Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.
Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.
But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…
Some will argue with me that you can enjoy a rom-com at any given time of the year but for me this is the best season to add some extra sweetness and love into my life and Three’s A Crowd certainly puts the sugar in my tea. I think I resist it most of the time but at the end of the year I can’t seem to get enough of it.
When I saw Simon Booker, the author, during a live Zoom session where several new books were announced for 2021 by publisher Simon & Schuster, I enjoyed his little quips and when he told us about his new book Three’s A Crowd, I knew it would contain that same type of humour and I wanted to read it as soon as I could. The book’s publication date is set for 24 August so you could say I really couldn’t wait to read it.
It all starts when Harriet meets Richard in the run-up for The Voice of London competition (to become the person who tells you to ‘Mind The Gap’) and she meets Tom in the coffee shop where she works as a barrista. Father and son don’t know of each other because they haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. The reason for the radio silence between them and their difficult relationship throughout Tom’s childhood was a mystery on its own and the revelations about the root of their astrangement certainly came as a big surprise and was definitely one of the best twists in this novel.
I know a lot of readers don’t really like a love triangle trope and although I don’t really mind as long as it doesn’t happen to me, you can rest assured Three’s A Crowd has a much lighter and funnier outlook on the whole love triangle trope. For one the whole ‘affair’ with the two men doesn’t go too deep and doesn’t get too complicated, on the contrary, it plays out on the same level field so that made it fun and I didn’t have to take sides to support whoever wasn’t winning. Tom and Richard were both interesting men with a good nature and with Harriet’s age right in the middle of them she could do well with both of them.
Three’s A Crowd has a little bit of everything, drama, mystery, love and well, the bottom line is that it is just fun to read. The story was engaging from the start and it was cute to see both men falling for Harriet and trying to be a perfect gentleman at every moment, being patient because they were playing the long game, patience thus being the key word.
A little word about the other characters who make Three’s A Crowd a very worthy read then. Age is just a number, Three’s A Crowd proves it! Gorgeous George, Richard’s father, is to put it quite frank an 80 year old gigolo trying to swindle his latest love interest Imelda for money by spinning her a story about an African gold mine… George is here and there and everywhere, except with his son who has cut him out of his life… And then there is one of the youngest of mind, Nan (Nancy), Harriet’s grandmother who is such a fun character to have come across and her advice to her granddaughter is priceless. It’s not really what you expect from a grandmother but I loved her one-liners!
3% in: “Like Nan says – try everything once except incest, folk dancing and bin juice.”
6% in: “… she listened to me wanging on about Cockweasel, took out her teeth then said, ‘The best way to get over a bloke is to get under a bloke.’ I like her style.”
The story kept me well entertained, it is certainly much more than a love story and quite enjoyable to read even if you’re not big on romance, and I’m satisfied with the way the story ended although I didn’t anticipate who she would choose/not choose. There were quite a few unexpected twists throughout the story and I did like that all the different storylines with the other characters, Nancy and Gorgeous George were thought out and were wrapped up nicely as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’d see this novel on screen at some point. I’d certainly watch it because it’s perfect rom-com material!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster UK via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.