The Birthday That Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson

In a very cold January, this was just the book to brighten up my weekend. The birthday in question is Sally’s 40th. While online choosing her own present from her husband Simon (tells you a lot about the husband already!) she gets an email from him telling her he’s leaving her. It soon emerges that he has a 19 year old Latvian lapdancer on the side – only a few years older than their daughter. Reeling from the shock, she books a holiday and takes her children, Lucy and Ollie, off to Turkey. There she meets up with and is included in a group of people who meet up at the resort every year. In this group, is single father and very handsome Dubliner James. Sparks of attraction fly between them but are either actually ready for a relationship or will this be a holiday romance?

I have to say much though all the holiday makers sounded like lovely people and great fun I would hate to be holidaying with them. They were so drunk and loud all the time! However, this did lead to lots of very funny situations with the karaoke evenings springing to mind. Debbie Johnson has created lots of very memorable characters and situations in her book not least of which is Miss McTavish with her rather forthright questions! I was horrified and entertained in equal measure by Sally’s Goth daughter, Lucy, who was so incredibly rude to her mother and to everyone in general really. I was getting a bit fed up with how often Sally’s ample bosom was referred to and ogled over by every man in the place but to be fair, this was balanced out by frequent references to the attractiveness of James’ behind both in and out of his jeans!

The Birthday That Changed Everything has a lot of really funny moments which will have you giggling away but there are also a few shocks and surprises and a lot of emotional moments too. The romance between Sally and James was great to read about with all its ups and downs. I felt this was probably very realistic for people in their position, living in different countries and with children and ex-partners and all that comes with that to consider. This is a perfect book for when you want a funny, entertaining read with a healthy dose of romance thrown in.

My thanks to the publishers, Harper,  for allowing me to read this review copy via Netgalley. The Birthday That Changed Everything is due to be published on 28th January in paperback and as an ebook and you can pre-order a copy here: The Birthday That Changed Everything

From the back of the book

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got. The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

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