Length: 373 pages
What they say: Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.
Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.
Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.
Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.
By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?
The Review: To start with, I have to tell you that I am lucky enough to know Morgen Bailey in a professional capacity, in that she was my right hand and editor of ‘Snowday.’ As I worked with her I inwardly did a very happy dance as I found I’d come across someone who, rom com/chick lit wise, was not only on the same page as me, but also the same sentence! Her help, her feedback and her changes were bang on, wherever I had an issue Morgen’s suggestions and prompts and encyclopedic knowledge gave a proper airtight fix. But, yes, I’m digressing again. What I’m saying is that when this book came up for review I was beyond beyond beyond excited (and more than a LOT terrified!) as people always want to know if a trainer/ teacher/ in this case editor is also a master of their trade. And wow is she! Thanks so much to Sarah from Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo for this book in return for an honest review (and sorry, I appreciate this is one long intro!!).
So we start the book with reporter Izzy, our lead, setting up a profile for herself on a dating website as instructed by her boss, William. Izzy is a technology buff, hence the online aspect and also one of the few singles in the office. The theory is, she’ll write every day about the date the night before, trying of course to keep her identity secret (she’s posing as a training consultant).
I got my first laugh as she reported on her date, giving us a review that I probably would have yawned over and which didn’t go down well and so we moved onto reviews that were more in depth and which also gave us a message, telling us not to judge people by appearances, to try to help people, make sure to have fun, get new experiences, and other giant gold nuggets all wrapped up in beautiful warmth and wisdom ( I hearted her column so much).
Izzy was beyond up my street, watching Jack and Sarah, laughing over specific moments I also remembered from the Vicar of Dibley, giving us spot on references to Only Fools and Horses and educating people on how full fat coke was better (at one point I made the ‘YES!’ face as she asked a barman was it out of the splash or from a bottle).
She was sensible and yet warm and funny too and I loved her slight feelings of guilt when she dodged out of a date early (all justified!) I smiled often, nodded along appreciatively, laughed fully out loud a very impressive number of times and snorted twice (Who’s counting? I’d say the hubby and the kids, I was questioned in depth on the fact that a book was causing this reaction!!)
Another thing I hearted was Donna, her partner in crime from the office. Donna with her continuous beam and positivity surprised me (and Izzy) constantly with her scientific analyses and made me grin pretty much every time I encountered her. Actually all of the characters were bang on, the dates (and yes, there are over thirty of them and no, your eyes never wander and you very rarely get mixed up-the odd, odd time I had to check a name and that was it, which is some credit to the author!) showed you how gorgeous to look at guys could be both idiots and lovely, how guys that the outside world giggled at could be absolute gems, how rude and mean people can be, how one or two faux pas can totally mess everything up from the off but more than anything they showed how lovely Izzy was and I actually cried at one point when it was pointed out that compared to what some people have to live with the average person’s problems are generally little more than a mini glitch. Special mention for a guy and his sister in law (nearly crying again at the in law’s comment), a guy with a certain disorder and someone who needs ( and gets!) a helping hand.
All in all a gem of a book that I’d be pretty shocked if it didn’t make it into my top ten at the end of the year. Adored, adored, adored and beyond recommended and definitely one I’d mark as a holiday read as it’s one to take time over and ingest properly.
Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
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