I am not one to typically read Chick-Lit. I just can’t relate to much of it; I didn’t grow up with a lot of female friends, so I don’t understand a lot of the clichés personally. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, pop lit. Particularly when you are spending a week in the Caribbean.
It’s a practically perfect beach book.
The Little Lady Agency is a creative and fun premise. Melissa has found herself been made redundant, again, and is looking for a job. Looking at all her natural skills, she accidentally finds herself starting a variation on an Escort service. Only, instead of providing sexual favors, Melissa helps single men cope with things they typically need a “little lady” for. In the guise of “Honey”, she helps men complete their shopping, writes thank you notes, revise their wardrobe, and plans parties. However, as one can imagine, Melissa finds herself in a whole mess of trouble– with friends, family, and lovers. It’s quite a wild ride.
There are many marks of a true lady but I believe that one of them is to walk with her head held high while her world falls apart around her.
There is a lot I appreciate about The Little Lady Agency. First, the characters. They are complex and real. No flat romance characters here! They also break stereotypes in many ways. Nelson, Melissa’s flatmate, is not a relative, a former lover, nor gay. He’s just a male friend. Refreshing. All of the characters had many sides to them revealed slowly throughout the book. The only flat characters were the ones hardly mentioned, which is completely appropriate.
Also, this isn’t a saucy book. Melissa isn’t about to jump into a stranger’s bed, and frequently has to navigate those advances! I like that sex isn’t a driving factor. It makes Melissa more relatable and realistic. This book then drives away from the type of escapism traditional romance novels provide, which I greatly appreciated.
It’s so much easier to have a crush on someone who you know isn’t going to respond-it makes it nice and safe and you never have to humiliate yourself by getting knocked back.
Events are set in London! I adore London. I’ve been twice, and I can’t wait to go back some day. It was fun to visualize what Melissa/Honey is going through, particularly since I have the experience of having spent time in London. I got excited, “Oh! I’ve been there!”. I’m so easy to please.
Lastly, I love the ultimate message of the book: You must love yourself for who you are. Trust in the people around you– if you stay true to yourself, you will always be with the right people. This is a critical life lesson that, sadly, few people learn. As Melissa spends more and more time with her “alter-ego” Honey, she eventually realizes that Honey isn’t someone else. Honey is the person Melissa can be if she will stop second guessing herself and setting herself back. Gain some confidence, girl!
My golden rule has always been to look on the bright side, no matter what. With all the complications in my life, I had to. Because if you can find three good things in any given situation, no matter how dire, I guarantee you’ll forget the rotten stuff.
I will admit, I got quite a bit frustrated by the end of the book. It was obvious that Melissa was breaking down under all the stress. But she got really irritating. For the majority of the book, I thought it was hilarious. Melissa was witty and brilliant. Yet, she started to fall apart and snowball into a dreary boring person who was blind to everyone’s intentions. ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE. I know that this happens to people, but it happens mostly to 16-year-old girls. Or people having life crises. This woman was probably in her late 20s and was definitely not having a real life crisis. She just started acting life a self-centered petulant child. I just couldn’t take it. And the ending seemed very abrupt after the details we’ve been fed regularly throughout the book.
That said, I still definitely continue to read the series when I need something light and fluffy. Melissa will surely have many more adventures come her way. But, I won’t be picking these up again anytime soon.