Sensible, hard-working Lucy Green fleetingly meets a handsome stranger on the tube, wielding a picnic basket of all things. As he turns to exit he drops his wallet – which Lucy picks up. Should she hand this over to lost property and continue on her way to work? Or should she try and return it – personally?
Throwing caution to the wind (he is that charismatic) she follows him, and what begins is a ‘cat-and-mouse relationship’ that purportedly ‘enlightens, frustrates and arouses, in equal measure’.
Emily Dubberley’s novel started life as a series of short stories, published every Monday for eight weeks, much like Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street. An interesting idea that falls somewhat short in its execution. I’m not convinced fans of this particular genre (that of romantic erotica) will warm to this novel. Lucy is too much of a cipher, drifting from a series of romantic encounters; these include frantic sex with an ex-boyfriend, Stephen, in Cheltenham’s Town Hall and a Sapphic tryst with work colleague, Annabel. Somehow the central story of the romance with Ben Turner (the wallet-dropper) plays second fiddle to her search for a personality. I think Ms Dubberley has potential, she writes sex very well and thematically there is an edginess to her writing but I’m not entirely convinced she pulled off this particular enterprise.
Blue Mondays: The Complete Series, Emily Dubberly, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN: 9781444793543, Paperback, 320 pages, £6.99