My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 4 days (on and off)7
Pages - 320
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Blurb from Goodreads
A bold, intelligent, and modern love story which reminds us that the most powerful relationships are not so much about two people finding each other as they are about that most human quest to find ourselves.
Bernadette is expert at hiding the truth.
She has built her career as a journalist on her talent for lulling powerful men into a false sense of security, then exposing them in her ruthless profile pieces.
But in Radley Blake, she may have met her match. Immune to her charms, he seems to see through every layer of her carefully constructed act: right to the truth of who she is inside.
We think we're looking for love - but what if it's ourselves we need to find? Talulah Riley's wonderful first novel is an irresistible will-they-won't-they tale that asks how it is we can strive for independence, but still believe in destiny..
Bernadette St John is beautiful, strong, charming and calculated, she has men eating out of the palm of her hand, all but the one she wants. Lusting after her manager who is also in a relationship with her "friend" Bernadette is waiting to pounce. People only see the sweet facade she puts forward, until Radley Blake comes along. Radley is rich, intelligent, friends with Bernadette's circle and drawn to Bernadette like most men. However Radley sees through her guise and calls her on her behaviour, mocks and challenges her. They seem the perfect match but Bernadette has only one man in mind and Radley isn't him!
This book had echos of Gone with the Wind with Bernadette being a modern day Scarlett O'Hara and Radley mirroring the wonderful Rhett Butler. Bernadette has strong feminine values, scorning men after being hurt in the past and sculpted by the thorny hands of her father. Tim, her manager, is the only man who escapes her scorn which draws her to him and wobbles her feminine principles. Radley sees Bernadette's true character and forces her to examine who she really is and what she really desires.
A book that looks at the impact a child's rearing can have on the adult they will become, testing relationships, a look at feminism, friendship, adultery and personal growth. Bernadette isn't a very likeable character, she is selfish, self involved, rude, deceptive and calculating however glimpses into her past offer explanation as to why. An interesting debut novel that delves into feminist attitudes and a plethora of societal & personal issues, 3/5 for me this time. I would certainly read this author again oh and on a side note, my cover of the book is different to the one shown here. I do hope they go with this as the final release, the texture of the material is really nice and the colours of predominantly white with metallic blue works really well together. Thanks so much to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. This book is available to buy from all good retailers for £12.99, hardback, from 11/08/2016.