I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella has cloned her loveable, scatter-brained Shopaholic heroine in I’ve Got Your Number. If you’ve smiled with Becky Bloomwood through the Shopaholic series, Poppy Wyatt will not only raise your spirits, but may also have you laughing out loud.

Within minutes, Poppy loses her heirloom emerald engagement ring and has her cell phone stolen. The wild ride begins when she commandeers a discarded cell phone and starts a texting relationship with Sam Roxton, a handsome but socially inept businessman. It’s his assistant who quit and threw the cell phone in the trash. Since Poppy needs the phone to communicate with anyone who might find the ring – and others, including the wedding planner – she convinces Sam to let her keep the phone for a while, and promises to forward his emails.

The nonsensical situation is ripe for humor, especially when Poppy starts answering Sam’s mail. The romantic comedy includes a little suspense when someone hacks into the company computer to change a message, but Poppy saves the day.

Kinsella adds over 100 footnotes – Poppy’s nod to her stuffy academic future in-laws. They lost some of their witty sparkle when placed at the end of the chapter on my Kindle (hopefully the actual book places them at the bottom of the page). By then I’d forgotten the reference.

Kinsella has once again morphed Bridget Jones and I Love Lucy into a funny and satisfying distraction, and proves that… “You can be highly intelligent, and also ditzy and klutzy.” The book is a fast satisfying distraction and a good British tonic, if you are out of sorts. If Kinsella is starting a new series with Poppy, I can’t wait for the next one.

40 Love

Madeleine Wickham, aka Sophie Kinsella, is always good for a quick pick-me-up.  Her droll British upstairs/downstairs humor is in good form in 40 Love.  Aptly named, this quick read has 4 couples close to the end of their game.

The four couples meet for a tennis weekend at the nouveau riche estate of Patrick and Caroline, who can never seem to have enough money.  Stephen and Annie are old friends from the good old days before they had money, and Charles and Cressida are old money (at least she is).  Thrown into the mix are Don and his daughter, Valerie, so competitive they will cheat to win.  Love and relationships are the theme; Ella, Charles’s first love, makes a surprise appearance – and the comedy of manners is on.

Whether you read Wickham for a taste of British fun and droll wit, or appreciate her well-hidden sarcasm, 40 Love, recently reissued in the United States, follows the Kinsella/Wickham formula.  And they all get what they deserve in the end.

For more Kinsella/Wickham, see the reviews here

Books by Sophie Kinsella – aka Madeleine Wickham

Have you run out of Shopaholic adventures?  Craving for a little British wit and farcical humor?  Prolific Sophie Kinsella, famous author of eight books in the Shopaholic series featuring Rebecca Bloomwood, as well as author of four stand-alone books, including the Undomestic Goddess – has also written seven books under the name of Madeleine Wickham (her real name).  Under the Madeleine Wickham name, characters are a little less flirty and not so ambitious as the Shopahilic star, but with the same irrepressible penchant for getting into extenuating circumstances.

Sleeping Arrangements has two families separately accept an invitation to use a friend’s well-appointed Spanish villa for a vacation getaway.  Seems he has invited both groups for the same week, to fuel a face-off.  The subplots add to the drama;  two characters, who had a steamy romance in their youth pretend not to know one another; another two who have never met are in business together in a company that’s downsizing.

As the farce heats up, the shenanigans begin to resemble a Restoration play – who will you find under the bed?  It all “gets sorted,” with an ending that leaves everyone happier and wiser.

In The Wedding Girl, Milly conveniently forgets she married  an American, to insure he could stay in the country with his gay British boyfriend. Ten years later, as she is about to marry Simon Percival, heir to millions, a photographer who saw her on the courthouse steps years ago shows up.  So starts a romantic comedy with another Wickham/Kinsella heroine.  The action is too slow, at first, caught up with too many wedding preparations, but eventually the subplots take over for a fun ride and contrived views on life and love.

If you are looking for a break from reality shows with a touch of British comedy, Madeleine (Sophie) has a lot to offer.