Author: Phoebe MacLeod
The course of true love never did run smooth, but with Phoebe MacLeod it always gets a chance. Perfect for fans of Jo Watson and Mhairi McFarlane.
Poppy is a therapist. You’d think her parents would be proud. But Poppy is the type of therapist that makes her mother cringe – she helps people with their, ahem , bedroom problems… Normally Poppy deals with her difficult family – two parents, one brother, a couple of sisters and an assortment of nieces and nephews – by keeping at least a County or two between them. But with her little sister about to get married there’s no avoiding the week-long family holiday in Cornwall. The trip was always going to be a catastrophe, but Poppy never imagined how much her family needed her professional skills… Nor did she expect to meet a sexy surfer on what was supposed to be the most unromantic holiday ever. Can a nightmare holiday lead to the love of a lifetime?
An (Un)Romantic Comedy may be my first read by Phoebe MacLeod, but it will not be my last. The story reminded me a little of The Family Stone with the complex family dynamic. It follows Poppy, who is a 33-year-old sex and relationship therapist, which immediately caught my attention as a reader since this is not a career I usually read about for a character. As the seemingly black sheep of her family, Poppy is about to face them as a group when she is with them leading up to her younger sister’s (Lily) wedding in Cornwall.
Poppy’s family was full of unique characters where some were more likable than others. Poppy’s mother was the least likable of the bunch, but her role in the story is essential as it does help to create some great character development and plot. There is a lot going on with the family as it seems each secondary character was going through a lot. As the cast of characters is large, it did take a bit to try and keep everyone in order. There are not only Poppy and her mom, but she also has her siblings, Rose, Lily, and Andrew, plus her extended family that includes nieces/nephews.
As for the romance, it plays out more in the background when Poppy meets Sam, a surfer and single father of Jessie. The two characters did have good chemistry and shared a connection, but there is not a lot of page time for the reader to also connect to it. For me, an epilogue or maybe a few extra pages in the main story would have helped this element of the story. Given the title, it does deliver on a romance that is not a romance. The story itself was a fun and light-hearted read that went by quickly in a good way. There was some difficulty balancing between the family dynamics side and the romance, which I wish was done with a little more care. Overall, this was a fun read and a great introduction to the author.
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Boldwood Books, for the opportunity to read this novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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