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The Desperate Wife's Survival Plan (2013)

Charley Summers lives in the most gorgeous house on the block with a husband who brings in oodles of money for Charley to buy anything she wants. Never in her worst nightmare did Charley imagine that one day they would be bankrupt, homeless and her husband would turn out to be a cheating bastard. Now there is only one way for her to survive - and that is to get a job. She starts working as a cleaning lady and the only thing which is keeping her from quitting is the support from her girlfriends. While Charley is working hard to repay her husband's debt, her best friends come out with a plan to give Charley a chance to use her skills at making the most scrumptious ice-cream and hopefully earn some extra money. Even after a disastrous start, Charley is confident she can pull off this new business. This is the first book I have read by Alison and I must say that her writing is delicious. I loved the way Charley's friends supported her through the rough phase while dealing with their own less-than-perfect lives. The protagonist has definitely come across as the strong and likable character who just doesn't know how to give up. (SS)

The Desperate Bride's Diet Club (2012)

Violet's about to get married to the man of her dreams but she wishes she was the weight of her dreams, then she'd never have to worry about Sebastian running off and leaving her. Desperate to drop the clothes sizes before she becomes a bride, she joins a new diet club called New You. The only good thing about the diet club is that it comes with new friends, extrovert Kathy, mum and daughter Maggie and Lucy, and Edward the man who loves his pints and kebabs. With all of them tackling their own problems, as well as their waist lines, they soon start to help each other along. But will Violet reach the size of her dreams, and will losing weight magically solve all her problems? This book is almost like the reading equivalent of comfort eating. It's warm and cosy, you're drawn to the characters, and it's an easy read. I did feel bombarded with characters in the first few chapters but that isn't true of the rest of the book. It soon slows down and you start to keep track of everyone. If you've ever felt the strain of the diet then this book will probably having you laughing out loud. (AB)

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