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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: The Break Up by Tilly Tennant

Surprised and delighted to find this book is set in my old home town of Chester, I settled down for a comfortable read of this sweet romance (yes, the main couple have sex, but it’s a behind-closed-doors scene). Lara’s cat Fluffy comes to her on the worst night of her life, when her boyfriend dumps her for her best friend, thereby costing her both the most important people in her life at once. A year later, she’s made some changes in her life, most notably starting her own wedding planning business, and finally feels like she’s getting her life together. And then she discovers that maybe her cat isn’t actually her cat after all… when she finds out he’s two-timing her with jazz musician Theo, who thinks Fluffy is his cat Satchmo.

This is the second cat-themed romance I’ve read recently set in the UK and I’m beginning to think the English are a nation of horribly irresponsible cat owners, because all the conflict here would be negated by just microchipping the darned cat and not letting it wander around at night. You think this is your cat, sir? Why, let’s just pop down the vet and get them to scan the microchip, shall we, find out who the cat is registered to? Lara’s attitude drove me insane. Why yes, you CAN do something about your problem… by keeping your cat inside, lady!

Honestly, I couldn’t figure out what she saw in Theo, either. I was waiting throughout the entire book to find out what he did for an actual job, because playing weddings in a jazz band every Saturday night doth not a steady income make, and Lara is a professional woman with her own business who, frankly, deserves a guy who has his life at least somewhat together. There were plenty of work-from-home jobs Theo could do to pay the bills - graphic designer, bookkeeper, heck, even author! - and it would have been so easy to casually reference one of them and make him seem a lot less of a deadbeat.

I wanted to like this, a lot. Quite apart from being just about the only book I’ve ever read set in Chester (and making me quite homesick) there was a lot to like; Lara was easy to root for and I loved her relationship with her assistant Betsy. But I didn’t think Theo was worthy of her and the irresponsible cat ownership thing drove me mad, so… in the end, I’m going to give this three stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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