Just Saying: An absolutely perfect and feel good romantic comedy

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Bookouture, Jul 3, 2020 - Fiction - 350 pages

‘I absolutely loved this book and devoured it in a matter of hours! The perfect Saturday-night read which I found impossible to put down… I literally laughed out loud.’ Book Lover, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When the inflatable hot tub my boyfriend hired for a surprise deflated with me in it, spilling water everywhere and almost flooding our flat, I should have known it was a sign…

Could things get any worse? First Alice gets fired from her job as a lawyer out of the blue, and she has absolutely no idea what to do with her life. Then she and her boyfriend Joe bump into his ex, Zoe, with her annoyingly glossy hair and sparkling smile. And now they can’t afford the rent on their flat and Alice might have to cut back on her gin and tonics, the one thing getting her through.

With her life crumbling around her, Alice ends up ugly crying in the middle of the street, with mascara running down her face. She’s such a sorry sight that a kind old man stops and gives her his handkerchief.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that Zoe is looking for a place to stay. And Joe has the bright idea of asking her to move in. Living with The Ex, and her fluffy cat Frazzle who leaves ginger hair everywhere, is Alice’s idea of hell. Especially when she finds Joe and Zoe singing and dancing in the kitchen as they cook chilli con carne together, or sneaking off to the pub without her.

Losing her job was one thing, but now it looks like she might also lose her boyfriend and her home Just how on earth is she going to turn this around?

This fabulous, feel-good page-turner is for anyone who has ever felt a little lost in life and turned to a bottle of wine to get you through! Fans of romantic comedies by Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk, and TV shows like†Crazy Ex-Girlfriend†and†Jane the Virgin, will love this utterly relatable read.

Readers absolutely love Just Saying:

‘Absolutely brilliant!… After months of struggling to find another author I love as much as I love Sophie Kinsella I have found her!… I devoured this book in a few hours because it was impossible to put down… Packed full of laughs… Had me laughing all the way through.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘You know it’s a good book when you want to be friends with the main character and after reading Just Saying I want to be BEST friends with Alice!!…†Such a beautiful and heartwarming story that had me laughing, and sometimes crying, along with Alice on her journey! I just adored this book!!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Totally brilliant!… Funny and heartwarming… I read it over 2 nights during lockdown and loved every page of it.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘You need to read this amazing comical book by Sophie Ranald! She had me cracking up laughing so many times during this book! It is such a fun read!’ Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews

‘Stayed up until about 2am to finish it!’ Baltimore Bibliophile

‘I absolutely loved this book! This is the fourth book I have read by Sophie Ranald and it feels like I’m literally catching up with old friends and having coffee!… I loved reading this as I could relate to the characters and they all felt like real people!’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘Made me happy… I dare say I liked it more than a Sophie Kinsella book.’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘I LOVE Sophie Ranald… Just Saying is one of my favourite Ranald novels… Absolutely brilliant.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I was supposed to read to chapter 10 with a few friends that were also reading this one, and I just stayed up till 1:30 am and binged till the end.’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘This book was fun!!!… I will definitely be reading more from this author!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I adored this hilarious and heartwarming story… I loved it… Happy reading!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘This was a delightful romantic comedy that I literally couldn’t put down. The characters made me laugh and cry... Highly recommended!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Had me laughing all the way though, full of humour and fun, a total joy to read during these difficult times.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I felt a heartfelt whirlwind of emotions as I read this story; it made me cry and laugh out loud.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Feels like I'm meeting up with an old friend for a great chat over drinks…†Ranald has one hell of a sense of humour, which makes reading her books pretty darn enjoyable… So fun to read and seriously brightened the couple of days I was reading it. I may even come back to it sometime just to have a good laugh. I’d definitely recommend to fans of chick-lit and Sophie Kinsella, although I prefer Ranald to be perfectly honest!’ The Reading Love Birds


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I would like to thank #bookouture for sending me an #ARC of Sophie Ranald's book, #JustSaying, via #NetGalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Just Saying by Sophie Ranald is a stand
-alone book, about a woman named Alice, who, just as life was shaping up the way she thought it ought to, with her wonderful boyfriend of two years, their own flat, and job offers at a pretegious law firm, has it ripped away after finding out her boss was terminated, and the position she was offered, no longer there. Instead of looking for work in her field, she ends up wandering into a local pub, and after helping out there, ends up working there and falling in love with the run down place. To make ends meet, her perfect boyfriend suggests moving in his friend ... who happens to be his ex who he was in love with ... into their second room, which, as you can imagine, leads to a slew of new problems.
This is the hard part of receiving advanced reading copies. The books that leave you ... stumped. I don't want to be too rough, but I need to be honest. Just Saying is ... a bit of a mess. For a few reasons. But I want to say what I liked about it first.
I liked that the raw emotions felt from the characters in this book, given the situation, were realistic. Insecurity. Jealousy. These are normal, human emotions, that happen even in the best, and most trusting, of relationships. We are a flawed species, and it's natural. I also felt, in the too short times that Alice and Joe were together in the book, that their chemistry was there. The emotional turmoil one goes through when going through a rough patch with their partner was pretty dead-on. I also enjoyed that our main character, while pushed out of her job in a way, found something she actually loved, instead of something she felt she should do.
Now for what I didn't like.
1. The cover, and the description don't match with the book. At all. "Who Needs a Boyfriend When You Have A Bottle of Wine." doesn't even remotely make sense with this book. The description, makes you think that our main character Alice is fighting for man ... which, spoiler alert, isn't the case at all.
2. This book is labeled as a rom-com. I didn't find it funny. There is a bitter under-current to the whole book. I found the whole time I was reading it mildly anxious. Living with your boyfriend's ex, and watching them get along better than you are ... it's icky feeling, and not at all comedic. The most comedic scene in this book was Alice and her best friend talking about the "Ick" factor that ruins relationships. A couple of pages of dialogue doesn't make for a comedy.
3. It was hardly romantic. Most of the book is about Alice and the pub she works at. I won't lie, I ended up skimming chapters (which I NEVER do), because a lot of it was pointless. It had no bearing on the story that was described. For a romance, we hardly see Alice and Joe together at all in the book. I know their separate schedules could be blamed, and their rough patch, but in order to be classified as a romance, you actually need a couple to read about, and the only times I felt like they were a couple, were the first couple chapters, and the last one.
4. I mentioned this already, but there was a lot of pointless "scenes" in this book. I think Alice falling in love with the pub could have been established with a lot less.
5. There is a bit of a back and forth in timeline in this book. Which I am fine with. I only wish it was more clear at the beginning of a chapter, that we were going back in time.
6. The plausibility of someone EVER agreeing to have their partners ex, who they loved and had sex with once upon a time, to move in with them ... no. I read fantasy, and THAT even seems far-fetched to me.
The characters in this book were okay. Often, though, I found I was mostly frustrated. So many times I read that Alice KNEW she needs to talk to Joe, but continually found excuses

Selected pages


Chapter 1
Sorry Not Sorry
Hear More from Sophie
A Letter from Sophie
Books by Sophie Ranald

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