A review by Amanda.
I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to review Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers.
Poppy Wellesley is a rich, entitled socialite, and happily so. She is the daughter of Sir Rupert Wellesley, Minister for Family and has never wanted for anything in her entire life. That is, until her dear daddy is arrested for fraud and all of their accounts are frozen. Poor Poppy finds herself without her allowance, a place to live, and most devastatingly, her fiancé. On the advice of her father’s financial manager, Poppy takes what little money she has available and reluctantly buys a houseboat. It’s tiny, dingy, and not at all what she’s used to – which might be a good thing, after all.
The title of this book caught my attention right away, sounding intriguing and potentially hilarious. I was not disappointed! Poppy is not the most sympathetic of characters. She makes snap judgments based on appearances, is completely spoiled, and has a tendency to babble, oblivious to how her words affect the people around her. Her closest friends, Chelsea and Camilla, and a wannabe paramour, Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price (affectionately called Lord Balls) try their best to be supportive and include Poppy in their own lavish lifestyles. Silly and spoiled themselves, they are still very loyal and are some of the few people who don’t abandon Poppy when her money disappears. Even Poppy’s fiancé, Roddy, ends their engagement once the news about her father breaks. Roddy has a gambling problem and his father has threatened to cut him off from his inheritance if he doesn’t marry “well” – i.e. someone with money. He’s fallen in with a bad crowd and owes money to the wrong people, like mobster Jack Diamond. Roddy is, for lack of a better term, a pompous jerk. He continues to lead Poppy on, while dating someone more “appropriate” at the same time. Troublingly, Poppy finds herself attracted to her new neighbor, Taylor. This is a problem because he’s poor, and because she suspects that he is a drug dealer. Still, he does help Poppy out of the many pickles that she finds herself in. Taylor found me fully on his side when Poppy thanks him for rescuing her and his response is “You don’t need rescuing.” Beautiful!
This book was a delightfully fun read! The only real drawback is a bit of confusion with the formatting. Most of the story is a first person narrative a lá Poppy. Occasionally, it switches to third person views from other characters, like Roddy or Jack Diamond. Some of these POV changes are announced mid-chapter with the character’s name, to let the reader know whose perspective we’ll be getting. However, this is very inconsistent and sometimes the wrong character’s name is listed. For example, the first time that the narrative changes the heading says Jack Diamond when it is actually Roddy’s point of view. Other than that, I adored this story and will be on the lookout for more romantic comedies by Lynda Renham. Fans of Bridget Jones’ Diary or the Confessions of a Shopaholic series might enjoy this book.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Lynda lives with her second husband and cat in Oxfordshire, England. She is Associate Editor for the online magazine The Scavenger and contributor to many others. When not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.
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