“Charley Lambert has worked hard at creating a perfect life. She has an aspirational flat, a job of international significance and a very good pair of legs, thanks to a rigorous health and fitness regime. Best of all, her boss has asked her out after seven years’ hard flirting and a covert fumble in a mop cupboard.
Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her boss propose to someone else and – horror – is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy. Charley, a certified workaholic, fears that she will go mad.
Dangerously bored, she starts helping people who are talentless at internet dating. Then William arrives in her inbox and rocks her world. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with him and discovers she’s not who she thought she was.
But can she turn her back on her old life – all for a total stranger?”
Firstly I’d like to thank Francesca from Penguin UK for sending me this ARC to read and give an honest review. The intriguing title really jumped out at me and the blurb intrigued me even more – this was a book that I couldn’t wait to start!
After just a few pages I got a sense of craziness surrounding Charley, she was a very busy woman (totally put me to shame, although I do have the same obsession with to-do lists) so when she found herself in hospital with a broken leg it was obvious she was going to struggle.
Learning more about Charley’s friendship/relationship with her boss John was highly entertaining but when everything came crashing down I felt incredibly sad for her. She was the kind of character who I could imagine being friends with, the same went for her friends and family who certainly were an interesting mix and I found myself comparing them to people from my own life.
Charley’s decision to set up a business helping people in the internet dating world came after a no-nonsense phone call from her Grandmother (who was one of my favourite characters by the way), I loved the whole idea even though I didn’t fully understand how it would work to begin with. I was soon up to speed though and when William came on the scene, or in this case online, things got even more interesting. You may or may not know that I love a book with emails, well this one is full of them (along with instant messaging and texting) so I was pretty much in heaven with all this technical communication that was going on.
There was quite an unexpected twist that I hadn’t seen coming and it changed the direction of the book completely for me. From that moment on whenever I thought I had it all figured out something would happen to make me change my opinion again, it really kept me on my toes.
The humour was brilliant, definitely my kind of humour, I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions throughout. I loved the bluntness of the characters (Sam in particular) when they were talking to each other, I could easily relate to this and it just made them feel more real to me.
The author has a very natural and relatable style of writing, it made me feel comfortable whilst reading and I experienced a variety of emotions along with the intense need to go out and buy Nutella (this will make sense when you’ve read it) :). The ending was perfect and left me grinning from ear to ear, I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
This was a fun read containing the perfect combination of romance and humour, I would definitely recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger is Lucy Robinson’s second novel and follows on from her successful debut, The Greatest Love Story of All Time. Prior to writing Lucy earned her crust in theatre production and then factual television, working on documentaries for all of the UK’s major broadcasters. Her writing career began when she started a dating blog for Marie Claire where she entertained readers with frank tales from her laughably unsuccessful foray into the world of internet dating.
Lucy was brought up in Gloucestershire surrounded by various stupid animals. She studied at Birmingham University and lived in London for many years before disappearing off to South America for eighteen months in the hope of becoming a bohemian novelist. This novel was written entirely on the road as she travelled through Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador and Columbia – although, fortunately, it does not feature so much as one crusty backpacker.
Lucy lives in South London with her partner, The Man.