27 Jan The Philosophy of Love by Rebecca Ryan
Wanna bet love can’t be explained biologically?
This is my first Rebecca Ryan book but it won’t be my last – I’ve added her to my top fun romantic fiction writers along with Bella Osborne and Milly Johnson.
So what did I like most about this book?
The romantic trope is familiar – Alice has been let down in love and as her cheating-ex Charles was her employer, she’s out of a job, too.
But Alice doesn’t repair to a charming country cottage or a quaint teashop by the sea to lick her wounds. Instead she ends up back in her parents’ terraced house in the impoverished industrial town of Easington Colliery in the north east. And with this background comes a wealth of down-to-earth characters who are all so easily relatable.
First and foremost is Luke, an old classmate of Alice’s, once a teenage Goth, now a successful biologist at Durham university. Alice rashly places a £500 bet with him that love is based on more than biological reactions in the body and that she’ll fall in love again within six months. She has to win that bet – her temporary job in the local Chinese won’t cover her losses.
And so she begins a dating quest that brings her into contact with muscle-bound Dwaine, political activist Andy and computer nerd Shaun.
But are any of them right for her? And can she trust Luke to play the dating game?
In amongst all this quest for romance is the serious issues of the coercive control Alice has suffered at the hands of Charles, which has left her vulnerable and sometimes afraid.
But gradually she builds up a network of support. Her loving mum and dad, loud and cheerful aunt Mo and ancient granny are always there supporting her. New chum Joanie from the Chinese and old friend Gabby in Australia have her back, and of course there is Luke. Their frenemy status, and the tension of the bet, doesn’t stop him from watching out for Alice.
A story that is laugh-out-loud funny
I really raced through this story. As the six months rolls along, we’re treated to a succession of incidents and events that are laugh-out-loud funny, while never losing sight of the emotional turmoil that Alice is going through.
And those characters! Author Rebecca Ryan really knows how to make them relatable. They’re fun, funny, but never overdrawn, and instantly recognisable. When she describes Alice’s mum as having discovered jeggings and rollnecks in middle-age, I had to check I don’t have a daughter called Alice – it’s just so spot on!
I can guarantee you’ll laugh lots, cry a little and make whole bunch of new friends as you read this story. You won’t want to say goodbye to any of them – but you’ll be so glad that you met them all, especially Alice and Luke.
The Philosophy of Love is published by Simon & Schuster in paperback and ebook
About the Author
Rebecca Ryan lives in Bradford with her husband and three young children. Although she always loved writing, it hadn’t really occurred to her that she could do it professionally until the success of her first book My (extra)Ordinay Life. She has now left teaching to write fulltime. She enjoys walking in the countryside and takeaways (if that counts as a hobby), which it probably doesn’t!
Thanks to Sarah-Jade Virtue of Books and the City for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Simon & Schuster for the copy of the book via Netgalley.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster
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