It’s Fran’s thirtieth birthday and things are good . . .
She’s bluffed her way into a Very Posh Job and her outlandishly handsome and talented boyfriend Michael is escorting her to the Ritz with a bulge the shape of a ring box in his pocket.
But something has gone wrong. Very wrong. By the end of the evening Fran is howling in bed with a bottle of cheap brandy and one of Michael’s old socks.
In her quest to figure out why her life has suddenly gone down the pan, Fran comes up with a fail safe plan: live like a badger, stalk a stranger called Nellie and cancel her beloved Gin Thursdays in favour of drinking gin every night. But then Fran’s friends force a very different plan on her and it’s nowhere near as fun. How could eight dates possibly make her feel better?
But eventually she agrees. And so begins the greatest love story of all time . . .
When we first meet Fran her friends are breaking in to her home to try and help her. You see Fran is depressed because her boyfriend, Michael, who she’s been dating for 2 years has broken up with her – and on her 30th birthday no less! Bastard. The break up is supposedly just a kind of time out and something that Michael called a 3 month break because he needed a few months on his own. Now as far as Fran knew everything was just peachy keen and Michael was about to propose but nooooo – he breaks up with her instead.
Now Fran is understandably upset and even though her wonderful and freaky friends, Stephania, Dave and Leonie try to help her she is determined that after 3 months Michael will want her back. Her friends come up with a plan called the Eight Date Deal. This plan is that she internet dates 8 different men and by the time the 3 months is up she’ll know what’s out there besides Michael. Fran’s sure that there will be no one as great as Michael is but she agrees to go along with it. There are all kinds of freaks and weirdo’s on the dating site but she does manage to make dates with different men and actually has fun a time or two.
We get to know Fran as she goes on these different dates, spends time with her wonderful friends (mostly at Gin Thursdays), deals with her mother’s alcoholism and her feelings toward the whole Michael situation. She is completely mental during this time in so many different way and at one point is stalking a girl named Nellie because all signs point to the fact that she’s dating Michael. OMG the time and effort that is put into stalking Nellie was as hilarious as it was completely disturbing. It just goes to prove what heartache will do to a previously sound person’s mind. Lol On the other hand Fran did some crazy things on her dates that I would think that a person who was truly in love with someone else would never do – even if they were “on a break.” That had me seriously doubting Fran’s commitment to Michael and frankly not liking Fran very much at that time.
In the end this was a very different book than I thought it would be. I found I had a love hate relationship with Fran…but mostly I ended up liking her…mostly. Her friends were the greatest and I loved them to pieces. We only got to see Michael from someone else’s pov but frankly I didn’t like the guy from the get go. How the love story plays out and how it ends was incredibly surprising and I didn’t see that twist at all – I should have, but I didn’t. The problem here is that I can’t talk about my feelings about that part of the book without giving a boat load of spoilers away. Suffice it to say I needed that part to play out a bit more from a romance standpoint.
The writing was…different. I liked that Robinson had her characters being loud and obnoxious when it suited them and she wasn’t afraid to have them making fools of themselves either. Since it was a very character driven book that was a plus. There is a lot of swearing in the book but since I can sometimes swear with the best of them I didn’t mind at all – just mentioning it in case you don’t like heavy cussing in your books. The biggest issue I had with the writing was the over use of exclamation points. There must be hundreds of them in this story and while they showed, at times, how excitable Fran was, the rest of the time it really detracted from my reading experience.
Overall an entertaining book that did have me laughing from time to time. Despite the issues it was a good story and I’d definitely pick up another book by Robinson.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
This book is available from Michael Joseph (Penguin). You can buy it here (only available on Kindle in UK) in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Well another week has gone by and I’m not sure where it went. lol I swear while I’m in the week I just need it to be the weekend and then BAM the weekend is over already.
Nothing too exciting happened this week so I’ll get right on to what I read:
I started off the week with Deadlock by Moira Rogers. This story is about Alec Jacobsen and his romance with Carmen Mendoza. They start a thing that quickly becomes much more. Alec is torn about what must be done with the Council seats and the Conclave after Carmen is kidnapped by her family and then almost spelled to turn into a wolf. The story was very good and I really enjoyed reading it. 4 out of 5
Next up was Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath that comes out next week. This is book 2 in the story about the lost Lords of Pembrook. The 3 brothers escape their uncle who plans to murder them and go their separate ways to hide. In this story we hear about Tristan and his plans to seduce the passenger he has. This was a really good book and I definitely recommend it. I’ll be posting my review this week.
Genius and the Jock by Daisy Harris was up next – you can read my review here. 3 out of 5
Cipher by Moira Rogers is book 4 in the Southern Arcana series and I have to tell you it was an intense one. This is Kat and Andrew’s story and if you’ve been reading the series you know that the sexual tension between these two is off the charts. In this book Andrew is helping Kat with info on her mom that she uncovered. Her mom’s been dead for years but there’s obviously info that someone doesn’t want to come out – or they do but they want what Kat finds all for themselves. This was a good read but it wasn’t as intense between Andrew and Kat as I thought it would be. For staying away from each other for so long they easily get together and that portion of thing was kind of white washed IMHO. The intensity came from the search for the info and what happens when the crazies who want the info come after Kat. It was very sad and I was upset by the end of the book. Still good, but not what I thought it would be. 3.75/4 out of 5
After the kind of dark read that was Cipher I needed something I KNEW would make me smile so I re-read The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan. I love this novella. Serena Barton sits in front of the Duke of Clermont’s house demanding reparation. The Duke gets his man, Hugh Marshall, to take care of it telling her that it was an employment issue. What Hugh finds is a very different story and a wonderful woman who has been wronged by the Duke. The story is very sweet and I love Hugh and Serena together. 5 out of 5
After that it was Not Proper Enough by Carolyn Jewel. Book 2 in the Seducing the Scoundrels series. Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia for years but acted like an ass before she met her husband. Fenris will do almost anything to get Eugenia to see him and that he’s changed. Though Eugenia wants to hate Fenris he makes it damned hard and she finds she wants to be around him for the fun they have, both in and out of the bedroom. A very good story but I didn’t like it as much as I did Not Wicked Enough. It still had a great intensity to it but it was on a different scale than NWE. Read for Book Binge. 4 out of 5
Last for the week and another read for Book Binge was The Greatest Love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson. This is a story set in England and centers around Fran who is depressed because her boyfriend of 2 years has said that he wants a 3 month break. She has NO idea why and is very confused. Her friends talk her in to going on 8 dates before seeing Michael again just so she can see what’s out there. The story is about Fran dealing with her life, her job, her stalking of a woman she thinks is dating Michael and her strange but wonderful friends. It’s pretty darned funny and has a great Brit humor about it. The love story itself was a bit of a shock as I wasn’t expecting where the book went but it was all good in the end. 3.75 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh