We have followed Laura Barnard from the very beginning, from The Debt & the Doormat/The Baby & the Bride to Tequila & Tea Bags. We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in this super blog tour to celebrate the release of her latest contemporary romantic comedy/chick-lit, DOPEY WOMEN! Please keep reading for our full review, and for a chance to enter a great giveaway!! 🙂
“I’ve flipped the crazy switch and there’s no going back.”
Author: Laura Barnard
Genre: Romantic comedy, chick-lit, contemporary
Release date: August 12th, 2015
Length: 453 pages
Blurb: Sadie had a bumpy upbringing but she’s still managed to drag herself out and carve a career for herself. That all comes crashing down when she, along with the women she manages; Mags, Lexi & Steph, get made redundant. She’s screwed. In hindsight she shouldn’t have attacked her colleague in a moment of rage. There goes the reference.
When they all bump into each other a few months later at the job centre Sadie finds she’s not the only one in a hole. Steph’s boyfriend has left her holding the baby, Lexi’s stuck in an abusive relationship and poor Mags has breast cancer. They’re all struggling to keep on top of their bills. They all need money to get out of their situations, its as simple as that.
Mags mentions that some women find marijuana helps ease the sickness caused by chemo. With the desperation mounting and the coffee spurring them on they somehow decide to start growing it. They’re only going to sell to ladies going through chemo, so its not too bad, right? They’re not going to be proper drug dealers. And its only temporary.
They didn’t bet on the business taking off so well though. Before they know it they’ve got orders coming out of their ears, a sexy detective on their trail, suspicious neighbours and drug dealers angry they’re working on their patch.
Can Sadie pull them out of this dangerous world they’ve found themselves in? And can she do it before they end up in prison?
Laura Barnard has nailed it again! Not only has she created several well-developed characters, a romance embedded in a super plotline, she also has the gift of humour! In every single one of her books, thus far, I have been in stitches, and never without a smile on my face, and Dopey Women is no exception! Dopey Women is full of ‘sexcapades’, adventure and suspense that will keep you glued to the very end.
Written in first person from Sadie’s point of view, the reader follows her character as we realise she hasn’t had a great life, despite what her colleagues think of her initially. She has came from a shady background, has experienced foster homes and homelessness. She has built herself up to management level, and for what? Just to be made redundant, leaving her barely able to pay her mortgage, not to mention her car and credit cards!!
“I’ve flipped the crazy switch and there’s no going back.”
After meeting up with her colleagues some time later, she begins to realise that none of them have had it too good either: Lexi is living with an abusive boyfriend, Steph has become a single mum since her man left, and poor Mags has recently lost her husband and is now suffering from breast cancer. And, none of them have been able to find work.
After spending time with Mags during her chemo sessions, Mags mentions to Sadie about wanting to try marijuana, hoping that it could help ease the pain. Sufferers like Mags are in a vulnerable position, not necessarily having a clue how to go about these things, or who to ask, and therefore Sadie has a lightbulb moment that between the four of them they could grow and sell their own weed. I mean, of course, with any luck it would take off and they could all be receiving a little profit to help with those bills!!
This is where the fun really starts. Believing that a sex shop sells Marijuana plant seeds, all four women decide to check it out. The scenes that take place in the store are hilarious, with Mags, Steph and Lex checking out the stock and playing with certain toys, while Sadie is trying to buy the seeds. With one member of the team having an orgasmic ‘seizure’ and someone later getting beaten with a dildo you will certainly be crying with laughter.
Before she knows it, Sadie has an unexpected visitor in Detective Harry McKenzie. He is investigating new reports that a new drug dealer is in town. Sadie is a suspect, but when they encounter each other they find a little more than what they were expecting. Arrogant, rugged and muscly Harry is taken in by this unlikely suspect. And she in turn finds herself thinking about him. But, she can’t get close to him with her being a suspect. Surely he’s trying to get close to get her to confess? Maybe she should get close to him to find out what he knows? These thoughts constantly go through Sadie’s mind. He’s so god damn sexy though and she just can’t stop thinking about what she desires him to do to her.
“… This will make him think I’ve been dreaming about him. When I have. A normal person wouldn’t have replayed the coffee shop in their head fifteen times, each time ending with us naked and covered in coffee beans. But I never claim to be normal…
… He knows my name. It sounds so sexy on his lips. He must have tracked me down. It seems I’m not the only one fantasizing about coffee beans.”
The author has done a great job in telling parts of the story from Harry’s perspective too in opening up the reader to Harry’s diary. Sadie is a suspect, but he finds her so hot that he just can’t stop having the most savage thoughts. He wants her, and just maybe then she’ll open up about the drugs too.
Not only has Sadie got Harry to worry about, but it also isn’t too long before the already established drug dealer of the area begins to threaten her when they realise that she is dealing on their patch. These moments are intense and suspenseful at times as the reader awaits what will become of Sadie and just how far these threats will go. Especially when Sadie and her friends think up incredible ways to encourage the drug dealer to back off.
I found Dopey Women slightly darker than Laura’s other stories possibly because of the criminal element and the hot, hot sex. However, this did not affect just how funny the author’s work is. Dopey Women is a bizarre combination of Breaking Bad (tv black comedy drama) meets Miranda (tv sitcom), with a dash of Bridget Jones (I have actually likened Laura’s work to the latter two in previous reviews). I mean, imagine Miranda and her friends setting up a drug business, to help people and pay their bills, but then they get caught up with a hot detective on their trail who ultimately himself gets caught up in erotic thoughts and dealings with one of his suspects, while they also have an enraged, aggressive drug dealer out to stop them at the same time! The girls’ methods of dealing with the fiasco, particularly Sadie’s, are outrageous, quirky and usually wind them up in further trouble…
…which is just what you should expect when reading a Laura Barnard book!
An ARC of Dopey Women was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
Laura previous work includes The Debt & the Doormat, it’s sequel The Baby and the Bride and stand-alone Tequila & Tea Bags. All books have been reviewed on this blog, and all have received a brilliant 5* from us on Goodreads and Amazon! The Debt & the Doormat was one of my Top Reads of 2013! Check our reviews by clicking on the links below:-
The Baby & the Bride (incl. interview with Laura Barnard)
Laura would love you to check out her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks and while you’re visiting please give her a ‘like’!