Massive thanks to Anne & Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be on this blog tour, and for a copy of The Mystery Shopper and the Hot Tub in exchange for an honest review!
Brooke’s a gorgeous young mum who lives in Essex. Her favourite things in life:
1. Her baby, Paige
2. Husband Dean
4. Hot tubs
5. OK! magazine
All that’s missing is the hot tub. Brooke’s bored at home and wants financial independence, but mostly a hot tub and Dean’s a man with traditional values and he doesn’t want Brooke to work. She secretly takes a job at a nearby country house, meeting the incorrigible Lady Townsend. This unlikely friendship, plus some jaw-dropping events, helps Brooke realise that she’s capable of so much more than she thought.
Dean is a devoted husband and father, and, knowing what Brooke wants most of all in life, he secretly takes up mystery shopping hoping to make some extra money to pay for it. And if he gets some peace and quiet whilst doing so, all the better.
The elaborate web of lies they both weave results in numerous madcap situations, but can their deceit undermine the love that they have?
The Mystery Shopper and the Hot Tub is a laugh-out-loud novel. Brooke and Dean De’Ath are a pair of characters. A married couple that are as similar as they are different, they’re a stereotypical ‘Essex’ duo, with a one-year-old girl. Brooke is stay-at-home Mum who cares for her daughter, but dreams of bigger things. She gets a ‘secret’ job working in a country house for a Lady and is drawn in to a world that couldn’t be more different from her own. Dean is a call centre worker itching for a promotion, and a company car, and takes on mystery shopping for some time away from his family. They are a hilarious duo who favour parties with their friends, a more extravagant lifestyle and, it appears, hiding secrets from each other.
The book is split into chapters with subheadings which provide a bit of a sneak peak as to what you can expect in the chapter. These are nicely chronological and helpful as you have a rough guide as to what you’re going to see from the De’Ath’s. What follows is usually either a new segment in the story, or finishing off something you’re already aware of that’s part-way through. I liked this as it was different to other novels I’ve read previously, making it stand out, and it was nice to have a clearer idea of what to expect.
Field’s writing is clear, concise and, above all else, humorous. The book is a really lighthearted read. I loved laughing along with, and sometimes at, Brooke and Dean. Their shenanigans are really quite something. I feel like I say this a lot nowadays, but to read about every day life and the ‘old normal’ is refreshing and enjoyable. Envisioning a sense of normality through books is something I really cling on to these days!
The book finishes on a cliffhanger, which would usually be frustrating. In this instance, however, if you’re eager to find out more then Helen has kindly included a link at the end of the novel. If you follow it then you can read a bit more of Brooke and Dean’s story, continuing on from where this book finishes and a further few pages to appease the tension and prepare you for the next novel. I thought this was a nice addition to the book and very thoughtful of Helen.
The Mystery Shopper and the Hot Tub is a really humorous novel, with likeable characters and a strong storyline. It’s out now, published by In Jest, and you can buy it from Amazon in both eBook and paperback format.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour, you can find all the details in the banner below.
Until next time,