This so put me in a holiday mood!
by Portia MacIntosh
Could a post-it note really lead to love…?
Sadie doesn’t have time for finding love. She’s too busy as PA for famous artist Damian Banks. When she’s not arranging exhibitions, she’s organising his dry cleaning or dumping his never ending stream of girlfriends.
But when she strikes up an unusual friendship with her desk share buddy, she finds a confidante and a new potential love interest. Problem is, they’ve never actually met…
With Christmas just around the corner, can Sadie put herself first for a change and find what she’s been looking for all along?
The brand new romantic comedy from top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh. Perfect for fans of Sophie Ranald, Mhairi McFarlane and Zara Stoneley.
It doesn’t matter how many times you break up with someone, it never gets any easier, does it?
While I’m not actually sure whether or not there is a good way to break up with someone there are, without a doubt, a million terrible ways to do it.
Dumping someone by text – that has to be the worst one, right? Text, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or any other kind of written digital communication is about as low as you can go. The absolute coward’s way out. And, sure, a phone call is better than a text but only in a similar way to how a broken finger is better than five broken fingers.
Break-ups must always be done in person, that’s just the way it is – they should probably make it the law, which might sound extreme, but I’m sure it would cut down on a whole host of angry follow-up crimes. I know a guy who got his car windscreen smashed after breaking up with a girl over e-mail – and I’d be tempted to say he deserved it.
Still, it’s not enough to simply say it to a person’s face, you have to say it right. If you’re wanting to do it as gently as possible there are many little sayings you can reach for. A classic ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ is a fine example. It’s a way to take full responsibility without saying anything negative about your dumpee – of course, we all know if it were true you wouldn’t be breaking up with them in the first place, but still, it’s a way to do it without actually telling the other person what you think is so wrong with them that you don’t ever want to see them again.
‘I think we’re better as friends’ or ‘I don’t want to ruin our friendship’ are other ways to try and edge away from things being romantic. Who the hell stays friends with an ex though, seriously? I honestly can’t think of anything worse than trying to stay buddies with someone who has seen me naked. While we’re making these break-up laws, perhaps we should draft something about how exes have to cease to exist, or at the very least move to a different country, after a break-up. I’m sure the world would be a much better place if we could all agree on that.
If I ever decide to get out of the art business and wind up in politics, I’ll start some kind of Ex-it movement where, if you want to leave a romantic union, one of you has to go and live abroad or something.
‘Hi, Sadie.’ I hear a bright, excitable voice coming from behind me. It snaps me from my thoughts. I was miles away. I guess I’m so used to sitting in noisy bars these days I don’t find it all that hard to let my mind wander.
‘Hello,’ I say with an equal, although completely put-on, enthusiasm. ‘Take a seat, I’ll grab us a couple of drinks.’
As I gently push my way through the crowd in the busy Belgravia bar I’ve been drinking alone in for the past thirty minutes it does cross my mind whether or not I’m doing the right thing, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t feel as if I have any other option.
So I buy our drinks, I sit down at the table, I take a deep breath and I give one of my break-up speeches – perhaps my best one yet. I allow myself to think this might actually be a straightforward break-up, until…
‘But things were going so well.’
Oh, God, I can’t handle those sad eyes. I was deluded to think this would be fine, because there’s always a ‘but’…
‘I know they were,’ I lie. I shift uncomfortably in my seat. ’It’s just, you know, things are so busy with work, as I said – no one has time for relationships at the moment.’
‘But we have to make time, otherwise no one would have relationships at all, no one would have kids, the human race would die out!’
I mean, what can I actually say to that? I’m kind of over a barrel. On the one hand, things are really hectic at work. On the other hand, working in the art industry is hardly comparable to people like doctors and firefighters who work crazy hours and still find time to have families. I’m going to have to change strategy.
‘It’s not you,’ I insist.
‘Oh, come on, don’t give me that.How often do we women have to hear that bullshit?’ she replies with a roll of her eyes.
(I don’t know how to write a review for this one without giving away a few things … so beware now and stop reading if you need to 🙂 )
I really enjoyed reading Sadie’s story and seeing her get closer to Damian over the holidays. She’s got such a fun personality that it is very easy to like her. She’s struggling a little in her job – it’s unfulfilling and not what she is looking for long term but when she gets the chance at something different, will she take it? How will it impact her flirty relationship with her deskmate? And how will she handle spending Christmas with her boss knowing that she’s quitting her job?
Sadie’s family and the community’s Christmas celebrations are just the absolute best. They are so quirky and lovable and have me ready to move so I can be adopted by them ASAP. The way they open their home and embrace Damian is wonderful and it allows him to set aside some of his worries, to relax and reconnect with himself. And to develop a deeper relationship with Sadie. Maybe address a few things that need to be put to rest so everyone can find a happy place.
As much as I liked the characters and the majority of the book, I have to be honest that I didn’t love (or understand) the first third or so of this book. I don’t know if it was there to give us a feeling for Damian and his relationship to Sadie, but it felt kinda unnecessary. Once they agree to spend the holidays together in her hometown, though, things definitely take a turn towards the awesome. There’s humor and feels and enough holiday magic to make you smile.
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.
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