24 February 2010

Book Review: Anyone For Seconds by Fiona Cassidy

Frankie McCormick is just getting her life back on track. Her pig of a husband Tony left her for an American bimbo who he's now having a baby with, and left her with their 2 young children to look after, a job to hold down and a life to run too.

When she meets Owen at work, she doesn't expect him to be interested in a frumpy mum of 2, but luckily for her he is. However, there's one problem - Angelica, Owen's teenage daughter who seems hellbent on hating Frankie and making their relationship a misery. Is their relationship going to be able to survive the wrath of a wronged teenager or will it be heartbreak for Frankie once more?

This book was sent to me by Fiona's publicist Emma Walsh, and I was really eager to start it because it had such a good plot and looked exactly like the sort of book I love to read. Fiona is an Irish author published by Poolbeg Press, the leading publishers in Ireland for women's fiction, and I knew if they were publishing Fiona's book then it had to be good! We've been lucky enough to have Fiona write us a series of blog posts exclusively for our site about the road to becoming an author so do check those out if you get the time! Anyway, back to the review...

The book has a very uplifting writing style to it that draws you in right from the beginning. As a single mum of a toddler, I could really relate to Frankie very well and I think she's a very realistic character that is believable and likeable, but also she's one that women will be able to relate to, single or not, because of her juggling her home, kids and job! Frankie doesn't think any man can be attracted to her, but I loved seeing her turnaround and realise she was actually a catch, and the blossoming romance between her and Owen was so touching, you can't help but want it all to work out for poor old Frankie!

There are quite a few other characters in the book, but they are actually really important for the development of the storyline, and the minor storylines too. Owen is a bit "Prince Charming" at first but soon becomes a more realistic male. Cassidy writes the relationship between Owen and daughter Angelica very well - there's more to it than meets the eye and while you think he's being too soft on her, you're suddenly reminded about Angelica's past by Fiona and feel a bit guilty for thinking badly of her! My favourite other character is that of Ella, Frankie's sister and her husband Hammy. They have their own problems but the way the sisters relationship is written is so sweet it doesn't matter, they are always there for each other.

The book looks at lots of different relationships, and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. You can see the guilt that Frankie feels for having another relationship and the effect it has on her children Ben and Carly, and I feel Cassidy has really put this across well because it's an important part of Frankie's life. The interactions between Frankie and Angelica are at times painful but by the end I found it was vital to have happened that way because it seemed how it would be naturally between the pair. Owen and Frankie were a great pairing, and also the relationship between Frankie and her parents was funny in parts, but also something I could relate to in a way too!

Fiona Cassidy has a very warm writing style, and seems to have the knack of what makes great women's fiction. I can liken her books to that of Claire Allan, a fellow Poolbeg author and if you enjoy one of these ladies books, you'll definitely like the other. The book is fairly long, but I found myself breezing through it because it was very intriguing and easy to read. I cared for the characters by the end, especially Frankie, and I loved the ups and downs throughout the book, and the fact it wasn't all plain sailing for these characters. I was gutted as I turned the final page as I didn't want to leave these characters behind, but it makes me eager to read Fiona's next book Anyone For Me? due out this summer! A fabulous read, and highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

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