Cover Image: Hot Flush

Hot Flush

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Member Reviews

For those who are looking to read something fun, and witty, that gives food for thought, Hot Flush is the book to have at hand. It applies to women of any age who have gone through menopause or not or to those men - sensitive enough - to better understand (in a fun way) what superpowers are given to women at a certain age.
Thank you to Ms. Fenwicke, her publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Hot Flush was the debut novel by New Zealand author Rosy Fenwicke, who used to be a GP here in Wellington, and was originally published in 2017 but being republished with a new cover now. I’d read and enjoyed two of her later stand-alone books a while back, and so bought the ebook box set of this and its sequel, but when this appeared on NetGalley saw it as an excuse to bump it up Mount TBR. I don’t really do cosy mysteries, because the plots are always identical and I dislike the way they trivialise murder, but loved the idea of a woman my age developing superpowers with the onset of menopause, and was expecting a light funny read. As it turns out, this is darker than your typical cosy, despite the cute cover image(s), and there isn’t much humour, but it’s still a fun non-formulaic easy read with a delightful heroine and an originally wacky premise. 

Euphemia Sage is a successful happily married middle-aged management consultant with two beautiful grown-up daughters and a cute dog, but her life has always felt incomplete, due to being abandoned by her mother as a small child. When the arrival of menopause - which most women dread - brings the special inherited abilities long promised by a series of letters from Maree, the late aunt who raised her, Euphemia sees a chance to finally feel important. She doesn’t yet know what she can do, but when an old school frenemy bangs on her door, seeking help from some brutal loan sharks, Euphemia is ready to take them on… or is she?

First novels are tricky - often there’s a brilliant central idea, but the story is then packed with subplots and attempts at twists that can make them a bit too predictable and cram too much in to resolve everything satisfactorily. There’s a lot of exposition here as we learn Euphemia’s complicated backstory and family dynamics, which slowed the pace. The mystery of exactly what happened to her mother and why she was abandoned is not fully explained - perhaps this happens in the next book. The main plot about Jane and her jewellery was straightforward, but I struggled to understand why our heroine would go so far out of her way to save someone who has been horrible to her since school. For someone who’s supposed to be very bright, she makes a lot of stupid mistakes, which served the plot but were frustrating to read about. I really disliked what happened to her dog - animal cruelty, as a way of demonstrating how evil your antagonists, are is a cheap and nasty trick that editors should warn authors to avoid. Be reassured that the dog is however fine in the end.

I did enjoy reading about a 50 something heroine embracing “the change”: at an age when my superpowers seem to be the abilities to get annoyed by everything and gain a kilo every time I look at a cheese platter, reading about a woman gaining confidence and strength from her fluctuating hormones made a nice change. “I look like a middle-aged Catwoman, she’d thought, but without the leather and ears.” While this could’ve been set in any English-speaking country from a plot point of view, I enjoyed all the details placing it in Wellington, where I’ve lived for twenty years. The writing is good and I look forward to reading the sequel soon. 3.5 rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley and Wonderful World for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.
Hot Flush is available now.
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What an interesting concept - certain women develop super powers when they go through menopause! This story was a delightful romp combined with a thriller of a plot, odd as that combination may sound. Euphemia Sage is 53 years old when she starts having hot flushes (or hot flashes, as we in the United States tend to call them - the book takes place in Wellington, New Zealand). Her aunt had told her vague stories about how she might find herself with unique abilities when she started going through menopause but had thought they were just old family stories. Then an old friend (?frenemy?) from school turns to Euphemia for help from a loan shark and the adventures really start.

This was definitely a fun read, one I would not have found without NetGalley, so thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. I will have to search out the second one in this series!
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This was so much fun!!!  Yay for powers that come from menopause, if only….   Simply a hoot and a welcome relief after all the troubles in the world right now!  More please!
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I wasn’t blown away by the book but saying that it was a quick read and I liked the characters alot.
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This book was ok, funny at times but nothing really my style. I can see why it would appeal to others though
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I thought the premise of the book sounded interesting. Let's be honest, sometimes it sucks to be a female so how cool would it be if we got superpowers when entering menopause?
Euphemia  is just getting her powers when her "frenemy" unfortunately enlists her help with her money problems. So now she's forced to figure things out while being "the better person" and helping her. 

It was a different spin on the usual cozy containing all the elements of a captivating story: drama, mystery, comedy, suspense, action, romance.. 
It moves at a good pace with many twists along the way. (A few big ones towards the end.) 

FYI: The ending was good but did leave a foreshadowing for the sequel on one of the plot points. I will have to get the 2nd book in the series now. 

Overall, this was a delightful surprise. Light, fast paced, easy read.  I'd highly recommend it.
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Euphemia Sage learns that she will  have superpowers once she begins menopause. This information is given to her in letters from the aunt that raised her. When her aunt died, she left letters to be given to Euphemia at various birthdays. These powers are due to  genetics inherited from the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter in their family. At the time that she began menopause, she begins to run extremely fast and has gained strength. 

One weekend, her husband went out of town with some friends on a golf outing. While she was home alone, the wife of one of the golfers came running to the Sage house for protection. Immediately after she arrived, two large men pulled up and forced their way into her house. She was able to talk them into leaving before they saw the other woman. The woman, Jane told her that these men were after her because she and her husband were in financial trouble and Jane had borrowed a large amount of money. Jane begs to spend the night at the Sage house. During the night, the two men broke into the house and Euphemia attacked them and sent them away.. 

The following day, Jane was instructed to take her family's valuable jewelry to a parking garage to turn over to the loan shark in payment of her debt. Euphemia went to the location to keep an eye out for Jane. She watched helplessly as Jane, covered in blood was forced to go away with them. To further complicate things, the loan shark was the husband of one of employees of the company that Euphemia and her husband owned, Their employee learned when certain clients were having money troubles and then she approached them about a loan. The Sages had been unaware of that situation.. I enjoyed reading this novel and recommend it.
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Great fantasy read!

Hot Flush is the first book I have read from this author and await the next instalment with anticipation.

The storyline was interesting and the characters were well-crafted.

Overall, a book I would definitely recommend to other readers.
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Lighthearted mystery with a plot that was just quirky enough. Geared towards women of a certain age (menopause knocking) anyone with a sense of humor can enjoy it.
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A good plot with interesting characters. Not my usual type of book but it proved an easy read, devoured in one sitting.
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4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was such a fun and original book!  It reminded me of movies like “The Heat” with 2 main female characters involved in outlandish situations that are so funny you don’t worry about the “believability” of the situations.  

Euphemia is a 52 year old female who learns that part of her family history is that she will inherit some sort of powers during menopause, called “Rachels Switch.”   Euphemia’s mom left her at an early age, so her aunt Maree raised her. (I think we may learn more about it in subsequent books).  Her aunt has since passed, but left Euphemia letters to be read on her birthday each year.  It is through the letters that Euphemia learns more about what will be in store for her.  

Euphemia is happily married with 2 daughters.  The story introduces us to each one and definitely sets the stage for other stories to be able to be written with them as main characters.  Euphemia gets unwillingly wrapped up in helping her so called friend Jane as Jane’s bad choices are catching up to her.  Euphemia begins to experience her superpowers and is emboldened to help.  Although there is a cute pug in the story, she does not make much of an appearance.  The characters were endearing and the story was zany and fun.  This would be considered a mystery, but it is relatively easily figured out.  Again though, I think that the characters and crazy situations are the stars of the book, not the mystery.

This seems to be setting up a series, which would be a great idea.  I would love to read more about these characters and their relationships.  Plus we need to know more about why someone else wants to know more about Rachel’s Switch!  

This was a quick, easy and enjoyable read.  3.6 rounded up to 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy to review.
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A wonderful read!!

Abandoned when she was only 3 years old on her Aunt's doorstep, Euphemia Sage, had been told she was special by her aunt her whole life; but she never believed it. After her Aunt dies, she receives letters on every big birthday, her 30th, 40th, and 50th from her reminding Euphemia about what to expect when she hits menopause. When she turns 53, A switch is flipped in her and things start to change big time; now she can't even doubt her Aunt's words. She has powers that defy her age, her hearing is super enhanced, her body heals itself, and she can force people to do things with just her voice; she feels like a superhero. 

When an old school friend, Jane, is in trouble with a loan shark, that Euphemia discovers is her mousy secretary at the family's company, Euphemia refuses to be threatened nor bullied by anyone anymore.  No one will take down her company or hurt her friend, no matter who they are.

A must read!
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An enjoyable lighthearted read. A mystery and super powers. A delightful change from the menopause bringing inconvenient life changes but bringing things in to tight focus, heighting senses and healing. A sequel would be a delight for a Sunday afternoon read following on from the main characters knowledge.
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This is an interesting read.  It will appeal more to women over a certain age that can relate.  I felt like while reading it that it was a fantasy brought to life for women who have to suffer through many indignities and discomforts just because of being feminine. Hormones can cause so many problems. This seemed like a good revenge tale on them.  There is a bit of a caper/mystery that the main character, Euphemia gets caught up in.  I felt by the end that it was too pat and too coincidental. The powers are never quite that well explained.  While as a woman of the menopause age, I would like to think there is some positive side to it, this fantasy never quite took off for me.
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Euphemism is waiting for me pause. Many women are, but she’s been told she will be gifted with some sort of power. Will she be able to fly? Leap tall buildings with a single bound? Stop bullets with her teeth? Or will her Gift be a bit less exotic? When the time finally comes, Euphemia is initially disappointed. She can hear better and run faster. But with a little time, she figures out what exactly her superpowers are and how best to use them.
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Hot Flush is a fun book for anyone near menopause or peri menopause. Rather than just deal with all of the side effects of this change in life, the lead in the story, Euphemia Sage, discovers how she has enhanced abilities after she begins menopause. At the same time these new super skills appear, Euphemia learns of deception occurring at her company, by someone she thought she could trust. The story is a little complex with multiple plots, but they all come together at the end. This is the first in a series and I am curious to see what Euphemia uncovers in the second book.
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"Hot Flush" was a quirky, quick read that follows Euphemia Sage as she learns that her life is not at all what it seemed; she discovers secrets about her family, herself, and her employees, and these discoveries make for a fun read. Overall, a very unique book.
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This was such a fun book to read.  I wish I’d been granted super powers so the menopause, I could imagine this so much as a very funny sitcom/drama. Loved it, cleverly written with great characters. Thanks gif the opportunity to read and review.
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Was completely confused at first. And still am to the very last page. Not my cup of tea. I couldn't relate to the material therefore making it very hard to understand and also enjoy.  2/5 stars.
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