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Beth Sheridan is happy with her life, she's got a good job and she is totally in love with Richard. The only problem is that Richard has no idea she's in love with him, and he's shacked up with another woman in Portugal. But Beth doesn't care because she knows one day he'll come back to her, and she's preparing herself for that very moment. But in the mean time, her best friend Vin is determined to find her another man, but Beth manages to meet 3. Should she choose Sean from the office who isn't quite as strange as he first seems, handsome millionaire Rupert who she's only contacted through email or Brad, who she met at a speed dating event and gets on really well with. Is Beth going to pick one of her three men or is she still holding out for her maybe??
I first heard of Debbie Carbin last year when she released her debut novel 'Thanks for Nothing, Nick Maxwell' which I quite enjoyed. So when I heard she had another novel coming out this year I was quite looking forward to it. I managed to get a copy from my library to read but I was a bit concerned because some of the reviews on Amazon weren't overly positive about the book, but as usual I was willing to give it a go and form my own opinion about it. This book is the second of Debbie's 2 book deal with publishers Black Swan, so another release isn't yet guaranteed from the author.
When I began reading, I'll be honest and say that I really wasn't into this at all. I found Beth extremely annoying and very silly, being totally obsessed with Richard when he had no idea, never mind the fact he's in another country was just ridiculous and I just didn't like this at all. The obsession just seemed to grow for the first quarter of the book and I was very close to giving up on it altogether. As I hate not finishing a book, I decided to stick with it and I'm actually glad I did because it really did pick up from then on.
As soon as the other male characters began to become a real part of the story, it became more realistic and believable (although not totally so, as you'll see when you read it!), and therefore Beth became more likeable as well. Her best friend Vin was an absolutely brilliant character, quite possibly my favourite in the whole book and I'm glad Carbin wrote someone like into the book, just a normal person really. The male characters were nice enough, again guys that you believe you could get on with (even though one's a millionaire) and they were all interesting. I was annoyed at how there was a really good scene with one of these, and then Carbin would drop in Beth's obsession with Richard again and it took away from all the good she'd just done!
There is a big twist in this book halfway through that I didn't see coming, and I think this was quite well done by the author. For a reader, it's something to reignite your interest and I was quite eager to see how this was going to affect the outcome of the book. I genuinely didn't see it coming so it was a surprise, which is good as some books I've read with a "twist" have been as subtle as a hammer to the head! The pace really picks up towards to the end, which is a shame as I feel the whole book could have done with speeding up at parts as I did feel the narrative dragged in parts.
Carbin uses the first person narrative for almost the whole book, only going away from this when focussing on another character for a short period of time. It seemed strange to change the narrative like this but it was easy to read and not all that troublesome so I wasn't too bothered by it. The book was an okay read, it's real downfall is the incredibly annoying main character (my problem with Carbin's first book too) and the relentless obsession with Richard in the first part of the novel. As I say, I was nearly put off it because of this but do bear with it because it gets better. I must say I prefer Carbin's first book to this one but it's still quite readable as long as you don't want your chick-lit all that believable!
ISBN: 978-0552774192. Published by Black Swan in April 2009. The paperback has 320 pages and an RRP of £6.99.
Thank you for reading!
Note: this review has previously appeared on my blog at http://chicklitreviews.wordpress.com