In this chick-lit set in London, the lives of six people and one dog intertwine during the search for love.
Jimmy, generally exhausted by life, meets and courts good girl Sandy before falling for her fashion-designer best friend, Linda. They strike up a laidback relationship until he falls for Eileen, the waitress at a nearby cafe. Linda cheats on Jimmy with a guy named Ramirez, goes on a guilt-filled shopping spree and then flirts with her beau’s half-brother, Jacques. In the end, she finds real affection for Jimmy’s friend, Ian, a local judge. But don’t count out Sandy, who, in the end, finds love with sad-sack, momma’s boy Peter. Jimmy’s dog, Fatty, oversees the madness and gives solid advice. Just as in Love Actually (also set in London), we’re welcomed, through several twists and turns, into these characters lives and minds and wade with them through their dating mistakes as they search for “the one.” At first, no one seems connected, until the reader slowly pieces the story together and makes connections between the struggling singles. What the book ultimately lacks is that sometimes tiresome but often winning chick-lit formula of guy-gets-girl, guy-loses-girl, guy-wins-girl-back. With spark, wit and well-written characters, even the most “been there, done that” storyline can succeed within that set-up. Here, the characters are saddled with little back story, silly dialogue and lazy life ambitions. The writing is missing the flow and ease of phrase that keeps storytelling from getting cliché and cringe-worthy. In a solid love story, the author’s work with words becomes invisible as readers become entranced with the romance unfolding on the page. With a love story that grows tiresome too quickly (starting with two best friends fighting over a man doesn’t help), readers never invest in—and therefore have trouble caring what happens to—the people they’re reading about.
Even those with the most unquenchable desire for a breezy meet-cute will have trouble swallowing this clumsy charade.