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4.2 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2014
This is the third book I've read by this author. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two, so I was expecting a good read. Alice has a knack of addressing sensitive issues within her stories, making them extra special. Her writing is so natural and light and the book made for very easy reading.
Recovering from being jilted just weeks before her wedding, Gilly tries to move on. She takes in a lodger who's very charming and shows her a good time, but all is not what it seems.
I was drawn into the story straight away and I soon had a vivid picture in my mind of all the characters, especially the eclectic group of dog walkers and their canine friends. Reflections back to her childhood and tragic memories are sad and touching and add another dimension to the tale of a thirty something looking for love.
In all it was an absolute delight to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
I don't normally go for romantic fiction but seeing this was only 40p at the time I gave it a go and was not dissappointed. It was sad in places and really funny in others. I've had problems in concentrating lately, but this book got me back into reading mode as I liked the characters and enyoyed the plot - even though it was a bit predictable, I found myself rooting for the 'underdog' and hoping that Gilly made the right choice. The dog walking group was good and even the dogs had distinct personalities. I shall certainly try more by this author - an ideal book for reading on a warm sunny day in the garden (or on holiday) as I didn't lose track if I put it down for a say or two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2014
This was a sweet London Style Chick Lit novel with a good, solid story line and characters I could warm to. While it could do with a hefty edit, I can tell that the author has put her heart into what she's written, and that makes for a very enjoyable read. I read it in one weekend - something that has become a bit of a rarity for me - but it proves it wasn't a hard slog. It was very predictable, but I've yet to find someone who finds chick lit UNpredictable. Good for a light read in between heavier books or just as a holiday book - that's what it was for me!

Would pick up another one of this author's books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2013
At the beginning of the book, I find it to be a bit boring. I choose to read on because there is something different in this book, something i couldn't predict. When she meets her Monday to Friday man who in his own way is an amazing character, he changed it all for me. I thought that it would be a simple and predictable love story but it has a twist and I fully enjoyed it, I could not put the book down. I really like the character guy and its comes together in the end. It's not what I was expecting and I like that. Its a book to read if you want a little twist and its good for the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2014
An enjoyable read! I know some reviewers have said it's predictable - what chick-lit novel isn't? If you want to read something deep and meaningful, try non-fiction. Personally, I love escapism, and to know that a book will (hopefully!) end well. I really enjoyed the dog walking club too, being a dog lover myself. I have a special admiration for Alice's books, as she always includes some not-so-light subject matter, such as illness or disability. Like Alice, I also suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, and am glad she's not afraid to tackle these subjects. Keep up the good work!
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on 1 August 2014
This is a pretty decent example of comic romance though it does take a while to warm up. The female characters are far stronger than the male ones who aren't terribly interesting, sadly. Personally I would have preferred less airtime for Jack and Guy, and a greater focus on Gilly's friends and her marvellous boss - I think that would have made for a far more gripping read.

That said, aspects I very much enjoyed and which were very well written were Gilly's relationship with her twin brother and his irritating wife, and also her relationship with her life-limited sister. Really, the sister story is a tour de force of writing, and it made me cry on several occasions - and I don't even like families or children, so you can see just how powerful it was!

One plot line I found irritating or nonsensical, however, was the "deep, dark secret weekend life" Jack keeps from everyone, and which - in the Big Reveal - is supposed to make us like him even less. Um, I'm sorry? The kind of secrets he's keeping are actually rather sweet and he should definitely be congratulated for his compassion and sense of duty. I have no idea why Gilly and Guy think Jack is so dreadful for what he's done here. He most certainly is not - and I began to lose a great deal of interest in Gilly and Guy, and certainly in their opinions, at that point.

I also groaned very deeply indeed when Gilly's confusion about her lack of career is miraculously solved by her instantly becoming a best-selling writer - honestly, this was a cliche when it first arrived as a plot solver in the 1980s, and I wish writers would stop it! It's dull, unrealistic and a serious cop-out of the storyline. Harrumph already! So, writers: please get over yourselves and stop writing about writing. For the sake of all our sanities. You've got an imagination - venture outside your own heads once in a while and stop being so darn lazy.
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on 25 May 2014
We first meet Gilly in Selfridge’s when she bumps into her ex fiancé Ed who walked out on her, leaving only a note, a fortnight before their wedding. She knows she needs to sort her life out and move on. Mulling over the idea of moving to the Dorset countryside and a thatched cottage, her estate agent friend Richard talks her out of it and urges her to go back to London. Taking his advice, and deciding to advertise for a lodger, the story begins. Throughout the story we meet her dog-walking friends – some real clichés here particularly the weirdos, stereotypes and names given to them – family (a horror here too) and Gilly’s more real friends, her boss and her childhood friend.

The story is narrated in the present tense by Gilly which gives immediacy. There are some real comic moments – interviewing the Monday to Friday characters who come for the room including Jack who eventually takes the room – and some really poignant scenes featuring Gilly’s family in particular the flashbacks to her childhood which help to explain her story. The relationship with her parents is fractured and we get to understand why and see that her mother was having a nervous breakdown – why didn’t her father forgive her? Throughout the story she comes to self realisation about Ed and the nature of their relationship as she spends more time with Guy and Jack. She does jump in with Jack very quickly which seems immature for a 35 year old. Some of the relationships are clichéd. We don’t really know Jack, other than that he is a producer on a similar TV show to the X Factor and Gilly fancies the pants off him, and likes the upmarket social whirl he involves her in. Though what does he do and where does he go to at the weekends when Monday to Friday is over? Guy is very suspicious tries to warn Gilly. However, though Jack was a bit of a prat, what he actually was doing at the weekend wasn’t really shocking or nasty. I thought Gilly could be rather immature in the way she talked about Jack to her friends. She talks about 35 being old, yet acts 16, though she does confide in Guy in a way she can’t with the elusive Jack, or with her ex fiancé either. This leads her to a realisation of the truth about her engagement to Ed and helps her to move on.

There are some grammar errors and the book should have been more robustly edited (I could not work out if Ariel’s boyfriend was Graham or Gareth. Or was it both?) The overuse of “Gilly with a G” was irritating and too much. Constant referring to Guy wearing a hat got on my nerves. Reference to being 35 and it being OLD really got on my nerves.

I did enjoy it though despite its predictability (and the epilogue and the epilogue to the epilogue) and I absolutely loved the cover. I have a coat just the same! Nice easy reading, predictable without being too predictable. You could guess the ending but not how they got there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2013
This is a great tale, well written, amusing and entertaining. It makes you assess what you want in life, after heartbreak. Is it a fun time, with a casual 'friends with benefits' relationship. Or is it a case of finding true love, which you thought you had before, but when it hits in the face, you realise that it wasn't what you thought you had the first time round!!

I read this book at a time when I was facing the same situation and I'm happier now than I have been in a long, long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2014
I saw this book came highly recommended in a magazine and decided to download it as a trial for holiday. I took my time reading it and can admit it drew me into the story more and more. With an everyday, matter of fact feel of Gilly's life the book is predictable in it's outcome but still gives a heart warming feel to all the character outcomes. I will be looking for other books by the author now she's been tried and tested. Lovely, just how one should feel when you turn the last page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2013
I'll be honest. I brought this kindle version as it was cheap and I needed a few holiday books to download. Liked the description and thought well why not!
I couldn't put the book down. I was the girl in the antique shop waiting for my man to turn up! I loved this book so much I then brought her second book.
It's a great easy read, nothing complicated fantastic for a holiday or just as a quick read with a lovely story.
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