Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott

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Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Alice Brown is a matchmaker working for the Table for Two dating agency. She is never happier than when she is helping clients meet their perfect match and she always believes in happy endings. Unfortunately, not everyone in the dating world is as idealistic and caring as Alice, making it a wonder that she ever survives in the cut-throat world of dating agencies. The only thing missing in Alice's love is a little romance of her own though. Somehow, although she can find love for others, it always seems to elude her. Will that always be the way things are and why doesn't she sometimes take her own advice?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 504 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 9780857387141

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'Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating' is a very enjoyable and light-hearted look at the world of dating agencies. Table for Two is a thriving agency run by Audrey Cracknell and her team including Alice who is most successful at setting up dates leading to lasting love. There is nothing more exciting that receiving gold written wedding invitations from former clients. There's also fierce competition from the other dating agencies in town especially Love Birds run by Audrey's arch rival, Sheryl Toogood. Then of course, there's the annal Matchmakers' ball – the highlight of the year but also the place to be seen and score points. There's a great deal of fun and lots of romance too. This book is pure escapism.

I found it really delightful reading, finding out about the wonderful cast of characters in this story. There's lovely Alice, a matchmaker with a heart of gold, who seems to find it impossible to meet someone to love herself. Maybe it's because she wears fluffy cardigans, rides an old fashioned bike and prefers gardening to night clubs or maybe she has yet to find a man that appreciates such things. Next there's Kate who joins Table for Two because her life plan is not working out. She's approaching thirty five with no sign of the husband and two children that should be part of her life by now. Is this the route to her lasting happiness? Her friend Lou is the complete opposite, pouring scorn on Kate's romantic notions seeming to prefer one night stands that require no commitment. But is that truly what she wants? Owner, Audrey, seems to have it all, with a successful agency and a dashing husband. However, things are never as they seem and it's possible that Audrey's seemingly perfect world is about to crumble.

These and other great characters all contribute to some very enjoyable, funny and intriguing storylines that will leave you wanting more. I liked the way that each chapter focused on a different character as that provided much variety within the overlapping stories. I also liked the way that, although at times there was a slight mockery of the dating industry, the author never made fun of the types of people who would look for a partner in this way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and hardly wanted to put it down. In fact, I read its five hundred pages in just over two days as I found it quite compulsive reading. It's probably because I can't resist a bit of romance and I'm always hopeful for a happy ending.

If you like the sound of this, why not take a look at The Bridesmaid Pact by Julia Williams

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Buy Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating by Eleanor Prescott at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.


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