Review published on December 29, 2016.
Meet Phoebe Smith. Her boyfriend has just dumped her for Essex Earring (Riyana to her friends) and she needs a date for her works do at the Guildhall in six weeks. In between gorging on Besties’ pork pies, her friends encourage her to set up a private blog (for her eyes only, you understand) to document her disastrous attempts at finding a man. Adding to her woes is the worry of losing her flat to Bloom Properties. Harry Bloom lives in the flat next door and works for his father in the family business. He’s the enemy, so why is Phoebe so drawn to him?
This is such a fun and entertaining read. I loved Lynda Renham’s humour and her writing style, and I often found myself sniggering, particularly about the very odd men that Phoebe seems to end up dating. She lurches from disaster to disaster with no let up, but she’s a very endearing character and I think she would be a lovely friend to have. The supporting characters are great too, particularly Harry, who is one of the few men in the book who is not just plain weird.
There are inevitable comparisons with Bridget Jones’ Diary here, with the group of friends, the mess of a love life and the recording of it in some kind of diary format. It’s a long time since I read Bridget’s (mis)adventures, but I have to say I don’t remember laughing as much at her as I did at Phoebe. There aren’t that many books that make me laugh out loud but this one did. The author has a wickedly funny imagination to think up all the different scenarios and characterisations.
Having a blog feature in the book makes it a very current read and I liked that. In fact, it was one of the things that drew me immediately to the book, along with the lovely cover. Having now delved into Phoebe’s life, I came out the other side feeling really satisfied.
This is a fantastic comedy romance and I do think this one stands out in the genre.
Nicola Smith 5/4
Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog by Lynda Renham
Raucous Publishing 9780993402661 pbk Nov 2016