How does it feel to lose everything you own? Stella Hill knows only too well. She wakes up one morning to find her house up in flames. From there, things go from bad to worse in Joanne Phillips’ debut chick-lit comedy romance novel, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT! Hard to imagine things getting tougher with a start like that, but where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be some flames and CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT has plenty of sizzle!
Written in a similar tongue and cheeky fashion we’ve all come to love from Carole Matthews, Phillips sets us up with a cast of characters that’ll have you keeping notes on the side. Stella’s best friend is her boss, Paul, but let’s face it, they really are in love with each other if they would just wake up to the fact, thank you very much. Her teenage daughter, Lipsy just wants Stella to back off a bit considering she burned down everything she owns in her 16-year old world, including ten diaries that have recorded life as she knows it. Then there’s Stella’s own spendaholic mother who has never looked past an item she couldn’t charge on her credit card, even though there is no money coming into the household. And finally, Stella’s dad locked up in prison, soon to be released, but no one’s talking to him or about his homecoming!
I love that Phillips creates in Stella, a character in her late 30s with many flaws, but ultimately the heart of an angel, someone all readers will rally around. At the risk of spoiling sub-plots, I will only say I believe there were a few too many and that tended to slow down the pace of what could have been a more snappy novel. I can share without giving anything away, that CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT has to do with a list Stella creates of the things she initially believes she can’t live without right after the fire. Ten weeks and one day later and guess what? I’m not giving it away!
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT is all about finding out what really matters in life. It’s discovering how important family time is. It’s recognizing how necessary that phone call is. Sometimes it’s the big stuff, but more often than not, it’s the small things. FYI: I love that super-sassy cover!
You can find Joanne Phillips on Facebook, Twitter and her website. CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT is currently $2.99 for Kindle.
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