Published by Quercus on July 2nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Humour, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
Rule 1: Never ask him on a first date. Rule 2: Laugh admiringly at all his jokes. Rule 3: Always leave him wanting more.
. . . wtf?!
Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It's a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don't own a copy. What is it, 1892?
But I'm a journalist, and I've promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I'm insane, I'm stalking men all over town and can't keep my mouth shut at the best of times.
My name is Cat Buchanan. I'm thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I've been single for six years, but that's about to change. After all, I'm on a deadline.
I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.
Reviewed by Joanne
*I received an E-copy from the publisher via NetGalley*
What a surprise this book turned out to be! I was drawn to it by the blurb when I saw it on NetGalley, but I was not expecting it to be so laugh out loud funny and heart-warming!
I really took to Cat straight away, her inner musings were so funny particularly when someone would say or suggest something and she would respond in SHOUTY CAPS in her head. I was just dying for her to actually say what she thought out loud! I loved the relationship she had with her daughter Grace, who was an absolute treasure. Cat is a single mother doing her best to bring up Grace with help from her sister Helen (who lives in the flat across the hall), and Grace’s father Peter. Cat and Peter didn’t have an amicable break-up but they do a good job of keeping things civil for Grace’s sake.
Cat has a job writing a weekend gossip column for a newspaper, and finds herself the unwitting participant to a social experiment. Whilst despairing about her single status, a colleague raves about a self-help dating book, (written by a man) which sets out rules that women should follow in order to bag a man. As she scoffs at this concept, her boss takes another view and suggests Cat follows the rule book over the next few weeks and write about the results. This leads Cat to two men – Dylan, who is sexy, very confident, but also a complete player who isn’t interested in a relationship, and Tom, a sexy dentist she is introduced to by her sister. I liked Tom, but some of the things he came out with made me cringe, and as for Dylan? Well I loved him, and the banter between him and Cat was so funny!
As the story progressed I did start to wonder how it would end. I loved the concept of Cat following the rule book but she was projecting a different version of herself to Tom, and I wondered if the proverbial would hit the fan once she was able to start being herself. I had a feeling Tom would wonder where the demure Cat had gone, and wouldn’t like the foul mouthed, witty, and very chatty Cat!
The experiences Joanna wrote about felt so real. The story is set in Glasgow and the references to TV programmes, food, music were all easy to relate to. The day to day life with a young child, such as trying to have a lie in, the bedtime routine, and even being interrupted while you’re on the loo were all things I could identify with! I loved the relationships Cat had with her sister, her friends and work colleagues, and even the strained one she had with her ex. Some of Cat’s inner thoughts had me laughing out loud, particularly the quip about Peter’s new goatee. It even came back to haunt me at work the next day when I had to go for a training session and the trainer walked in the room sporting a goatee of his own. I was chanting in my head “don’t laugh, don’t laugh, AND DO NOT CALL HIM MR TUMNUS!”
I love discovering authors that are new to me, and Joanna Bolouri is another one to add to that list. Speaking of lists, I’m putting her first book ‘The List’ on my ‘to read’ list right now!