A family wedding. A fake boyfriend. A recipe for disaster! A funny, feel-good romantic comedy from bestseller Jo Platt
Singleton Dot Riley’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, is on her deathbed, surrounded by family and distraught at the thought of Dot being all alone in the world. Desperate to make Flo’s final moments happy ones, Dot invents a boyfriend – plumping in panic for her childhood friend, Felix, a firm favourite of Flo, but whom Dot hasn’t actually seen for 15 years.
But when Flo makes an unexpected recovery a few weeks before a family wedding, Dot is faced with a dilemma. Should she tell her frail grandmother that she lied and risk causing heartache and a relapse? Or should she find Felix and take him to the wedding?
Dot opts for finding Felix. But it’s not long before she discovers that finding him is the easy bit: liking him is the real challenge.
An uplifting romantic comedy about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for. Finding Felix is perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Tracy Bloom and Debbie Viggiano.
So how can I best describe Jo Platt’s Finding Felix? In a word, gorgeous. But there’s so much more to say! As soon as I received my ARC copy I couldn’t wait to dive in through its lovely cover and immerse myself in the lives of Dot and Felix. At the start of the story we’re offered a glimpse of their shared past and it immediately took me back to the 90s when I thought my chunky biker boots (not unlike Dot’s DMs) were the only footwear of choice, regardless of what else I happened to be wearing. I could see a lot of myself in teenage Dot! The problem though with friendships we have in our younger years is that time and circumstance often mean that the person we were closest to at 16 is the last person we’d think to call at 36 and this is what has happened with Dot and Felix; through no deliberate action on either part they are no longer in touch.
Which is why Dot’s little untruth in the time of crisis with Nanny Flo has the potential to unravel in an instant, if Dot can’t rectify the situation by sticking it together with more little-white-lie plasters. Dot is one of those characters who is as lovably relatable as she is frustrating, and you can only watch, through your fingers, as she proceeds to dig herself further and further into a hole. Situations come and go and each time the lie holds up, barely but you have to ask the question, why does she persist with it when at various points she is offered a way out? You’ll get no spoilers from me but while continually being offered a ladder to get out of said hole, she doesn’t climb up it…I’ll leave you to guess at why…!
I must admit that when we first encounter the eponymous Felix in the present time I (whisper it) wasn’t terribly impressed with him. Yes of course, physically he sounded completely lovely but personality wise I was with Dot, left wondering what had happened to him along the way, the changes in him so marked. But as the story unfolds, not unlike a cat stretching out after a long, long nap, the real Felix begins to shine through and hands up I’ll tell you that I fell for him; hook, line and sinker. And as Dot spends more time with him she begins to understand his actions and reactions and in turn this forces her to look more deeply at herself and her life.
With every good romantic comedy there is usually a strong supporting cast of family and friends and Finding Felix does not disappoint; with the various interactions between them all providing a lot of the humour throughout the book. I must say though I do think if I had been Dot or her sister I may well have taken out some kind of a restraining order against Helen, their mother! She drove me mad with her constant calls and fussing and questions, like some modern-day Mrs Bennet but following in the tradition of lovely book dads, Dot’s father Don was an absolute star, patiently acting as a buffer between his wife and daughters.
I mentioned earlier my frustration with Dot but really this applies to both her and Felix. I know its obligatory in this kind of book for there to be misunderstandings and miscommunications but a lot of the issues for our hero and heroine are caused by a plain lack of communication! So much heartache and confusion could have been avoided if they’d not only just spoken to each other perhaps a bit more honestly, and often for that matter but also if they’d been a little more forthright about their feelings (or lack thereof) with certain others close to them. However, once everything is finally cleared up and everyone knows precisely how they feel about the other, Finding Felix ends on a beautiful, positive note, punctuated with another glimpse into the past but this time from a first-person perspective. It’s a simply glorious touch because something you’d guessed at all along turns out to be true and it makes you feel good about the world; that fate really does exist.
So in conclusion, Finding Felix is so much more than Dot’s initial quest to uphold an untruth; it’s about reconnecting with everything Felix represents; acceptance, friendship and ultimately true love. And that’s why, even if she doesn’t realise it at the time, Dot never climbs the ladder to escape that hole.
Thank you to NetGalley and Canelo for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Please note – this review was previously posted by me in the past under another username/social media/blog. Cover artwork and blurb has been cut and pasted for use in this blog post review from that currently being used on Amazon.co.uk.