It’s a pleasure today to be one of the bloggers launching the blog tour for I Don’t Do Mondays! by Colette Kebell, and sharing my review: published on 19th September, it’s now available for kindle and in paperback from Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for the advance reading e-copy.
I’ve had the real pleasure of meeting Colette – it was way back in January 2016, the launch party for Jill Mansell’s You & Me, Always, and one of the best parties I’ve ever been to (I even did a write-up – you’ll find it here). And Colette was such a fun companion on the night – and then joined me with a guest post on Being Anne in April 2016 (you’ll find it here) – but this is the first time I’ve read one of her books. For a while, I decided I’d rather outgrown chick lit (I got that one wrong, didn’t I?!), so I decided not to try her first two books: and when I’d rediscovered the joy of rom coms, her next book was Arbitrage, a thriller set in the world of finance, so not really my cup of tea either!
But this time, our stars must have been aligned – and I’ve enjoyed following Colette on Facebook as this book progressed from the early ideas to the finished product. And she most certainly chose a perfect cover, didn’t she? So let’s take a closer look…
How can Mia find happiness?
Lawyer Mia’s picture-perfect dream life in New York is imploding. Her job has become too stressful, she’s exhausted from carrying her friends and what’s up with her striking, wealthy fiancé?
But when life-changing decisions force her to move to Maine, where she’ll face her often critical father and hard truths about what truly matters in life, she re-discovers a passion of her youth.
What begins as a low moment in her life quickly pushes her to consider what she genuinely wants and leads her down a new path where she must embrace the future and let go of the past.
Will this move help Mia to fix her life, once and for all, and will she finally find true love?
Once upon a time, “quirky” and “different” – words I think I really must use about this book – might have had me running for the hills, but it didn’t put me off a bit this time. I’ll admit though that I did re-read the blurb when I got to the end of the second chapter to double-check that this was actually going to be Mia’s story, as her only appearance by that point had been as “Ginger’s boss”.
And when she did take centre stage, I found it a bit difficult to get a handle on her character. What on earth possessed her to get involved with obnoxious and entitled Carlton Allerton, ruthless CEO of Allerton Groceries, who treats everyone like dirt and spends his afternoons getting naked with Amanda? And having accepted his half-hearted proposal – when she seems to spend more time at Corrigan’s wine bar with her friends than she ever does in his company – she then decides to fly to Maine with the sole purpose of stopping her parents from attending her wedding. No, I really didn’t like her much – and wasn’t particularly interested in what might happen to her.
But what I really did like – unlike horrible Carlton – was her friends. Ginger/Maggie/Magdalene, who works as Mia’s assistant, is a quite wonderful character: I just loved all her ingenious side-hustles, all bringing in other income, all fascinating, and a source for much of the book’s humour. And then there’s Xander, so well-drawn and eminently likeable – writer, painter, deliverer of parcels, witty and interesting. They step up when Mia goes on her mission to Maine – and I really so enjoyed the way their stories developed and their fortunes changed through the book. I did wonder at times how they all managed to get through such a prodigious volume of expensive wine when they were all on the breadline – but the brand mentions are rather nicely played into the story as a recurring motif.
And Mia did manage to overcome my early dislike – the later part of the book focuses more closely on her story, and it’s a well told one of fresh starts and new beginnings. Once she’s back in the bosom of her family and in an environment that was perhaps a tad more recognisably romance-reader friendly I was on her side completely. Her character develops nicely, the family interactions are well drawn, as is the backdrop (with some really excellent descriptions of some of the settings), and I really liked (and felt) the developing second-chance romance.
Something that really impressed me greatly was the way the author tied up all the loose ends – and there sometimes seem to be so many that you wonder how on earth she’s going to achieve it. The street art by Kowalski and its part in the story was particularly well done – unexpected, and quite inspired. I did get a little lost amid all the corporate and legal shenanigans that thread through the story – perhaps a tad too much detail – but it was rather nice to see the bad guys reaping a little of what they sowed. And the book’s ending is really uplifting, and rather lovely… while the book certainly entertained me throughout, it really did leave me with a smile on my face.
So, I’ll say again – it’s quirky, it’s different, and I think it’s fair to say that some of its elements are perhaps more successful than others. But I really did rather enjoy it…
About the author
Colette Kebell is an author of Chick-lit/Romcom, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational. She has also found avenues to translate both into Italian (thanks to her husband), and into French, Spanish and Portuguese via Babelcube.
As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant. After a few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.
Colette has two adorable dogs and spends some time, when not writing and marketing her books, cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home. Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.