A month or two ago I was at the paperback launch in Bath of Kissing Mr. Wrong by local writer Sarah Duncan but only got round to reading it last week when it was a welcome distraction from the grim realities of jury service. But although this is a light read, it certainly isn’t frivolous, and as ever, Sarah brings real depth to her characters and the story as a whole. In KMW, Lu is a thirty something illustrator who is determined not to get mixed up in relationship that involves baggage, until despite herself, she falls for warm and wonderful Nick – divorced with two kids. She puts her doubts aside only for them to gang up on her when she gets it wrong over the disciplining of his two sons. She runs back to her ‘perfect’ man, handsome smoothie Marcus, only to find that the no-strings attachment she thought she wanted has now lost its charm.
This is a simple love story but, as always, Sarah Duncan gives it something extra. All the characters are convincing, from Lu’s hippy-dippy Mum Pixie, who in the end confesses to mistakes of her own, to her Grandma’s feisty terrier Scottie, who, as it turns out, has a crucial role to play in Lu’s love life!
There are also weighty themes of war (Lu is researching family history involving the grim realities of WW1) and the importance of family ties. It’s only when Lu acknowledges her own vulnerability and starts to mend fences with her parents that she can sort out her matters of the heart.
Sarah’s launch parties are just as much fun as the books. Roll on the next one!