I like to mix up my reading and having just finished one literary novel followed by an action/adventure/suspense story, I thought perhaps this confection would be just what I needed. Dee Ernst is a fellow author on Boomers and Books and I knew from reading her blogs over the past year that she has a style which appeals to me.
My instincts were right. How could one not love a book when it begins with a view of the April version of winter that is so in tune with my own.
Touted as a romantic comedy, Better Off Without Him was just that. The characters were varied and zany in a normal kind of way, and their nicknames laugh-out-loud funny. Mona, the hero, is a romance writer in her mid-forties who thinks her marriage is perfect – until the day Mr Right comes home and tells her he is in love with a woman fifteen years younger and thirty pounds lighter. A few months later she takes her three teenage daughters to her place on the Jersey shore for the summer. One rainy day they come at her as a group and tell her she should start `practice’ dating. They even have a man in mind, a neighbor and friend from across the street. Thus starts the round of dating `safe’ men recommended by friends, most of whom are anything but.
Ms Ernst has impeccable timing, both with comedy and plot. Her writing is smart and crisp. We are not absolutely certain who she will end up with – or even if she will end up with anyone at all. It is a fun and lighthearted read, but not at all written to formula.
There were a couple of minor flaws. The book had a few more typos than I would have liked for one of its quality and did not translate well to Kindle, where I read it.
Good romantic comedies are hard to come by (even more so ones with mature protagonists) and we need more from this author. Move over, Jennifer Crusie…
This book has coarse language and sex scenes and is recommended for mature audiences.