Wednesday 1 April 2020

Guest Review: True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?
Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan
Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.
Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise - not to fall in love with each other…

Review: This is the second book in the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series by Annie Darling. Although part of a series, this story can definitely be read as a stand-alone, as there are few references to part 1. Having enjoyed the first part, I was looking forward to this follow up story, but I was unprepared for how much it would capture my imagination and have me coming back again and again until the conclusion.

As the title suggests, this story involves the romantic fiction bookshop that we met in the first book in the series. The narrative this time revolves around Verity Love, who is in charge of the shop and lives in the flat above it. She is quite a shy person, and much prefers to work in the background than to actually have to serve customers. She is also a true romantic and is obsessed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, of which she owns multiple copies. To keep well meaning match-making friends at bay, she has invented an imaginary boyfriend, who everyone is desperate to meet. However, in a panicked moment, she is forced to introduce a perfect stranger to some of these friends as her new boyfriend. As it happens, this man, Johnny, is looking for a ‘pretend’ girlfriend to accompany him on social engagements. So begins a summer of celebratory gatherings during which the pair get to know each other better and better, with no intention of falling in love.

I thought this a fantastically romantic story. It’s definitely one of my favourite recent reads, and to my mind better than the previous book in this series. I loved Verity as a character with her introvert ways and her habit of quoting Pride and Prejudice at every turn. Johnny, however, is obviously fantastically handsome and rich, but I had to disapprove of the way he treated Verity, and indeed some of his friends, at times. I enjoyed the way that the author has woven comedy as well as some very serious moments in with the romance. I can highly recommend this book to lovers of romance, and to Jane Austen fans, and can’t wait to get started on the next part of the series.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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