This was such a fun and flirty read, I enjoyed it a lot! The book is based in Australia and I loved the different words the author uses. The book manages to be funny and have serious issues at the same time, and never stopped being entertaining. Danielle and Elliot were childhood friends, best friends who got into all kinds of mischief together. When Danielle was five and Elliot eight years old, Elliot proposed marriage with a Cheezel ring, which Danielle promptly ate. She also promised to marry him when they were thirty because at five years, that was an eternity and they would be old people then, LOL. One episode in specific marked them, when Danielle was 7 and Elliot 10. They were playing hide and seek and were trapped behind a storm drain grate and got hit with a flash flood. A neighbor rescued them and when he died, both families wanted to commemorate him with a communal garden. Twenty-two years later, Elliot and Danielle meet again with their mothers to reconstruct the garden, which had fallen into a total disrepair. Elliot reminds Danielle of their engagement and that they were now at the age she promised to marry him. Total shock!! She hadn’t seen him in seventeen years since his family moved to a town away and they lost contact. So this story deals with the mothers reconnecting and plotting to matchmake, Danielle with abandonment issues related to her father, Elliot and some sleazy boyfriends. Elliot was the same nerdy cute guy, now a lawyer, successful, still quirky, full of trivial facts, and always in love with Danielle.
“The first time I fell in love with Danielle Cunningham when I was eight years old. She wasn’t the most popular girl at school, but she was the most beautiful, inside and out.”<
“The second time I fell in love with her was when she’d eaten my Cheezel ring and said she’d marry me.”
The rest of the book is a funny romp that includes a pug dog called Dudley, lovingly called Pugley by bestie Chris and by Elliot, because he was “ugly cute”. As mentioned, Danielle has serious abandonment issues and had a strong conviction that friends cannot be lovers because it ruins the friendship; and Elliot’s friendship, recovered after so many absent years, is a top priority for her. Elliot has strong guilt feelings about the drain incident and feels undeserving of her love. There can’t be a romance story without some angst and this book carried the perfect amount of angst, funny dialogue, adorable dog, great characters and two principals that had you rooting for their HEA.
As for the language, I now have two new Aussie words I loved: Cheezel which is like a Cheetos but in ring form;
and Milo, which seemed like a chocolate drink when I read it in the book, and yes, it was, upon investigation.
Seems like Danielle drinks Milo’s like crazy when she was upset. Now I’ll remember this book when I have my hot chocolate before bed LOL.