Thursday, 7 July 2022

Not Exactly What I had in Mind by Kate Brook


Hazel and Alfie have just moved in together as flatmates. They've also just slept together, which was either a catastrophic mistake, or the best decision of their lives.

Before they can decide, Hazel's sister Emily and her wife Daria arrive for a visit, setting in motion a chain of events that will turn everything upside down.

What follows will bind the four of them together, bringing joy and heartache, hope and anxiety, and reshaping their relationships in ways that none of them quite predicted.

Not Exactly What I Had in Mind is certainly an apt title for this book as it was not what I was expecting from this book. This is Kate Brook’s first novel and she has written a romance with modern day issues weaved between it from fertility to revenge porn, genetic testing and even climate change.

What Kate Brook delivers at the start of this novel, other than sex ( so not one for the prudish out there!) is a will they, won’t they relationship between housemates Hazel and Alfie but the storyline then opens up and we not only get to follow them but also Hazel’s sister Emily and her wife Daria whose story is one of great representation for the LGBT community. Emily and Daria’s storyline shows the difficulties and strains they face when wanting to become parents, added to that an issue that Daria suffers with which I had never heard of so will raise awareness too.

I struggled with the whole Miles relationship, I felt like it showed a shallowness to Hazel just settling for a man because he was good looking and had money so although what she went through was appalling and inexcusable, I just couldn’t feel for her.

I have to be honest and say I was let down a little by the ending it felt like the author had run out of steam and just crammed something together clumsily.

 Alfie for me was the true star of this book, an absolute gem of a man who was so easy to love and after him putting himself forward to make other peoples dreams come true I was really hoping for him to have the happy ever after he deserved. The author got the right balance for me between the light romance and the deeper issue tackling to make this an enjoyable read.

I would definitely read more by this author as she does create engaging characters and isn’t afraid to tackle a wide range of issues with great care and enough detail.

Kindle           Paperback

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