Review: Mr. Right and Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mr Right and Other Mongrels
Mr. Right and Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell
Published by Redfish Publishing
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance (Clean, Comedy)

Blissfully happy in her own universe Allegra (Ally) Johnson is the sweet best friend everyone wants to have. Quietly and independently wealthy she runs a charming second-hand bookshop in beachside Manly. Heck, sometimes she even goes downstairs from her flat to run the shop in her Chinese silk pyjamas. It sounds like bliss. But is it enough?
When dog-phobic Allegra is rescued from an exuberant canine by the chivalrous Teddy Green, Australia’s hottest TV celebrity and garden make-over guru, her life begins to change. Dramatically!
Unaware of Teddy’s fame Allegra finds herself falling for him, despite her best attempts to resist his charm. Supported by her eccentric family and her fabulous gay friend Justin, Allegra embarks on an on-again off-again romance with Teddy, complicated by his jealous ex-girlfriend, fashionista Louisa and her own narcissistic hippy mother Moonbeam.
Will Ally be able to overcome her insecurities and find happiness with this possible Mr Right or will Teddy’s celebrity lifestyle prove to be too much? Mr Right and Other Mongrels is a light-hearted story about how one chance encounter can change your life.
Purchase from Amazon

Excerpt

My mother however was going nowhere. Worse than that she kept leering at Teddy, which simply made me uncomfortable.

I really didn’t know what was going on with Teddy and me but I surely didn’t want anything going on between Teddy and Moonbeam.

“Teddy, do you want to help me get some dinner together?”

“No Allegra, he can stay and keep me company.” She was good.

“How about we both help Ally out.” What a guy.

So we piled into my small kitchen with her standing a bit too close to Teddy for my liking.

“So what are we having?”

“Potato gnocchi with tomato sauce and a salad.”

“Cool, what can I do?’

I had already cooked the potatoes so I put Teddy to work mashing them. And I pulled down a jar of sauce I had made from organic tomatoes earlier in the summer and put it on to simmer.

Teddy looked at me quizzically “You jar your own sauce?”

“Uhmm yes”. I was always kind of embarrassed by my love of cooking. It makes me seem like a possessed potential housewife or something. I mean I know you don’t go to a club and discuss organic cooking; it doesn’t get the men flocking. Ultimately though I just like to cook and eat well.

“Well, Allegra, that being the case I may have to marry you.” He winked just so I’d know he wasn’t serious. “I’ll grow the veggies and you can make the sauce.”

I noticed Moonbeams dark eyes got a tad darker and flashed a bit wilder.

“I don’t know that there is room for a veggie patch in my flat or your designer terrace either for that matter,” I laughed.

“Well, we’ll just have to move to the country.”

“Sorry can’t leave the shop.”

“I’m heartbroken,” he feigned distress as he mashed. “I offer to give up my lucrative TV career and to grow veggies and marry you and you won’t leave the bookshop!”

My Review

My Rating: 3/5 stars

This was a cute, fun breezy read. If you need some brainless book to read, do pick this up! Brainless is a compliment here. Don't you have those days where you just want to read something familiar that will end happily? That somehow even your life's in a mess, reading a happily-ever-after will put even just a smile on your lips, making you happy for a while, making you believe that there is hope in the world. That happiness can be found anywhere. When you're feeling down like that, read this book.

Sure, it is chock full of overdone tropes but it is charming and silly and funny. Allegra tells the story in her point of view and she is one funny girl. Teddy Green is your common celebrity character with a bitchy ex-girlfriend in Louisa. Basically, you know what's gonna happen just by reading the blurb. But like I said, this familiarity makes it endearing. It's like your favorite old and tattered shirt you sleep on. No matter how many times you wear it, it still has it charms. To quote Miguel Syjuco's Ilustrado, "Cliches remind and reassure us that we're not alone, that others have trod this ground long ago." That is exactly my point. Why do women love romantic comedy films when they're repetitive? It's because at the end of the film, we know it will make us feel good, believe in love and ignite that hope that there's someone out there for us as hot and handsome as Ashton Kutcher, or in this case, Teddy Green. Haha!

This novel is pure fluff so don't expect depth and brooding and philosophical questions. It's uncomplicated and it might not be for everyone since it tends to overexaggerate and it might annoy you at times because of that. But if you're looking for just that book you'd curl up to after watching all those rom-coms, this is it.

About Monique McDonell


I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.

I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations. I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)

When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since. I began a year-long writing course at the NSW Writers Centre and (thank goodness) its members morphed into a writing group known as The Writer's Dozen. We published a highly successful anthology, Better than Chocolate, in 2008.

In 2008 I was also selected for the QWC/Hachette Livre Manuscript Development Course for my novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels. In 2009 I received a Highly Commended in the Romance Writers of Australia's Valerie Parv Awards for my novel Hearts Afire.

These are the first two books I will be e-publishing in 2012 along with a third novel, A Fair Exchange. I'm not really like the characters in my books at all although I do share something in common with each of them - Allegra (Mr Right and Other Mongrels) has a dog phobia like me, Cassie (Hearts Afire) falls in love on a tropical island and I met my husband that way and Amelia (A Fair Exchange) was an exchange student who is now all grown up.

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