24 Nov 2015



BACK COVER BLURB: Clutch: A Novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags - the 'Hobbo' starving artist, the 'Diaper Bag' single dad, the 'Briefcase' intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the 'Clutch' or someone she wants to hold onto.

FIRST SENTENCE {Getting Purse-onal}: Mimi Johnson was casually dressed in a brightly-colored blouse with enormous turquoise jewelery and equally-oversized glasses.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 97}: "So, what about you, Caroline. What do you do?" he asked, as the bar tender set a pitcher of beer on the bar counter.

"Nothin' as important as savin' lives. But I do help victims of fashion emergencies. I'm a handbag designer," she said, her Southern charm oozing through.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

MY THOUGHTS: A big fan of Lisa Becker's 'Click' trilogy (comprising 'Click: An Online Love Story', 'Double Click' and 'Right Click') - no mean feat given that I'm hardly a big fan of the 'letter/diary entry/email' format - I was honoured and delighted to be asked to read this, her latest offering.

Honoured because its always nice to be approached by an author (doubly so when they have trusted you with their other 'babies' previously) and delighted because a woman with a thing about bags, how could I not be delighted to be given the opportunity to read a book in which they play such a prominent role?

More to do with personal preferences, I'm afraid sex in literature just isn't something I'm big on and thus Clutch: A Novel simply wasn't entirely to my taste. Not that there was a horrendous amount of sex in it you understand but what there was was to my mind graphic and, well, crude.

Not that I want you to go away thinking this was a novel without its merits. The sex thing aside it was actually an enjoyable enough read.

Humorous. It had some great characters (its just a shame there wasn't more of my personal favourite, the wonderful Aunt Mimi). Flawed but surprisingly likeable, I actually grew to really like Caroline and Mike (but then penning characters that grow on you seems to be one of Lisa's strengths as a writer) and enjoyed following their would they/wouldn't they get-together relationship. And then, of course, there were 'the contenders' for Caroline's affection, all of them named after handbags. Cleverly written, I guess its true what they say about some women needing to kiss lots of frogs before they get their Prince Romance or as Caroline came to think of them, the man she would hold onto, her Clutch.


Suko said...

Clutch sounds like a clever, enjoyable book. I like the idea of comparing relationships to handbags. I enjoyed reading your well-written and candid review, Tracy.

Karen Alderman said...

I loved her first series as well and I have this one for review. Since I read a fair amount of sex scenes I'm sure that won't bother me. I'm glad you liked it otherwise.

Karen @For What It's Worth

Kelly said...

I don't often read "chick lit", but I'll admit the whole handbag comparison business sounds appealing. I've always been a bit of a sucker for purses - one of my few "girly" qualities.

Sherry Ellis said...

I'm not big on books with a lot of sex, either. I like the little excerpt. It has personality.

Gina R said...

Oh....that Lisa Becker! Thanks for making the connection. I enjoyed the CLICK series as well. We'll have to see about this one though I'm a fan of the concept.

Gina R said...
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Literary Feline said...

This sounds like a fun book. I think I would like this. I know what you mean about not especially caring for sex in books. I enjoy romance novels, but my favorites tend to be the ones where the couples don't spend a lot of time in the bedroom.

Anonymous said...

I do like the occasional chick lit, so this could be one for a holiday reading list!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I don't typically read chick-lit or contemporary romance on a regular basis, so this probably isn't one for me, despite your pretty even-handed review.

I do however love the simplicity of the cover art and its connection with the storyline, likewise the book's title .. It does what it says on the tin !

Thanks for sharing :)


Gingi Freeman said...

Great review! How do you pick which books to review?? - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Melliane said...

It's great to see you had another great one by the author!

Arti said...

Fabulous review as always, Tracy. Not my kind of book either but that's the first time I heard someone comparing handbags to relationship misadventures, pretty interesting and unique.

Alexia561 said...

Don't think that this one is for me, as too many sex scenes are rather off-putting for me. I usually skim over them, but get annoyed nonetheless. I do like the idea of comparing men to handbags! And glad to hear that you enjoyed her other books!

kimbacaffeinate said...

If the sex scene makes sense I have no issue, but crude..no.