Book Review: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard by Robert Bryndza

Coco Pinchard always dreamed of being a successful writer, but then life got in the way. She married young, had a son, and put her dreams on hold... But now she's forty, and her first novel is about to be published! Her husband Daniel has greyed nicely into a silver fox, and her son Rosencrantz is all grown up. Shouldn't it be time to enjoy life?

That is, until the annual family Christmas when her hideous in-laws come to stay, and Coco opens her gift from Daniel. It's not the jewellery she chose, but an iPhone. This marks the start of Daniel's mid-life crisis and Coco catches him in bed with a younger woman.

The iPhone becomes a confessional, and as Coco's life unravels, she documents her seemingly endless (and often entertaining) run of bad luck through emails to loyal friends Christopher, an ageing trustafarian, and Marika, a slightly alcoholic schoolteacher.

Then Coco meets the hunky Adam and she's back in the world of dating as a single forty-something. 

Who doesn't enjoy having a snoop at a strangers personal correspondence!? Absolutely no one, that's who...Only the protagonist in The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard is certainly no stranger. In fact she is one of my favourite literary characters of all time and it was an absolute joy to be given the opportunity to become reacquainted with Coco for the purpose of this blog tour. It's been a good year or two since I have had the pleasure of her company after becoming ADDICTED to Robert Bryndza's Erika Foster series of books which have taken off in a big way during the last few years (and rightly so, they are flipping amazing.)

I thought I would take things right back to the start and re-read where my love affair with Coco and her dysfunctional family began. The Not-So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard does exactly what it says on the tin, as Coco uses the iphone that her husband buys her for Christmas to email her friends, Chris and Marika, and her family, with the ups-and-downs and trials and tribulations of her life. And what a life she has...
We are privy to the rise and fall (or maybe just the fall?) or her debut novel, Chasing Diana Spencer. Then there's the indiscretion of her husband when Coco catches him in bed with Snow White (long story...) add to the mix a son who gets in a bit of a pickle with illegal substances on the other side of the pond and a squatter in the form of her mother-in-law Ethel who has been thrown out of her nursing home.
There is no one else's private emails I would like to snoop at other than Coco's (although Ethel's would be pretty cool...) She is such a warm, relatable, down-to-earth character who you can't help but fall in love with from page one.She is such a resilient character, some of the things she goes through would make a lesser woman crumble, but not our Coco. She always bounces back and I absolutely adore her for it.
There are so many things I love about Coco. She is one kick-arse lady who always looks out for those she cares about. I love her friendship with Chris and I was so glad he was around in her life when she needed him, whether it was to take her out for dancing and kebabs or whether it was bailing her son out of American jail. 

She also has a lovely relationship with Rosencratz. I love the way she supported him and equally the way he looked after her.
This then brings me on to Ethel. I am a die-hard Ethel fan and I absolutely worship the woman. I really like the relationship that she shares with Coco, even though it's very much a love/hate dynamic at times.

How Robert gets inside the mind of a cranky old lady so very well remains a mystery to me - but he does it so blimmin' well. Ethel is one of those characters who is real to me; I can hear her accent when she talks, I can picture what she looks like in my mind. As much as she outrages me she also makes me howl with laughter at the same time, and there aren't many characters who can genuinely evoke that reaction. Ethel really is a chortle-worthy character and I don't think any literary creation can rival her. She is a legend, pure and simple.

I also must mention that this book also contains the best excuse for leaving a bad date early that I have possibly ever heard. I'm not going to reveal what it is, but get reading and you will discover it for yourself...

I love the sense of humour that Robert has in his books. The term 'laugh-out-loud' is bandied around a lot, but for the Coco Pinchard books this phrase is fully justified. His writing is superb; funny, smart, realistic and sharper than one of Ethel's barbed one-liners.

I could happily just re-locate to a desert island for a few weeks with the set of Coco Pinchard books (in fact, can this be arranged please?) They are pure joy in book form and they make me happier than bottomless hot chocolate. They are so good at taking my mind off real life and are the perfect form of escapism. They should really come on prescription for when you need cheering up...Coco Pinchard is more effective than any drug the doctor can prescribe.

I really hope that Robert returns to writing more from Coco in the future as I hadn't realised just how much I had missed her until I revisited her wacky world...

A huge thank you to Sarah for having me on board the Coco Pinchard Box Set Blog Tour...

For the first time, all 5 books in Robert Bryndza's bestselling Coco Pinchard romantic comedy series are available in one! And this box set includes a new introduction by the author.

Book 1: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard

If you enjoyed flipping through Bridget Jones's diary, you'll love perusing Coco Pinchard's emails! Coco confides in her quirky, supportive friends as she deals with her life falling apart. Read the emails that tell the heart warming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good Romantic Comedy. 

Book 2: Coco Pinchard's Big Fat Tipsy Wedding

Coco thinks she's on the road to happily ever after with Adam, until he inexplicably breaks up with her. Will one mistake cost them their whole future? Coco sets out to discover what has really happened, and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her... Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard's Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy - the stand-alone sequel to no.1 bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard

Book 3: Coco Pinchard, the Consequences of Love and Sex

Coco Pinchard has a great life, a bestselling memoir, and a handsome second husband. Things are going exactly as planned -- until her adult son runs into disaster, her ex's mother butts back into her life, and she finds out she's pregnant! Maybe life is more fun if you throw your plans out the window... The third book in Robert Bryndza's bestselling Coco Pinchard series (which can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story) is a hilarious diary with Coco's trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time. 

Book 4: A Very Coco Christmas

It's 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard is home for Christmas after her first term at University. She's fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, but Coco's mother wants her to be with Kenneth, the son of posh friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas.

As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. A Very Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone prequel short story to Robert Bryndza's smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.

Book 5: Coco Pinchard's Must-Have Toy Story

A sparkling feel-good comedy, which asks the question - how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy? 

It's December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy - almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz. 

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley's with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that four-year-old Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a comment