Pearl’s debut romantic comedy follows an opinionated bookkeeper who embarks on a quest for “the real thing.”
Allison Harper was just dumped by Brayden Thomas, her boyfriend of eight years. At 35, she has several friends who are already married with children, and Allison thought that Brayden was “the One” who’d give her the same kind of life. She turns to drinking and partying with her much younger colleague Dee, a vivacious brunette who also happens to be their boss’s niece and therefore constantly gets away with calling in sick. However, Allison finds it difficult to integrate her new life as a party girl with her career, which she still takes seriously. When the bar scene grows tiresome, she begins to explore online dating, and she’s disappointed to discover that men her age with similar life goals are few and far between. To make matters worse, Allison learns via social media that Brayden has quickly moved on to a new love. She has a fling with Tristan, her attractive, single new co-worker; their attraction is fierce, the sex is wonderful, and they engage in witty repartee. But Allison wonders about his level of commitment and whether his plans for the future are the same as hers. After their relationship comes to an explosive end, she turns to her best friend from college, Grant Carter, and takes things to a new level—only to encounter the biggest surprise of all. Pearl’s narrative voice is adorable and often hilarious: “I was amazing, and I wasn’t going to let society tell me differently. And if people had a problem with us, they could always talk to my middle finger,” narrates Allison. Readers seeking marriage, kids, and a fulfilling vocation will relate to the protagonist’s struggle to “have it all.” However, Allison fails to learn or grow at all until the very end, and her never-ending quest to find a husband at any cost—without working on her own personal issues—feels dated. More scenes of genuine emotion might have made the story richer and more fulfilling.
An often sweet, fast-paced romance with little character development but a strong first-person perspective.