Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Book Review: Let's Not Be Friends


By Sara Steven

City girl Sophie has married the prince (or landed gentry - close enough), moved to his pile (which is more accurate a description than she’d anticipated) and is set to live happily ever after - until she finds the other half of her perfect life in the stables with the stable girl, and they’re definitely not grooming the horses.

Shocked and appalled, Sophie’s no happier to learn that she’s supposed to 'just get on with it'. After all, according to her mother-in-law, she got the title . . . they even overlooked her family’s ‘new money’ status.

What a lovely family she’s married into! But what’s a girl to do when she’s still in love? Make it work or leg it as fast as she can? Either way, the mother-in-law will not be coming to tea! (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Throughout most of Let’s Not Be Friends, I would often think, “Wow, Sophie is a stronger person than I could ever be.” When she discovers her husband has cheated on her, instead of hightailing it out of there and saying goodbye to him as soon as possible, she makes a plan to work on the marriage and try to salvage it. There are ground rules she puts in place, all reasonable ones, and when that fails is when the real work begins. 

So much of it is like she’s starting over, which can be really hard to do. Sophie leans on her parents for help, she manages to get back into the line of work she’d done before she married her husband, and the lifestyle she’s been used to reverts back to the way she lived before the gentry. In some ways, there can be comfort in familiar routines, but it is still real work when trying to rediscover who you are and what makes you tick. I appreciated seeing that struggle and watching Sophie find her way. I also appreciated seeing her do that as much as possible all on her own.

Both the estranged husband and the mother-in-law are a real piece of work. You wonder how Sophie could have gotten sucked into a train wreck like that, but it reminded me that so many of us often find ourselves in similar situations, where we aren’t capable of really seeing something for what it really is until it’s too late. There’s a certain part in the book where “the prince” decides to utilize Sophie’s professional services as a means in trying to prove a point to her–that, when she made the choice to walk away, she left something good and worthwhile. But it’s obvious there are a few tricks up his sleeve, and in an effort to try to get her back, he only manages to push her away even more. And for good reason!

I loved seeing the transitions for everyone involved in Let’s Not Be Friends: Sophie finding herself again; the unexpected friendship she forms with Elliot, a man who has also been scorned in love before and has a hard time trusting anyone; the unruly coworker of Sophie’s who attempts to sabotage her, only later becoming a trusted ally, and other characters who are asking for second chances, ways to redeem themselves, or looking for a means to evolve and become better characters. It was an enjoyable five-star read, and one I’d highly recommend!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Phoebe MacLeod is the author of several popular laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. She mainly sets her books in her home county of Kent and her first new title for Boldwood will be published in November 2022. They will also be republishing her existing titles from August this year.

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Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

penney said...

Sounds very good, thank you