Hope Delafield hasn't always had an easy life.
She has red hair and a temper to match, as her mother is constantly reminding her. She can't wear heels, is terrified of heights and being a primary school teacher isn't exactly the job she dreamed of doing, especially when her class are stuck on the two times table.
At least Hope has Jack, and Jack is the God of boyfriends. He's sweet, kind, funny, has a killer smile, a cool job on a fashion magazine and he's pretty (but in a manly way). Hope knew that Jack was The One ever since their first kiss after the Youth Club Disco and thirteen years later, they're still totally in love. Totally. They're even officially pre-engaged. And then Hope catches Jack kissing her best friend Susie...
Does true love forgive and forget? Or does it get mad... and get even?
You should know by now that I love and will love anything Sarra Manning writes. Simple as that. And even though this was kind of difficult to read, because I don't want my boyfriend of 7 years to do what Jack does, I still loved this story. So, the basic story is that Hope and Jack have been together forever and one night, she finds him making out with her best friend. She, understandably, throws a complete fit and comes back the next morning to Jack's apologises and insistence that it was just that once because they were tipsy. Hope doesn't want to give up on 13 years together so forgives him and he acts like the perfect boyfriend for the next week or so.
Of course, nothing is really that perfect and even I could feel that Jack was feeling guilty for more than that one kiss. Sure enough, spoiler alert, it wasn't just the one kiss between Jack and Susie and Hope's reaction is amazing and yet very restrained. Let's just say I would have done much worse, to Jack's face. I didn't know if Hope was so in love or just being stupidly stubborn for giving Jack more chances, even after she discovers he has lied. She really wants to work on their relationship, which again I don't know is naive or brave; personally I would have trouble trusting him after discovering he'd been lying for over 5 months! But Hope is willing to look past it if he is.
The main focus was of course on Hope and Jack's relationship and what needed fixing, but because it was told from Hope's perspective, it was also about her personal growth. I really felt for Hope, she had quite a lot of shit throughout, from Jack and her family, not to mention her work and of course Susie. Although I'm not sure it was the right thing to keep forgiving Jack, Hope was very strong with what she wanted and I admired that. I really did fall a little in love with her, as I so often do with Manning's heroines.
There was quite a lot of shouting at the book, usually at whatever nonsense Jack came out with. At times I honestly couldn't see what Hope saw in him! But it wasn't about him, it was about Hope and her realisation that her life is more than Jack, and that's important whether or not you're in a relationship.
Published 2nd February 2012 by Transworld.