I bought a new aux cable last week, which meant that I could start listening to audiobooks again. For a few weeks I held off, because the cable was dodgy, and sound was only coming out of my car speakers on the passenger side. All well and good, but unsurprisingly, I sit on the driver side, and wanted the sound to be coming out there.
In any case, part of my return to audiobooking was this chick flick in a book – The Nearly-Weds, by Jane Costello.
What’s the worst thing that could happen to a blushing bride?
After Zoe is jilted by her fiancé Jason, she’s unable to face the pitying looks of her friends and family any longer.
Fleeing to America, she is employed as a nanny by the moody, difficult, but devastatingly sexy, single dad Ryan.
She quickly wins over his children, but her boss is more of a challenge. Things aren’t helped, of course, by her inadvertently displaying her knickers to his colleagues or nearly hospitalising him with a toy bow and arrow.
Thank God she’s got her colourful circle of friends to keep her sane: fun-loving Trudie, hippy Amber and chilly, tight-lipped Felicity.
It is only over time that Zoe and Ryan begin to understand each other and their apparently ill-fated relationship takes on a new dimension.
There’s just one problem, as Zoe soon discovers: that the past isn’t always easy to escape, no matter how far away you go.
This was pretty standard chick-lit fare. Girl is trying to escape her past, meets a guy who’s totally wrong for her, makes new friends, guy turns out not to be that bad, things look good, then her past comes to catch up with her. I’ve read it so many times, and I like it, but it’s nothing groundbreaking or shocking.
That said, though, this was well-written and quite funny. Sticking to a formula which works is nothing to be ashamed of, and this is a good example of a chick-lit book with a bit of heart behind it, and two funny little kids who are clearly trying to play matchmaker. Peppered with a cast of slightly over-the-top caricatures, there was nothing about this book to make it stand out from the crowd, in either a good or a bad way. It was, in terms of story, characterisation, and execution, perfectly acceptable, perfectly good, perfect escapism.
Except. Well, now, this is my own personal prejudice. The main character, Zoe, was Scouse. Now I have nothing against anyone from Liverpool, but the Liverpool accent goes right through my head. It’s like nails on a blackboard, and I absolutely cannot cope with listening to it. So for me to spend nine hours listening to a book narrated entirely in a Scouse accent was something of a pain for me. I don’t even know what it is about the accent that sets my teeth on edge, but I can barely cope with listening to it. I think the only way I survived was that I listen to them so fast that the accent is softened by the speed. I don’t know if the narrator – Emma Gregory – is actually from Liverpool, or if she was just doing a Liverpudlian accent, but by God, I hugely disliked it.
That said, though, I did listen to all nine hours of the book, so that’s something in its favour, I guess!
My other complaint is that the cover art on the ebook and paperback shows the bride running away from the groom. This, bizarrely, is entirely the opposite of what happened. It was Zoe who was jilted on their wedding day, not the groom. Strange artistic choice from the designer.
Overall, an enjoyable, but forgettable romantic romp. Except for that Scouse accent.