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Holly runs a dating agency. Up to now she's had no need of her own services, but, convinced her relationship with her fiance Nick has staled, she turfs him out and determines to go in pursuit of hearts-and-flowers romance, true love and the soul-mate she has convinced herself must exist. In the meantime, to get back into practice, she accepts a date with the hugely eligible Stuart. Rich, arrogant and charming, he's not her type at all, but he's her guinea pig. But Stuart rather likes Holly. And he's used to getting his own way. Much to her dismay, Holly finds Stuart won't take no for an answer and suddenly things don't look so easy. Brimming with warmth, perception and understanding, Anna Maxted once again mixes the heart-breaking with the humorous to deliver a page-turning, laugh-out-loud, emotionally satisfying read.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099439882
ISBN-10: 0099439883
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 24mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 22-May-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » This is well-written, entertaining fiction, aimed squarely at the 30-somethings who believe that being grown-up starts at 50. Holly Appleton, the narrator, and her 30-ish friends, are every bit as sexually confused as yesterday's teenagers. Holly knows in her head the importance of being streetwise and independent, but her heart doesn't always listen. She's caught between lack of restraint, a happy, conventional, childhood with parents whose values of contented devotion she outwardly scorns, with an inner suspicion that they might, just possibly, be right. She partly solves her difficulty by breaking with her steady, live-in boyfriend Nick, and starting, with her sisters and two friends, a dating agency: Girl Meets Boy. With a lot of luck and despite their haphazard organization, it eventually thrives - but gets Holly herself into trouble when a date with a client goes wrong, and ends in rape. Worried that a possible court case might distress her parents, she's astonished to find that they have a few surprises of their own to spring. They, too, have lived, and perhaps don't need as much protection from the facts of life as their children suppose. Chick-lit has become a somewhat derisory term for novels about the not-yet-mature, but it, too, is growing up. Here, beneath the titillating, flippant surface there's an underlay of sympathy and affection for those struggling to find emotional security in a world of illusory freedom. Could there be, after all, a happy ever after ending for Holly too? (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Setting: London. Character: hip young woman. Conflict: boyfriend trouble. Sound familiar? Still, this latest Brit-chick-lit saga gets a serious spin from the popular Maxted. A la her previous outings (Running in Heels, 2001, etc.), blending a smart, chatty narrative with a weighty problem-a parent's death one time, anorexia another-Maxted here tackles date rape. Holly, 29, has a house in London, a diabetic cat, and a new business (a dating service for young hipsters called Girl Meets Boy) that seems to be headed toward grand success. Of course, there's one problem: ex-fiance Nick won't move out. Having split because Nick just won't grow up (he's charming, kind, and funny and works as Mr. Elephant at children's birthday parties), Holly is hoping he'll get the hint when she goes on a date with Stuart, a Girl Meets Boy client. But things go terribly wrong and Stuart rapes Holly on her kitchen floor just as Nick arrives home. But was it rape? Holly, traumatized, decides it didn't seem like rape (no gun or dark alley, and, for heaven's sake, Stuart drives a Mercedes), and so it must have been bad sex. Nick moves out, but Holly's denial creates a host of problems: depression, anger, fear. So Holly walks around her own house with a kitchen knife and gets a panic attack at the thought of grocery shopping. Her friends-outlandish aristocrat Rachel (who, Holly suspects, is having an affair with her sister's husband), theatrical Nige (who works for Holly while awaiting stardom), baby sister Claudia-can't understand why Holly is letting her business (and friendships and whole worldview) fall apart. When Holly finally blows the whistle on Stuart, she begins to heal, but not before Stuart sues for defamation of character and Nick (who was still stuck on Holly) breaks it off for good. Never fear: a happy ending is in sight, but Maxted makes her characters work for it. The heavy subject aside: a funny, breezy read. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Anna Maxted

Anna Maxted lives in London with her husband Phil and their three sons Oscar, Conrad and Casper. Anna read English at Cambridge and works as a freelance journalist. She is also the author of the international bestsellers, Getting Over It, Running in Heels, Behaving Like Adults, Being Committed and A Tale of Two Sisters.

Books By Author Anna Maxted

Rich Again by Anna Maxted

Rich Again

Paperback / softback, December 2009
Tale of Two Sisters by Anna Maxted

A Tale of Two Sisters

Paperback, May 2007
Being Committed by Anna Maxted

Being Committed

Paperback / softback, July 2005
Running in Heels by Anna Maxted

Running in Heels

Paperback / softback, May 2002