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on 11 November 2012
Step into the lives of three very different women...

Amy, the Princess who's about to see her fairy tale brought to an abrupt end...

Kate, the would-be adulterer

Jennifer, the widow with a secret.


Old debts and new temptations... Find out just who will pay up in this warm and wise new novel .

When Helen's first book Rsvp came out and I enjoyed that very much, I knew I wasn't going to be dissappointed in this new book.

It starts off with someone sat on a doorstep with an envelope ready to open it to see the letter...and you start wondering whos sat there? whats the letter about? however you will only find out at the end who it was sat there.
I really did love this book though, We meet Amy and Kate who are sister and Jennifer their mum who is a widow due to their father Michael died.
Amy has a charming and exciting life who shops till she drops and lunches out while her nanny is looking after their children. Until her world comes crashing down when her husband Ben's business collapses over night and with Amy not having a job, she must get out there and find one and help keep her family together...
Kate is just a normal lass who does struggle in life with her husband Miles and two children even though she loves them lots, but her life is rocked when she has an accident and the wonderful Jack comes crashing into her life after rescuing her..
Jennifer is getting over heartbreak from losing her husband Michael and she does however get in touch with an old flame Hugh unlocking a dangerous pandora's box and finding out answers from her past whether she wants to know or not.
With this story I loved all the characters, there was such a nice mix and it wasn't chaos trying to remember all the names, you could easily follow and the chapters flowed very nicely.
With all their problems and heartbreaks it was lovely to see that they all soon got involved in each others lifes again and were brought closer together which was wonderful to see.

If your after a nice light hearted read, I highly recommend this book! You will enjoy this I promise.
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on 22 February 2017
Low rating as purchased Stay Close To Me as sequel but discovered it is same book with different title!! Good story but ruined because I was looking forward to next part.
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I read and enjoyed Helen Warner's debut novel RSVP last year, and was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book too. Clearly Warner really likes her acronyms because this book is named after one as well, this time IOU. I really like the cover, anything purple makes me happy so this one was pretty good in my eyes! I didn't realise before I started it that the main characters in this book are family - a mother and her two daughters, and when I found that out, I thought the book would be even better as I always like it when there is a family connection in a book. I looked forward to tucking in to this one, and when I did, I found it to be a really good and readable book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The book centres around 3 female characters - mother Jennifer and her 2 daughters Kate and Amy, who all live very different lives and aren't as close as they would perhaps like to think that they are. Jennifer is still grieving after the loss of her husband Michael, but is wondering if it is time to start seeing a face from her past once more, however feels afraid of upsetting her daughters. Kate, a busy heart nurse, is feeling like something is lacking in her marriage to Miles, and when a stranger suddenly comes into her life, she wonders if it worth risking her stable life for a bit of fun and happiness. Finally, there's her sister Amy, the one with the privileged life thanks to her marriage to wealthy Ben. But when Ben loses his job, and consequently their money, income and house goes down the drain as well. Amy has to learn to cope without the money she's always had, and the big adjustments this has on her family life too.

As you can see, there is quite a bit going on in this book, but I enjoyed that fact that it was busy. It was easy to tell the difference between the three stories, as it tended to be that every chapter followed a different woman, although as they are family their stories were woven together somewhat, and all the characters frequently appeared all over the book. One thing I really liked were the flashbacks throughout Jennifer's chapter to her courtship and early life with husband Michael, it really set the scene for her grief in the present day, and confusion over what to do with the new man in her life, especially being who he is. I felt that Warner handled this story especially well, and I really loved Jennifer straight away, she was just a woman who wanted to please everyone and keep everyone happy, something I know a lot of mums do for their families and I was willing her to put herself first! At first, I found her daughter Amy really unlikeable, but as her story unfolded, I started to warm to her and you could sort of understand why she was how she was, she had no reason to be otherwise.

Finally, there was Kate, probably the most level-headed of the three women, and the one her mother and sister confide in as well. I enjoyed reading Kate's story, and felt that the family as a whole worked really well, including the more minor male characters who were really well written too. Quite a lot of important issues were covered in the book, from the financial crisis, to infidelity, grief and health problems too. There was a surprising turn at the end of the book, I won't spoil it by revealing anything about it as I think it's important to read it in the context of the book, but I have to say it was so moving and emotional to read, I did shed a tear by the time it was all done, and I felt Warner covered it so well. I didn't expect it to happen, but it certainly made for some interesting revelations and was a sudden change in direction for the book.

Overall, this was a really positive book about women coming through in the face of adversity, via the three very different stories of Amy, Kate and Jennifer. All of them have different obstacles to overcome, whether it's financial, personal or otherwise, but all have to find an inner strength to get past them, and I enjoyed reading their journeys in this book. I also liked that they were family too because it felt important that all the stories were linked, and added an extra depth to the book as well. I found the writing was really easy to read, and I was absorbed into the book really quickly, and read it pretty fast as it was something I didn't want to stop reading. Although I loved her debut book RSVP, I feel like this one is an improvement on that and that Warner is in her stride writing-wise here, and I felt much more for these characters too. It was a really great book to sit down with and devour, and I'd highly recommend it, it's a fantastic read, with some great characters that you really can care about.
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on 23 April 2012
IOU begins with a prologue which intrigues the reader ... who is it sat on the step? Who is she waiting for? What is in the envelope? It isn't until the epilogue that we are at the same scene again.

In the beginning, we get to know their characters and their lives. We see the cracks appearing in Ben and Amy's finances and we witness Kate's encounter with Jack. Although we spend time with Jennifer in the present, we also journey with her when she has flashbacks to the past.

Narrated in the third person, Amy, Kate and Jennifer's stories weave in and out of each other's in their own chapters as well as later on in the story, together. This is cleverly crafted so that the reader is left to make the connections. I thought this brought added depth.

I personally found it easy to identify with the three women and experience the emotions alongside them. I did figure out the plot and where it would ultimate take the reader very early in the story as I picked up on the subtle clues ... but despite that, I enjoyed watching their lives unfurl.

There is plenty to hold the readers attention alongside the romance with family dynamics, secrets and a friendship betrayal. We also get to see one of the women grow and develop, gaining confidence and actually coming through as a really strong women (which I enjoy!)

The epilogue I mentioned in the beginning ... the reader isn't told what is on the piece of paper but we can infer ...

I found IOU easy to read with a fast pace. A perfect read to pick up when you've booked yourself some `me' time!

I would like to thank the publishers, Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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on 13 June 2014
Bought hardcover edition at bargain price after reading the authors previous novel, RSVP.
IOU features three women who are related;- a mother and her two grown up daughters who are both married and have familes of their own.
Each of the women have problems of varying kinds although they are not confiding in each other.
Without giving too much of the storyline away, there are decisions to be reached and action to be taken by the women individually to ensure a satisactory conclusion to the storyline.
I particuarly liked how the author concentrated on the individual characters in alternative chapters so that you felt that you understood how that person was feeling even if you did not agree with them.
The main storyline was fairly predictable although I did not see theoddding coming!
Good holiday reaad a does not requite too much concentration.
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on 15 March 2012
A truly brilliant story of 3 ladies, Jennifer (mom), Amy & Kate. The dad died a couple of years earlier and the 3 woman, although not as close as some families, they were there for each other. So when Amy's husbands (Ben) business goes to ground and they lose everything they have in their privileged lives it is little wonder that Jennifer and Kate come to the rescue. Is it however a wonder that Kate is close to having an affair and Jennifer is meeting up with the man she knew back in her student days.

The story is a heart felt count of a time in life when you may feel like a grown up but you always need your mom. The tragedies, ups and downs of life are shared with the reader as the 3 women become a tighter family and the respective husbands feel more in the family as emotions rise and fall.

Personally speaking this book was particularly brilliant to me as i have 2 daughters and so could see myself in the book so much....they might not be married with children like Kate and Amy but its going to happen one day....hope we are still as close then as we are now :)
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on 4 January 2017
This is a great book but I am so cross as I had already purchased and read this book under its alternative title "stay close to me", I have also reviewed it under its alternative title so you can read my review there.
I will say however that To promote it as "laugh out loud funny" is extremely misleading, this is not funny nor is it intended to be, it is however an excellent read.
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on 1 February 2017
Advertised on amazon kindle as - IOU: the laugh-out-loud romantic bestseller to help see in the new year. Whilst it is a very good book - it is definitely not a laugh out loud romantic book. The headline needs changing
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on 7 September 2013
Credit to amazon and a good service. Cheap, fast, and good packaging will recommend to friends and anyone interested in a good service.
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on 31 August 2016
What a beautiful moving story it has you hooked right from the start. Love & the love of a family conquerors all.
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