BOOK CLUB: Something to Talk About

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[Total: 2 Average: 4.5]

By Rachael Johns
ISBN: 9781489261540
Copy courtesy of Harper Collins

The following review may contain spoilers.

Fergus McWilliams arrives in the dairy town of Walsh: population 1381, situated 3 hours south of Perth. He is about to take up his substitute teacher job, filling in for a teacher on extended sickleave, so he knows his time in Walsh won’t be forever. His Grade 3/4 should suit him just fine, and he will be away from the gossip and pitying glances of his friends.

Tabitha Cooper Jones happily owns runs the local ice cream Business and Tea Rooms, where she makes the ice cream herself, and is always experimenting with new flavours. She is the eternal bridesmaid, adored by her family, popular with everyone, but there is just one thing missing from her life – a man to love her, and to share her life.

So when Tabitha lets slip at the local Football club Grand Final win celebrations that she is pregnant, her family and friends are stunned at the news. They were all aware that there is no man in Tabs life. Her last boyfriend was 10 years ago!

Tab is determined to go this alone, and is pretty sure that after the shock wears off, she will have the backing of everyone in the town.
When Tab meets Fergus as he is painting the school yard fence,they seem to clash as she somehow manages to throw a plate of scones and cream right down his shirtless chest, then warns him that there’s this kind of thing about new teachers, especially if they are good ones. The town wants to keep them, so they try to marry them off.

So, he had better be alert to being accosted by single women. Fergus doesn’t take kindly to being told such a far fetched story, so they part each shaking their head at the others manner.

As Fergus settles into his surroundings and begins to meet the townsfolk, he realises that Tabithas warning was indeed true, as mothers with single daughters ‘just happen to be passing by’ and invite him to meals. Eventually he tells his fellow teachers that he has just come out of a long term relationship and is not looking to date yet. He is asked if he plays sport, and when he says he has played a bit of cricket in his time, he quickly gets persuaded to coach the junior cricket team.

The first afternoon of junior cricket, Fergus is rattled to discover that his assistant is none other than Tabitha. Her nephew Ned is in Fergus’s class, and also loves cricket, so she is pleased to help out as coaches assistant. Fergus cannot see how she can help, as Tabitha only has a stump on one arm. She might be able to throw ok, but how could someone with only one functioning arm be able to bat? Yet again Tab and Fergus clash.

Tabitha calls in to the nursing home to visit with her grandmother and the place is frantic as they have discovered Mrs Lord, suffering from dementia, has gone missing. The police are called, and Tabitha suggests they look for her at her old house, which is 12 km out of town, and is where Fergus is staying. A search there discovers nothing. But the next morning, Fergus wakes to the smell of bacon cooking, and leaps out of bed to find an old lady in his kitchen. He realises who she is, and retreats to the bedroom and calls 000. The call goes to Tabitha, who is a St Johns volunteer, and she goes to the house to find Fergus comforting the distressed old lady. When police and ambulance sirens further upset Mrs Lord, Fergus settles her by saying he will drive her back to town. Tabitha begins to see the caring side of Fergus.

As they get to each see another side to each other, a friendship begins to develop, then sparks fly yet again. We all know the path to true love is never easy.

Will love win out in the end?

Something to Talk About is a heartwarming read, with believable characters, a good plot, story twists and a satisfying ending. Thank you Rachael Johns for another great look into the lives of the people of Walsh, population 1381.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Something to Talk About. You can read their reviews in the comments section below, or add your own!

11 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Something to Talk About

  1. I absolutely love Rachael Johns books, so I knew that this book would be fantastic and I wasn’t wrong. A wonderful story about love and overcoming obstacles. I loved it. Tabithas story is so moving.

  2. I really enjoyed this book. I’m a big fan of Rachael Johns’ rural romance stories and RJ’s one did not disappoint. It was a relaxed, easy read that I managed to knock over in a weekend. I loved it.

  3. A fantastic and “cannot put this book down” read! Having read parts of Tabitha’s in a previous novel by Rachael Johns I fell for her character quite early and quickly. Small towns need teachers and Fergus McWilliams fits the role on a temporary basis. Having come from a broken relationship and not wanting to put down roots the initial meeting of Tabitha and Fergus didn’t quite get off to a friendly start. However, sparks fly and we are taken through a relationship with challenges. A few surprising hiccups, heartache, misunderstandings and challenges make for a story I love to read.
    Thank you again Rachael Johns. I love the characters you invest time in and the stories you create.

  4. Something to talk about by Rachael Johns.
    A modern, small community love story is what I would describe it as.
    You just cant help but to find the main character Tabitha Cooper-Jones very likable. A strong, independant women who has had her battles with cancer and overcome many obstacles to get where she is. In her small country town she has everything she needs, loving brother and his family, her icecream, B&B and cafe businesses as well as many community volunteer groups as she can manage.
    The only thing missing is a family of her own so having been single for many years she takes it upon herself to start a family on her own. Having done IVF she becomes pregnant and excited about her future, just herself and the baby.
    A teacher, Fergus McWilliams, filling a tempory teaching role gets the woman’s attention throughout the town of Walsh. Only one woman grabs his eye though, Tabitha.
    The sparks continue between the two of them although they fight their feelings throughout the story.
    This was a very easy to read book and kept me interested throughout.
    Thanks to Beauty&Lace and Harper Collins for this ARC to read and review honestly.

  5. Another great story by Rachael Johns. This book follows on from Talk of the Town but can easily be read as a stand alone book.
    I loved reading Tabitha’s story. She is a positive woman who has been through a lot in her life but doesn’t let that stop her from following her dreams. The only thing missing is someone to love and share her life with. And when she least expects it she finds it with Fergus. Neither of them believe they want a relationship after their past heartbreaks. But love can’t always be controlled and comes along when it’s ready. Learning to trust in each other and finding the courage to try sure takes them on a journey but it’s worth it in the end!

  6. Something to talk about by Rachael Johns is a wonderful romantic read that will keep you engaged right to the end. In fact, I wanted it to keep going. I really liked the book, Tabitha the female lead in the book has been through many hardships over the years but she is a strong, kind and giving woman who is doing what she feels is right to live her life. She lives in Walsh a rural community outside Perth and when she meets the new substitute teacher Fergus, who has come to Walsh to get away from his life, they don’t exactly meet under the best terms. They both believe they can live just fine without love, but life is going to educate them both of a different point of view. The book is a lovely read that keeps you hooked. Thanks to Beauty&Lace and Harper Collins For the chance to read this book.

  7. Thank you to Beauty and Lace for selecting me to review this book.

    Wow ! so much happens in this book, its a modern day romance with all the twist and turns.

    Fergus tries to escape his old life which follows him into the new town.

    Desperate Tabitha all she wants in life is to be loved.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have recommended it to friends, its already started to circulate with my friends.

    I can see this book being turned into a movie at a later stage.

    This is the first of many Rachael John’s book that i intend to read.

  8. Rachael John’s knows there is something magical about small rural towns and she always captivates me with her stories based in these types of communities. Man Drought is still one of my most favourite reads. Something to Talk About is book number two in her Rose Hill series which can be read as a stand-alone rural romance or to compliment Talk of the Town which was first and is based on widowed farmer Lawson Cooper-Jones and the new girl in town Meg.

    Something to Talk About shines the light on Tabitha Cooper-Jones, Lawson’s sister. She has had a life full of challenges but has worked hard to be an independent woman with a successful ice-cream business and cafe which she runs with her Sister-in-Law Meg. Surrounded by her lovely family she does crave what Lawson and Meg have but due to being hurt in the past does not want to be held back by not having a partner.

    Fergus McWilliams arrives in town to support the school as a Primary School Teacher in a temporary teaching position, he arrives licking his wounds from being hurt by those that he loved and has a huge chip on his shoulder. He wants to just go to work, do his job and get away from it all but we know that never happens in a small town, especially when word gets out he is single and good looking.

    When Fergus and Tabitha first meet I love the angst, the humour, his impressive six-pack, and the awkwardness of their first encounter. They are supported throughout the story by impressive secondary characters who all steal a bit of your heart – Ned, Tabitha’s nephew, Mrs. Lord, and the cranky cat Mrs Norris, I may have even felt a bit sorry for Adeline.

    I highly recommend this sweet and sexy read, normally it is the type of book I would read in a day but COVID 19 and working and supervising school for my son got in the way but as soon as life went back to some normality I could not put it down. Rachael has a way of engaging you straight away and she definitely has done it again with Something to Talk About.

  9. I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down! Something to Talk About combined my two favourite things, rural romance and HP!

    Thank you Rachael Johns, Beaty and Lace and Harper Collins for the oppurtunity to read this book!

  10. Something to talk about is Rachael Johns latest book, and the first she’s done in rural romance for awhile. It’s the sequel to Talk of the Town, but you don’t need to have read it first.
    Tabitha Cooper-Jones is well respected in the town of Welsh were she grew up, a successful business lady she’s missing one thing, romance.. Enter Fergus McWilliams, escaping from a bad breakup in the city he takes a teaching job in rural town Welsh, although he has escaped Perth, true to small town form everyone wants to know his story.
    Tab and Fergs first meeting does not get off on the right foot, but they keep getting thrown together and neither can deny there are sparks between them, but there are many hurdles to overcome before the two can entertain the possibility of a relationship.
    I’m a huge fan of Rachael Johns and this is yet another great read! The story line has a twist right from the start, adding another layer to the possible romance between Tab and Ferg. The book was a nice page turning read
    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the chance to review this great book

  11. Something to talk about
    By Rachel Johns

    This book is the 2nd in the Rose Hill outback series. The series made you fall in love with widow Lawson and young Meg. Throughout you come to love all the characters and opening up these pages felt like I was catching up with old friends.

    This book we learn more about Tabitha, Lawsons younger sister who is determined and proud. Throughout this book we see Tabitha’s relationships flourish.

    One of my favourite rural romance books. Once again Rachel johns has written a fabulous book you don’t want to end.

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