Love, Life and a Polar Bear tattoo

A once blissful marriage that’s sputtering and dying and an iffy result on your pap smear when you’re all alone. How much more heartbreaking could life get? And that’s when your first love enters the scene. The one who broke your heart and walked away; the one who’s still (or more so what with the years of experience) gorgeous and intent on making you see why you fell for him in the first place. Candice didn’t need Kegan Underwood back in her life; especially not now. But here he was and the timing couldn’t have been worse.

A designer’s assistant at an interior design firm, Candice was good at her job and knew she could handle more. Though when more did come along she bitterly wondered it had to be this particular more. Her husband, Ian was away from her for the first time in their two year marriage; half way around the world really. And she hadn’t told him the doctor had made her take a retest on the pap smear. Just like she hadn’t told him she didn’t feel in love with him anymore and she didn’t know if their marriage would make it. The strain of his parents death in an accident when out buying a Christmas gift for her, Candice, was wearing it down. And the absolute last thing she needed was for Kegan to waltz into her life, all gorgeous and focused on chasing his dream with his understanding blue eyes.

I’d been staring at the mound of books in my room and the virtual mound on my laptops for a while now, looking for something I really wanted to read. And Love, Life and a Polar Bear tattoo was just what the doctor ordered. Maybe it’s because of that or maybe it’s because it really is that great a book, either way I loved this one!

The book isn’t particularly long but what I love most about the book is Candice Warburton. I think it’s always tricky to get it right when writing in the first person narrative. There is necessarily lesser dialogue and everything is only always visible from one POV and that can get a bit boring after a while. Not, however, if it’s a well-written character. As the quirky, polar bear-obsessed protagonist, Candice Warburton is perfect! There’s an innate honesty about her (even when she’s admitting that she lies to herself) that doesn’t allow her to take herself too seriously and this unabashed ability to laugh at herself has the reader laughing out loud just as often. As she sways back and forth over whether or not she’s the ‘tattoo kinda person’ (the description of her getting her first tattoo was so spot on it brought back several memories and had me simultaneously smirking and nodding in agreement) or collects stacks of books which just have to ‘go home with her’ (Heh! Now you know why!) you just have to warm up to her.

But most importantly, I thought it was easy to connect to the characters, not just Candice. They were all real and you felt an instant empathy for them. All in all, the book is extremely real. Irrespective of whether or not it could happen to you, you know it could happen. I love the way Heather Wardell, the author, frequently handles clichéd situations (‘My eyes flew open as I suddenly realized this is what I do; this is how I always deal with things … OK maybe not always.’) We’ve all hoped at some point that the answer to all our character flaws would suddenly reveal themselves in some wholly formed gleaming pattern; and it often (OK, almost always) falls far short of our colossal hopes. Just as we’ve all at some point wondered whether to tell or not to tell.

To cut a long story … ahem … short I’d easily rate this book a 5. 🙂

And hope everybody gets a beautiful polar bear tattoo… 🙂

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