I was worried this book would be too sweet for me (yes, the Lady Biest is nasty and proud of it) and I have to admit that I felt some impatience with the heroine (Leah) who has spent thirty years trying to please her controlling parents. “Grow a pair and be done with it” I wanted to yell (because, obviously, I’m that aggressively defiant girl who doesn’t try to please anyone).
However, having said that, I found the story highly engaging, with very likeable characters, and Mayberry reveals a double degree in saucy banter and a deft hand at tweaking reader emotions.
Also, as an Aussie, I totally got the diabolical family humour (calling the hero ‘zipper head’ and his hand ‘the claw’ after his operation). Mayberry captures family dynamics and dialogue well, though I’m not sure how overseas audiences would have reacted to this typical Aussie humour.
My main worry—about how the hero’s terminal illness and operation would be handled—were put to rest by Mayberry’s unsentimental approach. I appreciated the research she did to find out what types of exercises Will would need to do after his operation to regain motor coordination in his hand, and enjoyed seeing Leah sticking it out with Will when he’s looking, and feeling, like shit. Because that’s true love, isn’t it? When we see someone at their worst and we still love them, and although the going is tough, we stick by them.
Nice one, Mayberry, now I’m a fan.
Pretty much anyone will enjoy this sweet story, though those who are into rock singers/musicians and medical stuff will devour this one in a single sitting.
For those who love spin-off novels involving secondary characters, Sarah’s got you covered; you can read the story about Leah’s sister in Her Favourite Rival.