"How to Get a (Love) Life" by Rosie Blake
Nicola Brown has always played it safe. Everything from her home to her diet is neatly ordered and her dating life is no different. If by neatly ordered you mean non-existent. Her colleague Caroline thinks it’s time for a change and so she takes a strong stand by daring Nicola to go on as many dates as she can so she can finally spend Valentine’s Day in a relationship.
But Valentine’s Day is only three months away and well, the men she’s been meeting aren’t exactly who she would consider to be true love material. But Nicola quickly finds out that dating isn’t as bad as she thought it would be, even with the dodgy dates. In fact, it’s actually quite fun. And it turns out, she may not need to look too far to find love.
How to Get a (Love) Life is the debut novel from Rosie Blake. With a cast of characters that includes cringeworthy guys, the amazing friends you want in your life, and a heroine who is oh so loveable despite her quirks, this book is a fantastically fun read.
I got pretty lucky when it comes to dating. I met my husband at a fairly young age so I didn’t have to experience many horrible dates. But I can see why someone like Nicola would decide that maybe she’s just better off not dating. And many of the men she meets along the way definitely do a good job at proving her right. In fact, I’m sure many people will be able to identify with the dates Nicola went on. And that’s what is so great about this book, Nicola’s dating life is mad and crazy but it’s real. Blake uses the craziness of the real life dating world for the best bits of the book, rather than writing something that feels made up for the sake of being funny.
I adored Nicola’s relationships in this book especially with her brother Mark and her boss James. All of the characters rounded out the book really well and though they had their own stories, they didn’t take over the novel. But where this book was able to shine was the dates. They had me shaking my head and laughing out loud. My only wish was that more pages were given to the end of the book. It all wrapped up a little quick for me and I think it definitely could have been given a few more pages so we are really satisfied with the way things ended up.
Overall, this is a fantastic debut from Rosie Blake and I can’t wait to see what is next from her. If you’re looking for a fun, romantic novel, you won’t go wrong with this one. Any woman who has ever been on a terrible date is going to absolutely enjoy this book.
Rosie spent her university years writing pantomimes based on old classics. The 2003 production of The Wizard of Odd: Search for the Ruby Strippers enjoyed critical acclaim. This was followed a year later with a successful showing of Harry Potter: The Musical (complete with moving opening number, In my Cupboard I will Stay).
Rosie went on to write a winning short story in the La Senza/Little Black Dress Short Story Competition and was shortlisted in a few others including competitions run by Women and Home and The Daily Mail. Her first full-length novel, How to Get a (Love) Life, will be published in January 2014 by Novelicious Books.
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