A Work in Progress by L.T. Smith is a lovely British romcom novella. It’s the second book in The Window Shopping Collection, but it stands entirely alone (Tread Lightly by Catherine Lane is the first book and they are not in any way tied to each other except that they were each inspired by the same brief).
Brynn Morgan is an author with a nasty case of writer’s block. While her lesbian romances usually flow naturally from her fingertips, her recent breakup seems to have negatively impacted her writing mojo. When her best friend and longtime crush, Gillian Parker, comes for a visit, all the old feelings Brynn has harboured since childhood come to the forefront like always. And even though Gill may have always been her muse, Brynn’s feelings for her straight best friend have never been reciprocated.
Brynn is too busy wallowing in those romantic feelings to realize until the end of their visit that Gill needs something. She suspects her doctor fiance is cheating with a colleague and wants Brynn to come along to one of his work functions to watch them and give Gill her honest opinion. Brynn’s life takes a turn on her way to the event when a mishap featuring three inch heels and a cobblestone street bring her into contact with someone with the most captivating green eyes she’s ever seen.
A Work in Progress is told in the first person from Brynn’s perspective and I instantly felt like she was someone I would be friends with. She’s smart, thoughtful, a bit of a klutz, and is A++ good at swearing. Of course, she harbours an impossible crush on her best friend, but who hasn’t had a crush on the wrong person at some time in their life?
Gill is a little harder to get to know because we only know her through Brynn’s perspective. She has some seriously difficult experiences in her history that are handled well by the author, and I kind of wish we could have seen more of her friendship with Brynn without the “is he or isn’t he cheating?” problem in play.
Virgina is as wonderful as her first name is unfortunate. Because I don’t want to spoil anything, I’ll leave it at that.
The Writing Style
Apart from the scenes where Brynn reflects on Gill’s past, this is a fun, fast read.
Virgina! The silliness is also great, and again, there’s some quality swearing in this book. I loved that the way Brynn swore helped us better see what kind of a person she is.
Okay, so not a con as much as a content warning. Skip to the next section if you don’t want it spoiled.
Brynn talks quite a lot about how her friendship with Gill was cemented by the sexual abuse Gill experienced from her father. It’s handled well and I get why it’s there, but it does cause a shift in tone from the rest of the book.
A Work in Progress is a sweet novella that often made me laugh. I enjoyed the hour or two that I passed with it and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books by this author in the future.
Excerpt from A Work in Progress by L.T. Smith
I didn’t want to go to a bloody party full of people who poked, prodded, injected and examined people for a living. And I don’t mean tax inspectors, either. It was bad enough that I had to spend the evening with people I wouldn’t usually be caught dead with— well, eventually I guess I would, as they all worked in the medical profession, but that is by-the-by. I didn’t want to go to the party, and I definitely didn’t want to go to the party undercover. Previously I had likened myself to Secret Squirrel, but now I was more like Penfold in Danger Mouse—code name, “The Jigsaw.” Like that furry hamster, I knew I would go to pieces at any hint of trouble or danger, but I definitely would not be spouting adorable epithets like “Oh crumbs ” or “Crikey!” Mine would definitely be X-rated and delivered at volume.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955338503
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
L.T. Smith Online
Note: I received a free review copy of A Work in Progress by L.T. Smith. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.