“ Genre: Romance / Author: Julie Cohen / Paperback / 320 Pages / Book is published 2008-01-10 by Little Black Dress „
I find a great source of cheap good quality books is a car boot sale. Recently I was walking round and this novel grabbed my attention. I found three and they cost me just 90p, which I really can't grumble at. The only problem I have now is I need to find room in my over crowded house for yet more books!!
==About the author:==
Julie Cohen was born in Western Maine in the US and has been writing books since she was 11 years old. She studied English Literature at Cambridge and has remained in the UK ever since, along with his husband and son. She has written 13 novels since her first Publication in 2006, with the book I am about to review being published a year later.
==Synopsis of the book:==
Eleanor Connor is an unusual 20 something living and working in Reading. Her main source of income is her writing as she writes erotic novels under and assumed name. This is a closely guarded secret and only her best friend Hugh know about it. In her spare time she works at the Mouse and Duck as a Barmaid, which is where on a dull Saturday night she meets and has a wild night of passion with a mysterious man.
She had been drinking that night while working and she wakes up the next morning and realises firstly that her new man has gone and she knows nothing about him not even his name!! She remembers very little although her neighbour Hugh advises her she and her male partner where making lots of noise and he could clearly hear their night of passion.
Eleanor is annoyed with herself as she realises they did not use any protection in their lovemaking. And what surprises her more is no one remembers this stylish man who reminded her of George Michael when she asks around the Pub. A few weeks later her worst fears are confirmed as she finds that she is expecting this strangers baby. She decides she must find him and so at least her baby will know whom his or her father is but where does she start?
==My thoughts on the book:==
This is the first novel I have read from this author and I have to say I have very mixed feelings over it. I think it is fair to say this was probably not the novel for me, but I will try my very best to give you all the positive and negative features of it. It is what I would describe as a Chick Lit although I must admit I did not realise that when I picked the novel up and bought it, otherwise I probably would not have done so.
==On the positive side:==
What attracted to me this book initially were two things. Firstly, the title I thought that sounded very mysterious and I liked all the good and bad possibilities in conjured up in my mind. The second was the relatively short summary on the back of the book, it made the story sound very interesting and I immediately liked the sound of the lead character Eleanor as she seemed so unusual.
I found when I started the story I was very quickly enjoying it. It was very easy to get into and I think this was partly because the author style she employed. By this I mean she wrote about everyday things and as a result it was easy to understand and comprehend what was happening. The author wrote in a way I found it easy to enjoy and the way her story developed I found myself wanting to know more about what was going to happen to Eleanor.
The concept behind the story I thought was excellent and I really liked the idea of this mysterious night of passion Eleanor had with a mysterious stranger and the fact she could remember nothing about it. And I thought this would be the main part of the story her search for this man and basically what happened next. But in truth it wasn't and it turned from a mystery more into a romantic story. Which if that is what you are looking for, this was a clever and intelligently written story cleverly using changing feelings/ emotions and misunderstandings.
I thought Eleanor Connor was a fabulous lead character and I found her to be such a likely character with a wonderful personality. The story was written from her viewpoint and it was impossible not to warm to this deep, sensitive and caring lady. I found very quickly I was able to relate to her and I get a real affinity with her character given the challenges she was about to face.
She was superbly supported by Hugh her best friend who she had shared much with in their seven year relationship. Again he was a good, well thought out character and while you never understood his mind as you did Eleanor she always acted in a logical and consistent manner. I really enjoyed a lot of their interaction and some of there misunderstandings when dealing with feeling about love.
Throughout the book, there was humour some obvious and quite amusing and at other times it was more subtle and you needed to think and imagine the scene. I did not find it necessarily made me laugh out loud but it did make me a least smile quite often. I think in many ways this was because of the excellent insight the author has into the different types of people who frequent pubs and she created some good minor characters and exploited their unusual mannerisms.
==On the negative side:==
From about halfway through the story I thought the story went from interesting to predictable. I started to be able to read what was going to eventually happen and I was disappointed it followed the path it did. I was I suppose not looking for a sensitive and thoughtful love story, given what I had read in the first half of the story it came as a shock and I expected more adventure, suspense and mystery.
I found I needed to keep reading the story that to begin with had been so promising in the hope that something different and inspiring would happen. Yes the author did put in some twists into the story that where good but it still continued on a disappointing and obvious path. Which for me meant there was no real challenge, but as I say if you want a feel good story then with lots of emotion this could well is one for you.
The conclusion to the story was quite well thought out but for me was too quick and rushed. I would have liked a more exciting conclusion with more depth behind it, as for me it was a bit of a damp squib. It would also have been good to have a proper epilogue, as I really still wanted to know what happened to some of the other interesting characters the author had created within the story.
For me there was little in the way of mystery and suspense in this story because as it turned out it was not really that type of book. And because of the initial concepts I suppose I was mislead into thinking it would be, thinking that this would be a key element in the story as its significance diminished as the story unfolded.
I probably am an old misery and while I like the odd happy ending I do expect what is happening to be both credible and believable and frankly I found it stopped doing that for me in this story.
I thought the books length was a bit shorter than I could have been. To be honest I would have liked it better if the author had also shared the thoughts of Hugh as I think by doing this the author could have created a more humour and he was such a good character it seemed a waste to not exploit his wonderful character as see how he saw life and what was happening all around him.
If you want a well-scripted and very up and down love story this might be a good book for you. It is full of intelligent observation and thought in a story that had a wonderful concept behind it. Sadly I found this book disappointing as I thought it turned into a predicable story that lacked bite and I kept expecting given its excellent start for it to have a dynamic conclusion but I was ultimately frustrated with it.
Price: £4.29 new at Amazon
Publisher: Little Black Dress
ISBN-13: 978- 0755334834
Year of Publication: 2007
More about the author: http://www.julie-cohen.com/
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user on both Ciao and Dooyoo
© CPTDANIELS December 2011.