Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley


My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much. But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, even Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is a catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.

Not a fan of surprises, Sophie would rather not; why not let sleeping dads lie? Besides, her mother would kill her. With interference from an evil boss, bickering flat mates, warring parents and a sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth. But it soon becomes clear that she will have to face the past and learn some uncomfortable home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.

My Review: This book is Cathy Bramley’s debut novel, yep that’s right her DEBUT. I am flabbergasted (a word I love and that isn’t used enough). Cathy’s debut had the feel of a seasoned pro and I found myself engrossed from the very beginning. Sophie is at first a little bit pathetic, but likeable if you know what I mean. She is the girl who has her head in the clouds, but actually seems to roll over for her vile boyfriend.

The boyfriend I spent the most part despising and wondering when somebody was going to give him a slap! I liked the architect character who is at first just as socially inept as Sophie. But as a character I couldn’t help feeling for him, and wondering why he found himself in such awkward positions half the time. I also rather liked the two flatmates that lives with Sophie as they give another layer to the story, as well as the added drama that comes with two polar opposites (the two are sisters)! As soon as Sophie is given the choice of meeting her absent father in order to gain her aunts house things get so complicated for her. Not only does she have to answer to her mother, but her flatmates as well. In addition to this she has to try and work out if her own opinions matter?!?

The story, although not original, kept me interested from the beginning right through to the very end. Although the idea and storyline may not be original, the way Cathy Bramley tells the story, and brings the characters to life certainly is. If I had read this knowing nothing of her background, I would have made the assumption that she had written numerous books. IF you are a fan of Milly Johnson and the like, then Cathy Bramley will definitely be up your street. I for one, will definitely look forward to her next book, and wouldn’t be altogether surprised to see a big publishing house sign her in the coming months. If they don’t, then it’s their loss and Cathy’s gain, a debut that most definitely wasn’t like a debut!

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