The Never Have I Ever Club by Mary Jayne Baker
Robyn Bloom thought Ash Barnes was the love of her life – until one day he announced he was leaving her to fly halfway across the world.
Months later, Robyn is struggling to move on – but then she has a brainwave: The Never Have I Ever Club. Her handsome next-door neighbour Will helps her bring their fellow Yorkshire villagers together for some carpe-diem-inspired fun.
From burlesque dancing to Swedish massages, everyone has plenty of bucket-list activities to try, but it doesn't take long for Robyn to realise what – or who – her heart truly desires: Will. There's just one problem: he's Ash's twin brother.
Make that two problems: Ash is moving home... and he wants Robyn back.
I knew I was going to enjoy this, after reading A Question of Us and loving it. Ms Baker's characters are down to earth and realistic; they are also hilarious. I adored the style and tone of her writing, and that's without bringing the seriously funny moments into the equation.
Who can resist a main character who can describe to her bessie mates (one of them a fella) having her bits examined by a doctor wearing the same face as the man she loved and who dumped her. As an opening chapter, it was ace.
There is no saccharine sweetness about this story - it is modern and honest, and thoroughly engrossing, with some seriously deranged old age pensioners thrown in for good measure.
About the Author
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country... and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.