Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe is such a delightful indulgence of revenge fiction. Connie Diamond discovers that her husband Jimmy has been cheating on her with a nineteen-year-old Pole Ivanka as well as cheating her out of what should have been their shared wealth from his/their cleaning business; she finds this out from his right-hand woman Della, who was in love with Jimmy until she found out he was fooling around with the junior staff. Hell has no fury and all that.
Naturally, this being a delicious bit of revenge fantasy, the two women team up to bring Jimmy down. Initially, they dislike and distrust each other, but they grown to respect and admire one another and become friends. While setting up her rival cleaning business, Connie meets chocolatier Brandon Locke (Johnson has not yet found a chocolate-themed cliche about enjoying life she didn’t like) and starts on the road to new love. There’s a third main character, Cheryl, who’s beaten down by her gambling husband Gary, and it’s not giving anything away to tell you that all three women come ahead by the end of the book, as well as all the women employed by Jimmy who defected to Connie’s new business.
There’s a lot of cliches about having a wealth of friends, although it doesn’t hurt that these women end up with a lot of actually put-it-in-the-bank wealth, too. Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe is a delightfully predictable tale of women treated badly who team up to get even with their dirty, rotten husbands by living well and forming beautiful friendships. I won’t remember this book in a few weeks, but I gobbled it up while I was reading it, itching to know how Jimmy (and Gary) get their comeuppance, never doubting that they would.