This book was quite a fun surprise. I’ve had it on my bookshelf for awhile and since it was an unknown author, I didn’t rush to pick it up. Clearly, my mistake. What should have tipped me off was the fact that Sophie Kinsella was one of the authors commending the book on the back cover. Either way, I picked up “The Little Lady Agency” because I was looking for a light read after having pretty much overdosed on Stephen King. While “The Little Lady Agency” was definitely a chic-lit novel, it was a very well put together one with a main character that you couldn’t help but cheer for.
The premise of “The Little Lady Agency” is a girl, Melissa Romney-Jones, finds herself out of a job for the umpteenth time in a very short while. The Americans bought the company that she worked at (the book is set in England) and since she was the newest employee, she was expendable. Melissa needs to find a new source of income and fast and when she is out with her two best friends, Nelson and Gabi she bumps into an old acquaintance. This starts a series of events that leads to Melissa opening her own company called “The Little Lady Agency”. Her goal: help the men of the world without a clue. She does it all, from basic makeovers to posing as a girlfriend for gay guys not quite ready to come out of the closet. She even pretends to be one guy’s wife when his one night stand won’t back off. Now that was fun to read about. For all of these ‘male makeovers’ that she is making, she goes by the name ‘Honey’ and wears a blonde wig.
Most of her clients only need her services for a short while but there is one guy who hires her to pose as his girlfriend. New to England and recently divorced, he doesn’t want to have to deal with friends and acquaintances trying to set him up on blind dates – enter Honey.
Soon the lines begin to blur between Melissa and Honey. Melissa starts to take on some of Honey’s traits and even a blonde wig cannot keep the two separate. Melissa is finding the strength and confidence that came with the blonde wig are seeping into her life. She is becoming less of a pushover and embracing the fact that she is a smart, beautiful woman. It was fun to read about how Melissa pretended to be confident so she could be ‘Honey’ and found she benefited from embellishing Honey’s character.
I found Melissa to be quite a fun character to read about. I felt a very similar affection for her as I felt for Becky Bloomwood the first time I read the Shopoholic series by Sophie Kinsella. There are a lot of differences in each girls’ world though. For one, Becky has a very supportive, loving family with a lot of quirks. Melissa on the other hand has a terrible family for the most part. Especially her father, I did not like him at all. Whenever I read things like this where the parents are awful I’m reminded of just how lucky I am to come from the background that I do. That being said, “The Little Lady Agency” has plenty of quirks and even though her family was a nightmare to read about, they made for some very funny situations.
Would I recommend this book? YES! I am so pleased that I found another chic-lit author who is able to paint her character’s world so well. I have high hopes for Hester Browne. She has written several other novels including two sequels to “The Little Lady Agency” which I am planning on devouring as soon as I can find the time. This book was a really fun read and just might appeal to a male audience as well although it is definitely aimed towards the women of the world. If you’re looking for a light, fun read – pick up “The Little Lady Agency”.