"Forty Things to do Before You're Forty" by Alice Ross

#2 - Learn the merengue. #5 - Stand on your head. #15 - Run a marathon.  

Those are things from her list of things to do before she's forty that Annie Richards can handle.  But #38 - Fall madly in love?  She’s too busy to do that.  Besides, that’s the last thing she needs.

As the single mother of a feisty five-year-old daughter, owner of a successful cake-making business, and caretaker for a grand country house, Annie O’Donnell is one busy woman.  So she didn’t need her best friend to add to it with a Forty Things to do Before You’re Forty list.  She’s up for a challenge so the first thing she takes on is the marathon.  But the arrival of a new man in the small town of Buttersley may just throw her busy life into a tailspin.

Jake Sinclair is a crime writer who has taken up his friends offer of residence while he writes his next novel.  Buttersley should be the perfect place for him to get away from it all and concentrate on writing.  A recluse since a tragedy that occurred years earlier, he’s looking forward to the anonymity.  But he isn’t expecting to cross paths with a woman like Annie.  

Annie and Jake can’t resist each other but when the past comes back to visit, things get shaken up.  Will their past hurts keep them apart or will Annie get to cross #38 off her list?  Forty Things to do Before You’re Forty by Alice Ross is a fun, romantic novel that reminds readers to take the time to see what is around them, no matter how busy they get.

This is such a light-hearted, enjoyable read, perfect for the summer weather when you just want to relax and unwind with a book.  It is one of those books that just fly by because you’re enjoying it so much.

I thought that the book was going to be about a woman trying to tick a whole bunch of things off of a bucket list but it’s not like that at all.  Which for me was a good thing.  I probably would have read and enjoyed that kind of novel as well, but this book isn’t just about completing a list, it’s about the things that you learn and discover about yourself along the way.  It’s about what happens when you open yourself up to new things.

I love books set in small, countryside towns and Buttersley was a fantastic place to visit.  Oh how I wish I could have a little cottage to live in like Annie and her daughter Sophie!  Both Annie and Jake are very enjoyable characters.  The supporting characters are wonderful and eclectic, especially ex-footballer’s wife Lydia.

This is the perfect novel to spend the day with.  Easy to read and very enjoyable, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet, romantic chick-lit story.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley.  The opinions expressed above are my own.


  1. Sounds like a predictable plot but so much fun! I love books like this for when I want a light read.

    1. It is very predictable! But sometimes that's a good thing, just like you said for when you want a light read.


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