Ruby Wood is perfectly happy playing the dating game – until she has a red-hot dream about her very attractive flatmate, Nick. He might spend every day saving lives as a junior doctor, but he’s absolutely the last man on earth that fun-loving Ruby would ever date!
The solution? Focus on all of Nick’s bad points. And if that fails, up her dating antics and find herself a man! So what if she manages to make disapproving, goody two-shoes Nick jealous in the process…
Only, after a series of nightmare first dates, there’s still just one man on Ruby’s mind. Maybe it’s time to admit the truth and dare to ask Nick to be her next date?
Thank you to the author, Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit, it took me a while to warm to the main character, Ruby. The book is narrated by her, and boy is she chatty! She is an immature, sweary, boozy mess, who works in a coffee shop with her best mate Millsy, who is the male version of Ruby. Neither of them particularly care about the job they do, and Ruby doesn't seem to have any sense of responsibility (secretly I think I'd quite like to have been like her when I was younger!). Millsy at least has a passion for acting; something Ruby also is great at but has never pursued - she just uses her acting skills to get herself out of unsuitable dates!
Her flatmate Nick by comparison is a neat-freak, and on the surface the two appear to hate each other (although I don't think I'd ask someone I hate to lever me into fat-taming tights). His girlfriend Heather, is horrendous, and Ruby needs to figure out how to tell Nick that she's really not right for him. Which is easier said than done when Ruby realises that she actually fancies the pants of her flat mate, which leads to some hilarious antics.
I did find myself rooting for Ruby's character as she matures throughout the story, realising she cares for someone other than herself. She tries to turn herself into someone she's not, for example dying her outrageous pink hair a more regular brown, but soon realises that it isn't the answer. The change comes from within. Ruby grows up, though she will never be boring! Portia's characters have a lot of depth to them, once you get to know them, which is perfect. It's great to be able to see beyond Ruby's brash exterior; after all, everyone has their flaws..
I'm so glad I read this book, despite any initial misgivings at the start. It turned out to be a highly enjoyable, funny riot of a novel, and I shall be seeking out more of Portia's work!