Julie Highmore has been relatively unknown to me until recently when I read the most enjoyable book called Pure Fiction. With this in mind I set off to the H section in the local library and was delighted to find this one snuggling on the shelves.
She has written a few books now and this one was first published in 2005.
Marcus has decided to do a bit of house-sitting for people who live close by to his former wife, Hannah and the boy who he thought was his son for two years. Hes not only hoping to have some contact with the young lad but also hankers after the woman who was a part of his life for quite some time.
Unfortunately, she has moved in with the boys real father and he is faced with a moral dilemma, whether to try to get his happiness back with the woman he loves and her son or whether to step back and allow this new family to get on with their lives.
As well as all this, he strikes up a friendship with the woman across the street called Jo, who finds herself a bit obsessed by this good looking addition to the neighbourhood. Will she be able to win his heart as she and Hannah end up travelling to France to be with the man they both want?
Marcus seems to be quite a strong character but its clear that he has been hurt badly in the past by Hannahs indiscretions and is unwilling or unable to trust another woman. He desperately misses the little boy he thought was his own but has a conscience too and is unsure about what to do for the best.
Hannah is bored by her new relationship with Robin and yearns to be back with Marcus but realises that he will probably never completely trust her again. Despite all this though, she decides to do whatever it will take to be with her first love and follows him to France in a desperate attempt to win him back and to push her love rival aside.
Jo is a lively but lonely character who has an open relationship with a guy she only sees once in a blue moon. She soon decides that she wants more from a man and Marcus seems to have all the qualities she is looking for. When he leaves for France she realises that she has to fight for him and takes off with her tenant and Japanese student, whilst unbeknown to her, Hannah is planning the same thing.
Robin is the poor man who is caught up in all this and although he doesnt seem to be too bothered about losing Hannah, the thought of losing his son Freddie is too much to cope with. We see him become stronger and learn to put his foot down firmly as the book progresses, letting Hannah know her behaviour isnt acceptable and that he wont lose his son.
I thoroughly enjoyed this funny and emotional book. Despite the title, there isnt really much sleeping around going on and like a lot of the titles of reviews on this site, I suspect it is just to catch peoples eyes.
The plot is a little unbelievable and the characters are a little bit over the top at times but this just adds to the charm and humour of this book. I have to admit to laughing out loud whilst reading parts of this one, and thinking as I did so, that I dont know anyone who would act that way.
The additional characters of the sex-starved neighbour down the street and the foreign students, who rent rooms from Jo, are just brilliant and a lot of the humour comes from the fact that the students often say things that they shouldnt really say or come out with phrases, which arent quite right. The neighbour is also really funny, as she desperately tries to get her hooks into any man she can anything to make her boring relationship a bit more exciting.
This book is an excellent choice for a summer read, as it is easy to pick up and put down again. There is no need to struggle to come to terms with the plot, as it is simple enough. That being said I finished this one in a few days and truly couldnt put it down, as I was determined to find out who would end up with who.
***Other Julie Highmore Books***
Play It Again
Kiss Me Quick
Your Place Or Mine
Beautiful Strangers (due for release June 2007)
***Price & Availability***
This paperback is available to buy for £6.99 but is available from Amazon for the bargain price of only £3.00 at the moment.
ISBN No. 0755321179
Robin is shocked but thrilled when Hannah arrives on his Oxford doorstep with a two year old and a suitcase, and announces that Freddie is his son. Her husband, Marcus was less happy to learn about Hannah's fling with Robin, but several months on, he's longing to spend some time with the little boy he thought was his. So, he takes on a house-sit a few streets away. Jo, over the road, is intrigued by the newcomer, and quickly finds an excuse to learn more, but Hannah is also wondering if Marcus is the one, after all...