Sophie Stone, thirty-something serial procrastinator, lover of Take That, Tesco knickers and tea with two sugars, rarely steps out of her comfort zone. So when an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt she’s never met forces her to meet her father, it threatens the very foundations of Sophie’s world.
What did the old lady want her to discover? Was there more to her parents’ break up than she was lead to believe? Sophie will have to face some startling home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.
Today, I’m happy to be a part of the Fiction Addiction book tour for Cathy Bramley’s debut novel ‘Conditional Love.’ I instantly loved the cover of the book as soon as I saw it (the pretty red umbrella and the rain consisting of little hearts, too cute!) and the blurb promised a good chick lit read, so I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
Sophie Stone is a thirty-something who is pretty content with her life. She has a job at a newspaper, the Herald, which she isn’t too excited about but pays the bills; she has a boyfriend Marc, who seems to be fonder of her money than of her as a person, but he’s really fit and good-looking; and she still lives in the same flat she has been living in for years, together with her roommates Jess and Emma.
Sophie isn’t the type of person who likes to step out of her comfort zone, but when she is dumped by Marc on Valentine’s Day and is unexpectedly confronted with a family inheritance, Sophie realises it might be time for a change. Her great-aunt Jane, whom Sophie didn’t even know existed, has left her a part of her inheritance, namely a bungalow. The trick is, though, that she can only receive her part of the inheritance if she meets up with her father, who abandoned Sophie when she was just a little baby. Sophie will have to make some life-altering decisions, and this time around, she can’t simply hide away in a corner and hope everything will fix itself...
I had absolutely no trouble warming to the main character of this novel, Sophie. I instantly liked her, (except for the few moments where I wanted to just scream at her for still liking her ex, Marc) and the same goes for most of the other characters. Sophie’s roommates Emma and Jess, who are sisters, made me laugh out loud with their constant bickering and I think I fell just a tiny bit in love with Nick Cromwell, the architect Sophie gets into touch with. I really enjoyed the different storylines of the novel and the various topics that are focused on, specifically Sophie’s struggles with her family. She is trying to decide whether to meet her father, who abandoned her and her mother when she was just a baby, but at the same time she is quite curious to hear her father’s side of the story. Sophie is forced to make some really important life-changing decisions, and it was great to see Sophie develop as a person because of everything going on in her life.
When first reading the blurb, I can imagine some people thinking that the plot of this book is perhaps a bit clichéd and has been done many times already. However, I definitely think Cathy Bramley managed to give it her own twist, and I personally loved this tale and the characters at its core. This is her debut novel, and I am definitely looking forward to hearing more from her. ‘Conditional Love’ is a warm, well-paced, fun novel, which I am sure any chick lit/romance fan will enjoy!
Be sure to enter Cathy Bramley's fabulous giveaway to win some amazing prizes!