Saturday, 18 January 2014

Romance for Cynics, or Why Love is Just as Important the Second Time Around

Must. Not. Fall. For. Fake. Boyfriend. 
Cashel Burgess’s PR team have come up with a plan to salvage his reputation and show his ‘softer’ side by entering a Valentine’s Day competition to find Australia’s Most Romantic Couple. It’s so ridiculous it might actually work. The hitch? He doesn’t even have a girlfriend. But that’s not about to stop him… 
Thanks to a good-for-nothing ex, gardener Lucy Grant hates Valentine’s Day. But when Cash makes her an offer too good to refuse Lucy finds herself half of the most cynical couple in Australia! The only problem is when a man fakes it this well, a girl might be tempted to turn fiction into fact…

Those of you who have been following me for a while will know how big I am on busting the Mills & Boon myth, and how delighted I am whenever I find a new book that should be branded “Mythbuster”.  Such is Nicola Marsh’s new book.

Lucy is divorced.  Perhaps less surprising these days, but for some reason this book really echoed with me.  It’s common to find heroines who have been engaged or in long term relationships that have broken down; it’s even more common to discover that an ex-boyfriend was an absolute (for lack of another word) douchebag.

But divorce is something that’s less often touched upon, unless it’s so that the divorcees can fall in love all over again.

Therefore Romance for Cynics seems all the more poignant.  Not all marriages work, that’s a fact.  In fact there are any number of statistics that make my inner romantic cry.  But I think what’s often left out is that there’s life after this.  People meet other people, they fall in love, it happens.  And I think that it’s so important for this to be recognised and celebrated.

Especially when the new man comes in the form of Cashel Burgess.  Gorgeous, intelligent and  - too his utmost horror – rather touchingly sentimental over Lucy, he seems like the perfect person for her to take a chance on.

Nonetheless, this is no “guy rescuing girl” moment.  She has a life, has her own business, and an adorably sassy grandmother – in fact, the last thing she needs is a man.  And that’s what makes Marsh’s book perfect.  Lucy doesn’t need to fall in love, but she does.  She falls in love with sarc-y comments and impromptu sex and a guy who actually listens when she talks.

Gorgeous book.

Gorgeous guy.

And gorgeously strong woman.

It seems pertinent that, as Lucy is a professional gardener, our Mills & Boon boy for this month Neil was distracted from his plant-watering by her adventures!

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