October 8, 2014

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger - Lucy Robinson

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger book cover
A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: January 31, 2013
Source/Format: Bought (Rec by Estelle!) || Kindle e-book

Charley Lambert has worked hard at creating a perfect life. She has an aspirational flat, a job of international significance and a very good pair of legs, thanks to a rigorous health and fitness regime. Best of all, her boss has asked her out after seven years' hard flirting and a covert fumble in a cleaning cupboard. 

Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her boss propose to someone else and - horror - is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy. 

Charley, a certified workaholic, fears that she will go mad. 
Dangerously bored, she starts helping people who are talentless at internet dating. Then William arrives in her inbox and rocks her world. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with him and discovers she's not who she thought she was. 

But can she turn her back on her old life - all for a total stranger? (from Goodreads)

It’s been much too long since I last read a book like this, so it definitely came at the right time. A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger has so many elements that I love: amusing characters, a fun storyline and a romance that I was totally rooting for at the mere hint of suggestion. Basically, A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger is a completely delightful read!

Charley Lambert is our main narrator, and I simply adored her! Sure, there were times when I (mentally) yelled at her for being too much: too stubborn, too obsessed with work, too obsessed with being perfect. But the thing is, I understood that too because I can, on occasion, be like that (though I’d like to think I’ve loosened up a bit!). Apart from those bits, Charley is engaging and funny, witty and clever and a bit of a go-getter. She loves her family and her friends, takes good care of herself and really goes through a surprisingly introspective journey with this novel. It was so easy to be charmed by her, and I can firmly count her as one of the most memorable chick lit heroines I’ve encountered in ages.

But Charley is not the only character that I loved. No, there’s plenty more people to be enamored with, including Charley’s family, friends, and work-related peers. The sheer variety of these characters could potentially have meant they were left unexplored and shallowly characterized, but thankfully, that is very much not the case! Each character (the ones who are important in Charley’s life, I mean) is granted a particularly memorable trait, and afforded more than just a role in the background. They were seriously a charming, riotous, fun bunch, with a few jerk exceptions.

Then, there’s this incredible story hidden within the pages of A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger. Charley is obviously going to wind up involved in a romance, as the title hints. But the way the romantic angle plays out was unexpected, and I found it utterly charming. Plus, it’s not only about the romance either! Charley is learning how to create a proper work/life balance for herself, reevaluating where she is and what she wants within the confines of these pages. It’s a very thoughtful balance of both arcs, and Robinson does a wonderful job of making sure to include both stories in equal measures.

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger was my first Lucy Robinson novel, and it certainly will not be my last! The story is charming, the characters are wonderful, and I simply could not set it down once I’d really gotten started on it. If you’re in the market for a read that’s funny, thoughtful & sweet, then definitely snag your copy of A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger! (PS – It’s only $2.99 on Kindle!)


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