Author: Belinda Williams
Christa Morrison flees Paris in the midst of her overseas adventure to escape an unexpected proposal. Her early departure means she forgoes Norway, which was to be her next stop and was always the ultimate destination. The depression she falls into on her return home is a little unexpected given she fled the country and the proposal at her first opportunity, not worrying about her jilted lover.
Christa is never single for very long, she seems to fall into relationships one after the other without a lot of forethought on her part. She has huge commitment issues but can’t stand to be alone. Her friends allow her to wallow for a while before staging an intervention. The conditions of the intervention begin with swearing her off men for 6 whole months, enrolling her in boot camp and mandatory group therapy sessions to deconstruct her previous relationships.
The premise for the novel sounded like a lot of fun, and it is. I enjoyed the read, it’s light and fun, I just found it to be quite predictable.
Therapy session number one is gatecrashed by the older brother of Christa’s oldest friend Madeleine. He is at the apartment to fix Christa’s roommate’s computer and is invited, by all except Christa, to join the session. He’s Maddy’s big brother so he doesn’t count as a man. His insight sheds a different perspective and he is invited for the rest of the sessions.
Belinda Williams has written a fantastic group of girlfriends, a little bit Sex and the City, and sat them down together one night a week to talk through the list of failed relationships that ended with a romantic Parisian proposal prompting her return home.
Christa learns a lot about herself through the therapy sessions and the input from her friends, and the male perspective from Max is refreshing.
The six month man ban, weekly therapy sessions and early return from her overseas adventure of a lifetime all combine to give Christa a time out from her life as she knows it. She’s back early so not due at work and with no commitments. Madeleine takes the opportunity to get Christa working for her, because she really needs to be kept occupied. A change of pace which helps broaden her horizons, re-evaluate her career and think outside the box.
The main focus is on Christa and helping her work through the latest breakup but the story would be a little two dimensional without getting to know the cast of secondary characters.
Maddy started her own business and pours long hours and all her passion into making it the best, and she’s doing a wonderful job of it. Leaves little time for anything else though. Cate is a romantic at heart, always on the lookout for her Mr Right. Scarlett is much more casual with her approach to men and is happy with the occasional hook-up and then there’s Max, recently returned from overseas and recovering from a breakup of his own.
The Boyfriend Sessions is written in the present with flashbacks to Christa’s past relationships in the therapy sessions. These sessions are shared with the people closest to her so at least one of them was there with her throughout the relationship and the breakup, they can offer her a perspective that she wouldn’t have wanted to hear at the time.
The characters were well written and I found the story to be realistic, but there weren’t a lot of surprises. Belinda Williams is still at the beginning of her career so it will be interesting to see her talent develop.