You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning

I loved Sarra’s first adult book, Unsticky, so much that I was desperate to read You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. As soon as it arrived, I settled down with it and fell in love.

Neve’s been in love with William since university, but he’s spent the last three years in California while she’s spent them losing half her body weight. William’s coming back and Neve can’t wait for him to see her transformation, but she’s worried she’s too inexperienced for him. She decides she needs to practice being in a relationship and her sister Celia’s colleague, Max, seems like just the man for the job. He’s not interested in commitment either, so there’s no reason they can’t just have fun together until William comes home, is there?

I loved everything about this book. Neve is just gorgeous – I can’t put it any better than my friend Helen Redfern did in her review: “You aren’t just there with Neve, you almost become Neve. It’s like peering into her diary and living her life.” Fact. I loved Neve’s family, her house, the area she lived in, her job. Plus Max is gorgeous too (as is his dog).

It’s funny, sexy, wise and around two hundred pages in I started to feel a bit panicky because I didn’t want it to end and so started rationing my reading – a chapter of this book, a chapter of something different – I can’t remember the last time I did that. But, of course, all good things have to come to an end and eventually I finished it (at midnight, after reading about a hundred pages – I’ve never been much cop at delayed gratification).

I remember years ago being asked what book I’d like to live in, if I could live in a book. At the time, I didn’t know. I do now. This one.

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