Book Review: Meet Me In Manhattan by Claudia Carroll ****

UK Publishing Date: 3 Dec 2015. 400 Pages.

Holly Johnson lives in Dublin. She’s a sometime researcher for a run of the mill radio station – and controversially not the singer from Eighties band Frankie Goes to Hollywood! Life is ticking along nicely but she hasn’t met The One. Signing up for an online dating site, Holly has soon polished up her dating CV – legs a little longer, hobbies a little more exotic, a sparkling TV career and now she’s a domestic goddess set to rival Nigella. Well, doesn’t everyone do it?

When she is contacted by an American airline pilot her heart starts to beat a little faster. Andy McCoy is just perfect. A widower with a young son, he has a glamorous job and is totally gorgeous to boot. After a number of telephone conversations they arrange to meet when he has his next flight to Dublin.

When Andy doesn’t show for their meeting Holly starts to have doubts and wonders if he might be a Catfish. A new term on me but apparently it is “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances”. She gives him the benefit of the doubt and the relationship continues. After another such incident Holly’s friends take matters into their own hands and investigate Captain Andy. Pretty soon they know exactly who he is – and Delta Airlines have never heard of him! Holly is incensed and decides to use the experience as a basis of a story for her show and is soon off to New York to confront her Catfish in person.

This could be a fairly listless and typical schmaltzy romance but Claudia Carroll does such a good job of creating her characters that you become fully invested in Holly and her journey. The descriptions of New York are really quite beautiful and whether you aspire to visit or know it like the back of your hand it will make you fall in love with the city itself.

There is something about Irish writers that really clicks with this genre of writing. It might be the cadence of the language or the feisty nature of the heroines but there is an inexplicable connection that makes these authors and books so very readable. Think Marian Keyes and Cathy Kelly and you are along the right lines. Meet Me in Manhattan is perfect for this time of year and a fun festive read. [Heads off to add other Claudia Carroll books to my reading list…]

Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You can find the book here: Meet Me In Manhattan: A sparkling, feel-good romantic comedy to whisk you away from it all

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