by April Hardy
Title: Sitting Pretty
Author: April Hardy
Publisher: Accent Press
Date of Publication: 7th July 2016
Date of Review: 1st March 2018
Professional pet-sitter, Beth, believes her Greek boyfriend, Alex, is the one, so when he’s offered a job in Dubai, they marry so they can move there together. But on the day they’re due to fly out, Alex ends it. By phone. Distraught, her old boss asks a favour and she agrees on autopilot – feeding Talisker the cat, whose handsome but dour owner Henry travels constantly.
Determined not to hear her mother’s ‘I told you so’ she soon has plan – she’ll quietly stay in her clients’ homes until she can convince Aex that this is all a big mistake. She’s pretty sure squatting’s against the law but if she’s careful. No one need find out …. Until Henry comes back unexpectedly.
Sitting pretty is a fun and uplifting chick-lit style novel and was just what I needed to chillax after a busy week.
Written in first-person, the novel is structured around fairly short chapters, so it’s easy to pick up and put down without losing where you are – not that you are going to want to put it down. It has a linear narrative and is set in and around a village called Netley Parva. This village setting, where everybody knows each other, makes the protagonist’s goal to squat in one of her client’s empty homes even more challenging.
The story includes all the elements needed for a satisfying read within its genre. A likeable heroine that you root for from the beginning, an ex that you want to see get his comeuppance, and a rich and handsome hero that solves all the heroine’s problems. Not forgetting the cute and charismatic cat. Despite being dumped and nursing a broken heart, Beth picks herself up and does what she needs to do to get back on track. There is none of this flaky ‘ooo I can’t do that’ nonsense. The house is empty, she needs a house, so she stays there. I really liked that about this character.
Just because its an easy fun read, don’t make the mistake of thinking it won’t keep you on the edge of your seat – because at times it does. There are also twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.
This book reminded me of Sophie Kinsella’s Undomestic Goddess, and Sitting Pretty now sits alongside this book on my favourites shelf.
I recommend this book to anybody who likes Sophie Kinsella, Carole Matthews, Jill Mansell, or Philippa Ashley. This is a fantastic debut and I can’t wait to read this author’s next novel Kinds Hearts & Coriander. I give Sitting Pretty a five star rating.