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Just in Time For Valentine's Day

A spotlight on Chapters Indigo's Valentine's Day pick: The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance by Kirsty Greenwood.

I have to admit that when I first heard about this book, I had my doubts whether it was the book for me. Seemed too YA-ish, too kitschy -- not the kind of book that I usually gravitate towards. But, once again I'm reminded of that old adage of never judging a book by its cover. 

Funny. Fun. An absolutely perfect feel-good book for Valentine's Day. If you want a genre to pigeonhole this book into, perhaps contemporary romance may do. But going beyond the obvious labels, The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance has been described as "Bridget Jones meets Pygmalion". 

You'll laugh, you'll hold your breath (yes, it does contain some strong language), but you'll definitely fall in love with the protagonist Jessica Beam (the protagonist), who embodies the feistiness of Samantha Jones in Sex In The City (only she's 28). 

Jess loves to party. In fact, it's a matter of pride for her that she can find a way to have fun in most situations: "tram queues, blogger meet-ups, smear tests can all be turned into entertaining social occasions with enough booze and the right banter."  But it's one thing to constantly turn up late to work, and quite another to let this reckless antic screw up the biggest career opportunity for Summer In The City - a blog she works on with her best friend. What was that turn of phrase? "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" or in this case.. job. Now she's down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, you'll wonder at which point there'll be a silver lining that will turn her life around.

Forced to get help from her long-lost grandmother, Jessica Beam finds herself in a conundrum. Can she focus long enough to dig her grandmother and herself out of debt and take on what could possibly be the biggest project of her life? 

The task: to revive the Good Woman guides that her grandmother wrote (and became famous by) in the 1950s, and show that they still hold true and remain relevant in the modern age. 

Will Grandma Beam be able to transform the modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady? -- That's the ode to Pygmalion. Will Jess be able to charm the notorious womanizer Leo Frost and get him to fall hopelessly in love with her? -- That's the ode to Bridget Jones. It's a true test of wits as the two women battle out the anachronistic verses the modern. 

Grandma looks up at my strong tone and frowns."A Good Woman is never callous," she sobs. I huff. "Well a modern woman gets on with the shit that life has thrown her without melting down. Let's be practical about this."

The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance is a howl-out-loud romp that goes beyond just being an adorable but matter-of-fact chic-flick novel. It will capture your imagination right from the start. An absolutely lovely book to pick up this week for Valentine's Day whether you are single or in a relationship.

The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance is published by Pan Macmillan, and distributed by Publishers Group Canada. 

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle)