6 Minutes Reading Time
Red Velvet and Anemones is part of the Pagoga Cliffs Collection. I have received this book as an ARC (an unpublished copy) from Editingle Indie House in exchange for an honest review.
I faced a choice; Be Bitter about my circumstances or overcome and Be Better. As a family, we chose better.Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 4545-4546). Kindle Edition.
Print Length: 368 pages
Text-to-Speech | Screen Reader | Enhanced Typesetting | Word Wise
Publication Date: 5 July 2020
Categories: Women’s Romans Fiction | Contemporary Women’s Fiction | Women’s in Literature Fiction
Trigger Warnings: Sex, Violence
The author has survived a lacunar stroke and wrote to relearn language and then read it aloud to improve her speech. A friend challenged her to author a book. That was the start of a place called Pagosa Cliffs. She writes about broken characters who need to make a choice between becoming better or bitter!
Mili Vanilli Velvet. A big name for a small little girl. Mili’s mother murder her sister Roxie, and her husband. And at age six, she escapes her mother’s wrath, but her baby brother Duran dies in her arms. Mili’s testimony sends her mother to prison. Dr Emily Haywood adopts her, and she gains herself a sister, Marnianne (Marni). They grow up together and they form a powerful bond as if they are really sisters.
Marni is the wild one, attracting attention from all the men. Some pretended to care about Mili, but just use her to get to know Marni.
When Marni has her license suspended, Marni drives her to and back to work. One day when she arrives to pick Marni up, she saved a stranger from being hijacked. Edgar dates Mili, while his cousin Heath goes out with Marni. They have a double wedding and all of them move in together in Mili’s house.
When the cousin’s grandfather passed away, Edar and Heath leave to assist with the funeral arrangements. Mili and Marni are frantic as time passes and they do not return. Their husbands ignore their calls and messages. Mili receive an itinerary from Edgar. Both sisters are pregnant. They plan to tell the two men when they pick them up at the airport. But Jean Lasater shows up. She works for the Rowlings family and serve them with divorce papers.
Marni dies while giving birth to Emily. The baby is two weeks premature and must stay in the NICU. Mili realises the dates don’t add up and that Marni must have fallen pregnant before her marriage to Heith. Mili looked through the pictures on Marni’s phone, and realise that the father of Marni’s baby is Edgar, her husband.
Jean convinces her to sign the divorce papers for her and her sister. Otherwise, the Rowlings might come after her and take Emily away. She adopts Emily and Jean helps Mili to disappear. She moves to the small town of Pagosa, staying with her Aunt Elizabeth in her Wild Anemone Bed & Breakfast.
“Listen to me, Milli. You need to sign these papers for yourself and for Marnianne. They don’t have to know she died before she signed, I’ll give you her money too. You need to take it and her baby and get away from Las Vegas. Start over somewhere, it’s a half-million dollars total. But you can never tell the Rowling family that Marni had Heith Rowling’s baby. I know how Edgar’s mother will react. I have worked for that vicious woman for almost two decades. This is the lowest thing Colleen has ever made me do. If she, or any of them, find out about Marni’s baby, they will take her from you. They will also take the child you are carrying, and you will never see either of them again. Let me help you get away from them.”Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 786-791). Kindle Edition.
When Mili visits an obstetrician, she finds out that her baby has a genetic disease called Jacobsen’s Syndrome. She refuses an abortion and wears a foetal monitor to monitor its heartbeat. Baby Charlie is born and dies in his mother’s arms on 26 December…
Mili is a professional baker, and her dream is to one day own her own bakery. When Mili stresses, she bakes.
Mili struggles to deal with her sister’s betrayal and losing Charlie.
“She loved you, Milli, I have no doubt of that. I know she is gone now, but you need to forgive her. This is eating up your soul. If you stay like this, like you are now, you won’t be doing anyone any good, least of all yourself. Dr Marguaex is doing her best, but you have to meet her halfway. Elizabeth pushed herself up and placed a hand on Milli’s shoulder. It will twist you up inside and you will find yourself pushing Emily away. You don’t want to hurt her, do you? That question left Milli speechless, and Elizabeth knew she had gotten through to Milli. Think about it, my sweet, and with that Elizabeth hobbled back to her room.”Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 4377-4382). Kindle Edition.
Trying to deal with her hurt and her battle to forgive, she bakes and donates many cakes to the people of Pagosa. Slowly, Mili settles in and becomes part of the community. But she doesn’t back down when attacked in unusual ways by Tonia, who believes she is dating LLoyd, her ex-husband.
This book follows Mili’s journey through hurt and betrayal and her struggle to become better, not bitter!
What did I love?
I loved little Mily. Small and feisty, she doesn’t back down for anyone. But her hurt and struggle are real. But even while she battles to heal and forgive, she keeps on baking and donating. Doing good and helping others.
I also loved how Jean brought the Rowlings down. She exposes all their illegal dealings and gets justice for so many people hurt by them.
And not so much?
The author paints the two cousins Edward and Heith as true villains. Through all their heartlessness and selfishness, we just must hate them for what they did to Mili. Even when Edgar realizes his mother has arranged the divorce papers, and he discovers his genuine feelings for Mili, we feel little compassion for him.
Should you read it?
Definitely. I’ve really enjoyed this book. We follow brave Mili on her journey. We can feel her pain of losing Charlie, but she still carries on daily- facing her demons every day and diligently working to become better.
Did you read this book? Share your opinion about it with us in the comments!
Susan van der Walt is an avid reader of genres like crime, thrillers, adventure, and true stories. On Read or Rot she shares her favourite books and quotes with you. She also writes articles, book reviews and book recommendations. She lives in Alberton (South Africa) with her husband, Warrick, and fur baby, Pixie.