Book review: Who needs Men Anyway by Victoria Cooke.

Release Date: 2nd April 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @VictoriaCooke10

It's been a while since I read Victoria Cooke's debut novel 'The Secret to Falling in Love' and I have been meaning to get my act in gear and catch up with her most recent releases, 'The Holiday Cruise' and 'Who needs Men anyway?' for a little while now, as I thoroughly enjoyed her debut. 'Who needs Men anyway?' did not disappoint. 

In 'Who needs Men anyway?', we meet Charlotte. Charlotte is in her thirties and has the 'perfect' life. She's a housewife, attends and puts together charity events, owns an expensive wardrobe and has a personal trainer and a dream husband, who is the envy of her friends and 'enemies' a like. She spends her days worrying about her pelvic floor, how she can impress at the latest charity gala and meddling in other people's lives. 

I have to be honest and say that at first I wasn't too keen on Charlotte and didn't quite feel a connection to her. She came across a little spoiled and I didn't care for all the things she cared for. She was very materialistic and boasted about having the perfect husband, yet her husband did nothing that seemed perfect to me. Charlotte liked to meddle and know what was going on in other people's lives. She judged the other women at her charity events and everything just sounded very snobbish. In saying that, this made the story all the more heartwarming and satisfying as Charlotte's journey unfolds. 

I can't condone her meddling, but Charlotte did get a few points from me for the fact that she was just looking out for her friend, and personal trainer, Megan at the beginning. Though I wish she had been honest and gone about it differently, I did think she did the right thing in wanting to help her. I really loved Megan's character and didn't want her to be stuck in a bad relationship and not knowing her boyfriend was cheating. Megan is too sweet and didn't deserve that, so I was glad Charlotte stepped in. 

When Charlotte's gardener is acting subdued and strange, Charlotte can't help herself, she has to come to the rescue. This results in her finding out the truth about her 'perfect' husband and also creating a close bond and real friendship group in Megan, Sam, the gardener, and her, already, best friend Kate. This is when we start to warm to Charlotte. I was suspicious about her husband from the beginning and his actions lead me to understand Charlotte's behaviour. She was incredibly lonely, with no true friends to talk to, a mother in law who put her down at every turn and she desperately wanted a baby. As she starts to open up more and own up to her actions, fears, pain and selfish ways, she becomes a wonderfully endearing character who you are rooting for the whole way. 

Charlotte was a whirlwind of strength and independence. When she finds out the truth about her husband, I was a mix of emotions. I was inspired by her belief in giving someone a second chance and seeing the good in people, yet that came with a 'no Charlotte, run, you don't need him, he's horrible,' feeling too. I felt she was a force to be reckoned with as she tried to understand what her life had become and take charge of who she wanted to be. The moments with her friends, when they were there for each other, supporting each other and coming up with crazy revenge plots and ideas were rather lovely and many had me giggling. There was many a moment too where Charlotte talks to herself and has back and forth conversations in her head that made me laugh. She was quite the funny character when she was figuring out how to stop herself from interfering or when carrying out a plan. 

Just when we think Charlotte can simply be done with her awful husband, her life gets a little more complicated and far from easy. I feel like she handled this, again, like a bit of a rock star. As she learns that it's not money, clothes and social status that is important, her attitude and actions become a pleasure to watch. I love when the real her comes out and she does little things like send Megan and Sam on holiday. I love when she gives her clothes to charity and when she talks at the local school about the children she raises money for. And I loved how she chose to handle and what she decided to do to get 'revenge' on her husband. There was very much a kindness to her throughout. 

In addition, I love when she meets a certain teacher that cares for her and treats her the way she deserved to be treated. This meeting also furthers her motivation to do the right thing more and be good to others. He's good for her. Andrew, this aforementioned teacher, is a sweetheart and I adored the banter between the two of them. And their first date, well, you need to pick up a copy of the book to read about the cutest, funniest and craziest first date I could ever imagine. 

This book is full of lessons in both life and love, friendships, struggles and laughter. I highly recommend the wonderful and beautiful Victoria Cooke and suggest you check out her awesome book 'Who needs Men anyway?' today! :) 

Happy reading! 

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