Sunday, 31 July 2011

Calling Romeo by Alexandra Potter

**1/2
Juliet lives with her boyfriend Will and over time things have become a bit dull.  After Will left his well paid job, flashy car and designer suits to set up a garden design business with his friend, he has gradually settled into a smelly, bobbly fleece and nights in with a chicken jalfrzi, dozing in front of the telly. The final straw for Juliet is when he forgets a long planned Valentine Day's meal and leaves her alone and mud splattered on Oxford Street.  Her chance meeting with Sykes; gorgeous, half Italian ad man puts romance back into her life and reminds her of what she's been missing.  Despite the warnings of her brash American friend, Trudy, Juliet can't stop herself being drawn in by a loved up weekend in Verona with her new admirer.

Okay, it's chick-lit, but in my opinion, not the best but to be fair, it was published nine years ago, and it suffers slightly due to this.  It seems really cliched at times and has everything thrown in it, including bitchy female boss, brutally honest BF, down to earth northern family, masked ball, unexpected pregnancy...need I go on? But, I've read a few of Alexandra Potter's more recent books and although I enjoyed them a little more, I always finish them feeling a bit disappointed.
I think my main issue with this particular book is that I didn't like Juliet (at all, ever!) she's whiny and self-absorbed and I personally believe in light fluffy books as this is, your heroine should be more honest than Juliet is and not start an affair whilst still in a relationship.  Skyes wasn't convincing as either romantic lead or love-rat and Will is far too one dimensional to be remotely interesting.  Even Verona got a duff deal and was made to sound uninteresting.
To sum up - this was passed on by a friend and if I'd read it when first published, I might have enjoyed it more, but don't bother now - read something more current.