Book Review: Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley

Title: Conditional Love
Author: Cathy Bramley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 2 December 2014
Twitter: @CathyBramley
What surprises might life have in store for you?

A takeaway, TV and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets for thirty-something Sophie Stone. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much.

But when a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is one big catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.

Saying ‘yes’ means the chance to build her own dream home, but she’ll also have to face the past and hear some uncomfortable truths…

With interference from an evil boss, warring parents, an unreliable boyfriend and an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth, will Sophie be able to build a future on her own terms – and maybe even find love along the way?  
I have enjoyed a number of Cathy Bramley’s books, yet somehow I had not read her debut novel, Conditional Love, until now and I am happy to report that it is as charming and funny as I anticipated. Bramley certainly is the queen of ‘feel-good’ fiction!
Set in a small Nottinghamshire village, Bramley provides a lovely setting for this charming tale. Bramley has a knack for writing locations and characters in a way that draws the reader into the world she has created.
The main character, Sophie Stone, is very likeable, although I did initially find her slightly frustrating. I was eager for her to move out of her comfort zone and let herself experience the world around her. Fortunately, the inheritance from her great aunt forces her to do this. This presents the start of a journey for Sophie and we see her gradually growing into a stronger and more confident woman as the story progresses.
The book is predominantly a tale of relationships – Sophie and her (ex) boyfriend Marc, her flatmates Jess and Emma and her estranged father. Family relationships can be a difficult thing, particularly for children from a ‘broken home’. It is all too easy for bitterness between parents to spill over and for a child to be forced to take sides.
Obviously there has to be an element of romance to the story. I was keeping my fingers crossed that Sophie would see the arrogant Marc for what he is and re-focus her attention on the lovely architect Nick. Sophie is turning her life around and deserves someone who cares about her rather than her inheritance.
After a few weeks of reading crime/thrillers, Conditional Love was the perfect palate-cleanser for my overloaded brain. It is a charming and heart-warming story, just right for a lazy Sunday afternoon!
About the Author
Cathy Bramley is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of THE LEMON TREE CAFE. Her other romantic comedies include Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food and White Lies and Wishes. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.
Cathy turned to writing after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. She has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!
Cathy loves to hear from her readers. You can get in touch via her website Facebook page or on Twitter
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