Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on Bad Penny, the brand new novel from Michele Gorman. I really enjoy the author’s books and looked forward to tucking into this latest. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
Penny’s life is one big, fat, secret … and everyone is about to find out
Penny isn’t the girl she used to be, or the woman everyone thinks she is now. At 19, she bolted for London and never looked back. Nobody there knows who she was – not her care home colleagues, her boss, her clients or even her best friend and flatmate. Auntie Mags is her only connection to her past, and she’s keeping schtum.
Oli can’t believe his luck. Not only is he about to fulfill his dream of really making a difference (assuming he wins his seat in the upcoming general election), now he’s met the perfect woman. Within a few dates he’s sure he wants to spend the rest of his life with Penny, and it’s all he can do not to shout it from the rooftops.
But Penny has hidden her secret by not shouting from any rooftops. In fact, the quieter, the better. So when Oli’s campaign swings into gear and the reporters start circling, it’s not only her future that’s about to come crashing down.
How can she find a happy ending with Oli when her past will definitely ruin his future, yet living with the lie will ruin their future together?
Then Penny’s past gets out of prison, and he’s about to turn up like a… bad penny.
I do enjoy a Michele Gorman book. Makes a nice change of pace from my usual crime fiction reads. Bad Penny is a wonderful story of friendships, romance and why it is never a good idea to keep secrets from the people you love the most. Because Penny Wilson has a pretty big secret – and it’s not just that she shares her name with her old family pet … Penny is hiding in plain sight, with a job she loves and a flat mate who is also her best friend – something that all could come to an end when she meets wannabe MP, Oli Wright.
This is not a case of love at first sight, but it’s certainly a case of there being a spark and a real chemistry between the two characters right from the off. Their first ‘date’ may have been contrived by a well meaning friend, and as a Manager of an animal charity who is running for a seat in parliament, destined to be the next big thing, and care home assistant who avoids the limelight at all costs, they don’t appear to be a natural pairing. But both Oli and Penny have really warm and caring personalities, and michele Gorman has done a brilliant job of creating that special spark that marks them as being a truly great couple. But as in all great stories, their future is not entirely certain, and it is really all Penny’s fault. What Oli values, over all else, is honesty, the one thing he doesn’t get from Penny, only not because of any malicious reason. And the reason really is the crux of this story.
Whilst most of the story is set in the present, as we witness the burgeoning romance between the pair, there are many scenes that take us into Penny’s past, slowly revealing the one thing she is keeping quiet about. Sort of. As Michele Gorman builds up the picture of Penny’s childhood, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what is happening and what Penny is hiding. But even though I thought I knew it all, there are still plenty of surprises to be sprung, and the timing of some of the reveals could not be worse. It adds a touch of drama to a truly sweet and fun romance, further complicated by Oli’s mother who, whilst not entirely domineering, does have a real influence over how Oli thinks and reacts.
This really is a case of the path of true love not running smoothly. Oli and Penny really are a brilliant couple, perfectly drawn and entertaining to the last. their little personality quirks make them very endearing, Oli especially, but there were times I just wanted to shake the pair of them. Penny for not being honest, Oli for not telling his mother to shut up. Amongst all the humour and the romance there are quite a few poignant moments where the author explores the importance of family, moments where you hope the characters will wake up and realise what is really important. It makes you wonder if some lies are just too big to forgive, or if, by the time you realise that they aren’t important, it might just be too late.
If you like a fun, fresh, romantic tale with wonderful characters and packed with fabulous friendships, this could definitely be the book for you. Do Oli and Penny find their happy ending? Well you’ll have to read to find out, but the book kept me with a smile on my face throughout and I was completed invested in the characters from start to finish. Fans of the author will love it.
About the Author
Michele writes comedies packed with lots of heart, best friends and girl power. She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London.
Michele also writes cozy comedies under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Follow the tour: