stay or go? Anna’s a romantic. She loves musical theatre, but her life is a far cry from her favourite shows. When her boyfriend Joe tells her he doesn’t love her anymore, she doesn’t know what to do. Anna just wants to be loved, but Joe suffers from depression, and they’ve both been unhappy for a long time. A last minute trip to Paris gives Anna some time to reflect, and shows her whether life can ever really be like a musical.
“People who love me leave me.” Laura makes a New Year’s resolution – to find her birth mother. She needs answers. What she doesn’t need is a relationship, so when things start getting serious between her and Rob, she does her best to hold back. Only Rob won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and Laura is torn. Will Laura find her birth mother? And will love find a way?
He knows everything about her. The only thing she knows about him is that he’s her husband. Can she fall in love with him for a second time? Ella’s lost her memory – the last ten years of her life. Her friends and family want her to slot back into place, only it’s not that easy. Will Ella’s memory return? Does she need to remember her husband in order to love him again? Join Ella on her journey of self-discovery.
“Something is missing from my life, and I can’t pinpoint what it is. Could it be a baby? Maybe.”
What if you think you want a child, but your partner doesn’t? It’s time for Cassie to make her mind up. Does she want a baby, or not? If she does, is she willing to leave her beloved husband, Alex, in order to start again? Can you miss something you’ve never had? Does Cassie need a baby in order to feel fulfilled? So many questions and she’s running out of time.
And Then She Shines is a collection of five novelettes by Helen Libby. The story centres around five different women. Each of them is faced with a dilemma or issue that they need to overcome in life. Each of the 5 women is strong and independent, but all have their own weaknesses as well, which makes them so likable and so real.
The first story is about Ruby. Ruby has a shopping addiction. Ruby is also in a lot of debt. She is also keeping her debt secret from her boyfriend David. Ruby has worked out a plan on how to pay off her debt without anyone ever knowing. When David finds out about her secret, Ruby thinks she has lost him forever. Can Ruby make things right again?
We are then introduced to Anna. She has an amazing boyfriend and then clearly love each other very much. But, he is suffering from severe depression. Anna tries to help him, but he ends their relationship suddenly after telling her that he doesn’t love her and has never loved her. Anna knows that it is the depression talking, but should she fight for her relationship and the man she loves?
In the third story, Laura has lost both her adoptive parents. She knows her birth mother gave her up for adoption but doesn’t know why. Scared by her past, Laura is scared that everyone she loves will ultimately leave her. When she meets the incredibly gorgeous Rob, Laura starts panicking that things will go wrong. Can she resolve her issues and have the happy life that she deserves with Rob?
Next, we get a glimpse of Ella’s life. Ella has recently suffered a head injury and has lost the last ten years of memories. She doesn’t remember her whole life and she certainly doesn’t remember her husband. Struggling to piece her life back together, Ella discovers that their relationship wasnt perfect before the accident. Deciding she needs some time away from her husband, Ella needs to try and find herself again. But can the two of them ever be happy together again?
Lastly, we are introduced to Cassie. Cassie is happily married and very much in love. Right from the very start of their relationship, they both agreed they didn’t want children. But now something has changed. Cassie has the strongest of maternal feelings. She is feeling that something is missing in her life. She wants to be a Mum. With the two of them not able to change how they feel, her husband decides they take some time away from each other and he takes a temporary work project in Milan. Cassie really starts looking at her life and what she thinks she is missing out on. Does she really want to be a Mum or is there something else missing from her life?
Each of the stories in And Then She Shines are really enjoyable. All of the characters are so relatable and experience issues that many of us go through in life. Each story leaves you feeling very empowered and also quite emotional – I think because the issues each of the women face are so real and so true to life.
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing the materials for this post and organising the Blog tour. Be sure to check out the other blogs who participated in this Blog Tour.