Charley Lambert is a hard-working, successful business-woman, perfectly organised and with every minute of her calendar booked up. So what if sometimes she doesn’t really have time to sleep? And she doesn’t need time to date because she has been secretly obsessed with her boss her 6 years, awaiting the day he realises they are meant to be. So when Charley falls off the edge of Salisbury Crags and breaks her leg, she cannot fathom spending 3 months doing nothing. Instead she starts up a service ghost-writing for internet daters; she’s done it for her friends in the past and it will keep her brain busy until she can get back to work for the biggest launch ever.

Lucy Robinson is fast becoming one of my must read chick-lit authors. Her characters are authentic, modern day thirty-somethings who speak and act like real people. Well, at least like real people I know! She uses her knowledge of internet dating to good effect; after all, it is a fast growing way of meeting someone instead of the unlikely encounters most chick-lit writers rely on. Her characters communicate via emails, IM and text messages with a frequency more in keeping with our modern lives.

Charley is a wonderful example of a successful woman whose inner thoughts might not mirror her professional exterior. Her lifestyle might not immediately endear her to you but her thoughts and friendships will draw you in. Although the best bit of characterisation has to be Malcolm, the family Labrador. He is spot on and anyone who has ever known a lab will understand. He’s fantastic and made me laugh out loud.

Part of the plot is similar to The Greatest Love Story of All Time. I can’t say more without giving away spoilers but if you’ve read her debut novel, you will probably catch on quickly to what must be her favourite trope. But one little bit of predictability doesn’t mar an otherwise entertaining story. I’d recommend Lucy’s books to fans of Bridget Jones; there’s the same mix of reality, humour and romance.

A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger is due to be published by Penguin on 31st January 2013 in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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