Friday, 19 September 2014

Review of The Beginner's Guide to the Birds and the Bees by Sophie Hart

The bit on the back…

Sex therapist Annie Hall helps couples put the fizz back into their relationships. It’s a shame her own love life is non-existent. When Jamie who works next door catches her eye, she can’t ignore the spark of chemistry.

Most men would jump at the chance to skive off work for an afternoon quickie with their gorgeous wife, but Nick knows Julia is after only one thing – a baby. Sex shouldn’t be a chore. Can Annie help Julia see that?

Newly engaged Zoe and Simon can’t keep their hands off each other. They’ve decided to take a vow of celibacy until their wedding night. Will Annie help them stick to it?

Ray and Linda have been married for over thirty years but she’s more interested in the family business than getting intimate with him. Can Annie convince Linda to rediscover her passion for Ray after all this time?

While Annie begins to work her magic with the three couples, she soon discovers that she’ll need to take some of her own advice if she’s going to let a new man into her life.

Firstly thank you to the wonderful guys at Bookouture for sending me a copy of this to review! I’ve been eagerly anticipating Sophie’s second novel after I really enjoyed reading her debut novel The Naughty Girls Book Club – you can get my review of that here and I had a really great interview with Sophie which you can check out here!

The story is all about sex therapist Annie Hall who spends her days working on the love lives of other couples, trying to recapture the romance in their relationships. Annie works with three couples who we hear from in the story, each with their own problems and ideas of their own perfect happy ending.

Annie’s profession is a bit un-traditional! As a sex-therapist she has people drawing all sorts of conclusions about what she does on a daily basis and to be fair I did wonder myself! At heart though Annie is just a massive romantic. I love her optimism and her belief that everyone has a happy ending they just need to find it but she has an almost infuriating lack of being able to apply what she preaches to her own life.

I really enjoyed getting to know each of the three couples and seeing how their own relationship dilemmas had an indirect impact on Annie. By having chapters from their point of view the story is broken up nicely and makes for easy reading with a well-balanced progression throughout the story. 

My favourite couple was probably Zoe and Simon who are seeing Annie for a bit of a different reason than her usual clients and I loved their relationship and the amount of love they had for each other. They are the couple that look perfect on the outside but also have their own problems and I like how that applies to everyone in life when you can take them at face value and never really know what they’re going through.

The story is set in Norwich which isn’t a place that I’ve been to although I’m pretty sure I could go now and recognise different places. I loved the description of the setting to and although I love reading books set in exciting cities I’m glad that the city in the story took a back seat to the story itself.

Throughout we get to see Annie trying to wrangle her own love life into some sort of order and we get to experience the highs and lows that come with it. Annie’s experiences are really relatable and loads of readers will be able to empathise with her.

I found myself feeling really invested in the story, mostly because of how easy I found it to like and relate to Annie. Sophie knows how to write really great chick-lit!

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