This book has been on my shelf for a long time. I have a certain mood when I read chick lit, which doesn’t strike very often, but when it came around this time I’m glad I had something appropriate on the shelf. Trisha Ashley’s chick lit is a bit different to what I’ve read before, and I think encourages me to read more of the genre. The romance is not overdone or soppy, and the humour is what she constantly places squarely centre-frame. This book brought out quite a range of noises from me that I wasn’t quite aware I could make: chuckling certainly, but also quite a bit of snorting and cackling.
This book is about Charlie Rhymer, a suddenly divorced painter moving back to her Yorkshire home and all the confusion and humour that comes along with it. There’s her Father, holed up in his study, his mistress, who has taken over Charlie’s old bedroom and brought her two daughters to live there as well, sister Em ruling the household and considering joining the local coven, war-correspondent sister Anne showing some unexpected softness, and brother Bran needing looking after in between outpourings of academic genius and mostly communicating in foreign tongues. And of course the handsome, grumpy actor Mace North, who has just moved in next door.
I really enjoyed the dryness of a lot of Ashley’s humour, and the understated way she lets actions speak for themselves. Plot-wise, I thought there were some broad similarities to the only other book of hers I’ve read (Good Husband Material), particularly in the character of the male romantic interest, but I didn’t particularly mind it. The only thing that held me back from it becoming a favourite is that I didn’t actually find Mace North particularly attractive – he and Fergal Rocco are simply not my type! If you are a fan of chick lit though, this is certainly worth a read, with plenty of humour, quirkiness and unexpected plot twists to keep you smiling!