The Perfect Man Paperback – 27 May 2010
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'A big, touching book sure to delight O'Flanagan fans' (Daily Mail)
'[A] really great read, with a fabulous set of characters as well as great descriptions of some beautiful places. I wholly recommend it!' (chicklitreviews.com)
'Another romp of a read from O'Flanagan that will have you turning the pages with speed, eager to know the fate of the McDonagh sisters. Filled with romance, humour and as always a twist in the tale... A definite pick-me-up during the current gloom!' (RTE Guide, Ireland)
Acclaim for YOURS FAITHFULLY and BAD BEHAVIOUR: 'A big, comfortable, absorbing book...bound to delight fans and guaranteed to put O'Flanagan on the bestsellers list - yet again' Irish Independent Review; 'A variety of sub-plots keeps the pace going, making for an absorbing page-turner' Irish Mail on Sunday; 'This heart-wrenching story of love, loss, betrayal is captivating... The depth of characters, snappy dialogue, and emotive storyline... should make this...[a] number one bestseller' (North West Evening Mail, Australia)
One sister is a hopeless romantic. The other doesn't believe in love. On a Caribbean cruise, they might both be in for a surprise... An unputdownable novel of faraway places and sunny skies from the author of SUDDENLY SINGLE and MY MOTHER'S SECRET.See all Product description
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Mia has a young child and lives in Spain, following her own romantic troubles. The two sisters have never been that close and being thrown together for two weeks tests their limits and their relationship. The cruise ship starts the ball rolling for both of them in completely different directions as they meet Leo, the heartbroken widower who is struggling to move on with his life. Also onboard is the ships officer Steve who seems to take a shine to both sisters. They also meet Pippin, a glamorous wannabe model who is all blonde hair and gleaming teeth. The story throws all of them together and makes for some extremely surprising events. When the cruise ends they think that things will return to normal but as Britt end up having to remodel her house she decides to stay with Mia in Spain for a while which makes them both re-evaluate their life and choices.
When I first started reading it, unusually it took me three or four chapters to get into this, which had me worrying that; maybe she had lost her touch. Luckily I was wrong and by chapter 5, I was as usual engrossed with Sheila O'Flanagan's latest book. As usual she has created a really strong storyline with characters that you will love. Definitely one to read!
Anyway the plot itself is nothing particularly new: two very different sisters (cold, rational, successful Britt and dreamy, flighty Mia) after years of a rather distant relationship, due to necessity rather than anything else find themselves together on a cruise, where Mia is to work as Britt's assistant while Britt herself delivers a series of lectures on her romantic novel. Unsurprisingly, during this time they overcome their initial reservations and misunderstandings and by the end of the trip have grown much closer and fonder of each other. Also unsuprisingly, each of them has undergone an important change in their attitude to love and life in general. And of course both of them have also met a possible new man in their lives. I did enjoy the few moments in the book when I wasn't sure if Mia would end up with the misterious and tragic Leo, and Britt with the sweet captain of the ship - or viceversa. Although after a bit it became quite clear which way the story would go.
The fact that the story is set on a cruise across the Caribbean is a lovely idea, and certainly makes a bit of a difference. One thing I always find a bit annoying about this author's books are the paragraphs where she paraphrases and summarises rather long conversations, so you end up reading a lot of 'and she said this to which he replied that and she thought the other...' and so on - it feels as the author was fed up of writing at that point and wanted to rush off and pour herself a glass of wine!
The last part of the book - set in Spain when Britt goes to visit Mia - is also nice. Maybe because I read this in a particularly rainy week of March after what has been a long miserable winter, but I appreciated imagining the warm Spanish sun and Mediterranean nature!
Being Sheila O'Flanaghan, the book obviously has a happy ending, with both sisters giving themselves another chance at love. Britt stops punishing herself over her failed marriage and leaves her fears behind, opening herself up to a new relationship; Mia finds someone who makes her happy and secure; Leo forgives himself for what happened with his brother and his girlfriend.
So, all in all, this is a good read if you want to smile and are looking forward to the summer - like me!
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