Book Review: Marmalade Martini by Julie Forester

Release Date: Sept 4, 2017
Publisher: J.F. Books

Uncomfortable dissonance.

One of the characters uses that description to describe the state of a friendship over time. I couldn’t help but think that it actually fairly describes the entire book. Not in a negative way, by any means. This is going to be hard to explain, but I felt a little off kilter for the first half of the book. There were things happening that seemed disjointed. I constantly felt like I was missing something. Come to find out that it was all on purpose. Things start to come together and make sense in the second half of the book. It really takes off and becomes engaging.

Jamie Barker is a successful architect living by Hyde Park in London. She’s got a great house and a snobby car. But she is one hot mess. Her long term relationship ended badly four years ago and she still hasn’t moved on. She has a perfunctory friendship with Alex, a self centered and completely oblivious woman.

Jamie finds herself in a bar called ‘Alechmy’ one night and meets the owner, Kate, who wows her with a Marmalade Martini. Jamie is immediately interested in Kate but finds that her gaydar is broken as she overhears Kate’s intimate conversation with a man who is leaving her.

This book is hard to review because so many things are going on where you don’t entirely understand what is going on. Describing any of it would feel spoilery. There is a a creepy dude Jamie enters a contract with. Her ex comes back to town and the motive is unknown. Secrets. It is honestly so refreshing to have a romance that isn’t the usual cookie cutter formula. I liked all of the mini mysteries within this.

It is also mega British. Scatty cow is an insult. Blokes and chaps are guys. Sleeping late is considered a ‘lie-in.’ Taking the piss doesn’t mean going to the ladies room to relieve oneself. And I can’t even begin to know what ‘Chucking her rattle out of the pram’ means. All of this certainly made me feel ensconced in the England of it all.

The romance was extremely slow burn. Perhaps the most slow burn I have ever read. But like the rest of the mysteries in this, it had to unfold slowly over time. I enjoyed how the two meet and the awkward interactions they have in the beginning.

And you know I always have to praise authors that write good books without explicit sex scenes. It is possible for things to be sexy and flirty and imply intimacy without being porn.

I recommend this book to those who like to read about mysterious scenarios, overcoming bad relationships, recognizing bad friendships, really awesome sisters, and pulling out tobacco pouches to roll lines to smoke outside.

I received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

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