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on 2 February 2015
If you're after an endearing, funny story for this romantic time of year, then this little gem will satisfy your craving.
Nicola is a single gal, who appears to have a touch of OCD, and who after her last relationship ended in disaster, shies away from romance, but with the help of her work colleague and friend Caroline and her brother Mark, she slowly starts to get back out there and takes on Caroline's challenge to find a man by Valentine's Day.
Poor Nicola really does get set up with some awful (but very funny) dates (kayaking in November, anyone?!) and some of the guys really deserved a slap (denying her sweets in the cinema!!! I could have thumped him!), but as time goes on Nicola starts to come out of her shell, she starts to relax about things she was previously strict with herself about, growing stronger until she is finally ready to see the love that has been in front of her all the time. But he really has to spell it out for her as she doesn't believe it, bless her!

I won't say any more than that as you'll have to read it for yourself, but it is a lovely story about picking yourself back up again after a relationship fail, finding yourself and letting yourself find love again, even if that means suffering a few iffy dates along the way.

Rosie Blake's story telling had me giggling, snorting, smirking and sometimes willing Nicola to throttle some of the guys she went on dates with (and occasionally feeling a bit sad for Nicola, her last boyfriend was a piece of work) but by the end it had me feeling warm and fuzzy. A perfect read for a cosy night in with a hot chocolate and lots of marshmallows.
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on 2 February 2014
Been looking forward to reading this book and didn't take me long to read it all. Nicola is a great leading lady whose dating experiences raise more than a few laughs. A good book that will leave you with a warm glow and a smile on your face.
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on 3 February 2014
I’ve been reading a lot of darker, more serious stuff lately so when new-publisher-on-the-block Novelicious asked if I’d like to read and review Rosie Blake’s debut novel How to Get a (Love) Life I jumped at the chance. I knew by looking at the cheerful, yellow cover I was in for a feel good treat with a happy ending.

I knew this was going to be a brilliant book just from reading the blurb at the beginning: All characters in this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Except for Chris, who is as big a knob in real life as he is in this book. Genius!

Nicola Brown is, let’s be honest, a bit of a stick in the mud. She’s stuck in a rut, a slave to her habits and dating isn’t one of them. When her co-worker Caroline gets involved and mandates that Nicola must find love in time for Valentine’s Day, dating hijinks ensue. I’ve been on some pretty bad dates in the past but I think poor Nicola’s dates trump any of mine!

I thought the characters in this book were hilarious and kooky Caroline was definitely my favourite. While the storyline and ending were a bit predictable, it was still a sweet book with a great ending.

With crazy, laugh out loud dating disasters, How to Get a (Love) Life is a funny and warm read that will leave you smiling at the end. I can’t wait to see what Blake comes up with next.

Thank you to the team at Novelicious for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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OMG What a hoot!

I love this book to the moon and back because for me, Rosie has created a character; Nicola who represents the single ladies everywhere who have failed dates, and are wondering whether they should give up on love or not.

Nicola, who works at an talent agency has this amazing work colleague and friend, Caroline who has two young children and really wants Nicola to be happy in love, so she sets her the challenge of finding a date for Valentines day. The calendar gets marked and the plan of action begins being put into place. I love how Caroline sneakily asks these questions of Nicola that result in an online dating profile being filled out.

Once word of Nicola's dating mission gets underway, everyone is in on the act... her brother Mark starts setting her up on blind dates that obviously go horribly wrong, her Mother has opinions on men, and her boss, James becomes intrigued with her .... dates... especially an actor who is on the agency's books.

But James has a girlfriend... super glam Thalia.... or does he? Well he seems to, she's always checking up on him.

Nicola's "Find a date for valentines" mission takes her to new experiences and places that she never thought of doing; carpentry class, eating a fry up in a café after reading the football news in the newspaper (that WAS upside down), and even booking a singles holiday!

The question is, Does Nicola get a date for Valentines day?

I urge you to read it and find out! You'll have plenty of giggles along the way.

This is posted on my blog:
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on 1 September 2014
I saw a lot of hype surrounding this book when it was released but as my TBR pile was very high, I decided to wait until I had freed up some reading space before I got it. I then spotted it on Amazon a few months ago for free! Yes FREE! So I couldn't resist!

First of all I know you shouldn't judge a book by it’s cover but look how pretty it is?! It stands out so well that it would make anybody pick it up! The second thing is that line at the beginning of the book! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about it as everyone has picked up on it but as soon as I read it I laughed out loud and knew I’d love this book! If you haven’t read the book are you intrigued now? If so buy a copy of the book and you can see what I’m talking about!

Obviously as this is Rosie’s first book I hadn't read anything by her before and wasn't sure of her writing style etc, but I enjoyed this book from the start, it was light, funny and just flowed so easily. Rosie has a great way of getting you hooked into the story and making you effortlessly fly through the book. This was one of those books that I lost track of time reading because you don’t look up once you start reading.

The lead character Nicola is given the challenge by her work colleague Caroline to find a date for Valentines Day, as she has never had a date for the most romantic day of the year before, and it ends up being a lot harder than Nicola thought it would be. We get to go along on the dates with her and experience the disasters that come with them, so many times I felt myself going red with embarrassment for her! Will she end up finding a date? You will have to read the book and find out!

Rosie has created the perfect lead character in Nicola, she is so funny and easy to relate to, which made it so easy to feel like you are on her journey with her. Everything that Nicola goes through is so believable and nothing is too far-fetcher that you think ’no way’, you just think that at the things that happen to Nicola because you are so embarrassed for her! The whole way through the book I was rooting for her hoping she would find the right guy eventually. The additional character likes Caroline and Mark are all interesting and add to the humour of the book. I think Rosie has provided us with the perfect mix of characters!

Although you could predict the ending slightly it takes away nothing from the story itself and is still just as cute as it would be if you didn’t know it was coming. That is all I am going to say because I want everybody to read this book to find out what happens!

This book definitely deserves the hype it has been given and for a debut novel it is amazing. Rosie is a very talented writer with the ability to keep you enjoying the story from start to finish. I would recommend this book to anybody that wants a light, fun read. I cannot wait for more books from Rosie.
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on 20 August 2014
Now here’s a plot with legs and a character that’s been so beaten down in the dating game you just want to root for her all the way. I so wanted Nicola to finally get a nice date, meet a nice man and to be happy. The dates she had were believable and unbelievable at the same time. I found myself nodding away a bit like a nodding dog.

Nicola hasn’t had a date for ages and has nothing lined up for Valentine’s Day. So when colleague and friend Caroline hears of this she sets Nicola a challenge to find a date by the 14th of February by arranging some dates. Nicola, being a lone for a while is comfortable with that but inside she’d rather have someone. After some gently prodding, Nicola finally agrees go on these dates and soon realises it’s not easy getting a love life at all.

Overall it’s a really good read and the dating scenes were my favourite. Very entertaining, funny and unpredictable. Unpredictable as I was thinking what sort of man the poor girl was going to date next? As for the men, obviously, I didn’t like any of them, (apart from James) they were terrible but funny in a funny sort of way, and in my opinion Dan was the worst. I wanted to slap Dan. Haven’t we all dated a Dan at some point eh ladies? With pockets the size of a match box?

The other characters in this book were a great addition. Nicola’s relationship with her brother Mark was endearing, bouncing off each other with the odd bickering like how siblings normally do. Mark also offered a helping hand to link his sister with more dates by introducing her to some of his scary mates (with some strange hobbies that involved a canoe and plenty of freezing water.)
I loved the premise of this story, it worked and can and may have happened in real life. And like Nicola, I looked forward to the next date, but, knowing that the next one is going to be a complete disaster with plenty of humor, this kept me turning the pages.

My only criticism is I think the book would have worked just as well without the prologue as I felt it wasn’t needed. And in the beginning, the story took a while to pick up, but after the first date that’s when I began to enjoy it more until the beautiful end.
How to Get a Love Life is a warm debut that left me fuzzy and glowing inside and how going all out and searching for love may not be the answer, it could be staring you right in the face. Looking forward to Rosie’s next book.
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on 7 February 2014
Nicola Brown is happy in her work, happy with her friends and family but is missing that someone special. She has never had a date for Valentine's Day and when Caroline discovers this she challenges Nicola to find a guy before Valentine's Day.

So begins the hilarious story of Nicola's search for love. Fabulous supporting cast including the smarmy guys. There are some cringeworthy moments along the way and when all seems lost Nicola finds love where she least expects it.

Perfect for romance, perfect for humour, perfect for Valentine's day reading.

5 out of 5!

review copy
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on 22 April 2014
I’d heard a lot of good things about this book before reading it so much so, I officially made it the first ever book I bought for my Kindle, yay! How to Get a (Love) Life is about singleton, Nicola who is set a goal by her colleague and friend, Caroline, to get a date for Valentines day which is only 3 months away. She accepts the challenge and ends up on a string of dates with unsuitable bachelors only to find that love may have been staring at her in the face all along.

I loved Nicola. I really really loved her. With a story like this the author runs the risk of making the character sound desperate, needy and unlikeable but Nicola was the opposite. She was quirky, likeable and felt like an old friend by the time I’d finished reading. I really rooted for her right from the beginning and hoped she would find her happy ending. I loved Nicola’s obsession with cleanliness, being tidy and sticking to the rules because I saw so much of myself in that part of her. Honestly, if we lived together, we’d have the cleanest house, ever but it was uplifting watching her change throughout the book. The storyline was very enjoyable with a great ending, if not somewhat predictable which didn’t matter too much to me because in this case it really was the journey, not the destination and all the things that happened in between is what made the story and Nicola who they are.

The thing that really made me fall in love with this book was how funny it was. When I say funny I mean hilarious! Truth be told, I don’t think it will be everyone’s “cup of tea” and some people might not find Rosie’s sense of humour funny but luckily, I did, it was right up my street and I honestly cannot remember the last time I genuinely laughed out loud at a book before reading this. The dating scenes are hilarious and I ended up in many embarrassing “laugh out loud” moments. An enjoyable, fun and quirky novel by an author who I think has a long career ahead of her. It was easy to read, the narrative flew very smoothly and the storyline held our attention - I found this book to be a breath of fresh air.

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on 2 April 2014
A deeply interesting story about a girl called Nicola who appears to be happy with her life and her singleton status. She has routine - she works hard and is dedicated and is willing to go to any length to retain clients for the firm including dating a client and stepping into an acting role in a catsuit if required. She diets and eats very healthy foods and is strict with herself. She doesn't date and hasn't had a boyfriend for 7 years. Her heart was broken by someone from university and as a result she prefers to not date to protect herself from losing control and being let down. Just thinking about this ex-boyfriend of several years ago brings on all the old hurt and sense of betrayal.

She starts a new job at an acting agency run by the rather georgeous, good looking James Sullivan. The only other person in the office is her work colleague Caroline, a mum of two young children whose life is all nannies and chaos with the kids running wild around the office when the babysitting arrangements fall down. Caroline looks at Nicola's life with sadness, she sees Nicola a very young and attractive girl, set in her ways and sadly with no one to share her life with. She decides to turn this on its head and challenges Nicola to find someone by Valentine's Day. Although initially Nicola is reluctant and sceptical about the whole dating scene she takes up the challenge. What ensues is a whole load of hillarious dating disasters with men who are completely unsuitable but which results in her being able to relate the tales of these to her friend Caroline and brother Mark resulting in lots of fun and laughter.

This new scenario she is in suddenly makes her a more interesting person and makes her determined to continue with the dating until she finds someone to share her life with. In the end it's the man who she doesn't date but who is right in front of her nose that she ends up with. You could see this coming but it was sweet watching how this came about and it was such a lovely heart warming ending!

I found the dates really funny although i was very surprised she didn't end up hitting one or two of them in particular popcorn man :) I did wonder if the dates were based on real life experiences by the author or people she knew? If they are real I am so glad I have somehow managed in life to steer clear of the whole dating palava although at the same time it sounds like alot of fun :) I found Nicola a really lovely character who i could really warm to. Her hiding away and living a singleton life with no dates but still being contented is probably quite a common scenario in the normal population with many needing to be pushed by friends or family to change their lives. Even then some will simply not budge.

There were many other great characters mentioned in this book in addition to Caroline and James and that include's Nicola's Bat-loving brother Mark, Nicola's mother, Chris - a very good looking and in demand actor and Julio - Nicola's stalking Spanish landlord. The book was really well written and had the right amount of humour, a very likable heroine and a georgeous hero to step in and save the day! what more could any reader want? Fantastic debut novel!
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on 16 March 2014
I've been looking forward to Rosie's first novel for months and it didn't disappoint.

How to Get a (Love) Life is the story of Nicola Brown - very organised, tidy, plays life by her own very strict rules, doesn't take risks. That is until her colleague Caroline gets involved. Exasperated by the limits Nicola sets on her own life, Caroline dares her to `get a life, a love life' going on as many dates as possible in order to find true love by Valentine's Day.

The story follows Nicola as she goes on bad date after bad date. This girl really has some bad luck when it comes to men but although I felt sorry for her that nothing seemed to be going right I laughed out loud on many occasions, snorting and crying with laughter at some of the weird men she met and her disastrous dates. Rosie's infectious writing and hilarious anecdotes made me want to keep reading, rooting for Nicola right through to the end.

I warmed to Nicola straight away, although she was a rule follower and ran away from risks, I still really liked her. She was warm, sweet and kind. I also loved the other supporting characters, the floopy Caroline, her brilliant brother Mark and her boss James. Even the men Nicola dated were painted so vividly that you could easily picture them, I loved them all so much.

I loved watching Nicola grow as she realised how much she had been holding herself back, I love the spontaneous person that she became and the ending just made me smile and sigh with happiness.

How to Get a (Love) Life is a fresh, funny, riveting read and I can't wait for Rosie's next book
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