Review by Gabrielle

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“He smiles around the room and I feel my throat tighten. OK. So it turns out my instincts don’t want a holiday, after all. My instincts are leaping up and down and pulling in the extra emergency-instincts team and yelling, “look, look!”

Sophie Kinsella has done it again with this sweet rom-com featuring a quirky but (mostly) likable main character. Fans of Sophie’s other standalone books will delight in her signature style with laugh-out-loud moments, fun secondary characters and just enough conflict to be convincing.

Ava is sooo over dating. Looking for solace and reprieve from her life she signs up for a writer’s retreat in Italy where real names and life details aren’t to be shared. Perfect right? Then she meets “Dutch”, a dreamy hunk from the cancelled martial arts retreat next door. A sexy, whirlwind affair draws them both in and they vow to make their relationship work when they return to London. Except they don’t know anything about each other. Not their real names or what they do for a living, nothing! As you can imagine, hilarity ensues as they get to know each other for real and discover they are nearly total opposites. Can they make it work?

Although I didn’t quite buy into how fast they fell “in love”, as I kept reading I realized that is kind of the point. If they hadn’t, the rest of the book wouldn’t exist. Some people may find Ava is a little too quirky. She is a bit aimless for most of the book, prefers feelings to facts, ignores staggering realities and is convinced she can make everything work out simply through positive thinking.  I personally find many of Sophie’s main characters to be this way, they often skate the line of annoying to me. I often find myself wanting to shout, “grow a backbone lady!” Luckily in the end their big heart often redeems them for me and that is the case here. Bonus points for an excellent furry friend character in Ava’s dog Harold. He is a horribly naughty dog but a very lovable one.

If you are looking for a light, one weekend read, I would recommend this one. Just suspend your disbelief for the first bit. It gets better.