Friday 19 January 2018

Review: Fiction: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? by Claire Allan

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Claire Allan already has five bestsellers to her name, including Feels Like Maybe, Rainy Days and Tuesdays and Jumping in Puddles.

Her novels are life-affirming, dealing with relationships, renewal and growth -- always with a keen sense of humour.

Her latest offering takes note of the recession but it is set in a wedding dress shop, so readers can still indulge in designer heels, fairytale dresses and romance. When Kitty Shanahan's husband walks out unexpectedly, she tries to keep a brave face as she helps other women choose the wedding dress of their dreams at the bridal shop which she runs with her stepmother.

One of her clients, journalist Erin Brannigan, only accepted fiancé Paddy's proposal when he was diagnosed with cancer. Her instinct is to run a mile from weddings after being jilted at the altar by a previous love.

But Paddy is determined to have a big fat wedding and the more he behaves like Groomzilla, the more uncomfortable Erin becomes.

As Kitty frantically searches for her husband who seems to have disappeared, her estranged mother turns up throwing Kitty into even more confusion.

Meanwhile, Erin's editor wants her to write a feature on Paddy, "the man who taught her to love again" to boost magazine sales.

But as the article goes to press, disaster looms.

Both protagonists are dealing with betrayal which has tainted their lives and they are instinctively drawn together as they find out if broken hearts can truly be mended.

There are no earth-shattering revelations here but there is an unexpectedly happy ending.

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted will no doubt find favour with Allan's many fans of her heart-warming, yet light-hearted escapism.

Ann Dunne

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