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Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras! When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady. The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off...


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Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras! When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady. The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off...

30 review for The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    DNF @1% for reasons stated in my reading notes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    Dear friends, I had A Great Time reading this book! It feels like it's been months since I've read a chick-lit and I wasn't even aware I missed it in my life. This book reminded me how it feels to laugh out loud while just reading. It was good to be remembered. In this book we follow Jessica, who is a party girl with not so much obligations or the work ethic in her life. All she wants to do is party, travel and not to take things seriously, until one day, the life slaps he. She has no job, no place Dear friends, I had A Great Time reading this book! It feels like it's been months since I've read a chick-lit and I wasn't even aware I missed it in my life. This book reminded me how it feels to laugh out loud while just reading. It was good to be remembered. In this book we follow Jessica, who is a party girl with not so much obligations or the work ethic in her life. All she wants to do is party, travel and not to take things seriously, until one day, the life slaps he. She has no job, no place to live and no money. What I found in this novel is the fact that not one character in this book is likeable at the first apperience, but over the time, chapter by chapter, you start to get attached to them. At first, I didn't like Jessica. I tought she was selfish and deserved what came for her. Despise that, I wanted to know how she's going to manage her new life. I also wondered if there's going to be that typical character development where the character puts her old life behind her and becomes a different person. I can gladely say this book is free of all those big cliches. Peach was my favorite character. I can totally imagine that girl somewhere in the real world. Summer was the one we should probably think about as a b*tch, but I actually understood her and I would probably act the same way she did, if I was her. Does that make me a b*tch too? Probably, but at least an honest one. After all, Jessica's leak of responsibilities and better judgement have put her in the position she found herself in. Matilda, Jessica's Grandmother, was my least favorite character. Although, I would like to read her books so I could try some of her advices. Don't let the cover and genre fool you! This book contains some serious topics, such as a suicide and depression, shattered loves and shettered pesronalities. That is what I like about this book the most. And the fact that author knew how to present this story and touch those serious things in the book, but at the same time wrote a funny book without the dissrespect to people with simiral problems and in simiral situations, makes me appreciate her as an author. If you seek for a new chick-lit, I warmly recommend this one. I got this book for free in an exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Pan and Netgalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    2.5 stars I was really looking forward to this book because of the premise - old school charm meets modern woman. Unfortunately, for me, I disliked Jess intensely for the first 97% of the book. To put it bluntly, she was RUDE, CRUDE AND LEWD! She finally got better when her grandma started coaching her but as I said, that took forever. The last few chapters finally saved the book for me. Not sure if I would read this author again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Originally posted on This Chick Reads *Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review* 'The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance' is the second book by amazingly talented Kirsty Greenwood. Last year I reviewed her book 'Yours Truly' (Read my review here) and I remember I was fascinated with her writing. I even remember thinking (and I say that in my review) that I can only imagine how good her next novel will be. And I'm so glad I was right. But no matter how good I expected her next nov Originally posted on This Chick Reads *Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review* 'The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance' is the second book by amazingly talented Kirsty Greenwood. Last year I reviewed her book 'Yours Truly' (Read my review here) and I remember I was fascinated with her writing. I even remember thinking (and I say that in my review) that I can only imagine how good her next novel will be. And I'm so glad I was right. But no matter how good I expected her next novel to be, I must say I'm blown away by it. My all time favorite book and the book that got me hooked on the chick lit genre was Jane Green's 'Jemima J'. For years, despite reading hundreds of chick lits in between, it remained number one, high above the rest in this genre. But this book changed everything. So you'll understand when I say that this book is my bible and the best chick lit book I've ever read. Everything about is just perfect. From the colorful, stunning cover with the gorgeous girl dressed vintage, to the beautiful writing and hilarious story line. I've never been so fascinated with a book heroine before. Jess Beam is wonderful, cider loving, up beat and a party animal. She's a girl you all either wish to be or wish to have in your life. When we meet her for the first time she works and lives with her best friend, Summer and writes articles for their site. An opportunity turns up for them to write a book and after seeing Jess is the talented one who'll do all the writing, Summer dumps her in the most cruel way. But even at these moments, Jess is not pathetic, though she's not only jobless but lost someone who she thought was a friend. Being stabbed in the back is something we've all experienced in our lives (if you haven't, well consider yourselves lucky), but even at times like this, Jess manages to rise above it and look for ways to survive. After meeting her grandmother, famous writer though now completely broke, Matilda Beam, she's off to a new adventure. Back in the days Matilda Beam has been well known writer with a long lists of Guides written, such as how to behave like a lady or how to snatch a gentleman. When she meets a publisher trying to get her books republished, she's told her rules are out of fashion and totally not applicable for the modern woman. It is then that Matilda turns to Jess for help, whom she's to transform into a lady to prove her tips work. I'm telling you, this book is good! I was laughing out loud, imagining Jess rolling her eyes at Matilda's tips, while good old Matilda is trying to make a point. Even now, days after I read this book, Jess is still living in my head and my heart. But it's not only Jess, Peach and Matilda are wonderful characters. The best thing about this book is that it's about friendship, family and of course, has a a bit of romance. It's an interesting mix of all the things I love in books and has all the ingredients a great chick lit novel is bound to have. It's obvious Ms Kirsty owns the chick lit genre, she bloody owns it! Not only was I hooked from page one, I was completely absorbed in it through out, forgetting about everything I needed to do. Even going to the bathroom! My bladder was screaming, but all I was thinking was I gotta read couple of pages more. And that is how I know this book is a hit, when it's larger even than Mother Nature. I could say millions of things about why I love this book, yet I couldn't find a single flaw. It's perfect from any angle, the characters are unique and lovable, the story line flows and pages turn by itself. Ms Greenwood is undoubtedly the best thing that's happened to the chick lit genre and her writing is simply a breath of fresh air. If you're a chick lit fan, this book is a must! And don't you wait a day longer, just READ IT!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie TBGWP

    So erm, I have a new favourite book of all time. I actually really do mean that too. We fall in love with books so many times don't we? But there's always one that gets you. And in that I don't mean it gets you teary-eyed or gushy and shit, I mean it gets you! You as a person. You identify so much in the characters, the situations, in every page. The hurt, the laughter, the love all gets whacked up to a million and the feels come down hard. When a book does that to you, and it's really quite a t So erm, I have a new favourite book of all time. I actually really do mean that too. We fall in love with books so many times don't we? But there's always one that gets you. And in that I don't mean it gets you teary-eyed or gushy and shit, I mean it gets you! You as a person. You identify so much in the characters, the situations, in every page. The hurt, the laughter, the love all gets whacked up to a million and the feels come down hard. When a book does that to you, and it's really quite a tough job to do, you know you've found your book. The book that was written for you. And, this was definitely written for me. (Yeah, I know it wasn't written especially for me, but I can pretend it was) Anyway, the book is tremendous. It's seriously good fun. It has you giggling manically and doing great big lol's. (Did I really just write lol's? Shoot me right now!) As soon as you start reading and are thrown straight into bed with Jessica Beam you fall in total love with her. She Is the ultimate heroine. What's even better is that she's northern. That comes through something wicked in this read. I obviously get northern humour a lot more than others so it was right up my street, but I do honestly think it would be up any ones street. I'm a complete sucker for a good love story, and one that has a good twist, a bit of heartbreak, and a bitchy villain. So it was perfect for me. Oh and I adore the 50s era. Obvs some of you have already met me and seen how I dress up. Well if am out of me jarmers like. I am just far too excited with this book. Oh and you know what else right? I watched a film when I was young and I fell in love with it. I watched it over and over. As I got older no one had even heard of it. I was gutted. It took me years to track down a DVD in UK format too. So when in this book, that was personally written for me, and had me swooning over the clothes, characters, and everything else it had in it. It also had, wait for it.... TEEN WITCH! Fucking Teen Witch please!! Not even just that though, it was my ultimate favourite part of the entire film. I am so so so in love with this book. It is 3:38am now and I am seriously going to wake my husband up to tell him about it. If he kills me it will have been worth it. Shit review I know, but I just can't. I am just far too excited for it. I know for a fact it is going to be one of the biggest sellers of 2015. It is Chicklit with a whopping big crown on. Kirsty Greenwood I applaud you. Your awesome imagination. Your brilliant story-telling skills. AND, that you wrote me a book! ;) Go buy this book. Don't even wait. Go now. Go on. Even if it's the e-book. Just do it. (Nike Swoosh) 5/5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Jess finds herself homeless and jobless on the same day after expecting to be signing a big book deal with her best friend on an internet concept they run, that she writes for her friend. At a book launch where her friend conveniently poured a drink over her outfit before they left and convinced her to go in a onesie, she manages to sabotage the launch and meets an obnoxious man. She decides to seek out her estranged grandma and what follows is a gloriously, frothy bubble of her being forced to t Jess finds herself homeless and jobless on the same day after expecting to be signing a big book deal with her best friend on an internet concept they run, that she writes for her friend. At a book launch where her friend conveniently poured a drink over her outfit before they left and convinced her to go in a onesie, she manages to sabotage the launch and meets an obnoxious man. She decides to seek out her estranged grandma and what follows is a gloriously, frothy bubble of her being forced to try out her 1950's style 'How to meet a man' type books in a hope that they can save her grandma's house . She's not entirely caught up in the 50's world and still enjoys being Jess behind her grandma's back. As part of the book deal she has to use her grandma's tips to 'snare' a man- and the publisher has chosen the 'obnoxious' man she met at the book launch.They plan outfits and hair and 'topics for conversation' in a bid for her to win this gentleman round! Although she feels out of place in the 50's styling, she does start to feel differently and actually enjoys the dates with Leo. I loved the dates, her blossoming friendship with Peach and her new relationship with her Grandma. There are family skeletons hiding in the cupboards and more heartbreak for them all. The dates were wonderfully described and I loved both Leo and Jess. With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this lovely book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zarina

    http://www.pagetostagereviews.com/201... Jessica Beam is not the likeliest of literary heroes. She is wild and careless, and it doesn't come as a huge surprise when all her luck runs out at once and she finds herself an out of work Billy no-mates. And because she'd been sharing a flat with her ex-best friend, she's suddenly homeless too. So in a fit of anger she kidnaps her roommate Summer's cat, Mr Belding, packs her belongings in a bin liner and sets out for the only possible roof-over-her-head http://www.pagetostagereviews.com/201... Jessica Beam is not the likeliest of literary heroes. She is wild and careless, and it doesn't come as a huge surprise when all her luck runs out at once and she finds herself an out of work Billy no-mates. And because she'd been sharing a flat with her ex-best friend, she's suddenly homeless too. So in a fit of anger she kidnaps her roommate Summer's cat, Mr Belding, packs her belongings in a bin liner and sets out for the only possible roof-over-her-head she can think of; the house of the grandmother she has never met. Matilda Beam was an icon back in the 1950s. She penned a series of successful books providing young women with all the advice they needed to behave like proper ladies and snag themselves a suitable husband. Nowadays though, she lives in a house far too big and far too cluttered for just her, and as the unopened bills pile up she is unable to convince her publisher that her books are still very relevant for the 21st century woman and should be reprinted. When Jess unexpectedly appears on her doorstep she is the least lady-like woman Matilda has ever laid eyes on, yet there is something about her granddaughter that makes Matilda take her in. And when Matilda claims that her vintage guides can provide Jess with everything she needs to get back on top, and catch a handsome man to boot, the two realise that the new-found relationship can be mutually beneficial. I loved how Kirsty Greenwood forced two absolute opposites like Jess and Matilda together as their completely different views on dating and romance provided a lot of interesting dynamics within the novel. While main character Jess was not at all what I was expecting when I started reading – rather than a sweet and instantly likeable character, as usually is the case in romantic comedy books, she was brash and selfish – this made the story exciting and unexpected. I did not know from the very first page what the conclusion would be, or how Jess' journey would pan out, and that made it a very enjoyable ride indeed. It wasn't just about Jess and Matilda either, Kirsty has sprinkled her second novel with some fantastic supporting characters as well, from those I instantly loved, such as Matilda's assistant Peach, to those I disliked with a passion (*cough* Summer *cough*). It was an interesting bunch of people and their diversity created some great and very memorable scenes (point in case, Peach's first date). What makes this foremost such a fantastic novel though, is Kirsty's brilliant voice running throughout. It is incredibly fresh and funny, I dare you not to laugh-out-loud while reading about some of the more 'interesting' situations Jess manages to get herself into. There was definitely some eye-rolling from me, as I couldn't believe what she got up to next, but her escapades also made for a hugely entertaining reading experience. There was even one occasion where she made me laugh until actual tears were running down my face. On. The. Train. People stared. It wasn't all fun and games though, there was a great story at the core of the novel and the vintage tips throughout appealed to the nostalgic in me as well. And thought not quite going all the way back to the 1950s, I loved the heavy dose of pop culture references running through the story, which will particularly appeal to those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. After finishing the book I had the sudden desire to rewatch Saved By The Bell, The Goonies (Best. Film. Ever.) and The O.C., while listening to some Kings of Leon Live, subliminal message received. From the eye-catching cover and enticing title to the wonderful vintage tips and the utterly brilliant story hiding within, there is nothing not to love about The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance – this is a rom-com read at its very best.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Originally reviewed for Bookaholic Confessions The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance introduces us to party animal, pear-cider loving, twenty-something Jessica Beam. Her pastimes include casual sex and creating some of the funniest swear words known to man. However, when her laid back attitude leads to her losing her job on the blog she works on with her best friend, Summer, she also loses her home at the same time. Being jobless and homeless is no biggie for Jessica Beam, though. It’s nothing a f Originally reviewed for Bookaholic Confessions The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance introduces us to party animal, pear-cider loving, twenty-something Jessica Beam. Her pastimes include casual sex and creating some of the funniest swear words known to man. However, when her laid back attitude leads to her losing her job on the blog she works on with her best friend, Summer, she also loses her home at the same time. Being jobless and homeless is no biggie for Jessica Beam, though. It’s nothing a few pear ciders won’t cure, and anyway a plan soon comes together… Jessica intends to track down her long-lost Grandmother, Matilda Beam. Matilda lives in a mahoosive house and surely won’t mind lending Jessica a few quid in order for her to go travelling and have a bit of a break from life. Right? Erm, not exactly. Matilda was the author of a series of books back in the 1950s known as the ‘Good Woman’ guides. Although they were a huge success Matilda has since fallen on hard times after her husband left her with masses of debt. Shocked and appalled at her granddaughters appearance, seeming lack of morals and language, Matilda fears she is having some sort of breakdown and offers Jessica a place to stay. Whilst Jessica is desperate to flee the junk-cluttered house and her bedroom full of creepy looking porcelain dolls, Matilda forms a plan and it just happens to be a good ‘un. Disheartened that her Good Woman guides have been turned down for re-publishing, Matilda wants to bring out a new book, in the form of an experiment. Can her guides from the 1950s turn wild, potty-mouthed, party-loving Jessica into a sophisticated, demure young lady? And so How to Catch a Man Like it’s 1955 is born… I can safely say that The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is THE book I was most excited about reading so far this year. I became a fully fledged Kirsty Greenwood fan after loving her debut novel, Yours Truly, and so I have been eagerly anticipating the release of her second book. There’s also the fact that I have been hearing hundreds and hundreds of good things about this story. Of course, I did have that slight fear in the back of my mind…what if it doesn’t live up to the hype? However, as soon as I had read the first three pages I knew that this novel wasn’t going to live up to the hype…It was totally going to SMASH the hype and be even more amazing than I originally thought. Firstly I need to talk about Kirsty’s writing. Wowser. It’s just brilliant, so much so that you don’t feel like you’re actually reading a book. It feels like you’re sat cosied up with your BFF’s having a good old gossip. You get the same amount of enjoyment, excitement, laughs and pleasure that you would only in book format. Kirsty’s style of writing is down-to-earth, realistic, effortless to read and an absolute joy. The characters that she has created rank amongst some of my favourites and whilst Jessica might not start off at the most likeable of characters, I found myself kind-of loving her, even at the start. Yes, she could be frustrating, selfish and even slightly delusional at times but boy, oh, boy does this girl make for great reading. Her use of language is first class and some of the swear words that she creates I am TOTALLY adopting. Seeing her transform before my very eyes into a ‘lady’ was absolutely fascinating. Her journey navigating pointy bras, corsets and the art of glove dropping really does form the basis of a great story. Can tips from the 1950s really work in the modern dating world? Then there’s the supporting characters; I adored Peach, hated Summer and of course, there’s the love interest…or should that be interest(s). I loved how Leo was portrayed throughout the story. To start off with I was in agreement with Jess (he was a knob-prince, definitely) but I found myself wavering along with ‘Lucille’ later on in the story. Eeek. The other things I loved about The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is how there is so much going on. There is never a dull page, its excitement, laughter, drama and intrigue all the way. I was particularly fascinated to find out what the deal was with Matilda and Jessica’s mother Rose (who sadly died when Jessica was eighteen). Something had obviously happened between them as they became estranged, but Kirsty only gives very slight clues as to what, and the more the story progresses, the more is unravelled… I also loved how there were snippets from Matilda’s books at the start of each chapter and how they relate to what’s happening. The extracts from Rose Beam’s diary were also a fascinating extra and made the story that little bit more juicer as you become desperate to find out what happened. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is a book that has EVERYTHING right, even the cover is delicious. I would give it a million, billion, trillion stars (or shoes in my case….) if I could because it is the perfect romantic comedy. Hilarious, touching, warm and an all round beautiful story. I’d raid the positive adjective bank and use every single one to describe this novel, but then my review would be even longer. So I’ll finish up by recommending this book to everyone (yes, you at the back there!) and also by making the rather bold claim that it is one of my favourite books EVER. Kirsty Greenwood, I love you and can’t wait to see what you bring us next…

  9. 5 out of 5

    Book Addict Shaun

    Where to start?! You know when a book is just perfect from start to finish, faultless, amazing, epic, all the words? Well, that's The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance and it is hands down one of the best and most fun Women's Fiction books I have ever read. No exaggeration. And it's funny, like serious laugh-out-loud funny. Lindsey Kelk level. From just the very first chapter I knew I was going to love this book. Jessica Beam finds herself thrown out by her boss and 'best friend' Summer, and with Where to start?! You know when a book is just perfect from start to finish, faultless, amazing, epic, all the words? Well, that's The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance and it is hands down one of the best and most fun Women's Fiction books I have ever read. No exaggeration. And it's funny, like serious laugh-out-loud funny. Lindsey Kelk level. From just the very first chapter I knew I was going to love this book. Jessica Beam finds herself thrown out by her boss and 'best friend' Summer, and with nowhere else to go she suddenly remembers about her long-lost (and rich) grandmother, Matilda. Turning up on her doorstep for a loan, Jess is disappointed to discover her grandmother isn't rich, her 1950s Good Woman guides are out of print, and she can't keep up with the mortgage repayments. An idea is formed for a new book, where Jess will follow the Good Woman guides, and transform herself into a lady that will capture the heart of the notorious Leo Frost, proving that this outdated advice still works in the present day. What can possibly go wrong? I loved Jess from the very first page, whilst at the same time being a little bit thankful I wasn't with her at the time of some of her more outrageous moments, it's easy to see why she drives some people crazy. But for the most part, she is just fabulous and I wish she was an actual real-life woman. She's somebody that readers will root for from the very beginning. When her bitch of a best friend kicks her out (I spent half the book hoping that something horrible would happen to Summer), she's definitely in need of a new one (ahem, me) and that comes in the form of Peach, her grandmother's assistant. Even the secondary characters in this book are amazing. I really liked Matilda, and enjoyed watching our two very different characters clash and I especially liked how they both managed to change each other for the better. I loved how each chapter started with advice from the Good Woman guides. Some of it hilarious, bits of it shocking and some of it just downright wrong but not all of it irrelevant. It was a lot of fun watching Jess being transformed, or rather her trying to change. It was definitely a challenge. I did have a couple of ideas about where the main story arc would go, but in the background there's a little bit of a mystery involving Jessica's mother, and I loved this part of the story, and was desperate to find out what happened in the past. And there may also be more than one love interest... I did change my mind numerous times as I read this book. Without wanting to sound repetitive, there is just not one single thing about this book that I could fault, not one. It was so refreshing to read a book like this, something so different to other books like it at the moment. The Women's Fiction genre at the minute is just fantastic, incredibly strong, and I have no doubt that Kirsty Greenwood is going to become a firm favourite of mine. I am already eyeing up Yours, Truly on Amazon. This is easily one of the best books released this year so far, so if you are thinking about buying it, don't even hesitate. If you don't love it, I'll give you your money back! I am still sulking that it's over, so sorry TBR but I'll be snarling you for a while longer before starting a new book. In case you couldn't already tell, this book comes very highly recommended by me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kirke

    I really didn’t like Jess at first. She’s the type of girl you call when you want to have a fun night out. You don’t call her if it’s about anything else but a party, as she will probably embarrass the heck out of you by getting insanely drunk. So I do get why her roommate did what she did, but Summer could have just been honest with Jess, as now she was a stab backing witch. So after being kicked out and with that also losing her job, Jess realizes she has nowhere to go to or anyone to turn to. I really didn’t like Jess at first. She’s the type of girl you call when you want to have a fun night out. You don’t call her if it’s about anything else but a party, as she will probably embarrass the heck out of you by getting insanely drunk. So I do get why her roommate did what she did, but Summer could have just been honest with Jess, as now she was a stab backing witch. So after being kicked out and with that also losing her job, Jess realizes she has nowhere to go to or anyone to turn to. Until she finds out about her grandma. Though they’ve never met, Jess quickly immerses herself in her life. It seems though that the grandmother is also in a pickle when it comes to money. Together with a publisher, they agree to write a new book. Using her grandmother’s tips and tricks, Jess is to catch a man. Now up front you know that’s not going to end well. So the plot for the most part was predictable. It actually took a while to get to that point in the story, about the whole Jess meets man thing. Therefor the start was a bit slow for me. Jess is certainly a fun character. She’s very direct, and seems to do only things that make her feel good. Jess has been avoiding anything “serious”, for example: romantic relationships outside the bedroom, birthday parties for her friends’ children, having any clue what to do with her life… I felt really bad for Leo Frost pretty fast. He behaved like a jerk before, but it’s immediately clear that he’s different when it comes to Jess. I have to say that by the end, he was the most likable character of all. The focus of the story was mostly on Jess, and her drama. There is certainly some growth within her throughout the story, and it’s necessary. I would have liked to have seen more romance. Now I had some trouble believing the connection between Jess and Leo, ’cause it all happened so fast. All in all not a bad book. It was just a typical British chick lit. The characters were okay, plot somewhat predictable, not enough romance for me, though there was plenty of humor. *I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bookevin

    Full review: http://iheart-chicklit.blogspot.com/2... Can I fanboy over this masterpiece by Kirsty Greenwood? Again? Seeing that I was gushing all great things about her debut novel, Yours Truly back in 2013. Oh, how I missed reading, guffawing and loving every page of Yours Truly. When I received a proof copy of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance, I did an inexorable squeak and whoop of delight. Full review: http://iheart-chicklit.blogspot.com/2... Can I fanboy over this masterpiece by Kirsty Greenwood? Again? Seeing that I was gushing all great things about her debut novel, Yours Truly back in 2013. Oh, how I missed reading, guffawing and loving every page of Yours Truly. When I received a proof copy of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance, I did an inexorable squeak and whoop of delight.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Dobinson

    Kirsty Greenwood is a new author to me and I am very impressed. She has written a story that is a bit different but still as much fun as you would expect from a good chick-lit. I like how she shows that mistakes can carry on down the generations. Jess is a troubled soul due to misguided decisions by others and she goes on an unwilling journey of self-discovery. Of course there is plenty of alcohol and mishaps along the way. I recommend this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Agi

    Guilty as charged, I haven't read Kirsty Greenwood's debut novel "Yours, Truly" yet, even though it waits patiently on my kindle, and even though I have heard so many paeans about her writing. I am solemnly promising to make up for it asap, as, let's be honest, The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance has just blown my mind. It was one of the most anticipated books this spring and let me tell you, it is a book that is worth all the buzz, all the hype and thousand more. The perfection starts with the Guilty as charged, I haven't read Kirsty Greenwood's debut novel "Yours, Truly" yet, even though it waits patiently on my kindle, and even though I have heard so many paeans about her writing. I am solemnly promising to make up for it asap, as, let's be honest, The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance has just blown my mind. It was one of the most anticipated books this spring and let me tell you, it is a book that is worth all the buzz, all the hype and thousand more. The perfection starts with the title and the cover already, don't you think? The girl on it couldn't be more vintage, and the colours are so beautiful! And it had me snorting with laughter already at the end of chapter 1, which was very short nota bene, so couldn't there be a better start to a book? Yes, the right answer is NO. There is so much happening in this story that it's almost impossible to summarize it in only few sentences! Jess Beam is a blogger, who's living with her boss and best friend in the person of Summer. Because of the popularity of the blog, there is a chance the girls may be offered a book deal. Unfortunately, at the event they are invited to, everything goes belly up and they can forget their book. What's more, Summer seems to think that it's all Jessica's fault and she decides not only to drop her texts for the blogs (though it were Jess's brilliant texts that made the blog so popular!), but she also tells her to move out... What now? Jess is all alone in this world, as her mum died when she was 18... But wait! There is, after all, this long - lost grandmother, Matilda Beam... Little Jess knows what is expecting her at her grandma's big house... What is this? A project. To save the house and re - publish Matilda's old books, she and Jess must prove that the old tips about Good Woman from the 50's are still up - to - date! And that thanks to those tips they will able to catch a good man. Who is the best victim? Why, hello, Leo Frost, the one with whom Jess had had the (un)pleasure to disagree during the book launch, and who is the ex of Valentina, Jess and Matilda's publicist... OMG. I could go on and on about the story - every page brings something new, there is not a single flat moment, there is always something happening! So many twists and turns and obstacles being put in the ways, jealous friends and lost - but also won - opportunities! I so wanted to see what is going to come out from the project of proving that the tips from the 50's are still working in the bad, vulgar 21st century, and I so wanted to see how Matilda is going to change Jess. Matilda, long time ago a very famous writer with her Good Woman tips, now completely broke, couldn't adapt to the new times and getting to know Jess, with her swearing all the time or even coming across her in very intimate situation, VERY, was absolutely shocked but oh my, more challenging, the better! Although I must admit, I had some problems with Jessica at the beginning and it took me some time to get used to her. But then I thought, hell, because I couldn't have lived with her, because I think she's a little too crazy for my liking, because I think she's lazy and doesn't think about anyone else but herself, constantly drunk with really questionable morals, but hell, it doesn't mean that she's a bad person, right? And oh my gosh, how much she proved me wrong, too! But oh my god, you can imagine my panic, can't you? Jess changes, but she also stays the same, I know it doesn't make sense, but it is as it is, I probably just grown up to like her through the whole book because she totally, absolutely, freakingly deserves to be liked. She might have been light - headed, walking on air girl but deep inside she was unbelievably good, loyal and wanted all the best for everyone. I was a little appalled by Jess and her approach, searching for her grandmother only because of the money, and agreeing for the new, life - changing project with only money in subconscious. I have thought, Jeez, Jess, stop it, there are other values in life too. And as much as Jess annoyed me, I think that creating such a character was intended by Kirsty. She has managed to do something that doesn't often happens with characters, because usually they are straightforward, but here our Jess went from very charming to very irritating, and once you wanted to shake her, bang her head on the wall, and in the next second you wanted to hug her. And there were reasons for her behaviour, which Kirsty slowly reveals and unravels through the story. But the fact is that, the more Jess grows up, the more proud I felt of her, and ended the book absolutely adoring her. What I absolutely adored in Jess is the fact that she never looked back. She might have been dumped, stabbed in the back by her best friend, left totally alone but she was like this proverbial phoenix, always rising from the ashes. And she was always up for a new adventure, albeit reluctantly - like the new project with Matilda - but nevertheless, willing to try. I liked that Kristy made Leo a growing character. When we get to know him, he is described (usually by his ex - girlfriends) as a git, playboy, arrogant... you have the picture. But slowly, slowly, together with Jess aka Lucille we get to know his other, more gentle side and learn that hmmm, in fact he's not so bad. Leo was hilarious and Kirsty has described him as such an unpleasant guy, yuck, really. I was so curious how Jess is going to seduce him, as she didn't like him as well. Well, she thought she didn't like him... Oh well, it wasn't easy to know what one is feeling with doctor Jamie downstairs in his office in grandma's house, right? Kristy has created a bunch of brilliant, vivid, popping out of the pages support characters and it was the biggest fun to read about them. Of course Jess is the heart of the story, but there is also Matilda, her grandmother, who likes to deal with business by starting to cry, which our poor Jess can't stand because it melts her heart, there is Peach, the probably last virgin in this age on the planet, Peach with her antics, oh my god, she was incredible and had me in tears (tears of joy) when planning all the best - friends - evening or going on her first date with the postman. Hilarious! James, Leo, to name a few, and Summer, the awful, awful Summer, from the very beginning I was frowning and thinking, how Jess can consider this madam to be her best friend at all? She used Jess and I so, so hoped she was going to be lost without Jess and her impact to the website (but I missed this very much, this is the only sub - plot that was not ended for my liking, it was left open). And don't forget a cat, Mr Belding, a character of his own. I don't like cats, but this one had a right attitude. So yes, after being taken under her grandmother's wing Jess changes - doesn't change. I think she has just seen and realised some things, seen that life is not only a bed of roses, and perhaps grown up a little. I, in fact, couldn't wait to see Jessica being turned into a "Good Woman" by her grandmother, thinking: she! A Good Woman! And sarcastically laughing: ha! ha! But the more she pretended to be Lucille, the more of the good - womanness rubbed off on her. And this is what I really like, this change - no change in Jessica, because as much as she changed, I think that deep down she stayed true to herself, as we could see it in one of the last scenes when she told Leo point - blank what he gets. So as you can see, I was totally fascinated by Jess. She was a cider - freak and party animal with big mouth and incredible love for swearing. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed Jess's grandmother Matilda and what she did with Jess, and the whole make - over. The descriptions of big hair, pointy boobs, miniscule waists and very detailed make - up were absolutely brilliant, and it was a joy to see how much Jess felt for her alter - ego Lucille Darling. This book is good, oh my, how good this book is! It's written in incredibly vivid, colourful way and the scenes has just slipped before my very own eyes. I still can see the pointy boobs . The interaction and usually disagreement between Jess and Matilda sounded so normal and natural, just like a banter between granddaughter and grandmother. Kirsty has also wonderfully captured and described the budding of the feeling between Jess and Leo, it was so gentle and sweet. I absolutely loved how each of the chapter began with a small advice from Matilda's old books and how this advice related to the content of the chapter. My word, I think I would so love to live in the 50's, wear a red lipstick and white gloves! Also, we were treated to some entries from Jess's mum's diary and it slowly but steadily showed us that the truth, or this what Jess thought was truth, was in fact one big lie, so apart of a lot of humour there are some more touching scenes in the story as well. This book has it all. Quirky heroine, absolutely loveable characters, bit of drama, bit of romance, and a lot of laugh. Kirsty has written the ultimate chick - lit novel, period. The story flows smoothly and seamlessly and in fact this book is like a fresh of breath air. It has really fulfilled all my expectations and more. I have only missed an epilogue, where I'd see that someone's TV series were absolute, epic fail!!! But other than that, it was perfect. I hope you already have your copy? If not, there is no point in wasting your time - just go and buy it, for you, for your mum, sister and best friends, they're going to be verrrry thankful! Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paris Baker

    Originally posted on Paris Baker's Book Nook. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley. The buzz round this book has been pretty epic, I think it was probably the most anticipated book of the year so far for chick lit fans. There wasn’t a word I’d read about it that wasn’t absolutely raving about how brilliant and funny it was, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and find out what all the fuss was about! It didn’t take long to work it out, as I was lau Originally posted on Paris Baker's Book Nook. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley. The buzz round this book has been pretty epic, I think it was probably the most anticipated book of the year so far for chick lit fans. There wasn’t a word I’d read about it that wasn’t absolutely raving about how brilliant and funny it was, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and find out what all the fuss was about! It didn’t take long to work it out, as I was laughing out loud right from the get-go. Jessica Beam is my hero. She is just down right hilarious. Yes, she is frustrating, childish and at times selfish, particularly at the start, but there’s a certain determination and zeal about her that was hard not to be drawn into. Summer is Jess’s “best friend,” roommate and boss, but at heart is nothing more than a totally vindictive cow, who has used Jess when it suited her. When Jess suddenly finds herself jobless, friendless and homeless, she remembers about the grandmother she’s never met, and – after a quick Google – is overjoyed to discover she’s an author of the best-selling Good Woman Guides from the 50s; she must have some cash to spare for her long-lost granddaughter, right? Unfortunately, Matilda Beam is not quite the star she once was, with her books out of production and her husband no longer around to take care of the accounts, things aren’t going great for her either. Appalled at Jess’s undignified looks and language – not to mention the lack of a husband at her age! – Matilda takes in her wayward granddaughter, and a lifeline for both of them suddenly arises when a top publishing house wants to put a modern spin on the Good Woman Guides – with Jess as the Guinea Pig. As much as the idea of being a perfect 50s housewife makes Jess want to gag, she’s in no position to refuse and reluctantly agrees, and, oh my, how the hilarity ensues. The victim is selected: the publishers ex, Leo Frost, who happened to recently make a mockery of Jess at a book launch, so she’s undercover getting their story and payback all in one. Let’s just say, a life of graceful obedience does not exactly come naturally to our Jess, and sometimes the harder she tries, the more everything goes tits-up. But no matter how badly she screws things up, I couldn’t help but love her all the more, it was so wonderful watching her develop throughout the story. Matilda and her assistant, Jess’ new BFF Peach, were equally brilliant, and I just wanted to jump right into the pages and live it with them all. I seriously could go on and on about how brilliant and fabulous and hilarious and wonderful and ALL OF THE AWESOME ADJECTIVES this is, but honestly, just buy it, go buy it right now, and you will discover for yourself why this book is not to be missed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Firstly I have to say a big thank you to Karen as I won a copy of this fabulous book in a give away over on her blog's page, My Reading Corner. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is a fabulous light hearted read that is extremely entertaining. Jessica Beam is a great character. She is the ultimate party girl and lives life to the full. That is until her so called best friend gets fed up of her drunken antics and cuts her ties with her, leaving her jobless and homeless. To be honest for Jess, I t Firstly I have to say a big thank you to Karen as I won a copy of this fabulous book in a give away over on her blog's page, My Reading Corner. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is a fabulous light hearted read that is extremely entertaining. Jessica Beam is a great character. She is the ultimate party girl and lives life to the full. That is until her so called best friend gets fed up of her drunken antics and cuts her ties with her, leaving her jobless and homeless. To be honest for Jess, I think this is the kick up the backside she needs to realise she is an adult and probably needs to start behaving like a grown up. To be fair to her though she has had it tough and not had the normal upbringing that most of us will have had. Luckily for Jess she remembers that she has a grandmother, who even though she hasn't met, decides to drop her presence on. Jess's grandmother is a really lovely woman who is very old school and is quite prim and proper. She has a lovely ditzy PA/helper/carer who lives in called Peaches who was just adorable. To be fair apart from Summer the ex best friend, I really loved all the characters n this book. In the hope of making some money to save from being evicted from the lovely home that Jess's grandmother owns they have to prove that a guide from the 1950's will still work in capturing a man's heart in the present day. Well I have to say the book certainly got a lot more fun from this point onwards. Like Jess to start with I wasn't to sure of the womaniser Leo that she has to entrap but even he grew on me. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance really is a wonderful book and one I would highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    LOL and Feels I loved this book! It was so great that I finished it in one day. At first, Jess, the FMC, wasn't terribly likable. She still found a way to burrow into your heart, even though, you didn't care for her behavior. Grandma Beam and Peach were fantastic, as well as Jaime and Leo. This book was super funny, but it had so many layers in it that it wasn't slapstick or cliche. It also really brought out the feels. It was endearing and sweet. It is just something you must read. 5 stars!!!!! LOL and Feels I loved this book! It was so great that I finished it in one day. At first, Jess, the FMC, wasn't terribly likable. She still found a way to burrow into your heart, even though, you didn't care for her behavior. Grandma Beam and Peach were fantastic, as well as Jaime and Leo. This book was super funny, but it had so many layers in it that it wasn't slapstick or cliche. It also really brought out the feels. It was endearing and sweet. It is just something you must read. 5 stars!!!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Actual rating 3.5. I hated the first 100 pages of this book, but found myself truly enjoying rest. Perfect kind of chick lit to read on a rainy day and share with all of your girlfriends (perhaps after a viewing of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days;))

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alison Brodie

    I've been meaning to read this books for months. I'm so glad I did. It is very funny. I love the heroine, Jess. And I especially love the quotes from her grandmother's book of dating. This novel has received great reviews, and it deserves all of them. I've been meaning to read this books for months. I'm so glad I did. It is very funny. I love the heroine, Jess. And I especially love the quotes from her grandmother's book of dating. This novel has received great reviews, and it deserves all of them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Great book. I loved reading all about Jess. Loved the way it ended & hope there will be more books about them all!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)

    4.5 stars This is like a cross between The Princess Diaries, How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Cinderella only with more swears, belly laughs and sexy times. Loved it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Robinson

    Perfect, clever, funny, wonderful chicklit. Greenwood is peerless in this genre! Review to follow.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Originally posted on http://beccasbooooks.blogspot.co.uk/ I am speechless. Absolutely, honest to God, 100% speechless. I have no idea of where to even begin with my review of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood. There's so much I want to say, so many gorgeous things that I want to comment on, and I'm almost certain that the majority of my thoughts will come to me once I'm away from this review and my laptop, gah! So, bookish beauts, I'm going to try my best to convey my utte Originally posted on http://beccasbooooks.blogspot.co.uk/ I am speechless. Absolutely, honest to God, 100% speechless. I have no idea of where to even begin with my review of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood. There's so much I want to say, so many gorgeous things that I want to comment on, and I'm almost certain that the majority of my thoughts will come to me once I'm away from this review and my laptop, gah! So, bookish beauts, I'm going to try my best to convey my utter, utter adoration of this book to any would-be readers out there in the big wide world, although whether it will make sense or not is another matter entirely. Before I really get into my review, I want to say a huge, incredibly grateful thank you to the author Kirsty Greenwood, for sending me a beautiful, beauuuutiful proof of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance in the post. I've said it before and I'll say it again, NOTHING BEATS BOOKS IN THE POST! What makes it even better is when the book in question just happens to be one that you've been seriously looking forward to. Of course, in typical Becca fashion, my to-read pile is about 47957 times the size of me, and it took me a while to finally reach it, but my GOD, was the wait (even though it slowly killed me) worth it! The cover for The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is stunning, is it not? I love a bit of "vintage fashion" at the best of times, so the polka-dot red dress and the flower in the hair really worked for me. What I loved even more about the cover though (and yes, typical modern-day girl), is the fact that the lady on the cover (who is the perfect cartoon depiction of Jessica Beam) is holding a mobile phone, which clashes so fantastically with the whole vintage theme of the story within, I can't help but to grin stupidly when I look at it! The blues, the whites, the reds, the font! The whole package is to die for, just indescribably perfect... But, despite all of the gushiness over Kirsty's cover, and despite it becoming one of my favourite covers EVER, it doesn't, not even slightly, hold a single frickin' flame to the story within... So, it took me about fifteen pages, twenty tops, to come to the conclusion that Jessica was, without a doubt, one of the most charmingly funny, ridiculously endearing and entertaining characters that I have ever come across before. I just couldn't help but to adore her and her crazy, onesie-wearing ways! She was bubbly, sometimes a little clumsy, and made me smile and laugh right the way through this book. Jessica Beam is one of those characters whose lives you think about long after you turn the final page of their story, because not only are they alive within the pages of the book, but they're completely alive in your mind, too. Vivid and bold and dancing around in your imagination. Jessica Beam, to me, instantly became the sort of character who I wanted good things to happen to, I wanted her to come out on top, I wanted her to be loved, not only by me, but by the thousands of would-be readers out there in the world. I wanted Jessica to be known by every chick-lit fan, to be talked about long after the book's publication date, and I'm sure, after reading countless reviews from fellow book-bloggers, that this has happened. In the lead-up to writing my review, I've seen Jessica Beam's name everywhere, and as crazy as it sounds, it makes me smile to know that she's just as loved by other readers as she is loved by me. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance follows Jessica Beam's story, beginning at the point where she and best friend Summer traverse to a popular London publisher who has shown an piqued interest in their joint blog, Summer in the City (although let's be real here, Jessica is the one who does the real work when it comes to their blog, Summer just takes the pictures and looks pretty). After a few choice words after their visit, Summer throws Jessica out of their shared place, and Jessica is left homeless, money-less, and destination-less. By chance, Jessica stumbles across the fact that she has a grandmother out there somewhere, known as Dorothy Beam, so turning up on her grandmother's doorstep, Jessica's plan is to borrow some money (after all, grandparents live for their grandchildren, right?) and hot-foot it to somewhere far, far away. Unfortunately for Jessica, Dorothy Beam has other plans, plans which work beautifully alongside her previously published work, which are 1950's Good Woman guide books. In order for Dorothy to finally have the chance to get her work back out there in the big, wide, world, she has to prove that the Good Woman guides can still work in today's modern society, where women no longer simper and coo at their male companions, and who better to play the 1950's Good Woman role than her unruly, rebellious, outspoken granddaughter Jessica Beam? Jessica's goal is to capture the heart of playboy Leo Frost, not as herself of course, but as a 1950's Good Woman. I'd heard people talking about how freakin' good this book was, but I truly had no idea until I ventured into Jessica Beam's world for myself. It had everything, and I mean everything, that a chick-lit/romance reader could dream of, and then so much more. I can tell you now that there wasn't a single thing that was out of place in this book. It had me grinning, it had me frowning, it had me screaming, it had me swooning... I was all over the bloody place! Seriously, I had no idea that the author was capable of making me feel this way about a fictional character and her circumstances. It was quirky, sophisticated, girly, romantically funny and true joy to lose myself within. My only grumble is that Jessica Beam IS NOT REAL! I want to know this woman, I want to annoy her with my chatter while she's trying to go for a morning run, I want to see exactly how she looks after her vintage make-up, and I would do anything, ANYTHING, to see her face once this absolutely PERFECT BOOK comes to an end. There needs to be sequel. THERE NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE. There needs to be SOMETHING MORE FROM JESSICA BEAM, because it's been days now, days I'm telling you, and she hasn't left my head. I hope she's happy (weirdest thing ever, isn't it?) and I also hope that I get to be reunited with her, and the fantastic characters she's surrounded by, one day in the future, because the thought of never being in Jessica Beam's world again saddens me so, so much. Kirsty Greenwood, I cannot begin to tell you how chuffed I am that you sent me a copy of your book. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't yet read your first Yours, Truly but after this bombshell of a book, I'll definitely be venturing into another world of yours sometime soon. It terrifies me that I could have missed the chance to live alongside Jessica, and I so thankful that I didn't. I cannot recommend this book enough to EVERYBODY. It is outstanding. It goes without saying how many cupcakes this baby's getting.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

    Although there were some humorous/interesting scenes, this SO isn't what I expected this book to be about. I expected it to go a little something like this: Lady with history of one bad relationship after another finally gives up and is wandering around London, feeling sorry for herself, when she stumbles upon a book in a used book shop. It's titled: "The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance." It gives advice on how to dress, how to talk, posture, etc. And this lady, willing to try anything at this Although there were some humorous/interesting scenes, this SO isn't what I expected this book to be about. I expected it to go a little something like this: Lady with history of one bad relationship after another finally gives up and is wandering around London, feeling sorry for herself, when she stumbles upon a book in a used book shop. It's titled: "The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance." It gives advice on how to dress, how to talk, posture, etc. And this lady, willing to try anything at this point if it means her love life won't be a big failure, decides to give it a try. She changes her hair, her clothes, her manner of speaking, and does happen to catch the attention of this really great guy. Only, after a while, she isn't sure that she can keep the act up, and worries that the guy is in love with someone she's not. *** Spoilers below. So beware! lol What I liked: Jess getting all dolled up in 1950s outfits, making her hair and make up more vintage, etc. The dates she had with Leo were pretty great too. Really enjoyed those! What I didn't like: Making up with Leo. That whole scene didn't make sense to me at all. It wrapped up too nicely. Why did Leo have such a change of heart? Yes, I get the whole "quitting my job and pursuing art angle" (that was very consistent), but then....he just inexplicably forgives Jess, allows her to release the book, and even offers to illustrate for it??!?!?! WTF?!?!? She just shattered his heart! Broke all of his delusions. Made him realize that someone had made a fool out of him! Why would he ever come back? Rose and Thom. Okay. Why did Jess get mad at Matilda over all of this? Thom took the $20,000 and ran. I don't give a shit if he came back for 4 days later. The fact that he took the money and left makes me see red. Good riddance! And, it seems that he was a gambler. I don't care if he paid Rose back! If you EVER have a boyfriend who gambles and asks you for money to sustain his gambling habit, DO NOT fall in love with him! Run for the hills! Arrrrrgggggghhhh. Jamie. Okay, I get that Jess didn't love him, and they were just never meant to be. But Jamie WAS falling for her. And they were boinking all of the time! And then they just become friends!?!??! I don't think Jamie would've been okay with this arrangement. Valentina. Why did she talk so weird, calling Jess "duckling" and "lavender fluff" and "kitten paw" etc. Wasn't she closer to Jess and Leo's age? These odd pet names make her seem like a grandmother character. Her character didn't seem consistent, either. She seemed nice enough. I get that her heart was broken when Leo dumped her. But being vindictive enough to ask Jess to make Leo fall in love with her under false pretenses just didn't jive with me. It didn't seem to fit her character at all. In fact, I think this would have been a stronger story if the Valentina/Leo love connection was gone entirely. Jess could conceivably picked Leo on her own, as she had a bad encounter with him early on in the book. Summer. I wish she would have crashed and burned more. I was waiting for her inevitable demise (or at least, demise of her career) and then.... we really don't hear much about her, other than Jess posting weird stuff on their blog, and Summer changing the password. Talk about anti-climatic! I think it would have been MUCH better for Jess to release the book, get a lot of attention for it, and then Summer comes crawling back, begging to be part of it. I really enjoyed Kirsty's first book, "Yours Truly." That's why I was so excited to read this one! It just wasn't what I expected at all :(

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Jessica Beam is the ultimate chick lit heroine. She is only after a good time, spends a lot of time partying, and doesn't do deep and meaningful. However after a hilarious, but disastrous evening out in London, which should have been make or break for Jess and her best friend Summer, and their blog, on incident changes everything. It results in Jess ending up best friendless, jobless and homeless, she suddenly remembers that she has a long-lost grandma that she has never met, and knows nothing a Jessica Beam is the ultimate chick lit heroine. She is only after a good time, spends a lot of time partying, and doesn't do deep and meaningful. However after a hilarious, but disastrous evening out in London, which should have been make or break for Jess and her best friend Summer, and their blog, on incident changes everything. It results in Jess ending up best friendless, jobless and homeless, she suddenly remembers that she has a long-lost grandma that she has never met, and knows nothing about. She turns up on the doorstep of Matilda Beam and is shocked. Turns out her grandmother, Matilda, was a famous author back in the day and was the responsible for the Good Woman guides. Matilda persuades Jess to stay and to help her out, to try and get the guides re-published, and the idea is that she will use Jess as a guinea pig, to prove that the Good Woman guides are still relevant in the 21st Century, by turning her into a vintage woman and attempting to get a declaration of love from Leo Frost. Leo Frost is a man with a bad reputation, and by all accounts could do with being taken down a peg or two. There is something about Kirsty Greenwood's writing that had me smiling and laughing throughout the book. This is light hearted fun at its best. Jess's is story is brilliant as she transforms due to the experiment, but also as she tries to learn why her mother and grandmother were estranged, which is a bit of a mystery. In between chapters we are given excerpts from Rose Beam's diary, which gives us the reader an idea of what may come during the reveal to Jess of the distance between mother and daughter. There are many larger than life characters in this book, and despite outward appearances, not everyone likes Jessica Beam, as she soon learns. It is very interesting to learn just how a woman would go about catching a man back in the 1950s, and watching Jess fight with her grandma, to try and keep any of her more modern ways is amusing. I did I will admit have just one tiny little niggle with this book. Jess and Leo when mentioning films both reckon Grease 2 is better than Grease (the original). There is no way at all that can possibly be true. Grease is my favourite film, and Grease 2 was nothing but a cheap sequel with worse music!!!! But since that was the only issue I had in the whole book, I think you can all agree it is not a game breaker, and there really weren't any problems with the story at all. I loved this book so much, and I am desperately hoping that this won't be the last we see of Jessica. This could easily be turned into a series, and I really hope it will be. There is so much going on in the story that there is never a dull moment, and far more than I can touch on in one review. Honestly can't believe I have left it so long to read this fantastic story. Don't delay and read it as soon as you can. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for my copy of this book. This was my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fabulous Book Fiend

    Review: oh I loved this book so much it is going to be so so hard to review! Firstly this books was everything I hoped it would be. It is classic feel-good chick lit with some really really funny moments, a strong female lead, some real old-school family values and a twisty turns love story! Of course there is a happy ending which will leave you feeling as if you've just finished that delicious last bite of pudding at the end of your roast dinner and now you just want to lie back happy and conte Review: oh I loved this book so much it is going to be so so hard to review! Firstly this books was everything I hoped it would be. It is classic feel-good chick lit with some really really funny moments, a strong female lead, some real old-school family values and a twisty turns love story! Of course there is a happy ending which will leave you feeling as if you've just finished that delicious last bite of pudding at the end of your roast dinner and now you just want to lie back happy and content. Let's start with those fabulous characters. I loved Jess. I could really relate to her just wanting to have a good time and feeling in no hurry to settle down and be sensible. She's a blogger too (YEY!) so that's an awesome addition to her portfolio. She knows what she wants and she is sure she is right about all her decision until fate steps in her way and she is suddenly thrown into a new situation with new people and a fabulous new vintage take on life! Matilda beam is another strong-willed woman and you know when these two get together, that is going to make for some fabulous reading! The supporting characters in this novel also make for some fun reading. We have a couple of love interests (of course) but these are not the main focus of the story. Best friend summer turns out to be a bit of a shady character, I can just imagine her on You Tube with the wonderfully named kitten, Mr Belding. And then we have Peach. She is such a fun character, I defy anyone not to fall in love with her. She definitely needs a spin off book all to herself because she will kill it! This book is set between Manchester and London and the two cities deep it beautifully to two sides to Jess's life. The descriptions of her London life were very relatable and Matilda beams apartment in London sounds amazing! The whole story was just lovely the whole way through. There is a nice chunky first act with lots of funny moments and some life changing stuff for Jess and then from there we really get into the vintage section, the clothes, the manners, the love and romance! There are some real contrasts to the vintage guide morals with some casual sex, lots of swearing and some excellent hashtags and Facebook posts. The whole storyline is interwoven with extracts from Jess's mum (Rose) diary, very apt because of course, she was Matilda's daughter so it brings the whole thing full circle. I think one of my favourite things about this book is that Kirsty Greenwood puts into writing what so many of us are thinking but don't have the balls to say out loud. Because of this, The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance was a fun easy read with some very real messages and definitely a storyline to get your teeth into. If you're looking for something to really get you excited then this is the book for you. With guaranteed laughs and some characters you will want to call friends, this should definitely be your next good read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alba

    Originally posted on: http://www.albainbookland.com/2015/04... The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is the book everyone is talking about, the book everyone is loving unconditionally. And now I know why. Do you want to know why too? Well, because it is da bomb! If you want to laugh uncontrollably for hours and fall in love with a book, a story, all its characters and its author, go get it immediately. By the end of this book all you'll be able to do is wish and pray to all gods that Jessica Beam Originally posted on: http://www.albainbookland.com/2015/04... The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is the book everyone is talking about, the book everyone is loving unconditionally. And now I know why. Do you want to know why too? Well, because it is da bomb! If you want to laugh uncontrollably for hours and fall in love with a book, a story, all its characters and its author, go get it immediately. By the end of this book all you'll be able to do is wish and pray to all gods that Jessica Beam was your best friend and maybe that you grandma was as ladylike and cool at the same time as Matilda Beam too. Jessica Beam is nothing like your regular Chick Lit heroine (which I think makes you love her even more). She's a party animal and doesn't know the meaning of the word responsibilities. So, when she loses her job and consequently her home (as she was working for her best friend and roommate) it's not hard to imagine all her friends (already married and with kids and very fond of the word responsibilities) turning their backs to her. So she ends up tracking down a long lost grandmother. Matilda Beam was every woman's (and man's) dream in the fifties. So she wrote a series of Good Woman guides to help women be ladylike and land a good husband and she became quite the celebrity. But now she has come down in the world and all she has left is a mountain of debts and a very naive but cute assistant. As you can imagine, if you mix together these two the result can only be a hilarious tale full of heart, corsets and some pointy bras that will capture you. I think there was not a thing in this book I didn't love. Also, every chapter started with a small piece written by Matilda in the fifties that relates to the chapter following. I found this detail genius as it also made you understand her better and see how different society was back then. I can't end this review though without mentioning the male characters (yes, plural, with Jessica, what did you expect?). Ok, mentioned. (To know more, read the book, you won't be disappointed). The Vintage Guide of Love and Romance is like a breath of fresh air. Unexpected, quirky and hilarious, I am sure it'll be one of the books of the year (it'll certainly be one of mine). And Kirsty Greenwood will now have the privilege of being one of my favourite authors of all time. And the best thing is that there's more Jessica Beam to come! (Not as good is that we have to wait one year... but I'm sure it'll be totally worth it).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynsey Farmer

    I loved this book for me the best chick li books were the i heart series by the brilliant lindsey kelk but its now sharing a place with the vintage guide to love and romance and i truly mean that. I'm not my review will do this book justice but please if you're reading this then read the vintage guide to love and romance. I had a lot of emotions from reading this book i was laughing so much at the first chapter i cried at parts and i got angry at parts. Its a classic brilliant chick lit book but w I loved this book for me the best chick li books were the i heart series by the brilliant lindsey kelk but its now sharing a place with the vintage guide to love and romance and i truly mean that. I'm not my review will do this book justice but please if you're reading this then read the vintage guide to love and romance. I had a lot of emotions from reading this book i was laughing so much at the first chapter i cried at parts and i got angry at parts. Its a classic brilliant chick lit book but what makes it better is kirsty is not afraid to write anything down. I loved Jess she is the sort of character that you want to be or need someone in ur life like jess she is brilliant fun loving girl she does have few issues but i think thats why she is like the person she is so she does not have to think about the past but she knows what she wants in her life and she sticks to it well sort of. Jess is a very strong character she is a true heroine and i liked the growth of her character at the end of the book she finally felt settled. I liked the supporting characters i think they was brilliant especially Peach she sounds a lovely fun down to earth girl and think she brings out the best in jess this can be seen at the end of the book. I have to say i loved the references to Dawson's Creek characters i loved the dawsons creek so was good to hear these being used in the book. The vintage outfits worn by Jess sounded beautiful in the book my favourite one was the sailor inspired outfit, the vintage life morals what jess was living by was balanced out and brought back to modern day by the swearing, the sex scenes, the facebook and the hashtags. There is not a single thing i can say wrong about this book i really enjoyed it and after i finished it i felt very warm and grateful for the people i have in my life. Not sure if it will happen but would love to see Jess and Peaches again in another book. Kirsty you have done a amazing job with this book and i cant wait to see what you have in store for us next.

  28. 5 out of 5

    ❤ Bibi ❤

    Jess is a friend, family and connection user Alcohol and sex abuser She's a frightened little girl running scared She's too selfish and flawed to go through life prepared When a business event for her friend important seem Jess is living it up high on her alcoholic theme To control herself she surely must But the you cannot on her trust Why wouldn't she get drunk and ruin it all And then cry like a brat when she's kicked out of the ball Afterwards, when no one seems to want her around She heads towards Lon Jess is a friend, family and connection user Alcohol and sex abuser She's a frightened little girl running scared She's too selfish and flawed to go through life prepared When a business event for her friend important seem Jess is living it up high on her alcoholic theme To control herself she surely must But the you cannot on her trust Why wouldn't she get drunk and ruin it all And then cry like a brat when she's kicked out of the ball Afterwards, when no one seems to want her around She heads towards London feeling family bound Just kidding, she has no idea of family or duty But from her estranged grandma want some money so she can travel and tan her booty So, off to grandma's house she goes to beg for cash And who cares if she the old woman's feelings smash When Jess can't cope she indulges in sex and wine She finds it hard even with the old woman to dine When a book deal to scam a guy comes up Jess can't help but fall for the sob She abuses his trust She feels it's a must She doesn't care about how she him treats As long as she the assignment completes When she's outed by a former friend She still expects it all to her will shall bend Through the experience she does learn of family and love But too little too late, when I think of all the things above READ THE FULL REVIEW ON MY blog

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This book..I don't even know where to start. I absolutely loved it. It had me laughing so much (even during my lunch break at work!). I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of Jess in the very beginning, but despite that I was hooked from page 1. I first read about it on a blog back in January and I just knew that I needed to buy it. I was intrigued and couldn't wait to see how Jess and Matilda would prove that those 1950's tips could still apply in such a modern setting. I wasn't disappointed (altho This book..I don't even know where to start. I absolutely loved it. It had me laughing so much (even during my lunch break at work!). I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of Jess in the very beginning, but despite that I was hooked from page 1. I first read about it on a blog back in January and I just knew that I needed to buy it. I was intrigued and couldn't wait to see how Jess and Matilda would prove that those 1950's tips could still apply in such a modern setting. I wasn't disappointed (although Jess improvised quite a bit lol). When it comes to reading I'm the type of person who HATES having to put a book down until it's finished, but sometimes I happen across a book that is so good I don't want to finish it right away. This was one of those books. I just didn't want it to end. The only thing that could have made it better would have been Summer's show flopping! Aside from that, the ending was great. This book was everything I thought it would be and more. Definitely can't wait to read more from Kirsty Greenwood!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is amazing! I well and truly loved everything about this novel and was super excited when I found out that this is the first book in a series and that there is MUCH more of Jessica Beam to come in the future. Jess is a character that I am sure every reader is going to love. She is not perfect (pretty much far from it actually), but she is so incredibly down to earth, manic and feisty. Her grandmother, Matilda, is quite the opposite – a demure, old fashioned w The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is amazing! I well and truly loved everything about this novel and was super excited when I found out that this is the first book in a series and that there is MUCH more of Jessica Beam to come in the future. Jess is a character that I am sure every reader is going to love. She is not perfect (pretty much far from it actually), but she is so incredibly down to earth, manic and feisty. Her grandmother, Matilda, is quite the opposite – a demure, old fashioned woman who lives after the principles she wrote down in her Good Woman guides in the 1950’s, but she is similarly lovable. Kirsty’s writing style is fantastic – so fresh and modern and 100% captivating. I am looking forward to reading many more books by this incredibly talented author. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is funny, quirky and utterly brilliant. I highly recommend this book!

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