Alice Peterson What do you do if you’re 34, single and recovering from being jilted two weeks before your wedding day? This is the dilemma Gilly Brown finds herself in. While friends are marrying, having children and moving into the depths of the countryside, Gilly finds herself alone in London and holding on to her fractured family with their tragic past. It’s time to meet new people.
So, she decides to get a Monday to Friday lodger, and after a succession of alarming interviews finally finds the perfect one in the shape of handsome reality television producer Jack Baker. Gilly falls for Jack’s charm and is transported into an exciting social whirlwind of parties, dining out and glamour. When Jack is introduced to Gilly’s family and friends, it’s only the attractive and eccentric Guy, the newest recruit to her dog-walking group, who isn’t quite so convinced about Jack’s intentions. As Guy watches them grow closer, his suspicions of Jack and his feelings for Gilly deepen. Is Jack so perfect after all… and what exactly does he get up to at the weekends?
Due to the absolute bargain price for this on Amazon, along with it’s title and description, it was an easy ‘click to add to basket’ moment! This is a fun and easy to read chick-lit offering which I read over just a few evenings.
Gilly is a very likeable character. She is still getting over the shock of being jilted and trying to make a new life for herself that isn’t dependent on being with that ‘special other person’ the whole time. Her dog walking friends that she meets in the park every day, although an eclectic and sometimes unusual bunch are a constant in her life and she derives much from catching up with them each day and chatting through her life’s woes. They are a bit like an extended family.
I loved the concept of the ‘Monday to Friday Man’, the lodger who will stay with Gilly in her spare room in Central London during the week and disappear back to his/her other life at the weekends. It probably happens in real life already, but I hadn’t come across it before. The angst of putting her profile on the website and wondering who was going to show up for an interview was funny and the times of sharing with her friends showed the depth of her character which was well developed by the author. Of course she ends up getting more than she bargained for with very attractive and dynamic producer Jack, who sweeps her off her feet and helps bring her back to life a bit, but who is also rather cagey about the rest of his life and is clearly hiding something.
Woven in and out of this story are flashbacks to Gilly’s childhood and an insight into why the current family dynamics are as they are today. Gilly has a twin that she is close to and who is married with children. She visits often and through the flashbacks we can see the pain that they have suffered over the years due to a traumatic family situation and how it’s contributed to them becoming the people that they are today.
However it’s not Jack that ends up being the friend she can confide in and share with, it’s Guy, the slightly eccentric fellow dog-walker that joins their group in the park and who she hits it off with. Guy is off limits though, engaged to a fiancé who is travelling the world at the moment. They have a lovely, easy and relaxed friendship. Guy is a true friend to her, and sees the best in her and the potential in her and this understandably causes quite a bit of internal conflict as she is seeing Jack and enjoying the attention and glitzy lifestyle that he offers her.
This story is fairly predictable. It was easy to see where it was going and how it was likely to end up but that didn’t matter really. I enjoyed the characters, and the relationships and it was a lovely story. A really easy and enjoyable read, giving you that nice feel good factor at the end. Reviewed by Lesley