29 May 2013

Book Review: The Bow Wow Club by Nicola May

"Ruby IS BACK and never expected to be starting over...but after a shocking bereavement, she begins to question whether or not she will ever be happy again.

A chance encounter with handsome author Michael Bell throws her fragile heart into turmoil. Plus, a dark family secret and completely unexpected love interest add to her confusion.

Encouraged to face her demons, she volunteers at The Bow Wow Club - (Boyfriends of Widows, Wives of Widowers).

In this charming sequel to Working it Out you will laugh and cry along with a myriad of eccentric characters as Ruby searches for her inner peace. But will she let love win? Or allow her past to continue to haunt her."

Rating: 3/5

You can buy The Bow Wow Club as a paperback or an eBook now.

I've been a big fan of all of Nicola May's previous novels, and have read them all on my Kindle so far. For a self-published author, she has made a real success of her work and has a loyal fanbase, and rightly so, some of her stories are excellent, if a little crude in parts for me. I was pleased that Nicola offered me the opportunity to read and review her latest novel The Bow Wow Club, which is a sequel to her previous book Working It Out. I enjoyed that book a lot, so I was looking forward to getting back with the character of Ruby and finding out what had happened with her. As it happened, Nicola has thrown this character a bit of a curveball and she's a different Ruby to the one we met before. And by the way, I just have to say how glad I am it isn't a novel all about dogs, which is what I had feared from the title lol!

Ruby thought she had it all, but when she is suddenly robbed of her happiness through a shocking and tragic bereavement, she begins to question everything about her life and what makes her happy. When she bumps into handsome stranger Michael Bell by chance, she wonders if she can open her heart again and perhaps begin to move on with someone who makes her happy. Ruby begins to volunteer at the local Bow-Wow club, and hopes that hearing stories of those like her can help her move on and get through her grief. But with every move she makes, she feels guilty, like she shouldn't be allowed to get on with her life. Will Ruby be able to find happiness in her future again?

If you haven't read Working It Out, you don't have to worry because enough things are referenced in this book that you'll be able to keep up fine, although obviously it does help if you've read and know the back story a little bit! Plus if you've read it, there's always that great things of catching up with characters you've read before. I always liked Ruby, even if she was a bit promiscuous for my liking, and sadly that isn't something that changed at all in this book. Actually, it felt worse in this book because of the storyline, and I actually cringed as I read a few scenes in this book, it just felt wrong and I didn't feel comfortable at all. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a prude, I've read and enjoyed the Fifty Shades books, and while this of course doesn't reach those levels, it was the setting and everything about those scenes in this book which just didn't wash with me I'm afraid.

Sadly, neither did the main male character in the book. I felt the scenes with him and his writing of his own book were just awful, they felt so wooden and out of touch, I actually skipped quite a lot of them, and didn't feel I missed much. Michael was a terrible character, I couldn't work out if he were a good guy or a bad guy, and consequently, I had no feelings about what would happen at the end for him and Ruby, I couldn't care either way. Now to the good. May's writing is really good throughout, except the pieces with Michael, but I can forgive that for the delicate way she deals with Ruby's grief and some of those scenes were very emotional and not easy to read. Hopefully it isn't a scene many readers will be able to relate to but May writes it so well, you almost feel Ruby's emotions along with her.

Being a Nicola May book though, it isn't all doom and gloom luckily, and there's a lot of humour in there to keep you smiling along as you're reading. Ruby can be very funny, as can her friends and family (we didn't get to see enough of her lovely brother in this book for my liking!), but there were a few scenes with her friends too that didn't sit quite right with me, despite the humour that tried to come along with it. Fi, her best friend, is a bit too raucous and rude for my liking, but some of her bits were funny, while others made me cringe but I expect a lot of people will like her. Ruby, though, for me, is the best bit of the book and I am glad May chose to bring her back in this book and tell more of her story in this book.

Overall, The Bow Wow Club was a good read, and I enjoyed most parts of it. However, as I mentioned there were a few areas which just weren't to my taste, and I couldn't overcome these as I often try to when I read a book. Ruby was a great character, and Simon was a fantastic addition to the cast, but sadly I cannot say the same for the awful Michael. May has certainly got a talent for writing very readable and enjoyable novels, and it's still a surprise to me she hasn't been snapped up by a big publishing house as she gets good reviews on Amazon consistently. Yes, parts of it weren't for me, and at times I found the writing didn't flow to my liking, but overall, I'd recommend this book to people who like a light-hearted read about a more serious topic, or if you've enjoyed Working It Out then you'll definitely want to grab a copy of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment