Cover Image: The Secret Book Club

The Secret Book Club

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Member Reviews

I read Must Love Books and loved it and wanted to read this too and it did not disappoint.
Maggie Banks helps her best friend run her
book store, whilst she decides what to do with her life, especially being a grown up but not knowing where she’s heading!
Whilst there she finds her niche and fits in but gets involved in things she shouldn’t and secrets are revealed but at a cost!
Kept me hooked from the start, set in an idyllic community with a bit of romance too!

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Maggie Banks agreed to run her best friend's struggling small-town bookstore in Bell River. She didn't expect to be at odds with the town's literary society which insisted on only selling classics. A series of mishaps threatened to ruin everything, but Maggie decided to get creative. What better way than to start an underground book club?🤷🏾‍♀️

It wasnt exactly easy though. Having a series of events celebrating books that the town's readers actually loved, selling forbidden books and dodging the literary society with its random check-ins was daunting. It didn't help that Malcolm, the guy she was also starting to fall for, was part of the very same society even though he wanted things done differently.

Still, I loved that she created a safe space for the town's avid readers and discovered a love of reading in the process. She wasn't also sure about what to do with her life so seeing her figure it out as well was beautiful.

The element of mystery in the story was intriguing with Maggie unearthing a secret that could upend everything but at the same time bring about the change the town needed. I didn't know what to expect with this but I enjoyed it! Also, I totally relate with Malcolm in that locs are easier to deal with tied up than down 😂💆🏾‍♀️

Thank you to Netgalley and Publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

Pippa loves her life she has a successful farm business with the love of her life, she absolutely adores her little country town and is expecting a marriage proposal any day. Poor Pippa is shell shocked at what happens next, she has no job, no home and no boyfriend and is forced to be a house sitter for the unofficial lord of the Manor the very handsome but unlikeable Wolfie Squires. This is a delightful easy well written romantic novel , so read and enjoy

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A great story about books and a bookshop , my kind of heaven. This bookshop only sold dusty old tomes and not any of the other genres and was losing money in the process. A lovely story, full of funny moments and some sad. But a great ending. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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Must.Love Books by this author was pretty middle-of-the-road for me, and it turns out this one is too. It's a fun romcom, and I loved that the romance was more central than in Must Love Books. The plot was on the silly side though, as was the main character, and I never felt like I got to know her super well. We start the book off with her saying the jobs she's had don't reflect her interests, and then for the entire book, we mainly follow her new job. I would have liked to see more of her life and personality outside of this. I did however have a good time with this, and I think it would work really well as a movie!

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I loved the premise of the book. I enjoyed the methods which Maggie employed to revive the book club..the ideas were cool and showed so much promise.
The end also was quite enjoyable.
I however would have enjoyed a bit more romance.

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Maggie is drifting along in life so when she gets to help out her best friend run a bookstore she jumps at the chance. Maggie can’t help jumping in with both feet but those around her aren’t ready for the change she brings.

This was a quick entertaining read. It’s quite light so if you fancy a bit of escapism it’s fine but there is not a lot of substance.

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What a great book. It was light-hearted and fun to read. I love reading books that are about books but add in a wonderful story with colourful characters and it will be a winner. Highly recommend

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“I want us to have open minds and come away feeling excited about books we might never have appreciated. How does that sound?”

There are some author books that catch you completely by surprise. The ones you were not expecting to love but upon completion come to realise just how refreshing it was. Shauna Robinson (take note of this author’s name - I think we will be hearing a lot more from her) is reportedly a young introverted woman with a charming writing style mostly concerned with … books! I read and loved her, Must Love Books (HERE) and eagerly anticipated her latest offering, The Secret Book Club. It was great! The more I read, the more I fell in love with it - especially the lead character, Maggie.

“I’m not a big people person, I guess you could say.” ... “Why?” “I prefer to be left to my own devices.” “You mean books?” “Books are my primary devices, yes.”

All up this is a quick and fun read. It was just delightful to watch Maggie turn into a reader and pursue what she felt deep down to be her calling in life. If you love small-town dynamics with quirky characters, laughter and a sweet romance then this is the book for you. I loved all the friendships that were formed in the book, especially Maggie's friendship with Vernon - their interactions brought a smile to my face. I loved Maggie and Malcolm’s relationship - a romance that did not dominate the story and the challenges they set each other were terrific. There is just loads more to love about this book - the discussions about the romance genre; culturally relevant and silenced voices in literature; the secret book club meetings and, not feeling bad about no set plan for life. You don’t have to have it all together from the start.

‘No wistful nostalgia for century-old books. No assumption that one type of book mattered more than another. Only excitement about new stories waiting to be discovered.’

There is just so much to love about The Secret Book Club! If you love books about books, small town dynamics, the plight of small town communities (I especially loved Maggie’s book events where famed authors presented a twist of a classic tale) and a cast of relatable and lovable characters (yes! That’s you Vernon!) then I recommend to all lovers of romantic comedy Shauna’s latest offering. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

‘I’d just been supposed to work quietly at the bookstore for a few months, enjoy a reprieve from living with my parents, and use the time to figure out my next steps. Instead, I’d founded a secret community, incited a rebellion, and gotten people fired.’

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A fun read. In need of a job, Maggie is helping run a book store for her friend, but it is not just any book store, and what they can sell is limited. Feeling this is wrong, Maggie starts her own secret book club, but what will happen when she is found out?

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Love, love, love this book. I loved that it used POC and banned books and all the things. It was a unique storyline with wonderful characters. The humor and banter were excellent throughout.

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Another charming book from Shauna Robinson and I loved every minute of it. I was lucky enough to read Must Love Books last year, Robinson's debut and it was an instant favourite, so it's no surprise that I adored The Secret Book Club! The story had me invested from the get go and I was rooting for Maggie! She was a bit chaotic but such a lovely soul, you can't help but want everything to work out! I find that Robinson's characters really speak to me, so there's that too. While there is a romance sub-plot, it doesn't take centre stage and I think it works so well. Don't get me wrong, I was living for what was going to happen for Maggie and Malcolm but the plot didn't revolve around them. If anything, this book is a celebration of friendships and community!

Thank you so much to OneMoreChapter & Shauna Robinson for this copy! I adored this book, this story and its characters! 💘

* Please look up trigger warnings before reading *

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A delight of a book. Maggie is drifting through life when best friend Rochelle asks her to look after her book shop while she is on maternity leave. What Maggie doesn't know is that the book store is run on the very strict guidelines imposed by co-owner and president of the Bell Society. The Society runs most of Bell River to revere author Edward Bell. Maggie does some digging and finds out facts that don't quite add up, making a lot of friends and having fun along the way. Who said work had to be boring? #netgalley #TheSecretBookClub

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I struggled with this one. The writing style makes for an easy read. The premise sounded interesting, but it was a bit lackluster in the execution. The pace was quite slow, and it was hard to me to stay engaged. The romance angle felt forced. Maggie, the female lead, was quite immature. Some parts of the plot were a bit unbelievable, even for fiction. I did love the reading angle, the diversity, and the small-town setting.

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A book about books will always draw me in.

This was a fun quick read, just not the most engaging story for me! I adored the premise and think this will be a great read for so many readers.

Thank you again to the publisher for the advanced copy.

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Thank you to the publisher for the digital arc of this one

Unfortunately this one didnt do it for me, I wasnt really engaged in the main character and I didnt really enjoy the story behind the book. I will say I enjoyed the writing style but this just didnt hit the spot

3 stars

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I didn't really get into this book - very meandering in the first few chaps and couldn't finish- maybe it's just not for me - sorry!

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What a great story line!
Maggie Banks helps her friend run her bookshop whilst she's on maternity leave, but Maggie has other ideas to make the shop grow. She feels she has no purpose in life, but this is obviously not true, as she starts her secret book club & turns the town of Bell River upside down. Maggie is a force of nature!
Good read that I couldn't put down.

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Maggie Banks is floundering. Everyone around her seems to be living their best life with opinions about how Maggie should live her life too. When her best friend needs maternity cover for her job at a small town bookstore, Maggie steps in because she has zero other plans. Why not? But she finds herself in a role with a million inane rules, her hands tied to only selling one type and era of literature. Surely there has got to be a better way?

This was exactly the type of read I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it broke my book slump. I would say the best thing about the book is Maggie herself - I loved her mischief and individuality and the way she thought outside of the box I loved her character development.. As I read on, I became really fond of the town of Bells River too. I wanted to hang out in the coffee shop and attend the secret events.
It was a lighthearted yet inspiring read (I want my own bookshop now!).I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of small town fiction, romance novels, book themed stories and feminist reads. It’s a book that will leave you will a smile on your face - and who doesn’t need a book like that?

Thank you to Shauna Robinson, One More Chapter and NetGalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book.

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The setting of this bookish story felt so familiar and cosy to me from the first page. It offers diverse and quirky characters, and that small town community closeness. The premise of the underground book club - and the themes (!!) - I absolutely loved it and I want to be a part of it immediately. I also enjoyed seeing Maggie find her purpose. I did end the book wanting a little more from the romance, but that’s because it was so cute and I felt like it had a lot of potential. The Secret Book Club is a story of heart, sincerity and lots of mischief.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about books or bookstores, for those looking for a light and feel-good story, and for lovers of small town community spirit.

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