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3.7 out of 5
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    English Rose

    3.5 Stars Whilst this was an enjoyable read with liberal sprinkles of humour I never really believed the central relationship. Somehow the social gulf between Amy and Leo never really seemed to be breached and, as Amy frequently complains it did feel like money was just thrown at any problems. There are also plenty of really cringy moments between the two that would have felt like red flags in a real relationship that Amy seems to think are the ultimate in Romantic gestures once she gazed in to Leo's eyes. As characters Amy, and her flatmate Jo, are fun and realistically feisty. Some 7 years after publication the situations still work and the pervasiveness of social media has only increased so it reads as fresh. The seeming exception to this is whatever heinous atrocity Amy's sister Kelly perpetrated. Yes, I know it all happened a number of years ago (10?) but as it seems to have destroyed lives then I am pretty sure it would have snuck online in the intervening period and a quick google of Kelly's name and her home town would bring up some information. Then there is hint at a sabotage sideplot by a member of the Nironian Royal Family. This never gets addressed at all and is just left to flounder forgotten in the shadows. Even worse is that it pays off the perpetrator as they ultimately get exactly what they want. What happened to justice for the bad guys in fiction? I know it is dressed up in striking for the rights of women but the methods do not justify the end result - you don't break another person to get what you feel you deserve. This was a fun and frothy read but I never really got involved in the life of any of the characters. This came as a surprise to me as I have always found myself thoroughly sucked in to rarefied worlds I know nothing about in the previous Hester Browne books I have read.

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