I Owe You One

owe

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

—                         —                         —

I have been reading Sophie Kinsella’s work for more than a decade, and I have never not fallen in love with one of her books. I Owe You One is her more recent novel and another great story. It was so good, that I have actually read it twice, before even getting my review written!

This book has some of my favourite romantic tropes: family drama, a cast of secondary characters, and a hot wealthy man ready to sweep her off her feet.

The main character is nick-named Fixie, and this perfectly personifies her. I think it is cute and (too my way of thinking) common in British literary humour. I was reminded of the book I’ve Got Your Number (also by this author) but I still didn’t feel like I was reading the same book twice.

Now I need to point out here, the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I misread the promotional blurb and thought that it said the IUD that changed everything, not the IOU. lol, the story is still amazing!

The best things about Kinsella’s stories are that you can always count on a happy ending and the story itself is fairly light. I recently read some “romances” that had me bawling my eyes out and that is not my cup of tea. With Kinsella, I know exactly what I am getting: humour, romance, entertainment and maybe a moral lesson or two!

* * * * *

xx

Books are our friends

… sometimes a better friend than the flesh-and-blood people at our sides, don’t you think?

Books are never too busy, or impatient and if you constantly re-read your favourites like I do, then you can anticipate which emotional need they are going to fill for you too.  For instance, I have my “book boyfriend” and my “book family”.  Those books/series where I wish I could jump through the page and live for all eternity.

My family is loving and supportive, but we’re not that close and I don’t think they understand me.  They don’t speak my love language.  I’m just different; from the foods and drinks I like, to my religion, to my sense of style and wildly passionate nature, you’d think a stork dropped me on the doorstep as a baby.  My sisters certainly always maintained I was adopted (it isn’t true).

And so I return to my books.  On days that no one is around and I’m bored or lonely, curling up with my favourite characters is like visiting with an old friend.  And when an author delays the release of the next book in that series, I start to feel like there is a little piece missing.  Until I realize, it’s those friends, that world that I miss.

And then there are those little things you come across in life, that remind you of a particular friend.  In my case, sometimes it’s a friend in the fictional world that I am reminded of, more than the real one.

Lately I have had Dmitri Novikov on my mind, a character created by Ann Mayburn. I was reminded of Dmitri by Khal Drogo in season 1 of Game of Thrones.  Two completely different worlds, but at their core, they are very much the same person.  Both are absolutely ruthless and cruel warlords in complete control of their lives and empires, so it would seem, but genuinely love and cherish their wives. Each would break every rule they enforce to protect their love.

I was thinking of Dmitri again this morning.  I was singing along to a cover of Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful and this phrase reminded me of my favourite Bratva Lord.

“Dear Lord, when I get to Heaven

Please let me bring my man

When he comes, tell me that you’ll let him in

Father tell me if you can”

Dmitri is not the best of men. Case in point, he is the Pachan of his family in the Russian Mafia.  But he and his wife Rya love each other more than anything else and she is religious.  I can imagine her praying, begging God to let her bring her man with her to Heaven when the time comes, because there is no way she would go through those gates without him. She’d give up her place in Heaven to be with him instead.

It’s a little bit funny, these connections that my brain makes.  Out of nowhere, my real life and pretend life collide, in the most surreal of moments. The worst thing is that no one around me gets it.  Even bibliophilic friends don’t, because we generally read all different things.

So hopefully someone out there in the big wide interwebs will understand, and if you feel alone, I hope that you know that I am on this end of my computer feeling the same way. And in the mean-time, I’m probably curled up re-reading the same books as I was two years ago.

Because books are our friends.

xx