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For as long as she could write, banking analyst Laura McGregor has kept a diary. As the years have passed, her diary has changed from good old pen and paper to an electronic diary she's able to keep on her laptop. She writes everything in her diary: from her lacking relationship with fellow banker Tom to her startling attraction to journalist Alex and also the fact that the numbers just don't seem to be adding up in her boss Will's accounts. When her diary is accidentally uploaded to the internet, though, Laura needs to find a way to delete the blog as quickly as she can but in the process, can she manage to juggle not only the stresses of her job but also her ever-changing love life?
It's no secret that I was a huge fan of Allie Spencer's debut Little Black Dress novel Tug of Love which was released last year. I thought it was fast-paced, witty and had such charming characters so when Allie mentioned in an email that her second book would be out in April this year I was thrilled and waited excitedly for it's release. I pre-ordered the book as soon as was possible and when I got an email saying my pre-order was in, I was thrilled and eagerly awaited it arriving on my doorstep. It arrived earlier this week and I quickly finished my previous read so I could get stuck into The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl.
The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl is very different to Allie's previous offering Tug of Love. Tug of Love was set in the law world whereas The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl is set, as you may expect from the title, in The City. I have to admit that when I first read the blurb I was a bit worried. I've only read one previous book set in The City (Bad Money by Louise Patten) and it confused me greatly as I don't really get what goes on in the city and I really don't understand what a hedge-fund is. Thankfully all banking related matters are kept to a minimum throughout the book and even I was able to keep up competently whenever banking matters arose.
My blurb (and the blurb on the back of the book) makes much mention of Laura's diary although the actual uploading of the diary doesn't happen until later on in the book. There isn't even much mention of the diary for the first 75 pages, bar in the prologue and I'd say the book is more about Laura's working life and ever-growing attraction to journalist Alex. The prologue sets the scene for the entire book when Laura, aged 17/18, is asked out by a 'strange staring man' who we learn is going to come back 10 years later to haunt her. We then come back to the present day where Lucy gets her new assignment - to work with Will at SunSpot - and where everything starts to slowly unravel.
Like Tug of Love, we're introduced to Laura's potential love interest really early on in the book in the shape of journalist Alex. Laura first meets him when she goes to see Will on her first day working with him and then bumps into him on random occasions throughout. The chemistry between the pair leaps off the pages and to find two characters who totally spark off each other made for interesting reading. I was hooked, I have to say. Of course certain obstacles get in their way and I was definitely left wondering as we hurtled towards the end if they would ever manage to hear each other out and be together.
Laura makes for a fantastic heroine. When we are first introduced to her, she's dating (and I use the term loosely) fellow banker Tom and instead of having him hang around like a limpet the entire novel, Laura kicks him to the curb fairly sharpish for being a pig. I admired that in her and I also admired her determination. When she first spots inaccuracies within SunSpot she did investigate it thoroughly. It's fairly safe to say that I really liked Alex. He was just so nice and lovely and I loved the rapport between himself and Laura. Laura's sister Mel appears about a quarter of the way through the novel and provides an interesting sub-plot to the whole book after appearing on Laura's door-step one night with little explanation. I liked Mel as she was very different to Laura and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. Sure, she had some problems and created some problems but I still liked her. There weren't many other fixed characters in the book bar Will, Laura's boss who seemed OK. Laura's friend and work-mate Polly also appears a few times and I found her romance with co-worker Archie was incredibly sweet.
Allie Spencer is a hugely talented writer and that is almost certainly what makes her books as enjoyable as they are. They're such easy reads that you can't not get sucked into her books. I found myself racing through the pages and when I'd finished it I found myself smiling. I definitely look forward to Allie Spencer's next offering. I for one will be pre-ordering it as soon as that's physically possible. I hugely recommend The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl it's one for chick lit fans everywhere.