The List – Joanna Bolouri

getImage.php“Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution. The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right?”

The path of true love never did run smooth, and Phoebe finds that to be true when, still smarting from a break-up, she recruits her handsome best friend Oliver to help her with her sexual bucket list. With 10 filthy tasks to complete, Phoebe Henderson is determined to put the spark back into her sex life without any strings or commitments.

But this proves to be somewhat of a challenge as, in between work and boozing with her best friend Lucy, as she and Oliver start to realise that the close friendship they’ve always shared and their newfound, blistering sexual chemistry is the perfect combination. Just as Phoebe is starting to contemplate Oliver as a boyfriend-type (not something she’d ever considered, due to his philandering ways and carefree attitude), suddenly Alex, the cheating ex-boyfriend who inspired The List, is back in her life. After demanding to see her and explain his ways, Phoebe considers rekindling their friendship – cue Oliver admitting his true feelings to her, which freaks her out and leads her straight back into Alex’s arms. Radio silence settles between Phoebe and Oliver, who jets off to the USA for work.

Of course, it isn’t too long before Phoebe realises that Alex really isn’t the one for her, and Oliver really is – and then she realises something else. Something that will change the course of her, and Oliver’s life, forever. Can she get through to him before it’s too late, or has she ruined their chances forever..?

Shagging the boss, waxing your chin hair and knocking back vodka alone – The List is a no-holds barred, humorous novel whilst being down-to-earth and realistic. It wasn’t entirely my cup of tea (splash of milk and no sugar if you’re making), but it’s a funny, refreshing and original read that makes a brilliant statement about female sexual freedom. Us women are all too oft branded with nasty words for doing the same things that men would be lauded ‘heroes’ for. A great two fingers up to the double standard (no double entendre intended).

Many thanks to Quercus for the review copy.

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