‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Time’ is the third book by Joanna Bolouri.
Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex, but he’s nothing she can’t handle. Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it’s going really well. So well, in fact, that this year Emily is hoping to take him home for Christmas to meet her family. Finally she won’t be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity looks from her younger married siblings. But when Robert breaks up with her a week before Christmas, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan (in exchange for one month’s rent and the use of her convertible) Emily is determined to take Robert home for Christmas come hell or high water, even if it isn’t the real Robert.
When it comes to a brash and fun tale of love and disaster, Joanna is the one author who writes it perfectly, even though she is a relatively new author for me, having only read one author book by her, I have come to the conclusion, that she has quickly become one of my favourite authors.
In her latest story, we meet Emily, a woman who is content in her life, she’s happy in her teaching job, only is minimally annoyed by her temperamental housemates and has met the perfect gentleman called Robert, a man that she can bring home for Christmas and finally get a break from her braying family about why she isn’t married with children. But when her relationship falls apart and to save face, Emily employs the help of her annoyingly handsome neighbour, Evan to pretend to be her Robert. Packed with post-its of research, the duo head home to Scotland where they prepare to put on the performance of their lifetimes, as they pretend to be the most loved up couple in the world.
Right from the very beginning, we are introduced to Emily, a fun loving, outspoken Scottish woman who is loving life, the only thing that is annoying her, is her neighbour Evan, who’s sexy times are literally keeping her awake. He’s charming and handsome and really knows what buttons to push to get a reaction from her. So when she drunkenly asks him to pretend to her boyfriend, I knew this entertaining story was going to get a whole lot better. Evan is a sweetheart of a man, he’s kind and witty and it’s obivious that he likes Emily more than she realises.
A story is seen solely through the narrative of Emily and I loved it, her honesty and blunt nature had me laughing out loud on buses and in work. Joanna has a knack of writing such frank and enjoyable stories that makes it impossible for me to put the book down. The story flows at the fast pace, as the unlikely and reluctant friendship between Emily and Evan progresses and she begins to warm to him and see him less as a nuisance and more of a potential friend. Other supporting characters are as equally entertaining as Emily and Evan, Alice and Toby who are Emily’s housemates have a volatile relationship that rapidly changes from love and hate in a manner of seconds, whereas Emily’s family are an inquisitive and fun crowd who want nothing more than to see the oldest daughter happy but Iona, Emily’s youngest twin sister, is cynical towards the relationship and interactions between the two sisters do make for seriously fun reading.
A wittily written story that is packed with unfortunate disasters, reluctant heroines and hero’s, ’The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ is the most hilarious Christmas story that I’ve had the joy of reading this year, filled with witty one liners and raunchy moments, this book is the ideal distraction from life, the perfect book for fans of Mhairi MacFarlane.
You can buy The Most Wonderful Time of the Year from Amazon and ia available to buy from good bookshops.