You Had Me at Merlot - Lisa Dickenson (2014)

Elle and Laurie are best friends who have one important thing in common: they are the only ones of their group of friends who are still single and not worrying about planning a wedding or having babies. Elle is absolutely fine with this; she loves being on her own and making her own decisions without having to worry about someone else, but Laurie needs love and she has found the perfect way to get it. With the promise of lots of sunshine and delicious wine, Laurie convinces Elle to join her on a singles holiday to Tuscany, organised by You Had Me at Merlot holidays. Elle and Laurie both know what they want and expect from their 10-day trip, but Italy has quite a lot of unexpected things in store for them... What an absolutely fantastic read! Elle and Laurie are fabulous characters; they make a great duo, each with their own individual personality and their own issues. There's also a great supporting cast of characters - I particularly loved Sophia and Sebastian, the elderly couple who run You Had Me at Merlot holidays, their hunky son Jamie, and Elle's boss Donna. The plotline had me entertained from the first until the last page, and it even managed to surprise me every now and again. Lisa's writing style flows so easily. The book, which is divided into four separate parts, is an incredibly funny, feel-good, sunny romantic comedy. Lisa Dickenson is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new voices within the world of chick lit and I can't wait to read more of her work. (JoH)

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