A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

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A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

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Buy A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Gritty and witty chick litty read that's more real than most.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0718157661

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Charley is a have-it-all alpha-female. She takes cooking lessons, learns Mandarin, volunteers her time to worthy causes. But she’s not a lady who lunches, trying to fill her days, she’s a high-flying communications manager at a Pharma company who dreams big and works relentlessly to achieve her goals. So, when she’s side-lined by a nasty accident that leaves her leg broken in 3 places, she panics. Not for her are months off sick, lounging on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle and eating Thorntons straight from the box. She can’t return to work, so she needs a new plan, something to occupy her time and stop her brain going to mush.

Having just seen her unrequited love gallop off into the LA sunset with someone else, a romantic endeavour may not seem the most obvious choice, especially one helping others find true love, but Charley is not about the obvious. Employing her own comms skills and her flatmate Sam’s abilities in PR and sales, she sets herself up as a ghost writer for those who are time-poor and lacking in love, helping them with their online dating profiles, and going so far as to impersonate them online, keeping the conversations going and getting potential soul mates to the point where they want to meet her clients. A PA for singles, if you will.

Of course this is chick lit, so things have to go wrong. In a comedy of errors, Charley discovers it’s not that easy to keep friendships as friendships, and work relationships as work relationships. But can she get back on track before she does too much damage to both her public and private lives?

This is at times gritty, realistic story. Some of the language is blunt, and maybe not the kind you would expect to see written, but at the same time it’s nothing you won’t have heard on the street. It’s funny too, both slapstick and witty, and it’s thoughtful and intelligent. It’s got a lot going for it.

Charley is supposed to be a motivational heroine, I’m sure. She doesn’t simper. She’s not a door mat. She’s not ambitious but secretly ditzy like the Shopaholics or Bridget Jones of this world. There was something about her I didn’t quite warm to, though. She was too sharp at times, too real, almost. And she shouts a lot. I almost felt there was too much of her, which seems silly seeing as she was the lead, and it was her story. Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that people who think they know everything can sometimes be über-annoying to those of us who actually do. I’ve seen other reviews which imply Charley is some kind of wonder woman, a mythical creature that we should as aspire to be, but my reaction was different. I thought Charley was quite similar to my friends and I in many ways and so I tended to think yes, fine rather than Oh wow! when it came to some of her personality traits.

If you’re into internet dating, this book may scare you with the thoughts that you really don’t know who is on the other side of the screen, but otherwise it’s an engaging and entertaining, if perhaps a smidge too long, read.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Her heroines aren't as Alpha as Charley, but Sophie Kinsella writes books with the same sort of style as this. I went looking for a review of The Greatest Love Story of All Time, the author's earlier book, quite forgetting I was the one that had written it. That's not a great sign, but thankfully A Passionate Love Affair... was a far better attempt in my eyes.

Buy A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson at Amazon.co.uk


Buy A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson at Amazon.com.

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