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Lily Buckley’s lived through every bride’s ultimate nightmare, as Colleen Coleman’s For Once in My Life opens – being jilted at the alter by a man who not only tells her he doesn’t love her, but professes undying love for someone else. And yet she’s apparently lived to tell the tale. Or not.

Three years later, she’s single with a stolen kitten named Chaplin, writing for the Newbridge Gazette. Once in a job she adored, Lily is now facing redundancy, along with all her colleagues: the paper’s teetering on the edge of a massive chasm through poor editorship. Then, out of the blue, she’s handed her dream job, the Editor-in-Chief post she should have had before, only when the paper was in good shape. Tasked with turning the gazette’s fortunes around in a month or watching it close, Lily somehow finds herself forced to make ‘Buckley’s Bucket List’, comprising the very things that scare her most and then not just facing them, but writing about them on a weekly basis.

We want interesting, daring things that you haven’t done before. Things that you wouldn’t even contemplate doing unless your life depended on it or you actually thought you were going to die anyway. Push yourself beyond your limits! That’s why it’s a bucket list, it’s supposed to make you feel alive.’

Helped by Christopher, the very attractive, new ‘transformational consultant’, Lily rises spectacularly and hilariously to the challenge. But at the end of the day, will she be able to face her ultimate fear? The one that involves risking her heart? As Lily faces her demons, she emerges triumphant, a courageous, strong and caring woman; someone truly deserving of love.

It’s been a while since we reviewed a rom–com and yet romance is one of our favourite genres and pretty much all we reviewed when we first started the site, so this book, which is reminiscent of early (and good, short) Jilly Cooper, has been a great pleasure to read. When a rom-com is done really well, in accomplished hands, it’s a joy: For Once in My Life, well-written, fast-paced and extremely funny, is just that. Like a lovely piece of chocolate, it leaves you craving more. Highly recommended.

 

For Once in My Life | Colleen Coleman | 20 November 2018 | Bookouture | Kindle £1.99 | paperback £7.99

 

Acknowledgements: Quoted text © Colleen Coleman 2018. This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Noelle Holten of Bookouture for organising it and for providing a review copy and the jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

 

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This review is © 2018 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do request permission. Thank you so much.