My Illustrated Review – The Things We Leave Unsaid by Megan Mayfair

The Things We Leave Unsaid – Megan Mayfair

The Things We Leave Unsaid follows the story of two strong, yet very different, female leads. Set in beautiful Melbourne, it’s packed full of emotion, humour and heart wrenching moments, asking readers the question – is it the things we leave unsaid that haunt us the most?

Tessa DeLuca lives for great coffee, running a successful coffee and cake shop she lives by her own rules, never dating emotionally available men. Any sign of love and she’s out of there. Looking after a deteriorating mother with dementia and dealing with a father who wants to re-connect (who she feels was the trigger for mother’s condition), she’s got enough on her plate without the complication of a romance.

Clare has just moved to Melbourne with husband Pete. Struggling to find work in her PR field, she takes on a part time job at Tessa’s café, helping sort out her marketing. Whilst looking at starting a family, Clare stumbles upon a family mystery, realising the limited family she had may not be as it seems.

Clare and Tessa form a friendship as they work together. Clare searches for answers on her family tree, whilst suffering emotional setbacks on the family front. Tessa stumbles into a relationship with a Dr who is everything she’s been trying to avoid, who helps her grow as a person and realise her mistakes.

The romance in this novel is secondary to the friendship between Tessa and Clare, and the different family situations they both have to deal with. I love how the author packed emotion and humour into this story, whilst tackling some difficult topics. The coffee and cake shop, and various descriptions of food throughout, had me wanting to race out to my own local coffee shop to indulge in some tasty treats. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

For this novel I’ve chosen to do two sketches – Tessa & Clare – both in key outfits from the novel. You’ll just have to read it to find out why they are key 🙂

My Path to Romance Writing

Having recently joined a writers group I can safely say I don’t fit the traditional ‘I’ve always wanted to be a writer’ mould. I did grow up reading any type of romance book I could get my greedy hands on but I never attempted to write my own (well until now that is!)

I liked English at school, writing essays and creative writing weren’t a hardship but I’m by no means a grammar/spelling/punctuation pro. In fact I’m the opposite – spell check saves my butt more times than I like to admit.

So why writing?

This is a question I’ve spent some time pondering more and more, particularly after meeting so many people who’ve dedicated their lives to the cause so far.

The idea of wanting to be a romance writer came to me on my honeymoon. That sounds odd doesn’t it? But I was all loved up and after driving halfway across Tasmania I realised I’d written half a romance story in my mind. Then it occurred to me that I’d spent a lot of my life coming up with romance stories in my mind. Sometimes with myself the heroine and my current crush the hero (funnily enough before my husband those relationships were definitely much better in my mind!) But more often than not both characters were purely thought up, having a chance encounter, leading to passionate love, emotional conflict and finally a happy marriage (with decadent proposals).

I mentioned wanting to try writing my own romance novels to my husband; he bought me a laptop the moment we got home (swoon!)

So far I’ve written one full manuscript which I’ve filed in the ‘not good enough’ pile. More recently I’ve dedicated myself to learning the finer details of how to write and it’s paying off with my new book idea flowing onto the page nicely.