5 February 2013

Book Review: A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

"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 mop 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?"

Rating: 5/5

I really enjoyed Lucy Robinson's debut novel last year, called The Greatest Love Story of All Time. I was pleased to see that Lucy was back this year with a second novel, with the same gorgeous cover design and another quite long title, this time A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger. I have to admit that the title of it had me curious, wanting to find out much more about this love affair! Lucy's last book made me laugh a lot, but it also had a lovely love story at the heart of it, so I was hoping for much of the same from this book, and luckily for me it more than surpassed my expectations, I think I enjoyed it even more than I did her last novel!

Charley is a workaholic, and she isn't afraid to admit it. She's absolutely great at her job, and loves working all the hours she possibly can, always responding to her emails, blackberry messages and telephone calls from work, whatever the hour of day. Therefore when Charley breaks her leg in two places and is left bedridden for weeks, she starts to go stir-crazy in her flat and decides to start up her own online dating business... First Date Aid. But when Charley starts getting clients, and begins her email flirtations with them (strictly business you know!), she finds herself getting closer to one of her male contacts, William. Charley is determined to find out more about the man she's fallen for, but is he going to end up teaching her more about herself than she thought possible?

I have to say right from the beginning, I was drawn into this book and Charley's story, she is just so likeable as a main character that you can't help but love her and want to find out more about her story! The book is written in the first person from Charley's perspective as well, so we get her take on all the events in the book, and find the things out in the book as she does, which makes it more interesting because you don't know what's coming up next! Although Charley is obsessed with her work, which does get a tad annoying at times, it's good to see someone passionate about their work, and Robinson manages to weave in her friends' frustrations realistically too, I know if I were Charley's friend she'd annoy me at times too!

What worked so well int he book for me though was the other characters in the book which were just as good as Charley to be honest, and they made it even more brilliant. My favourite was definitely Charley's friend and flatmate Sam. He's just got engaged but decides to help Charley with her business while his own wannabe acting career is floundering a bit. He's brilliantly written, sounding totally hopeless but you know he's got a good heart beneath it all. Margot, Charley's colleague is a really evil character, and is certainly one you'll love to hate, Robinson wrote her so brilliantly! John, Charley's boss and 'man of her dreams' too, was one character I really disliked, I couldn't warm to him at all. All of the characters though were great, and helped create a brilliant story, even those who just appeared in email form in the book, Charlotte in particular!

The story itself was fantastic, and I really enjoyed seeing Charley change as a person as the book progressed. The parts involving her new company First Date Aid were really funny, and it was fun reading the emails that Charley was sending back and forth to William. The inclusion of Sam into the mix made it more interesting, and I was hoping that the two would make a real success of it, but things weren't all that clear through the book as Charley is still so determined to get back to her full time job once she's healed up. There's a lot of humour in the book, but there are some emotional parts too that really stop you in your reading tracks, and make you think, and I thought the balance for the book was just right. My favourite part of the whole book though was the twist that came around halfway through, I didn't see it coming at all and I felt it refreshed the book completely, and made me even more engrossed, wanting to see what was going to happen next!

This was a fantastic book and I really did enjoy every single page of it, not wanting to put it down because I wanted to see what Charley was going to do next! I loved Robinson's writing style, it's really easy to read and enjoy, yet it gets into the heart of these characters and makes you care about them. She paces the book just right, with enough going on to keep your interest and moving it along where it needs to so that the storylines can develop. Charley was a brilliant heroine for the book, and I loved her, I was just so badly hoping for a happy ending for her. The book made me laugh, it made me think, it made me tear up in parts - it's that brilliantly written that you can get that full range of emotion from it. I can't recommend it enough, and really look forward to what Lucy Robinson is bringing us next!

You can buy A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger as an eBook or a paperback now!


  1. I liked this book but clearly not as much as you. Love when you see someone has really enjoyed a book, I have linked my review below if your interested.



  2. I can't wait to read this now. It sounds funny just reading the blurb, but you make it sound amazing. On my must have list now, Sally xx

  3. Oh, I so want this book now! I've had The Greatest Love Story of All Time on my bookshelf for a while and never got round to reading it...But now I'm going to have to look out for this one too ;)

    Cdee @ Read and Review