‘Would you read your partner’s texts? What if you thought he was having an affair? Once bitten, twice shy Emma King is in no rush to join Harry’s bustling, big, fat Greek Cypriot family and become Mrs Georgiades. So it comes as no surprise when, after plenty of Dutch courage, his proposal of marriage at a family gathering is met with rejection. Emma doesn’t think they need a piece of paper to prove how much they love each other..
They’re solid – unbreakable. After all, Harry’s a loving and loyal partner whom she trusts implicitly. But when she accidentally stumbles across a flirtatious text message on Harry’s mobile phone from a female colleague alarm bells start going off in her head. Overcome with suspicion and an impending fear of losing the love of her life, Emma goes on a mission to get to the bottom of his affair with the help of her best friend Ola, her ninety-three year old neighbour Alistair, and Harry’s sister-in-law’s app, The Magic Touch. Because no one is going to snatch Harry from her – no one!’
I was sent this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review, and I’m delighted she asked me to do it, because otherwise I might not have gotten a chance to read this brilliant book. Her debut novel, it was initially published in 2016, and is set to be relaunched on the 7th of February of this year.
The story follows Emma, who, having already had one unsuccessful marriage to Carl, is in no rush to rush down the aisle again, despite being madly in love with her partner Harry, much to the wonder of her mother and her friends, not to mention Harry’s extremely close Greek Cypriot family.
Emma is an extremely relatable character – she turns to social media a little bit too much, and she’s guilty of making herself and her life look better on Facebook than it really is – a habit I’m sure many of us are guilty of. She’s a well written character, she’s not the flawless female character – she drinks a bit too much sometimes, makes some unwise decisions, but at the heart of it, she’s kind, a good friend, and she’s dedicated to making her business take off.
Alistair, her next door neighbour, is adorable. He’s a straight talker, he doesn’t hold back, and he proves to be an indispensable friend to Emma.
The supporting cast in this story really give it warmth. Harry comes across as such a warm and dedicated partner that the thoughts of him cheating is almost too much to believe – I was praying while I was reading that it was all going to be a big misunderstanding! Emma’s friends, Ola and Caroline, are there for her, providing laughs and a shoulder to cry on when it’s needed. Caroline’s psychic and medium abilities really lighten the story but they add excitement to the story too.
The writing style in this book is really easy to read – it flows well, and the chapters are short enough to keep you turning the pages without feeling bogged down in the story. The characters are well written and fleshed out, especially the main characters, and the touch of Greek Cypriot tradition and language is really well done – it almost makes it feel like you’re sitting in the type of Greek kitchens you see in so many films and television.
While the book is full of laugh out loud moments, the author deals with serious issues such as infidelity, death, illness and domestic violence with impressive ease and sensitivity. I have read books where it’s clear that the author is not comfortable dealing with these topics, and it shows, and it was clear that that was not the case with this book. Although each of these topics are serious, and can bring a book down, they were interspersed with lighter moments, which stopped the book from being too heavy.
I really enjoyed this book. The story is gripping, it’s realistic, and it has such warmth and humour in it that it is a pleasure to read. And it has such a satisfying ending, I almost cheered, I definitely laughed, and I was so disappointed that the book was finished because I could have happily read about Emma and her friends and her life for another few chapters!
I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a book with a female protagonist that they can see some of themselves in – we could all be Emma in some ways! It’s an enjoyable, light read, and you will close the last page with a smile on your face. And who doesn’t want that?