The blurb: A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson, author of The Greatest Love Story of All Time, is a hilariously funny and gorgeously romantic story about falling in love when you least expect it.
Charley Lambert has put considerable effort into achieving a perfect life. She has The Job. The Wardrobe. And The Flat. Her womanising, junk food-loving housemate Sam lowers the tone a bit but that aside, things are peachy. Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her unrequited love propose to someone else and – worst of all – is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy while she recovers. Workaholic Charley fears that she will soon go mad. Desperate for something to do, she discovers her talent for helping the lovelorn online. And then William arrives in her inbox.
Within hours of his first email, her world starts to change. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with this man and begins to realise that she’s not who she thought she was. But will she be brave enough to turn her back on her old life – all for a total stranger?
My review: I thought she couldn’t get any better but I was wrong! It is so rewarding to have found an author that can be justifiable compared to Helen Fielding. Lucy Robinson is a genius, to write is one thing, to be funny is quite another and this lady manages to combine them both with aplomb.
The plot is simple enough at first, slick, ambitious, workaholic Charley has everything just as she wants it and has managed to convince herself she doesn’t need sleep, time with friends or a day off until disaster strikes and she ends up in hospital. The book then takes an intriguing twist as the rest of the novel is in essence a rehabilitation of Charley’s life from the bottom up.
This novel is filled with the most loveable set of characters from Charley’s Granny Helen, to her best friend, to her flatmate Sam – who was probably one of my favourites. A loveable rogue that wanders around seducing girls and eating nutella locked in his room. What’s not to like? Although each character is a slightly exaggerated version of what you might encounter on your day to day life, there are so many recogniseable elements that it works very well and you can’t help but be charmed. Even the animals are complete characters!
I also would like to applaud Lucy Robinson for her masterly use of the twist! Everytime I read a book in this genre I am hoping, against hope, that I won’t guess the ending, or at least that there’s enough in there to make a happy ending sparkle rather than be a predictable race to the obvious finish line. This ending didn’t just sparkle, it lit up the room. Highly recommended.
10 out of 10 Stars! **********
p.s. I love the BAV! When you’ve read this book, which I highly recommend, you’ll know what I mean!