If you’re looking for a fun, romantic read without a simpering heroine or a controlling alpha male and with an Austen-esque twist, this one’s for you.
Verity only needed one bad relationship to prove that love was overrated and she was perfectly happy on her own. If only her friends could see that. Cue Peter Hardy, oceanographer, Very’s fictional boyfriend whose existence is only necessary to get her out of unwanted social obligations. After a misunderstanding in an Italian restaurant, Very ditches one fake boyfriend for another, although this one is very much alive. Johnny also needs someone on his arm to prevent dreary evenings spent at the singles table as he’s desperately in love with a woman he cannot have. Faking a relationship is their perfect solution.
I really enjoyed this novel, I was quickly sucked in by the humour of the first few chapters and enchanted by the well developed side characters. They all felt very real, from Very’s sisters to Marissa, the villain of the piece. I think she was well crafted and never felt over done. We’ve all come across women like her and I think what made her realistic was her honesty. She never pretended to be anything other than what she was and I think we could all put ourselves in Very’s shoes during their exchanges and share her horror at Marissa’s vitriol.
Verity was also super relatable even if her need for alone time sometimes felt a bit much. She was comfortable in her own skin but still relied on the comfort of a good book to get her through tough times. My only issue with this lovely book was Johnny. He went from an aloof Mr Darcy to a delusional Wickham, and never really made it back. Don’t get me wrong, I can see why someone in Verity’s situation would his good side, but personally I felt his behaviour in the library scene was deplorable. Unfortunately, I don’t think he made up for it all. At least Darcy redeemed himself through helping Lydia, Johnny never even apologised to Verity for his behaviour. That said, it still worked out better than I expected after that, and I would still recommend this novel to anyone who wants to lose themselves in a funny, heartwarming novel.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.