When Lynda Renham contacted me to ask if I’d like to read and review her latest romantic comedy, Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog – released on 10th November, available for 99p for kindle, and also in paperback – I really didn’t have to think about it for very long. When life was getting a little bit on top of me, I couldn’t think of a better way to escape from it all. I’m a fairly recent convert to Lynda’s writing – I’ve never been a massive fan of romantic comedy really (especially when described as “hilarious”), or at best I’m particularly choosy – but I’d unfailingly recommend Lynda’s books as some of the best fun you can have with your clothes on.
Fashion conscious Phoebe Smith wants only one thing: a date for the works party in six weeks’ time. She embarks on a journey to find her man and keeps a private blog of all her disastrous encounters. But when her four-year-old nephew gets into her account, Phoebe’s problems only just begin. With Tinder calamities, a male escort and a pork pie addiction, Phoebe tackles her biggest problem: the just too irritating Harry Bloom. Come with Phoebe on her search for the perfect man and see who will accompany her to the party in this hilarious romantic comedy novel.
I’ll be honest though, and admit that this one didn’t pull me in from its opening pages – I didn’t immediately take to Phoebe, and I really didn’t like the opening scene. But do stick with it – once Phoebe started her private blog, and we began to share her thoughts, reflections and observations, I was hooked. I really couldn’t resist her wonderful and distinctive voice, contemplating her growing spare tyre, advancing age, where the next Bestie’s pork pie was coming from and the fact that no-one would ever find her desirable. I adored her eccentric friends and family, often offering inappropriate but well-meaning advice, and her inability to avoid the most obvious difficult situations (the protest scenes are wonderful).
And the book really took off for me with the sequence of blind dates – I guess there are many of us who’ve had our share of comparable first date disasters, but Phoebe’s are off the scale in their cringe worthiness. To say “laugh a minute” though is to do this book a disservice, because there’s a serious edge to this one when workplace sexual harassment rears its head – “laughing it off” is perhaps only too often the easiest response, and the issue is really well handled.
The final blog-related twist is ingenious and wonderfully done – and after shouting “don’t!!” and “oh, Phoebe…” repeatedly throughout the last quarter, the outcome was everything I hoped it would be. He’s so lovely (and no, I’m not saying…)! Another great read from Lynda… and I must say that I enjoyed it far, far more than the Bridget Jones franchise many have compared it with.
My thanks to Lynda Renham for providing my e-copy for review.
About the author
Lynda Renham is famous for her romantic comedy novels. She has been called A Comedian in a Book, Chicklit Royalty and A Comic Genius. Her writing style has been likened to Sophie Kinsella but is refreshingly down to earth with characters that become your friends. Lynda is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.