Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Review: 'The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties' by Lynda Renham


Harriet’s boyfriend drops her into absolute chaos when he does a runner with her car to escape from Jack Diamond and his boys. When Jack can’t find the elusive Julian, he set his sights on Harriet who discovers she’s up to her ears in debt run up by Julian. How to solve this tricky situation? Pretend to be someone’s fiancĂ©e for enough money to clear the debts.
The publisher describes this book as “A Romantic Comedy” and it truly is a comedy. I kept laughing through most of the heroine’s traumatic experiences. Traumatic to her, absolutely hilarious to read about. It’s the chaos that only occurs in books, it can’t possibly happen in real life – or could it?
Poor Harriet, from hoodlums chasing her for money, to a boyfriend who’s done a disappearing act but still expects her to support him, a friend who hates wearing her glasses but is blind as a bat without them, a fake fiancĂ© who takes her to meet his family. What else could go wrong? A lot more apparently. The situation doesn’t improve when she is attracted to her fake fiance’s cousin but is sure he suspects something is wrong about her engagement.
A superb book with the comic situations arriving naturally. The author has taken her time to get it right and dragged me into the story right from the first paragraph. I wouldn’t read this on public transport as people would give me strange looks every time I laughed out loud. Thank you Ms Renham for writing such an enjoyable book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.