I am delighted to be among the first stops on day one of the Bookouture book tour for the latest release by Kristen Bailey. Bookouture kindly granted me a digital copy of “Did My Love Life Shrink In The Wash?”, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.
And that is exactly what you will find a bit further down this page following a brief bio of Kristen and a taster for her new book. Links to where you can purchase “Did My Love Life Shrink In The Wash?” are given below my review.
The author – Kristen Bailey:
Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, enthusiastic but terrible cook. Kristen also writes. She has had short fiction published in several publications including Mslexia & Riptide.
In 2019, she was long listed in the Comedy Women in Print Prize and has since joined the Bookouture family. She writes women’s fiction and she hopes her novels have fresh and funny things to say about modern life, love and family.
You can find out more about Kristen at her website: www.kristenbaileywrites.com
The blurb – “Did My Love Life Shrink In The Wash?”:
Sure, my bedroom gets lots of action. It’s called snoring.
Will and I didn’t have a clue what we were signing up for. It turns out that there’s loads we weren’t warned about:
1) You’ll spend more time spooning your child’s cuddly donkey than your own boyfriend.
2) Communication with your other half will be via post-it notes on the fridge, mainly telling him to buy more milk.
3) If you make the mistake of going to a nightclub you’ll nod off, drool, and be woken up by an angry bouncer.
4) In the middle of the night you’ll be begging Siri for advice on getting your baby to sleep. (Whale music doesn’t work.)
5) Sex is something that happened in another dimension.
But even if I feel like I’m waiting for my motherhood powers to come in the post, at least I’ve got Will. Our old life – festivals, sambuca shots, an actual sex life – might be a distant memory, but we can get through anything together, can’t we?
At least that’s what I thought until, one day, Will walked out on us… If I’m on my own (apart from Siri, obviously) can I do this whole parenting thing? Or I am destined to lose my sanity one sleepless night at a time?
A totally hilarious and absolutely relatable tale for anyone who has survived parenthood purely on microwave meals and wished for an IV drip of coffee to get them through! This uplifting page-turner will make your belly ache with laughter. Perfect for fans of Why Mummy Drinks, Sophie Ranald and Sophie Kinsella.
“THEY HAVE FUCKING LEBKUCHEN!”
The above four words comprise, quite possibly, my most favourite line from the thirty-four (and a half) books I read during 2020.
It may not be the most erudite or insightful sentence but, when I read it, I smiled broadly. For I knew exactly how the character responsible for this exclamation felt. I mean, come on, who doesn’t get excited when spiced baked goods are on offer? Especially at this time of year (I read this book at the beginning of December) when the weather is miserable and we are eager for cheer and for reassurance, for the good humour provided by good friends and loved ones, and for the comfort and familiarity that comes with the approaching festivities.
In the ten months since I read the excellent and very funny “Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life?”, Kristen Bailey’s writing has provided me with a little of that Lebkuchen comfort and joy. Her books are sweet, a little spicy, very delicious, extremely moreish, humorous and joyful and they are an absolute treat whatever the season.
The author breathes life and warmth into her characters, even those who initially appear to be unlikeable. She creates a world that is fun and which is rewarding to spend time in. Her books helped make my 2020 a little more pleasant and bearable.
Ms. Bailey, it may be fair to say, is my booky lebkuchen.
It doesn’t seem so very long ago – as recently as May, in fact – that I was imploring her to write “book three very soon, please.” Happily she has obliged and the third tale in The Callaghan Sisters series will be on the shelves early in 2021.
Even more happily, for me anyway, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity of reading this latest book ahead of its release date. Thank you to the publishers for that privilege.
So, to the book.
This one- the third in the series – tells the tale of Beth Callaghan and opens with Beth about to deliver her first child. Some of the details were a little alarming for this reader – forgive me, I’m a bloke and, despite being a father myself, some things are best left unknown! Alarming but very funny nonetheless.
I’ll try not to spoil the story for anyone but new parents Beth and her boyfriend Will find that parenthood can be challenging, exhausting and, often, overwhelming. They soon find their relationship tested. Thankfully for Beth, the remaining Callaghan sisters are on hand to offer help and advice irrespective if said advice has been requested or not.
I particularly liked how the author titled each chapter after specific songs – Beth and Will are keen music lovers and “gig-goers”. However, I am quite alarmed that, despite being “into music” myself, that I did not know all of the tracks mentioned. Thankfully I recognised all the band names. Well, all bar one. Bugger! I’m getting old.
This is another appetising slice of Callaghan sisters goodness and it was an absolute joy to be reunited with the five of them. As I mentioned in my earlier review of “Can I Give My Husband Back?” (book two in the series) I’ve grown rather fond of all the Callaghan girls but Lucy “Luce Cannon” is my favourite. Even though I am pretty sure she would break me in every conceivable way were we ever to meet.
I do have one cause for concern, however. With three books done and only five Callaghan sisters, I am already approaching the end of their saga. And that is a little saddening.
Anyway, in case you are wondering which Callaghan sister spoke so highly about Lebkuchen…well, just take a guess.