"I’m 30 years old and sat celebrating with a greasy pizza and a bottle of cheap plonk.’
On her 30th birthday, Ellie Darling decides that it’s time to start a diary. Mainly as a reminder for when she’s old and living with cats that she once had a life that wasn’t all bad. Even if it was one where at 30 years of age, she still refused to spend that extra £3 on the good wine instead of chocolate.
But when the only proposal she gets from her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day is that of a threesome, she decides that enough is enough! With a new, improved job as Personal Assistant to one of the most feared Partners at her law firm – one that she doesn't seem to be able to stop dreaming about – Ellie decides that this will be her year. And if she has to run errands for her boss’ neurotic Russian girlfriend or drag her best friend to a sponsored cycle with her now gay first love, then so be it. "
I was so excited to read Dear Darling after really falling for Ellen's writing style when I read Learn to Love Again earlier this year and was so chuffed to be part of the blog tour. A huge thank you to Ellen for a review copy of the story and to Tay at Chicks That Read for organising the blog tour.
The story follows Ellie, who decides to document her life in a diary. I really enjoyed this form of writing style, having each chapter set out as a diary entry not only gave you a great insight into Ellie's life and connect with her as a character, it also broke up the chapters and made the timeframe easy to follow.
After Ellie and her boyfriend break up on valentines day (not the most romantic way to spend the holiday) the rest of the story follows her trying to get back into the dating game. She has a slightly inappropriate, but understandable, crush on her deliciously handsome but slightly grumpy boss Adam. I loved watching their professional relationship develop, and it also provides a 'will they, won't they' storyline which intrigued me throughout as it's so obvious they would make a fab couple. He is the epitome of sexy boss and I swooned whenever he made an appearance, the sparks between the two of them are electric.
I personally really enjoy stories that have strong friendships in them and this book definitely delivers on that front. Ellie's best friend Gina is a feisty, funny character who is a huge support to her during tough times. Hannah, who works with Ellie, is also a big part of her life and the three of them spend a lot of time together, even going on a girls holiday to Miami. Their friendship was one of my favourite parts of the story, I loved reading about the time they spent together, even when they were just sitting in with a takeaway and having a gossip - they reminded me of my friends and it made the story even more relatable.
Speaking of relatable, that brings me to Ellie who is just fab. She's a really normal, personable character that could so easily be you, or one of your friends. She loves food (which makes her a winner in my eyes) and thinks nothing of watching crap TV with a takeaway and bottle of wine. Definitely my kind of girl. This, to me, is what made the story. I love relating to a main character - it keeps you interested, makes you root for them and pulls you in to the story, which is definitely what happened with Dear Darling.
Overall this is a great story that I really enjoyed. The diary format is something different and easy to follow, all the characters jump off the page (even Sophie, the office bitch who made me glare at the book as I was reading she's so awful) and is brilliantly written. If you want a light-hearted, romantic story to read this summer then you've found it... Dear Darling is the book to get!