Etta

Review: Gut Feeling

Published September 12th 2012, 166 pages

Author: Victoria Browne

Overview from Goodreads:

Ashleigh Lands is a twenty six year old dental nurse, who after meeting Dave Croft, a gorgeous twin, finds herself in an impossible dilemma. Living in the heart of London, Ashleigh and her group of friends find themselves in numerous situations, parties, traumas and sexual experiences. With Ashleigh’s love cheat lawyer ex-boyfriend Lee Preston pulling on her heart strings Ashleigh goes on holiday to Ibiza with the girls; Rachel a buyer for a large child’s clothing company and also Ashleigh’s best friend. Beautiful Jules who works for a well-known magazine company. And Gemma a house wife who has just found out her husband was sleeping with his personal trainer. Ibiza brings the girls new friends along with love and loss. Whilst the girls are away Dave has an unwanted sexual encounter. Ashleigh returns home only to have her life thrown into turmoil. “But I heard it with my own ears”. Must be true then? ? ?

Personal Review

Ashleigh is a dental assistant who lives in London.  She followed love and stayed behind in England while her family moved to New York. Although they were disappointed, they supported her choice. The writing confused me in points as at some places Ashleigh was very dependent on her sister and in others it was like they weren’t even close. I get that they have a different dynamic now that they live an ocean apart, but it just didn’t seem consistent.

After she breaks up with her ex-boyfriend, Lee (a rich lawyer), she tries to build back up her faith in love again. She meets Dave and the two of them begin a romantic adventure.  She begins to have loving feelings for her new love interest, but she has difficulty trusting in her gut feeling after it was proven wrong by Lee’s cheating ways.  Ashleigh must explore if she can learn to trust her gut feeling about Dave and possibly believe in love again.

Along the way through her romantic journey, we get to meet Ashleigh’s core group of friends who each have their smaller side tales, although you don’t get too much detail for them. We also get to meet Dave’s twin brother and roommate Peter and their new roommate Isabella. We get glimpses as well into these side characters, but never too much that we get attached to them as characters.

The point of view changes throughout the novel to be told from both Ashleigh and Dave’s perspectives. However, it was about 70% Ashleigh and 30% Dave as it seemed his inner thoughts were only told as a supporting argument to anything that’s needed for Ashleigh’s thoughts/feelings at a particular point in the story. It was disappointing as usually changing POVs between our two main characters allow a reader to learn backstories and reasoning behind their personalities, but this one seemed to miss the mark as it was all about Ashleigh so it was hard to understand why the author bothered to include Dave’s side at any point.

The storyline is very jumpy as you rush through certain parts of the story and then it drags through another. One minute you’re at one topic and then it’ll jump into another. I wish the author had focused more on building the romance between Dave and Ashleigh so the novel can live up to its romance/chicklit label.

Despite its shortcomings, the novel is a fun read and hard to put down.  Ashleigh as a character was likeable, but she seriously has a lot of growing up to do emotionally (even at the end of the novel, I didn’t feel like she learned anything new). (Unfortunately, I can’t explore my full thoughts on this subject as it would spoil parts of the novel, but this character could definitely use some maturing overall.) 

The theme of the gut feeling is an excellent concept and it’s nice that the novel highlighted it throughout by mentioning it casually in various thoughts and conversations. Trusting your gut is typically a great way to tell if something will work out as usually it turns out to be correct. There is also a great lesson that a great support system is always necessary and it’s important to be there for your friends and have them be there for you.

Overall, Dave and Ash were a cute couple and it was heart-warming to watch the love story unfold. As the novel is under 200 pages, it was a nice short read.  It had a lot of fun moments with some tender and sweet ones thrown in. The storyline was decent and I would recommend it to those who want a nice and easy contemporary novel to read.

**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are completely my own.**

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