Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review: My So Called (Love) Life by A.L. Michael

Out Now
Published by Carina
Purchase from Amazon here


Meet Tigerlily James: romance cynic, North Londoner and die-hard margarita fan.
Tigerlily James has been a member of the Young and Bitter Club ever since she was dumped on Valentine’s day. By her fiancĂ©.

Surviving on a diet of cynicism and margarita-fuelled ‘Misery Dinners’ with her best friends, she’s become a romance free zone…and that’s the way she likes it. Until an invitation for The Ex’s wedding arrives. Suddenly in need of a plus one, Tig has little choice but to bin the takeaways, ditch the greying underwear collection…and start pretending to view the opposite sex as something other than target practice.

Then, she meets Ollie – ie. the perfect solution. No sex. No strings. Fake boyfriend. The only catch is that she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for three whole months. Dating without the heartbreak: the best idea Tig’s ever had, right? Wrong!

My Review:

Welcome to the world of Tigerlily (Tig). Having been unceremoniously dumped just five days before her wedding to Darren, the only man she has been with since she was In her teens, Tig is trying to pull her world back together. As we meet Tig she is meeting up with her two best friends, having their regular weekly 'misery dinner'. Each of them is going through problems and are stuck in their own ruts. Meeting up gives them a chance to put the world to rights, and allows us to find out a bit about them.

Tig is a keen and great photographer and as part of her whole wedding preparations had started wedding photography herself, however since Darren dumped her she has lost interest in this, and anything wedding related. We find out that photography was a real passion for her, and she was due to fly off abroad just as Darren had proposed, and demanded she give this up for him. Yeah, can't you tell I don't like him at all!! Watch out for the scene of the themed wedding....I roared laughing at it!

To add insult to injury Tig receives an invitation in the post to Darren's forthcoming wedding! There is only one way to deal with the revelation that he has found someone and settling down, and that is of course to go out and get a drink. So she heads off to Enchanted, her local go to place. I get a feeling she is part of the furniture who often pops in for a drink or a cup of coffee.

Enter Ollie......Ollie is the barman at Enchanted who gets chatting to Tig, and whilst talking finds out what has happened. Ollie offers to go to the wedding as Tig's plus one if she decides to go. He is due to move to the Bahamas in a few months time, but proposes that until he goes he introduces her to the dating game and become a fake boyfriend to increase her confidence.

The rest of the book follows Tig as she learns to have fun, date and laugh again. Her relationship with Ollie is gorgeous. Not only is he hot, he is such fun and sexy as hell. Whilst they vow not to cross the line it isn't long before the inevitable happens. I loved the chemistry between them and the storyline went on found myself willing them to both realise how much they like eachother, and that they both feel the same way.

Whilst most of the book is about Tig and Ollie it would be wrong not to mention Ame and Dana, her best friends. I loved them both and found myself wanting to be part of their gang. I loved finding out more about their demons and just how close their friendships actually are. Whilst I love a good romance, what I really love in a book is a great, strong friendship and I could picture theirs really clearly. I could picture myself at the weekly misery dinners and moaning to them about my woes.

As Tig becomes happier she starts to expand her comfort zone and blossom. She becomes interested in her photography again and seems to get her mojo back. This also rubs off on her friends and after one particularly difficult scene with them, which became a turning point, I could feel the mood of the book lifting and lots of fun being had.

Of course, as with any good will they, wont they romance, towards the end of the book it all goes a bit wonky. Will they ever be brave enough to talk about how they feel? Will either of them make sacrifices to make it work? Do they really love each other? it and find out!!

I really enjoyed the book. It is a great pick me up and motivate me story as well as feeling like you have met a bunch of people you would really like to hang out with and become friends with. Whilst being light hearted I felt there are some really important life messages in there too, and they certainly resonated with me. There is one particular part that I felt drawn to. Tig talks about it taking a special person who can come into someone's life, teach them to be better, make them feel safe enough to grow, and leave them in a better place than you met them. This is so true and so powerful. It is the greatest gift someone can give you and I feel blessed that reading this book made me reflect on how lucky I am to have people in my life that make me feel this way.

My So Called (Love) Life is a fabulous read. It is romantic, fun, sentimental and a story which reminds you how important friendship and love is. I loved it and it has left me appreciating life and feeling upbeat and in love with life.

Thank you to the publisher who provided a copy in return for an honest review.

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