Review: There Are No Men by Carol Maloney Scott

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Divorced thirty-something Claire doesn’t know who’s in her dating pool—but she’s doing her best to avoid shark infested waters. Leaving her clueless and insensitive husband behind was a smart move after losing her fertility, but now she’s riding the wave of flying toupees, strange men in leather thongs and drunken nights in painfully impractical shoes. Claire desperately wanted to be a mother, but now she’ll settle for one middle aged man worthy of a second date. 
After a long drought, men are flooding her shores and she’s drowning in choices. There’s Justin, the 25-year-old IT boy-genius with the GQ looks and cougar fetish, who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A woman would have to be a blind, lesbian nun not to fall for him, but he reminds Claire of her wasted youth. And then the charming but mysterious Dr. Nathan appears, but he’s cheating on her with his medical mistress—a demanding cardiology practice. 
To further rock her boat, Claire’s ‘stable’ career in publishing has been tossed about by her floundering company’s launch of a new line of trendy, salacious books. Cookbooks aren’t selling these days, but erotica is flying off the shelves—and challenging Claire’s attitude about sex, work . . . and her tempestuous new life. 
When her best friend convinces her to buddy up to the aspiring writer who just moved in across the street, Claire rejects the idea—he has already caught her in more than one embarrassing and scantily clad situation. Giving in to her friend’s nudging, she tries to ignore the details she discovers about him, including his hard rock night gig and his mesmerizing blue eyes, in the hopes his literary talents can pull her publishing house up from the bottom of the ocean. 
Claire’s dilemma begs the question: Are there NO men or TOO MANY?

Review:

I was provided with a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, one of the main reasons I responded to Ms. Scott’s review request on GoodReads is because it has been quite a while since I read some good Chick Lit. Plus, the blurb actually sounds quite hilarious doesn’t it?

“I need to summon my Internet Dating Girl Superhero Strength to get through this.”

Claire is a 32 year old recent divorcee and is only now getting to enjoy the blissful adventurous life (note: the heavy sarcasm!) of a single woman. Having married her high school sweetheart, she has never dated any other man except her ex.

Now that she has been thrust into the single life, she wades into this world using online dating. Now those of you who have tried online dating (I have – for a friend’s research:D), know how easy to camouflage one’s faults in it.  Knowing this, I was expecting a hilarious ride through the “blissful adventures life of a single woman.”

Now, Claire had some very specific requirements – An older gentlemen, settled in life with preferably no children and/or no interest in having children. The last requirement is specifically because she herself can’t have children and she has no intention of having her heart broken again for this exact reason. (Yes, her husband left her when he found she couldn’t have kids. Jury is still out on that!)

“I hate when I go in looking all maniac and stressed out, and there are old ladies drying their hands or groups of little girls staring at me, clutching each other. I know I look crazy – I don’t need validation of strangers in the ladies’ room.”

Claire is someone that I could empathize with, despite our age difference. She is sarcastic, emotionally scarred yet willing to put herself out there to meet new people (yet never in the right direction!). I understood her reticence in trying to find love, yet I never understood the way she went to find it.

There are three men in her life (throughout the book) notwithstanding the hair flying or the tantric sex disasters (yup, actual hair flying!) in order of appearance – Brandon, Justin and Nathan.

Now, Brandon is the new neighbour and every single they have met, Claire has embarrassed herself (well, Brandon saw every part of Claire the first time). Brandon is younger, and is an author whom Claire tries to get published through her publishing work, because she hates the new risque line of books that are going to be published. He also is in a rock band, and tends to be the one who helps Claire from every fix she gets in to. And trust me, there are a lot.

Justin, is the IT Head at Claire’s work and though had been irritating her from start, suddenly shows interest in her as woman. They go on few dates, but since he is younger to her, he must want kids in future and Claire decides that they will not work out (a decision comes by herself!) despite the attraction between them.

Nathan, is a cardiologist that she meets through her gynecologist’s nurse of all people (I actually scoffed at this!). Now honestly, I was actually skeptical of him. But after a few times, I actively hated him. He was a self professed bigwig narcissistic who was more interested in his own image than the well being of people around him, Claire included even though he professed to love her.

Now, coming back to the book, when I actually adored Claire and her quirks and awkwardness. Being a weird, awkward girl (I am sure most bookworms and fangirls would know the feeling!), I could certainly empathise with her, because let’s face it, in my 23 years on earth I have actually embarrassed myself enough times for it not to even effect me anymore 😀

But when Claire kept making the same awkward mistakes over and over again, it stopped being funny and cute and started being irritating. And while I understood her reasons, I will never understand her not being able to communicate her thoughts and opinions to the guys in her life.

And she had spine at the start of the book, and by almost the time she met Nathan, she was more interested in being the perfect girlfriend than actually listening to her instincts.

But the writing itself was quite good. The fact that it was a book that was lengthier than it should have been, the blame is placed right at the editor’s feet.

Rating:

3.5 / 5 Stars

(I would have given more, I wanted to but the the length and the repeatedness got me irritated and for that I blame the editor.)

Recommendation:

You have to be able to like Chick Lit to enjoy this book. This book is hilarious when you are in the right frame of mind. And that you can enjoy the same quirkness and clumsiness more than once. Beyond that, the writing actually wins the day for me.

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