My Great Ex – Scape by Portia MacIntosh

My Great Ex – Scape by Portia MacIntosh


Publisher: Boldwood Books 48642327._sy475_

Publishing Date: 16th January 2020

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 278

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback






What if your future was somewhere in your past?

Rosie Jones has been dumped by every boyfriend she’s ever had – most recently by Dinosaur Dave, live on TV, during the ‘phone-a-friend’ segment of a quiz show.
After the footage goes viral Rosie receives a bunch of flowers with a message:

I love you, I should have never let you go, I want you back x

But who sent them?

At a loose end and with £50,000 prize money in her back pocket, Rosie decides to take a trip down memory lane, visiting each of her ex-boyfriends to see not just if they are the one who sent the flowers but if they are the one.

Her journey takes her back to the house she grew up in and on a transatlantic cruise to New York, but can Rosie figure out which ex-boyfriend is the love of her life, or should the past stay in the past?

Rating: three-stars


After winning a lot of money and being dumped by her boyfriend on live TV at the same time, Rosie’s big moment goes further – it’s not only shared on the internet but she also finds a bunch of flowers on her doorstep. There is only a message telling “I love you. I should never have let you go. I want you back”. Rosie assumes the flowers are from Dave, the one who humiliated her on TV. But they’re not. Are they from one of her other ex – boyfriends? She decides to embark on an adventure of finding out who has sent the flowers – and she’s not doing it alone but with her parents and one of her exes who has turned out gay, on a cruise to New York.

There was a lot of potential in this novel and I am surprised that Portia MacIntosh has allowed her story to feel so unfinished, so under – developed. Yes, it was a light – hearted, easy read but lacking in execution. And again, the publisher doesn’t help, advertising the book as a “laugh – out – loud romantic comedy” while there is little romance and little comedy, to be honest.

The first three exes are really quickly discounted and the main focus of the story switches to Rosie on the cruise ship, and I thought, why? Why so quickly? Portia, gimme more! Some more info on them, some gory details maybe, why give the last two a better chance?
I also didn’t understand the Rosie’s desperation to reconnect with her ex so much. Why? Yes, she got a bouquet of flowers (once again, why? I didn’t get it, why to send flowers without telling who has sent them, I mean, when you really want to win your ex back, then at least bite the bullet and write they’re from you), but there is a reason that your ex is your ex, no? And Rosie was extremely, I repeat, extremely focused on reconnecting with her exes. Why, Rosie, why? Are you so desperate to have a man on your side, or you really doesn’t know what to do with your life? Are you bored? The author didn’t really sell this idea to me. And let’s be honest, we all know Portia MacIntosh, we know how funny her books can be, and this one has left me feeling so lukewarm and disappointed that I didn’t find this promised and expected fun.

The reason why I didn’t warm to Rosie so completely is probably because I simply didn’t understand her desire to reconnect with all her ex – boyfriends. However, altogether, she was a brilliant character – relatable, liking her food and not fussing about her weight (finally! What a lovely change!), not knowing what to do with her life. I rather liked how clueless she was, almost in all aspects of her life, it was actually funny and not annoying, which is already a good thing. She really had a big heart and was a kind person, and really, you had to like her after she was so brave to shake off the humiliation, behaving as if nothing has happened – and it was also great. Instead of wallowing in self – pity, Rosie simply takes herself on an adventure – most of the story is set on a cruise ship, which I liked very much, especially, as it turned out, it was not your usual cruise – ship, and Rosie and Eli were actually the youngest guests on board, which led to some of the most awkward scenes.

The pace of the story is rather slow. There are some scenes that lightened the whole tone, bringing the long awaited humour and smile. And while the author’s sense of humour is absolutely my kind of sense of humour, this time it felt a bit too forced, as if she tried too hard. Overall, it was a light and easy read, with some witty scenes and some great ideas. It’s not a bad book by any means, it’s just not Portia MacIntosh’s best.

The Time of Our Lives by Portia MacIntosh

The Time of Our Lives by Portia MacIntosh


44073128Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 12th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 235

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 11.07.2019)



Love is in the air…?

Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.

It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?

And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?

The laugh-out-loud new novel from bestseller Portia Macintosh!

Rating: three-stars


Luca is fine. Or isn’t she? Attending another wedding of her uni’s friend she realises that she’s always the single one, another are engaged/married/otherwise romantically occupied. She starts to feel that time moves on while she stays in place. When she also meets Tom at the wedding, her ex/not ex – boyfriend, she starts to think and evaluate her life.

The story actually unfold on a wedding day, and it was incredibly how much can happen in a day – well, especially when you are as accident – prone as Luca, that is. The present intertwines with flashbacks to the past and we slowly get to know the characters and their lives as a group. Also, it turns out of course that there are, and were, many secrets, misunderstatements and plays. So as much as Luca is our main character, the others play as important role in the book as she is, because they helped to shape her. However, maybe because of the relatively huge number of characters, I had a feeling that they were not good enough developed. They were there, but there was not enough depth to them and to be honest, I haven’t felt connection with them. I think Luca tried to be über – cool and nonchalant in her life. She was your normal, everyday girl, sharp – mouthed and generally happy with herself but I couldn’t warm completely to her, to be honest, not sure why.

The humour this time was also not so Portia MacIntosh – it felt too flat and there were moments that probably were supposed to be funny, like with Luca suddenly being a bridesmaid and the bride’s wishes and requests but it only felt too overdone. I also think she tried to make it a sitcom – like rom – com, with flashbacks and hilarious situations but, unfortunately it didn’t work.

From the author like Portia MacIntosh I was simply expecting something better, ambitious. I was left with a feeling that she herself didn’t connect with the story at all, it scratched below the surface, was without a depth. There were some moments that saved the book for me though on the whole I was really hoping for something deeper, with the MacIntosh’s hallmark humour and sharp observations. Altogether, “The Time of Our Lives” was a light – hearted, easy and fairly straight – forward and predictable read but nevertheless a read that will keep you reading. The pacing was right, the dialogues dynamic and it dealt with the fact that you should fight for things that you feel will make you happy.


Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh



51ox8tjo2ol-_sx311_bo1204203200_Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 8th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 208

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback






Blast the Michael Bublé, wrap your hands around a cinnamon latte and enjoy this warm, hilarious Christmas novel!

Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you’d expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy’s life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?

The brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley and Tilly Tennant.

Rating: four-stars


 Ivy and Holly are two very different twins – while Holly hates Christmas, Ivy lives and breaths Christmas. Their mum has started a Christmas shop that is open all year round and after her death Ivy takes it over – and she couldn’t be happier to work there. However, the shop is now in danger, as the owner of the building is selling up and moving away. Smooth operator Seb enters the scenes here – he wants to buy the place, demolish the shop and build something else there. Moreover, he’s very charming and it looks like the whole Marram Bay is under his spell. Ivy tries everything to raise the money to keep her shop – but can she save it? 

I thought we’re going to hear more from the characters from the first book in the series but except for one or two scenes including Lily and Prue there was nothing more – this book totally focuses on brand new characters that I immediately grew fond of. I loved Ivy – she was probably one of my most favourite characters ever, such laid – back and relaxed and full of the greatest one – liners, and so, so realistic and real! I really felt as if I can reach out with my hand and touch her.  

An open all year round Christmas shop – isn’t it a brilliant idea? And it was only the first festive thing in this novel. We then have twins Holly and Ivy, all the festive food you can think about, decorating trees, Christmas Festivals, Santa shenanigans … and yet it was not too festive overwhelming, thanks god, however a brilliant start to all the festive books slowly coming my way, tadah. It was full of brilliant, incredibly funny scenes and the tasting the Christmas Cake will probably stay with me forever, as well as the kissing booth and golden retriever, to name only a few.  

Portia MacIntosh has a talent to create characters that are full of life and that rarely give up but are also realistic, and it was the same this time as well. Ivy, living and breathing Christmas, was so optimistic and so bouncy and it was impossible not to like her. I absolutely loved the way she was thinking and how fair she was, she wanted to save her shop but she was also willing to take another look and see other options – however, I also loved the fire in her and that, even though she’s seen those other options, she always came up with brilliant ideas to help her keep her mum’s heritage. She was smart and funny and not taking herself too seriously. Her sister Holly was an absolute opposite of Ivy re: Christmas but as likeable as Ivy. The one and only Gaz and his never – ending attempts to chat up a girl and on the other hand such a lovely Santa. And Seb with his Lamborghini and plans, such enthusiastic and down – to – earth – all of them, as well as the supporting characters, were absolutely fantabulous and incredibly easy to like, even if they were planning on demolishing some beloved shops or trying to sabotage those plans. 

There was of course a hidden depth to it, and it had some very poignant moments, but on the whole it was a funny, entertaining novel. The banter between the characters was so natural and easy, the writing style was light – hearted and I was hooked from the very first page till the end. It was heart – warming and oh so romantic without being too saccharine. A lovely story about families, relationships, chances and finding what it really is what you want from life. It was not too complicated and a little predictable but full of other perks that made me appreciate it so much. Don’t be surprised when you’ll feel like curling up in front of your fire – place with a cup of hot chocolate and looking to put your Christmas lights on when reading “Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop”! Truly recommended.

Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli by Portia MacIntosh

Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli by Portia MacIntosh


38389306Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 18th May 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle





Lily Holmes is ready for a fresh start. And there’s no better place to begin again than the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

All Lily wants to do is focus on making her new deli a success and ensuring her son’s happiness. Not the postcard creeping out of her handbag, and definitely not finding a new man in her life!

But this isn’t going to be as easy as she first thought. The town is in uproar about the city girl who’s dared to join them and she’s fighting a battle at every turn.

Perhaps with a little help from the gorgeous cider farmer next door, she may be able to win them over, but her past secrets threaten to ruin everything…

The brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Jo Watson and Tilly Tennant.

Rating: four-stars

In “Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli” we meet Lily, leaving behind her life in London and moving herself and her 8 – year – old son Frankie to Marram Bay in Yorkshire to start a new job and a new chapter in her life. She has high hopes for this move and she’s determined to make the opening of the new deli, which is a part of a chain of YumYum delis that she’s been working for, a success, as well as her private life. She hopes that she can make Apple Blossom, the cottage she’s moving into, as well as Marram Bay, her new home. However, the residents of Marram Bay have other ideas… But fortunately, not all of them…

Portia paints a great cast of supporting characters, they’re colourful and different, we have the really good ones and the not so good ones, those that knows everything and those that only wait for their chance. They were authentic, quirky and amusing. They were a real delight to get to know, and next to Lily we have also two significant male characters, and the difference between them was brilliant. Ex – boyfriend Nathan was a hippie who wanted to save the world trying to convince everyone to start eating vegan and who only watched reality shows on Lily’s coach, and then we have Alfie, the charming, handsome and much more normal neighbour.
I loved how determined Lily was and she was not the one to be beaten, oh no. She was a really likeable character and it was easy to fell for her from the very beginning. She has to juggle single motherhood and her career, moving to a new town with unhappy locals, then an unexpected visit from her ex and a delicious Alfie from the farm in the neighbourhood, and she does it daintily and with humour, and it is so normal that she has ups and down on this journey. She was strong and she didn’t let other people to belittle her. And well, her life was a little challenging, right, what with also an eccentric mother who pretended to be her daughter’s sister and the arrival of an ex and a potential romance as well.
My heart went also to Frankie, Lily’s son, when the hostility of the locals turned out to be directed not only to Lily, but extended to Frankie as well. It was so, so sad to see how he’s treated at school, how nobody wants to be his friends because of his mum and her plan to take the jobs from the local by opening the new deli. It’s no wonder that he felt so isolated and that he spent so much time on his own. I fell for him completely and empathised with him.

Yes, it was a tad predictable read, to be honest, but well, you could expect it from this kind of a book, and it was written in such a lovely way that it didn’t bothered me for a single moment that I know what’s going to happen. Yes, the author has tried to stir the things a little by adding a very unexpected visit, and she has managed to create a little havoc, and it was brilliant. But there are also some twists and turns that keep the pace and make the reading truly gripping.

Altogether, it was a funny, delightful and uplifting novel, perfect for the summery days. It was full of tricky situations, unexpected events, tender moments and humour. Altogether, it was all I have expected from Portia MacIntosh’s book, full of friendship, challenges, happiness, romance and family. She also touched upon some heavier issues, such as bullying for example, and she’s written about it with great compassion and gentleness, and she brilliantly captured mentality of a small town and what makes the people tick. Recommended!




How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh

How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh


36103295Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 17th October 2017

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle






Definitely, maybe…yes?
Mia Valentina gave up her high-flying life in LA to move back to Kent over four years ago. But it turns up that life in the slow lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

So when her boyfriend Leo proposes, she says yes, hoping it will bring some much needed sparkle back into her life. The trouble is, Mia never wanted a big white wedding, just the happy ever after…

The laugh-out-loud, uplifting new book from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake and Sophie Kinsella.

Rating: three-stars

I am a huge fan of Portia MacIntosh’s novels and I was so looking forward to reading “How Not to be a Bride” – already the title made me smile and I really hoped that it’s setting the mood for the rest of the story. And I absolutely got the fact that Mia didn’t want to get married – I have never dreamed about fluffy bouncy wedding dress and only thinking about the first dance and all those traditions that are mandatory at the wedding made me cringe, and big weddings are a real nightmare for me, so yes, Mia, I know what you meant – when married, then in the simplest way!

Portia’s writing style is, as usual, easy and light – hearted and this was a quick read full of great one – liners. A story about making decisions, small and huge and realising what it is that you want from your life. It was refreshing and of course brutally honest, but in a funny way, filled with situations all of us can relate to, cringe with embarrassment and whisper “I’ve been there, I’ve seen this”. My only problem with this book were characters, I couldn’t warm to them and probably I didn’t “get” them enough to enjoy them more. I really wasn’t sure about Mia, if she truly knew what it is she wants. The more I read about her relationship with the wonderful fireman Leo (her words, not mine. I personally didn’t think Leo is wonderful), the more often I was asking myself the question why she’s with him at all, is he the right person for her. I was starting to ask myself if they really are destined to be together, if there really are chances for them to be happy and wondering why are they together at all. There was something that was not working for me in this relationship and it bothered me the whole story.

“How Not to be a Bride” was filled with ups and downs of everyday life and problems, full of troubles in paradise and jumping to conclusions, and this all brought to us in a great, light way. There was all the time something happening in this story and I think it’s great, as it kept me glued to the pages and I truly wanted to know what’s going to happen and what kind of troubles is Mia going to get herself.

The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh / Blog Tour + Guest Post

Hello, hello, and happy Thursday – we have holidays today so really, it couldn’t be better. Well, it could, as our barbecue has just gone kaput and the time I thought I am going to spend with my feet put up high, I’ve just spent in the kitchen. Oh well. Typical.

Today I am a part of a new blog tour and I have a review of The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh – guys, believe me, if you need a bit of cheering up than go and grab yourself a copy. This story is so light – hearted, funny and easy to follow, it was just what the doctor ordered for me at the moment, as June is full of not so nice news and events here. There is also a guest post from Portia – a perfect way to spend your afternoon, no?


The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh

34472959Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 16th June 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 384

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

Buy the Book:Kindle



What happens in Vegas…
When Georgie discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, only a few days before her cousin’s wedding, her whole world explodes. Facing a romantic trip to Vegas alone, she decides to go out and have some fun…

…but Georgie never expected to wake up wed! And even worse, she can’t remember who to. So when gorgeous Jack reveals himself as her husband, she can’t believe her luck – he’ll act as the perfect wedding date!

Even if it is their very accidental honeymoon, surely the newlyweds can keep their emotions in check for just a few days more?

Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Rating: five-stars

I’ve read The Accidental Honeymoon just at the right moment – when I needed something light – hearted and uplifting, and I know that if you’re in need of those ingredients, Portia MacIntosh is your person in charge. I know that whatever she writes it’s my kind of read and really, I don’t need a lot of coaxing to request her books.

I bought this story as it was written. Probably some of the reviewers will stress that the accidental drunk wedding and then meeting on a plane are this tad unrealistic, but sometimes you just need this little bit of magic showing that impossible is nothing, and so I enjoyed the whole story, from the start to the finish. It was so easy to get over the slightly unrealistic beginning as it was written in such convincing way – Portia MacIntosh really knows how to pull it off.

As usually with Portia MacIntosh, her characters were brilliantly outlined. Georgie was great, however she also came across a little as a doormat, especially when it comes to being with John and the way she allowed her cousin and aunt to boss her around and decide. When Fliss told her to leave her wedding I wanted to shake – but Georgie, not Fliss. Also, her makeover confused me a little – which was Georgie’s true face? The totally Stepford Wife that she had when being with John or the totally opposite, almost slutty appearance – because judging on the descriptions of hair extensions and one number smaller tight dresses it looked like this, and so it was like Georgie has hidden her real face from us. However, she was so warm and lovely and she had her heart on her sleeve, and she had one of the best one – liners and I really, truly fell for her and warmed to her actually from the very beginning. She was very accident – prone and she’ll stay in my memory as the one who often meant well, with the things turning out wrong in the end.
And Jack, mmmm, I think I won’t be disappointed if I accidentally married Jack myself, guys. The tricks he knew, and nonono, I mean the cards and casino tricks, not the other ones, honestly I beg you, what were you thinking about…? Absolutely loved how laid – back he was and how he treated Georgie and that he was always honest with his plans – doesn’t happen often with guys that they are so honest, right? Also, and oh my god, I laughed so much, it was so nice to see how devoted he was to his newly found aunt (I really thought I will NEVER use this word in my review but here it is – it was just LOL).

The Accidental Honeymoon was an easy, quick and entertaining read, just what I expected from this author. It was lovely, it was charming, it had a great dose of humour and swear words and it just felt so natural and genuine. Nothing was pushed there, or too forced, one thing resulted from the other and I also quickly found myself rooting for the characters. Altogether, it was a read that made me smile and even laugh out loud. I totally enjoyed how Portia MacIntosh took the well established idea of the drunken wedding in Vegas and turned it into something else. There were enough turns in this light – hearted story, there were characters to die for or to slap. It was great to see how Georgie was with her family, the great relationship with her older brother and the way they treated the younger one. So really, give me Portia MacIntosh book any time, you can be sure that will lighten your mood and make you look little differently at the word. I love her stories and I can’t have enough of them, and I highly recommend The Accidental Honeymoon to you!


I’m not sure whether or not I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was younger. When I think about it, I was always making things up. I’d tell…let’s not call them lies, let’s call them tall tales. So if an ornament were to get smashed while I was playing with my friends, I’d come up with a story that got everyone in the least trouble possible. If a neighbour overheard me swear and told my parents, well, they were obviously mistaken, because I was obviously saying ‘stick’ or ‘duck’ or ‘plastered’ – all the hot topics 10-year-olds talk about. As a teen, I’d tell little white lies so that my parents didn’t worry about me – well, nothing appeases the worries of an overprotective dad like telling him that your boyfriend is your gay best friend. I’d find ways to get out of PE, excuses for not doing my homework, kind ways to decline the advances of boys in my year that I didn’t like… And funnily enough, I don’t think any of my teachers would have guessed that I’d be a writer when I ‘grew up’. I don’t imagine they had high hopes for me, because what might have seemed like a kid who just didn’t want to do PE was obviously a storyteller in the making. Being one of those kids who left school and never looked back, I don’t imagine any of my teachers know what became of me career wise. It’s probably for the best though…because I feel like this blog post is a pretty clear admission of a whole lot of guilt.

It’s Not You, It’s Them by Portia Macintosh

It’s Not You, It’s Them by Portia Macintosh


31366739Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 3rd November 2016

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 216

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle



First comes love. Then comes family…

After a lifetime of kissing frogs, Roxie Pratt has given up on finding her own fairytale romance. That is, until she meets her very own Prince Charming, Mark Wright, and he sweeps Roxie off her feet!

So when Mark finally gets down on one knee and pops the question, there’s only one thing left to do: meet the family! And when everything has been picture-perfect so far, what could possibly go wrong…?

Rating: 4/5

If you asked me one thing about Portia Macintosh I’d say you can reach for her books when you are feeling low – they for sure are going to pull you out of your slump, as they are always brilliantly funny, light – hearted and casting great bunches of characters. This time, with “It’s Not You, It’s Them”, Portia of course hasn’t disappointed, bringing all the hallmark writing, elements and humour into her new novel. It follows a very simple formula – meeting your future in – laws together with being snowed – in in a very remote house and Christmas – what could go wrong, actually?
Well, as it turned out, a lot could go wrong! Firstly, the above mentioned future in – laws have no idea that their beloved son is going to bring his girlfriend and that, in fact, she’s not a girlfriend anymore, she’s already fiancée! Then it can turn out that they are not as lovely as Mark has painted them to Roxie, they are in fact as cold as the house they’re living in. And, as it turns out a little later, they were hoping to see Mark married to a totally different girl who – coincidence, coincidence of course – finds herself at their place! And yes, add to this being snowed in – I wouldn’t like to be in Roxie’s shoes, would you?

Really, guys, I couldn’t fell more for Roxie! She was so much in love with Mark, she had so many hopes and then came this wall in the persons of Mark’s family. They were all so uptight and while they weren’t officially evil (well, not all of them. Maybe only two. Or three. Or four…), they weren’t especially welcoming and open – hearted. The biggest nightmare a girl can experience, no? To say that things were frosty would be an understatement. This what made me laugh so much brought Roxie on the verge of her nerves as Mark’s mother was very inventive and the things she goes so far for only to make sure her precious son won’t marry Roxie were hilarious for us, readers, but not so much for the poor Roxie. Oh, I so wanted to slap Mark’s mother guys, believe me, and I am a very calm and collected person. Starting with giving Roxie her worst clothes to wear and ending with closing Mark and his ex in a cupboard together, and generally make the things difficult to Roxie everything and making her a laughing stock.

This book is full of Portia’s signature humour and there were many laugh – out – loud moments, as well as some embarrassing and awkward ones. There were also some too clichéd moments for my liking, and the book was tad too predictable and too far fetched, but overall it was a light – hearted, easy read. It is full of mishaps and misunderstanding, and yes, it shows people at their worst I think, but thanks to this the characters came across as much more realistic and relatable too. There were some unforgettable moments, and let’s only mention the Teenage Mutant Ninja outfit, broken bed, spiking the drinks, the traditional Truth or Dare game.

Portia Macintosh has brilliantly captured the many different personalities and she also brilliantly showed how people can really be, how some situations unleash the worst of them, and how the real family dynamics usually work, and I enjoyed this rollercoaster of emotions and feelings immensely!

With so many people and so many different personalities this book reminded me so much of “National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation”, which I can watch every Christmas to be honest – and they both show how often you just must bite your tongue, pretend not to see or hear things, how appearances are the most important thing to survive. There is also this teeny tiny problem of Roxie being a journalist and her best articles being about her relationship with Mark – and right now she was ordered to write one about meeting your future in – laws. What shall she do? Write truth? Will she dare to?

It is full of chaos but also full of situations and emotions that you can relate to. The author has really brilliantly developed the tension and I couldn’t see how it’s going to end. In my eyes everything was possible – the happy end, as well as the unhappy one. There were also moments that I was wondering if I really wish Roxie her happy end because Mark, well, Mark, what shall I say, people can show their real faces only when confronted or forced to, right? And Mark was changing before our own eyes, every day, he didn’t see things as they really were, he didn’t believe Roxie and actually I don’t think that he at least once stood up for her. It says a lot, no? But altogether, “It’s Not You, It’s Them” was all I have expected from Portia Macintosh – a light, easy read with a festive feeling. Recommended!

Guest Post by Portia MacIntosh

Portia MacIntosh is the author of already six novel, and the newest one was published only last week, on 11th April. It’s called „Truth or Date” and if you haven’t read it yet, please do it and thank me later for recommendation. Seriously. It is a really brilliant, laugh – out – loud novel with some great one – liners and you can read my review here. Portia was also so, so nice and to celebrate the release has written a Guest Post on her Dating History, which personally I find hilarious! Thank you, Portia, and you guys enjoy!


My dating history: The good, the bad and the ugly


When I sat down to write my latest novel, Truth or Date, I had just spent a year playing the dating game, so I had lots of experience to draw upon.

My book focuses around the life of Ruby Wood, a twenty-something playing the dating game. She has a red-hot dream about her very attractive flatmate, Nick, but even though he spends every day saving lives as a junior doctor, he’s absolutely the last man on earth that fun-loving Ruby would ever date. The solution? Focus on all of Nick’s bad points. And if that fails, up her dating antics and find herself a man! So what if she manages to make disapproving, goody two-shoes Nick jealous in the process…

Ruby goes on a few nightmarish dates while on her quest for true love – something I expired myself, so I thought I’d share with you my ultimate good, bad and ugly dates.


The Ugly


My first Tinder date was absolutely horrendous. They guy was significantly shorter than he claimed to be (not that I care about stuff like that) and the first thing he did was have a go at me for wearing heels. He proceeded to repeatedly try and push me over “for fun”, unzip the back of my dress to make it fall off and forcibly kiss me fifteen minutes into our date.


The Bad


I dated a guy so boring, we just sat in silence for the whole date. When he tried to kiss me, as much as I wasn’t really fancying him, I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt (‘maybe he’s just nervous?’) and I figured it would at least fill the silence with something, but he thought it was sexy to keep biting me – hard. Not sexy at all, FYI.


The Good


I’d been on so many bad dates that I’d actually started to expect them all to be horrible, so as devastatingly handsome and as charming as the guy was that I was seeing was, I didn’t expect to be anything but disappointed, because that’s how dates go, right? But we went for cocktails, we sat outside and chatted all night, working out way through he menu, laughing, flirting… I couldn’t get over how easy he was to be around and how happy and comfortable I felt in his presence. A fluke, I thought; no one could be so wonderful. On another date, he took me to the most beautiful park where we walked around in the sunshine and rolled around in the grass – I didn’t think that date could’ve been any more perfect until a few months later, when he told me that’s where his parents got married. I thought that was really sweet.

Truth or Date by Portia MacIntosh

Truth or Date

by Portia MacIntosh


Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 11th April 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 243

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle



Falling for the man of her dreams…

Ruby Wood is perfectly happy playing the dating game – until she has a red-hot dream about her very attractive flatmate, Nick. He might spend every day saving lives as a junior doctor, but he’s absolutely the last man on earth that fun-loving Ruby would ever date!

The solution? Focus on all of Nick’s bad points. And if that fails, up her dating antics and find herself a man! So what if she manages to make disapproving, goody two-shoes Nick jealous in the process…

Only, after a series of nightmare first dates, there’s still just one man on Ruby’s mind. Maybe it’s time to admit the truth and dare to ask Nick to be her next date?

Rating: 4/5


I’ve fallen in love with Portia Macintosh after reading her previous novel „Drive Me Crazy” – this book was just my kind of book, I loved the way it was written, its humour and that it was so high – tech and up – to – date. So I don’t think that I need to tell you that I didn’t need any coaxing to request „Truth or Date” as soon as it appeared on NetGalley (thanks Carina for the auto – approval!!!). It was not only the synopsis that so appealed to me but also this lovely, gorgeous cover, one of the most beautiful ones!

So, I thought, dates. Thousands of dates. I love books with dates and the more dates (the more crazy, unbelievable dates I mean) the better. But sadly, there were not as many unique and fresh dates as I hoped for. And not as hilarious. But well, I really can live with this what we got :) I also had a feeling this book is a little chaotic and messy, but not in a wrong way, though it made the reading this little bit more complicated. Also, it took me some time to get into the story, I’m not sure why, I think it was because of Ruby, who was a rather difficult to like character. I liked her, but not from the beginning, she was more on the bad – ass side, too loud, too arrogant, too everything, with a very big mouth but once I got used to her I started to enjoy the story much more.

Ruby and Millsy are – even though they’re so childish at times, so quirky and good-for-nothing – adults. And best friends. But I think that their light – headedness was a part of their charm, and either you took them as they were and loved them, or not, and if it’s the case of „not” then you’ll have a problem with this book. They are quirky, smooth – tongued and self – confident, larger than life colourful characters.
But no matter how bad, boring, uptight Nick was described I ADORED him from the very beginning, and I really don’t know what took Ruby so long to start sexy – dreaming about him. I also don’t know what Nick has seen in Heather, she would be the perfect witch from Snow White. I really, really liked how polar opposites Ruby and Nick were, you know what they say, that opposites attract and this attraction was truly noticeable. The way they bickered with each other, the way how they only seemed to notice things that annoyed them in the other person were just hilarious!

But back to Ruby. I think what was so great in Ruby was the fact that she was a) so normal, b) so accident – prone, c) she rolled from one disaster to another and d) she acted just like we act. She had better and worse days, she said the wrong things to the wrong people, she was living in hope that one day everything will be better. Yes, it took me some time to warm to her but I think I’m just too old and too boring :) As the book is told from Ruby’s point of view we get a full view of her ideas, thoughts and opinions and oh my, sometimes she was really overwhelming. She and Millsy were a match made in heaven, they were both messy and didn’t care about anything other than booze and having a great time and you know, there was a moment I started to suspect that these two are going to end together :) But really, there is also some kind of magic in Ruby as I found myself getting fonder and fonder of her throughout the story, and she was also maturing and growing up but not loosing her carelessness and craziness, which I personally think is a great thing. She’s down to earth, funny and sharp and deep inside she only wants to be happy.

The closure of the romance seemed a little too rushed for me. I mean, it was obvious how the story is going to end but nevertheless, with all the obstacles, problems and dilemmas, which were really well written by the way, but still, the sudden change of mind was a little odd for my liking – maybe it’s because there was too little of the male character’s inner thoughts? I don’t know, to be honest, but I just had this feeling that the end, while happy end, doesn’t sit with the way the whole story was built.

„Truth or Date” is a funny, quirky, fast – paced read with many laugh – out – loud moments. Yes, it is a tad predictable but as I always say, there is predictable and predictable, and this time it didn’t bother me at all. Written in a very light, easy to follow way it brilliantly explores all kinds of relationships. There is enough sarcasm and enough humour and well, I think that we all have been Ruby once or twice, right? So if you are in need to read a book that’s going to make you laugh but also with some embarrassing, face – palm moments with a heroine whose actions are relatable and ring a bell, give „Truth or Date” a go, you won’t regret it!