Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet).
I’m new to the works of Ros Baxter and Amy Andrews, so it was a pleasure to read something they’ve jointly written as my introduction to their talents. Numbered, a contemporary romance from Harlequin, is bound to be a winner for them because it’s bursting with great elements – love, romance, travel, self-discovery and friendship. Here’s the blurb:
Mathematician and many-time Loser in Love Poppy Devine believes in being prepared. So when she discovers she has breast cancer, all she has to do is dust off the carefully numbered bucket list she prepared years before with her best friend Julia.
There are only two problems: Quentin, a gorgeous younger man with rock-star ambitions, wasn’t on her list. And take-a-risk Julia, has suddenly come over all disapproving.
Together with Poppy’s hippy mother Scarlet, the three form an unlikely alliance to help Poppy realise her goals. Sky diving, swimming with sharks, cooking classes in Tuscany, visiting an orphanage in India are all part of the journey. Along the way, Poppy is forced to confront her best friend’s grief, her fraught relationship with her mother, and the fact that she really might be using her last available time on earth to make the most imperfect match of her life.
But Poppy comes to learn that when your days are numbered there’s no such thing as perfect and love really is all you need.
Tissue alert. I’m calling it early on this one. It’s probably a no-brainer since the main character is terminally ill, but the depiction of Poppy’s life and illness is beautifully done in Numbered. So, keep that in mind. However, it’s not all tears. Laughter, bickering, awww-moments, miscommunication, regrets, wishful thinking – and some pretty hot love scenes – will bring the mixed emotions out in force.
Numbered will make you want to dust off your own bucket list – or start writing one. It’s a lovely reminder that, terminal illness or not, our days are all numbered, life is far from perfect (and it’s also short) and you’ve just got to make the best of it. For the authors, who were inspired by the loss of their mother to write this book, it’s a gentle message to keep on living. Despite the sadness, that positivity is infused through the whole book. I do wonder how cathartic the writing experience was for Baxter and Andrews – whether it helped in the healing process, whether some days were harder than others.
Anyway, I digress. Numbered is a heartfelt, touching read that highlights the skill of its authors. I enjoyed it.
Available from good bookstores and online (RRP $29.99AUD). My copy was courtesy of Harlequin.