Year of Living Blonde, Sweet Life in Seattle: Book 1, Andrea Simonne
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
A couple of days ago I finished a contemporary romance that had such potential, but just didn’t live up to it ( IMO only of course!) So when I started this I was a bit reserved, didn’t want to expect too much. It was great fun though – had me smiling and crying and that’s a type of read I love. It’s definitely one to re read.
Natalie; happy in her life, working hard at her new business after supporting husband Peter in his, loves their daughter and thinks she has a great marriage. Then out of the blue Peter says he’s off, she’s not what he wants any more and he’s found someone else. She’s distraught – who wouldn’t be? He’s always felt too good for her, being so handsome and he’s belittled her in subtle ways over the years, so she has little self esteem. She’s now in her early thirties, and feels overweight, unfit and unattractive. She wallows for a bit, and then her lovely sister Lindsay and her business partner Blair slowly drag her out. Finally she agrees to their makeover after she discovers her efforts have lost her loads of weight….I loved the way her self esteem was so boosted, when she kept looking in shop windows unable to believe how different she looked.
Then there’s Antony, Mr Sex on Legs, and their landlord. When he first meets Natalie things don’t go well, she’s abrasive and rude, its just after Peter left and she’s not usually like that. She’s in her “old” wardrobe of saggy, tent like clothes, with her hair tightly tied back and he kind of dismisses her as just a grumpy, rude lady. Then things change, they get thrown together more through some odd circumstances and he realises that he totally misjudged her. Her outward appearance change has given her a bit more confidence, but he can see that under that she’s uncertain, and as he gets to know her more he can see the real Natalie, not the person she first showed him. They’ve both got some trauma from past experiences, but slowly their friendship turns to more and when they do finally get together it’s explosive and Natalie realizes all that was missing from her sex life with Peter. There’s some scorching, well written sex scenes mixed in with some great humour.
Of course now she’s hot, gained more confidence and with someone else, a younger, sexy man, then Peter takes another look at her, just as the first flush has run off his affair……
Its a terrific read, full of fabulous characters, I loved so much about this book: the awful Lena and the texts..the great humour – Excalibur, I guessed something like that would happen, but not in that way and it fitted the person perfectly! The way Peter assumed that as a Professor Antony was some older, slightly doddery old man, and his and Lena’s shock when they find out the truth, and of course the clever way that Andrea mixes the pathos of lost relationships, the bitterness that can pervade them with the beauty of a new romance. I loved the way Natalie’s confidence grew as she lost weight and changed her appearance. Sometimes its small outward changes that have such an effect on our inner feelings. The storyline and the way the plots played out was perfect, and it’s a book I’d highly recommend. So nice too to have an older woman and a slightly younger man Winking smile made a nice change!
Stars: Five, a fabulous read, and I’ll be looking to see what else Andrea has written.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers