ARC Review: Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer

Goodreads: Suddenly Single
Publish Date: 08 April 2019
Genre: Romance, Chick Lit
Rating: ★★★☆☆

After years of marriage, Chloe Piper, the bestselling author of erotic romance novel “Spank Me Harder, Vicar”, finds herself suddenly single when her husband William admits to having multiple affairs. In an attempt to start fresh, Chloe has decided to move away from her little village life, and into a beautiful countryside home with her best companion Ronnie (her dog). It’s in this new home where Chloe must 1) move on from her marriage and from William; 2) Attempt to write another novel, under the pseudonym CJ Knight, without having access to the same inspiration she had when writing the first; and 3) She must face the crippling social anxiety that has prevented her from doing so much, especially in the last few years of her marriage. With the help of her eccentric neighbours and charming contractor, Alex, can Chloe step out of her comfort zone and show the world just who she really is?

Suddenly Single was not what I expected. This was a feel-good novel about dealing with mental health, finding the strength to overcome your fears, finding acceptance of yourself, and discovering the great things that can lead you to, if you let yourself be open to it.

I decided to pick this up because the cover really attracted me — the color, the design, the text all stood out! When I started to read it, I immediately fell in love with the setting of this book. It didn’t hurt that Chloe’s house also sounded like my dream home, especially with the large bay view windows, and the killer view of beautiful fields and being so close to the wonderful peak district. Absolute heaven! I liked that this took place in a small village in the UK, although with the characters and writing being so large, it’s easy to forget. I thought the writing flowed well and it was a fairly easy read (I see it as a good beach read, even if it’s set in the winter)! That said, while it’s a fairly short book, it took me a few days to read because even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t necessarily feel compelled to pick it up again after taking several breaks.

My favorite part of this story were the characters — they were so quirky/kooky/weird but also endearing with their individual personalities and by just being themselves. They never failed to put a smile on my face and to entertain me with their silly antics. Also, who couldn’t love her mutt, Ronnie? Dogs in books are always the best companions and Ronnie was no exception. The mischievous and lovable doggo had me laughing out loud often throughout the story. The only character I absolutely detested was William. I couldn’t stand his arrogance, or controlling and abuse behaviour and I’m so glad that he got what he deserved 🙂

I thought Chloe was a great MC. I think the author did a good job of putting us in her shoes and illustrating what severe social anxiety looks like and can feel like. As someone who also suffers from mild social anxiety, I absolutely felt a kinship to Chloe’s character, and it was nice to see how people were so quick to understand and accept her, which really contributed to her finding the confidence to stand up for herself and to step out of her comfort zone. Her character growth throughout the novel was very inspiring; granted, it may not always be so easy in real life, but it was nice to see the positive changes. Sometimes you just have to do it and most of the time it will end up better than you expected in the first place! For Chloe, pushing her own boundaries led her to come out on top with a bunch of great new friends, and a confidence in herself that she never had before.

Although this was supposed to be a romance, I found the connection between Chloe and Alex really unconvincing. I just really didn’t get a sense of big (or small) sparks between them! They were sweet, and had cute yet adorably awkward interactions, but I think I was more convinced of a spark between Chloe and Sean, even though they were just good friends. Still, I actually didn’t mind that the romance took a back seat because I loved how this book really focused on how Chloe deals with her mental health and social anxiety disorder. Honestly, I was a little worried when William made a reappearance that she would just fall back into his arms, but I was pleasantly surprised when she stood up for herself, and didn’t let him emotionally and mentally abuse her as he did during their marriage.

In the end it all came together very nicely, although maybe maybe a little too nicely, and a little too easily? But overall, a fun and uplifting summer read that made me miss living in the UK a lot, a lot.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publishers for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Don’t forget to get your copy when this comes out on 08 April 2019!

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