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Marrying Out of Money (2011)

What do you do when your mother attempts to broker an arranged marriage for you to a self-absorbed, playboy aristocrat with a waning fortune? And what if your intended just happens to be someone you despise? If you are coffee heiress Lou Hubbard, you conspire with your best friend to be the most undesirable option Viscount Harry Stomeworth has ever seen in an effort to turn everyone off the match. Unfortunately, the threat of having to marry the most despicable person on earth isn't the only issue Lou is dealing with at the moment. With a slacker, rock star boyfriend hounding her for money and her best friend, Fin, dealing with a recent health crisis, Lou barely has time to focus on her job as right-hand woman to her father in the family's coffee business. But just when she thinks life can't get any crazier, Lou finds herself actually falling for Harry, which causes her to stop and re-evaluate her current situation. Marrying Out of Money is a witty example of what happens when your mother meddles in your love life instead of letting nature take its course. Although I felt the story could have wrapped up a bit sooner than it did, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself laughing out loud at the antics of this eclectic cast of characters. (LEK)

Naked in Knightsbridge (2009)

Life is far from grand for Jools Grand. Her cleaning business is ruined after her major client's house burnt down; she's got a massive overdraft and can't pay the rent on her manky flat; she can't claim the dole because of a previous incident - and worse yet she's barely able to keep herself in HobNobs. Befriending a hobo called Skuttle and moving into his squat beneath a bus garage, Jools comes up with a plan to auction herself on eBay, with the top bidder winning her hand in matrimony. Two serious contenders emerge - the in-the-closet gay politician Rodney who needs a wife to become an MP and the deranged loner Niles who isn't prepared to take no for an answer. As Jools begins planning to marry Rodney, she is distraught to find things aren't working out how she hoped. Far from enjoying a close Carrie Bradshaw-Stanford type relationship, it seems Rodney can't stand the sight of her. And her addiction to baked goods is playing havoc with her chances of squeezing into her wedding gown and getting a decent paparazzi shot. Jools' correspondence at the start of each chapter may remind you of Shopaholic but she's got more to worry about than scoring a Denny & George scarf. As she discovers you can't buy love - not even on eBay - Jools realises she could lose even more than she already has. Even though the plot twists won't surprise, you'll still be wanting to get through the pages quicker than Jools can scoff down a tray of doughnuts. An amusing debut about a girl who may be down on her luck but is not yet out of ideas - it will get the chick lit world talking.

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