Book Review | The Setup #20booksofsummer22

Book three of my summer reading challenge and I have finally read one that was on my original list.

The Setup
Lizzy Dent

There are two men in my life. But this is not a love triangle. 

Mara Williams reads her horoscope every day – but she wasn’t expecting to be in a whole other country when destiny finally found her. Just as a fortune teller reveals that her true love is about to arrive, a gorgeous stranger literally walks into her life. And now Mara is determined to bring them together again . . . Surely even fate needs a nudge in the right direction sometimes?

But while Mara is getting ready for ‘the one’, the universe intervenes. Her new flatmate Ash is funny, and kind, and sexy as hell . . . There was no predicting this: it’s as if her destiny just arrived on her doorstep.

So will Mara put her destiny in fate’s hands – and finally trust herself to reach for the stars? | Goodreads | Amazon

After reading The Summer Job last year I was really excited to get the chance to read The Setup and was hoping for some more outlandish fun, what I got was something a little different to that but still very enjoyable.

I think what I struggled with a little was Mara, at the start of the book she is a very closed character, for reasons that become clear the further you read, but I think it does make it hard to have that connection to drive you into the rest of the book. She can’t seem to make any decisions for herself and relies quite heavily on astrology to help her with what direction her life should go in, she has a moment of spontaneity at the very beginning and then it feels like she becomes a bit obsessive and delusional at points.

Having said that the more I read the more I understood Mara and could see how she had come to this place in her life and I appreciated that in her quest to fix things so that she could be ready for love; as her psychic reading had told her she would need to; she starts to get to know more about herself. The changes she makes gives her the confidence to open up to people more and start to build a community where she lives rather than be closed off and afraid of forming attachments.

As she starts to come out of her shell and open up to people is where the magic of this book starts to show, I loved the lido and the friends she makes there and that they all band together to try and make things better and keep it going. Of course, I have to mention Ash in particular, it is not an in-your-face attraction, it builds slowly and has a few hiccups as Mara isn’t sure whether he is her destiny, but he is such a lovely character. He is patient, kind and driven but in a very quiet way, the kind of guy that is always looking for ways to be helpful and make things better but without being showy about it.

Whilst The Setup did take me a little while to get into, I did eventually get absorbed into the story and was loving the antics that the team at the lido got up to trying to get one of their own elected to council member, and whilst they were not quite as lighthearted to read about I liked that this book explored the changing relationships that Mara had with her parents and with her friend Charlie who’s life is taking a different path than Mara’s. At the end of the book I was left with that warm, fuzzy, hopeful feeling of contentment and enjoyment, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Lizzy Dent comes up with next.

Reviews of other books by Lizzy Dent
The Summer Job

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