Sunday 15 November 2015

Reviewed: Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley

Conditional Love was published in paperback by Corgi on November 5, 2015.

Thanks to Sarah at Transworld for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Conditional Love has recently been re-worked and re-published, making it Cathy Bramley’s third Corgi paperback and, to be expected, just as wonderful as the others. I adored this novel right from the first page and never stopped – it was a typically heart-warming, glorious romantic comedy, beautifully delivered with realistically observed emotions and a hint of a romance thanks to certain architect that you will be absolutely rooting for. It’s a gorgeous story and I loved every moment of it. Cathy Bramley has not yet written a book I didn’t enjoy and there’s never any doubt in my mind that she will deliver – an author whose books you can always rely on to put a smile on your face. So, bring on the next one!

Sophie Stone has a nice enough life – she has her job, her friends and a boyfriend Marc, and on surface is fairly happy with her simple life. But there’s more to Sophie than meets the eye and when she is left a hefty inheritance from her mysterious great aunt, we see a much more insecure side to her character. Sophie has the chance to acquire her dream home from the inheritance but there is a catch – she must meet once with the father she has never known. Sophie battles with her conscience and how she, and her mother, would feel about Sophie seeing her dad and I was intrigued by what she may discover and the true story behind why her dad wasn’t in her life. Sophie was instantly likeable and one of those characters I really found myself wanting the best for. Her boyfriend, Marc, was frankly awful and I hated how she put up with him but all it did was make me look forward to hopefully the moment where she would stand up to him and get rid.

There was something really inspiring about Sophie when she started taking charge of her life and chasing her dreams. When she sets her eyes on the home she could be inheriting and starts thinking, along with architect Nick, about the interior design and how she could make it something personal to her, we really get to see a different side to her character, one where she is passionate about something and creative and enthusiastic. It was nice to see her thinking about something purely for herself rather than always trying to work out ways of suiting everyone else – like compromising for Marc or hiding things from her mum so as not to upset her. Sophie was a selfless character but somehow I found myself willing her to be more selfish because she was a really thoughtful, sincere character who was so worthy of something brilliant happening in her own life. I wanted to see Sophie put herself first and build that dream life she was so deserving of.

Sophie and architect Nick are my two favourite Cathy Bramley characters and they made this book such a joy for me to read. The other character who stole my heart was in actual fact a dog, but so sweet and loveable I just couldn’t resist him. As always, Cathy created a really endearing set of characters and I found myself drawn to many of them. I found the dynamics between Sophie and her mum and Sophie and her dad both interesting and fascinating – I was eager to learn if any secrets may be discovered between the three of them and what really happened the day Sophie’s dad disappeared from her life. I also loved reading the friendship in this novel between Sophie and sisters Jess and Emma who were so different but equally fab. I loved their bond and how they all bickered but yet at the same time all they wanted to do was support each other. All three of them had the perfect girly friendship, the chats and the gossip, the advice and laughter over a cup of tea or a takeaway and something a bit stronger. All three of them were easy to identify with and impossible to dislike.

Conditional Love was everything I want a romantic comedy to be plus much more. Cathy Bramley has a recognisable sense of humour in her stories which never fails to hit the mark and the wit in this book often had me giggling out loud, which made the story flow with even more ease and beauty. As for the romance element… predictable – yes, but absolutely everything I wanted to read, 100% yes! I liked how I couldn’t stand Marc from the beginning and yet Sophie still persevered with him because it made me fall for the better love interest even more and yes I definitely did fall for him! Ahhh… He was awkward and said the wrong thing many times but he was lovely and genuine and not at all as boring as I am making him sound. From start to finish, Conditional Love was a delight to read and I was very sad to see it come to an end because I’d grown extremely attached to the characters! Warm and witty, it’s a book that makes you want to embrace all of life’s little things and just enjoy it so pick up this book, curl up by the fire on a winter’s day and get reading because the smile left on your face once you’ve finished is so worth it.

Another gorgeous, smile-inducing Cathy Bramley novel!


  1. I haven't read any of Cathy's books and will obviously have to rectify that very soon! Angela Britnell

    1. They're lovely, Angela, I'm sure you'd enjoy them!

  2. Hi Sophie, thank you for being part of my blog tour,. You have been such a support to me, kindly reviewing books and featuring me on your blog over the past few years and on more than one occasion yours has been the first review up on Amazon! Thanks again and I'm so glad yuo enjoyed the book. Cathy xxx

    1. Hi Cathy - no problem at all! It's a pleasure to keep reading and reviewing your books xx


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