‘The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance’ is the latest book by Novelicious creator, Kirsty Greenwood.
Jessica Beam is one hot mess. She knows how to have fun (cider, men and the snooze button usually have something to do with it) but lately she’s been forgetting how to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Suddenly finding herself out of a job, out of luck with her friends and thrown out of her flat, she tracks down her only family: her grandmother, in Kensington. She’s never met Matilda Beam before but hungover beggars can’t be choosers. Things aren’t going quite so well for Grandma, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage is staggering and her granddaughter apparently wears neon Wonderbras. But when a publisher throws them a lifeline – a new contract if they can prove the Good Woman guides still work – Jess and Matilda have to work together if they want a roof over their heads. Changing modern party girl Jess into a refined vintage lady is no mean feat and the true test of their makeover will be capturing the heart of snobby London playboy Leo Frost. It’s going to take dedication, a seriously pointy bra and nerves of steel to pull it off . .
This is Kirsty’s second book and it was an absolutely delicious story that was glued to my hand for a day. The lead character Jessica Beam, is a fun loving character who doesn’t have much responsibilities in life, she writes the content for her best friends website and enjoys nothing more than having a drink with her girls. But when it all goes wrong and she finds herself jobless and homeless, she goes in search of her only living relative and that is her grandmother Matilda Beam. Matilda Beam, is an elegant and classy lady who lives way beyond her means in her fancy house with her American assistant Peach, a sweet and innocent girl who Jess fully intends to take under her wing and corrupt in a good way. When Matilda initially meets her grand daughter, she is shocked by her outspoken behaviour, coarse language and lack of concern for others, but when she realises just how unladylike she is, Matilda suggests her granddaughter helps her revive her Good Guides handbook and transform her rebellious granddaughter into a lady whilst catching the attention of one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors Leo Frost who Jessica has a bit of a hatred for. If Jessica can successfully catch Leo’s eye using the tips from her grandmothers book then a top publisher will reissue the books and her grandmother will be able to keep her house.
The story flows entirely through the narrative of Jessica and she really is a ray of sunshine with her colourful language, dress sense and attitude towards life. Her interactions between her grandmother and herself are delightfully entertaining, as she brings her grandmother into the present day and shows her the gadgets and trends that are taking over. The scenes between Jess and Leo are also great, as we see her transport fluidly from her loud and brash self into a complete lady. Another delicious character is Jamie, the doctor who leaves downstairs and has also caught Jess’s eye, the scenes with the two of them really cracked me up.
An interesting addition is the inclusion of chapters of diary entries from Jessica’s mother who tragically passed away leaving behind many unanswered questions and also shows that Jessica wasn’t the only wildcard of the family.
This story is a fabulous one and guaranteed to pick you up after a rough day, filled with one liners, awkward moments, tips to snare you dream man, ‘The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance’ is a coming of age Bridget Jones story with a leading lady who I wish was my best friend.
You can buy The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.