LOVE-40 by Anna Cheska


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Trivial country-club romance from the English author of Drop Dead Gorgeous (2002) and Moving to the Country (2001).

Suzi and Liam and Estelle and Michael meet regularly for mixed doubles, followed by stiff gin-and-tonics (and some anxious consideration of the possible vulgarity of excessive exercise). The snakes in this rolled-lawn Eden: old-school types in blazers who refuse to relinquish control of the charmingly antiquated tennis club to youthful upstarts in nylon track suits. Yet the game’s the thing, and the foursome plays on—but the grass is decidedly greener on the other court to at least one of them. Suzi frets—she’s very much in the middle. Temperamental, red-haired Estelle is her partner in a struggling antiques shop, Liam is her brother, and Michael her lover (whom she doesn’t love). Estelle and Liam, the latter a dedicated schoolteacher, are on the outs; in fact, Estelle has gone so far as to suggest that they all might play more interesting games with some, ahem, new blood. When Liam openly ogles an upper-class blond (despite his Socialist politics), Estelle ditches him. What next, wonders Suzi, who’s more or less content with her relationship with Michael, an immature pharmaceutical exec who plays rock ’n’ roll in pubs and longs to become a middle-aged Mick Jagger. Should she surrender to the raffish, carrot-topped charms of Josh, a strapping contender for her man of the moment, or just keep plugging on with Michael? Though she does have other things to worry about, what with Stan and Terry, the working-class proprietors of a competing shop they’ve just opened next door. And they have the unmitigated gall to advertise. That’s not all: it’s entirely possible that Josh and Estelle might pair off at any moment. After all, they’re both redheads, and one need look no further than that for character motivation, right? Then Liam discovers that long-legged blonds aren’t everything, and Estelle, bored with sulking, returns. Will Josh win Suzi? Will Michael follow his dream? Will Stan and Terry ever stop sweating?

Unfunny and unoriginal.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31154-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003


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