Published by Hera Books on 13th May 2020
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Love could be a click away... Or in the last place you expected.
When Fran meets Ollie, it’s eye roll at first sight. Who does he think he is – with his Ray-Bans, piss taking and artfully styled hair? Forced into working together at Viral Hive, the trendy media content agency, at first they butt heads, but soon realise that they could be BFFs. Fran’s happily settled with boyfriend Lucas, while Ollie is fully committed to girlfriend Lou.
But when Fran’s relationship crumbles, and Ollie sets off with Lou for a round-the-world trip, she decides to start an anonymous dating column, detailing all the perils of dating online – from the bloke who angrily demanded she share the bill when she refused his clumsy advances, to the one that ended their date by weeping into her cleavage – even if it seems that all the good (or even normal?) men are hiding. Maybe there aren’t plenty more fish in the sea?
But, on her dating journey of discovery, Fran’s about to learn that sometimes love can be where you least expect it… you just have to put down your phone.
I couldn’t exactly look at ‘Swipe Right’ as an updated, contemporary (and more frenzied) version of ‘When Harry Met Sally’ for some reason, but instead, kept thinking of Fleabag going on a rampage, on the dating merry-go-round before finding seeing the person who had been hovering right before her eyes.
It’s a little hard to call this romance really; squint hard and then you’ll get the simmering attracting that swirls beneath Fran Tatlin’s and Ollie Taylor’s somewhat turbulent friendship in the long period of time that this story stretches over, but even that’s doesn’t feel like the whole point of the tale. ‘Swipe Right’ is more like a woman’s journey through Tinder dating, work and reactionary rebounding as much as a person can do before emotional (and reader) fatigue sets in.
Written wholly in Fran’s POV, this felt more like her stumbling through quirky co-workers, the highs and lows of her disastrous dating life while the man she was always looking for wasn’t really available until ‘The End’. There was lots of self-introspection, a bit of expected narcissism and self-absorption with Fran in all her glory (she did get downright annoying and tiresome at times), yet there were parts that made you empathise given how much we’re made to walk in her shoes. I did find that the middle part lagged however, and ended skimming through because I’d fully expected something to come up with Ollie sooner rather than later (read: at the very end!).
From a ‘purist’ (loosely defined) romance-novel perspective, with both Fran’s and Ollie’s diverging paths throughout the book as Fran went through different dating partners/flings, I didn’t quite feel their build-up as keenly as I thought I would had they gotten their act together much earlier. But when this is read with a more conscious idea that this belongs perhaps more suitably in the ‘Chick Lit’/Women’s fiction category however, ‘Swipe Right’ hits the right notes.