I can’t believe we’re already almost halfway through July and it’s been over a month since I last published a blog post! This year is flying by! Today I’ll be sharing my review of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance, a book that was released back in 2014 but I only got round to reading a couple of months ago. Enjoy!
Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.
Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras!
When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.
The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off…
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is a fun chick-lit novel that is perfect for summer. It centres on a 20-something year old woman called Jessica Beam and her long-lost grandma Matilda, who both seem to be going through a difficult period in their lives.
Jessica has lost out on a publishing deal and was kicked out of her house by her supposed best friend Summer – all on the SAME DAY. To make matters worse, Summer was also Jess’s boss, so she winds up jobless too. Desperate to find a new home, Jess reaches out to some of her other friends in the hope that they’d be able to put her up for a while. No such luck. Jess is running out of options when she suddenly recalls a grandma she’s never met, and sets out to find her. Jess only plans on staying with her gran for a couple of nights, but things change when the two women are offered a deal from a publisher and Jess gets caught up in a new project: winning the heart of notorious playboy Leo Frost using the tips from Matilda’s vintage Good Woman guides.
Jess and Matilda are very different characters, but are both basically broke and love writing. Jess is a carefree party girl who is afraid of commitment and struggles with the emotional side of friendships. She just wants to go out all the time and travel the world, which really irritates Summer. On the other hand, Matilda is very prim and proper, and turns her nose up at the ways of modern dating. She also disapproves of Jess’s reluctance to settle down.
Besides Jess and Matilda, there are a few supporting characters in the novel that are worth a mention. I absolutely loved Peach, the American woman who works as Matilda’s assistant and ended up becoming Jess’s new best friend. She’s very shy and not very good at making friends, but didn’t judge Jess for her wild behaviour. I think anyone who read The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance will agree that Summer is truly awful. She’s selfish and stabbed Jess in the back, and then had the audacity to try to ruin things between Jess and Leo.
Although Leo seemed like a typical womaniser at first, he became more likeable as the story progressed. Leo genuinely wanted to get to know Jess (even though he didn’t know her true identity) and took her out on dates that he thought she’d like. Jess is reluctant to fall for Leo, as her mum made her afraid of getting her heart broken, but she can’t seem to get him out of her head. Leo evidently feels the same way, which makes the ‘project’ even more complicated. Jess and Leo connect through art and 80s teen movies, as well as the fact that they both lost their mothers.
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance may be predictable, but I found myself racing through it – I read the last two thirds of the novel in just one sitting. I enjoyed the diary entries and the subplot that revolved around Jessica’s mother’s estranged relationship with Matilda. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is ultimately an engrossing romcom that is full of drama, flirting and laugh-out-loud moments. It’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year and I will definitely be reading more books by Kirsty Greenwood in the future.
So that’s my review of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance! What are you reading at the moment?