Author: Jennifer L. Cahill
Publication Date: 21 June 2018
Genre: NA/Adult – Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
It’s London in the mid 2000s before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi, and One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.
Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At 28 she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.
Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness.
Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.
The story opens with a childhood memory where a five-year-old Alyx is asked what he wants to be when he grows up, to which he proudly responds a Beatle. The teacher becomes irrationally angry with Alyx the proceeds to Penelope, who informs the class that she wants to be a princess. The teacher forces both Alyx and Penelope to stay after class to discuss what ‘real career aspirations’ are. I was definitely annoyed by this teacher because why should a child be chided over what is deemed an appropriate career choice at that age is beyond me.
We fast forward to the present day of the story, which follows the lives of three main characters: Penelope, Charlie, and Zara. Penelope and Charlie have known each other for years as they went to University together. After finally finding a flat that they agreed upon in London, there was a misunderstanding from the leasing agent, and Zara was promised the place as well. Since Penelope and Charlie were already planning on finding an additional two flatmates to cover the remaining rent, they all decided to make a go of it.
Zara is originally from a small Welsh town, so she has a bit of a hard time adjusting to the hustle and bustle of big city life in London. She’s working her first big girl job after uni, and she’s not used to a life where she’s not surrounded by her booming social life. Her only friend is her work colleague Rob, who is the source of office gossip and a good happy hour.
After reading One?, I would not necessarily classify this book as a contemporary romance because that’s not really the main focus for the first half of the book. The first half of the book focuses on the daily lives of Penelope, Charlie, and Zara and their interactions with one another. Zara definitely views Penelope as ‘Miss Perfect’ until she finally takes the time actually get to know her. Charlie, well Charlie just sleeps with anything that walks since he’s in the music industry and is all about that Rock’N’Roll life. Additionally, I loved George, Penelope’s best friend Georgina, who is brutally honest and hilarious.
Without giving too much of the plot away, I also liked watching Penelope have to navigate her love life and figure out who the one would be: Richard Lord (the wealthy Scot) or Alyx (the boy she always knew).
Overall, this is a fun read that really goes into navigating relationships in the modern world while also trying to navigate life as a twenty/thirty-something. I definitely found the characters and their situations relatable, which reminded me of how I first navigated life after university.
Thank you to the author for providing an ebook in exchange for an honest review. It did not influence my review, and all opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Jennifer was born in Dublin in Ireland and was educated at University College Dublin. She honed both her ability to write, and her love of writing, in UCD while studying Spanish, which was one half of her International Commerce degree. She went on to Business School in Dublin and moved to London after graduating, and life has never been quite the same for her since. When she is not writing she works with individuals and blue-chip clients to help them navigate and master change. She spent ten lovely years living in Clapham and now lives in Notting Hill in West London.
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