You’re My Kind by Clare LydonYou’re My Kind by Clare Lydon is a second chance romance, proving that forgiveness, trust, and dessert can repair even the most broken of hearts.

Justine Thomas (no relation) and Maddie Kind were university sweethearts. Justine and all their friends assumed they would be riding off into the sunset to live out their happily ever after. But one day, Maddie just up and left, leaving Justine broken hearted, confused, and angry.

Justine has become a successful part owner of a small business, teaching people how to bake like the pros. She and her best friend have determined that out of the three areas in life -career, home, and love- a woman can only expect to have two.

A decade after their split, Maddie turns up at the funeral of a mutual friend. Justine begins to bump into Maddie at every turn. The attraction between the two of them hasn’t changed, but Justine is skeptical. She wants answers. Why did Maddie leave? Why is Maddie back? Can Justine ever trust her again? Most importantly, does Maddie want the whole cake or just one more slice of Justine for old time’s sake?

The Characters

Justine is so oddly relatable. Sure, she’s gorgeous, a small business owner, witty as hell, and artistic, but I still found bits of myself in her. She’s very focused and confident when it comes to her career and friendships, but when it comes to matters of the heart, she’s guarded and wonderfully awkward. These traits make for a character that I can empathize with and become invested in. Justine has a lot to lose if she opens her heart back up to Maddie. She’s already spent what seems like a lifetime recovering from Maddie’s insensitive actions. I thought the way in which Justine navigated through that emotional mine field was courageous (and at times, hilarious).

Maddie is a heartbreaker, and I was prepared to dislike her from the start. I was prepared not to forgive her, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to empathize with her. But alas, Lydon reveals the vulnerable side of Maddie that nobody, including Justine, had ever seen. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears where Maddie was concerned, and she soon took up residence in my heart. Of course, I didn’t have anything to lose, so I was cautious when it came to placing too much trust in the “new” Maddie. But, this is a romance, so…

The Writing Style

In this reviewer’s opinion, Clare Lydon sets the bar when it comes to romantic comedy. Her dialogue absolutely snaps, crackles, and pops. The conversations between the characters are exceptionally witty without seeming forced, and the thoughts that ping pong through Justine’s head are at times sidesplitting. Lydon also writes physical comedy brilliantly and I’ve often wondered why she isn’t writing feature film rom-coms.

For me, this book felt a touch more serious than Lydon’s usual fare. That’s not a bad thing! In addition to highlighting the amusing aspects of the lesbian dating scene in contemporary London and its environs, Lydon looks at some of life’s bigger challenges such as death, grief, and rejection. But no worries, the tears of joy far outnumber the tears of sorrow. (Note: have tissues on hand while reading.) The way she artfully moves between the humorous moments and the more serious aspects of the story is seamless, and it shows how good she is at her craft.

The Pros

Cake! Lots of cake. There’s baking, artful decorating, and plenty of eating. I’m surprised I didn’t move up a pants size as a result of all the deliciousness.

The Cons

Picture tumble weeds rolling through a deserted ghost town from a classic black and white western. Nothing there.

The Conclusion

As far as I’m concerned you can’t go wrong with anything written by Clare Lydon. Everything she writes is pure comedic gold. You’re My Kind is no exception to that rule. It’s got everything. Lydon never fails to write a story that effortlessly draws a reader into its world from the very start. She always creates characters who persevere through life’s ups, downs, and clumsy pratfalls. It’s always a treat to get the latest book from Lydon. When my day came to an end, You’re My Kind was my personal reward for all the successful adulting I did. If I could get Ms. Lydon to double the number of books she releases in a year, think of how productive I would be.

Excerpt from You’re My Kind by Clare Lydon

A car door slammed behind me, and my two friends froze.

Suddenly, I knew who that Mini belonged to, who it was who wanted to get noticed. Who it was standing behind me, causing my friends to turn into ice statues even on a blazing hot day.

I closed my eyes, my heart slamming into my ribs, all the hairs on my neck standing up one by one, craning their necks to get a better look.

The number of times I’d thought about this moment over the years, and now it was about to happen.

I clenched my fists at my sides, the itch of anxiety burning my throat. I took a deep breath and spun round. And there was Maddie. The ex that counted. Still tall and slim. Still beautiful. Still with the most styled, thick eyebrows I’d ever encountered. And how were her blonde waves still so goddamn shiny and perfect?

Just like that, and exactly as Gemma had predicted, I was 24 again. Lost, abandoned, heart-broken. Only now, coming over my emotional hill at speed were the dual cavalries of anger and rage.

I’d wondered how I was going to react, and now I was getting my answer.

Yep, I was completely over it.

Maddie was dressed in fitted black trousers, black shirt and black lace-ups. She hadn’t got the memo about no black. I was inordinately pleased. It showed that, even if she tried to wheedle her way back in, she wasn’t part of the gang anymore. That was important. She’d lost the right a long time ago.

“Hi, Justine.” She held me with her piercing grey eyes, and my heart stuttered. “It’s good to see you.”

Maddie Kind. Once the author of my dreams, then the author of my nightmares.

I couldn’t say the same.

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Bits and Bobs

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