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I saw this book sitting on the trolley in my local library a couple of weeks ago waiting to go back onto the shelf, and the bright cover caught my eye. I picked it up and read the blurb on the back of the book, and it looked like a fun book which I might enjoy. I also felt a bit sick of reading the same old authors so I thought that this would make a nice change, so I checked it out the library and sat down and looked forward to reading it.
As I said before, I had never heard of Sarah O'Brien but after a quick look on Amazon, it turned out she had actually written 3 books before. But I flicked to the front of the book to find out more about the author, and it turns out it isn't one author, it is two! Sarah O'Brien is a pseudonym of Helena Close and Trisha Rainsford, 2 best friends. Love Happens is their third novel they have written together, and I think it is a great third novel.
Love Happens is a story centred around one woman, Ruth Burke. Ruth and her husband Emerson, a director of movies, have a three year old son called Paddy. However, Ruth gets a bit of a shock when it turns out her loving husband has been giving his love to another woman...and she happens to see this first hand. The novel tells the tale of how Ruth has to build up her life again, and her meeting of her new friends. Ferdia, her boss at the hotel who she takes an immediate shine to, Kevin her next door neighbour who has a mad 3 year old called Mikey and Gary, her long-lost father who she is suddenly reunited with. Will Ruth find happiness with any of the men? Or is Emerson going to try to weasel his way back into her life?
I found the novel was so much fun to read, which makes a change from the last book I read! It is quite fast-paced, and the plot doesn't slow at all from the start right the way up until the end of the book! Each chapter is only about 5 or 6 pages long so that isn't too bad, but I found I always wanted to read the next chapter to find out what was going to happen with Ruth next! Although I loved the main character, I found it was some of the other characters which I preferred even more so!
Ruth's best friend is a woman called Tracey, and the two live next door to each other. Tracey clearly loathes Emerson and isn't afraid to tell him so whenever she sees him. Through some of the weepy pages with Ruth upset over her husband's betrayal, Tracey's commentary in the background was hilarious and kept the comedic value throughout the book going, I thought this character was just so well writtten!
The other character I loved in the book was Kevin, Ruth's next door neighbour. I liked that the author kept up the banter between the two right up until the end, and it was clear of Ruth's naivety about Kevin! Kevin and his son had a well-explored relationship, and it was nice to have a man as the main carer for a young child for a change! It added a nice different feeling into the mix, and worked really well with Ruth and Tracey too!
The writers have done a brilliant job of exploring all the different levels of friendship and love between these characters. Ruth's emotions are up and down, and the emotions she goes through after her husband's affair seem so realistic, you can't help but feel very sorry for Ruth, and you really do hate Emerson! It was the relationships between the characters that kept me going in this novel, you just really want to find out what the next thing that happens is going to be!
I would thorougly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good fun read. There are a few sex scenes in the book, not graphic but worth mentioning in case there are any younger readers out there! Also, there is a bit of swearing, but nothing too major and to be honest, it isn't out of place with the characters! It is a fun, fast-paced and realistic novel, with a big twist of love and a dollop of fuzzy feelings throughout. I am glad I picked this one up from the library, and I look forward to reading Sarah O'Brien's other novels!
ISBN: 978-0340837795. The book is published by Hodder and Stoughton Paperbacks in October 2005. The book contains 528 pages long, which is quite a chunky book, but it is a real page-turner! The RRP on this book is £6.99 but Amazon are selling it for £5.49 New, and from £2.19 on the Amazon Marketplace.
Sarah O'Brien's other novels are:
* Hot Property
* A Girl Thing
Thank you for reading!