Welcome to Suzanne Carroll, author of this playful work of chick-lit/romance, Over the Edge.
Suzanne lives in Sydney with her husband and children. By day she works in an office where she sneakily scribbles plot ideas on yellow sticky notes and hopes they don’t accidentally end up on the departmental monthly report.
One such sticky note has turned into her first novel, Over the Edge.
Here’s my review, straight from Goodreads:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Suzanne Carroll’s debut novel, Over the Edge is a fun, quick read.
Having first-person access to Zoe’s (Our Heroine) head, we get a strong sense of who she is as the story begins. She’s got good friends, a great relationship with her mother, and a solid job. She’s also got a fiancé who looks nice on the outside, but isn’t so nice on the inside. To avoid spoilers, I will only say that Dan Costi’s serious deficiencies in character are so utterly obvious from the initial conversation we hear as the book begins that I am astonished Zoe didn’t send him packing on their third date, long ago.
We find out later what made him so appealing to her, but I will confess I wasn’t sold on her engagement. However, the way the break-up was written was outstanding. My whole body was taut with tension and it was only when the ring had been returned that I could relax. Very well done. I was so proud of Our Heroine and applauded the author right there as I finished that scene.
Enter Angus (Our Hero). Billionaires under forty years of age are largely the product of an internet mega-explosion (Google, Facebook) or they inherited some or all of their fortune through a family connection. The young, sexy billionaire idea had me wincing a little, but it is clear that Angus works his tail off and has always done so, so I let the improbability of this set-up slide. (Suspension of disbelief and all, yeah?)
Carroll does a nice job of introducing the two in an amusing manner, and she makes Our Heroine believable in her nerves and attraction. The UST is tangible throughout the duration of the story. The comedic moments are cute, the eventual spats (nicely conceived and executed) between Our Hero and Heroine make sense and did not extend into lengthy periods of “Miscommunication Angst” which can be so very annoying. One of the strongest points of this romance, to me, was the ability of both Zoe and Angus to talk to one another, disagree, part, but come back quite soon and discuss the situation while coming to an amicable understanding.
I enjoyed the small details in this story that kept the relationship moving and kept Zoe smiling while Angus was very busy. His unique hobbies, her nail polish colors, and of course the list of things Zoe wants to do that is mentioned in the book’s summary.
The resolution of the romance was sweet and honest and even “clean” – which I totally appreciated. I came to admire Angus even though I would have liked to have ventured into his head a bit. Ah, the limits of first-person narration.
Altogether a light, engaging romance with a taste of Australia that made me smile.
I asked her if she could tell me a bit about how she writes. Does she have a process? A “mood” or Muse? This is what she told me:
I work in an office part time. I have a family at home. So finding time to write can be tricky. Right now I’m sitting at my office desk, writing this while my boss is at a meeting. I’ve actually written some parts of Over the Edge this way, too (fingers crossed no-one from work sees this).
At home I sometimes write in the afternoons while the kids are busy with friends or homework. Occasionally, after dinner, I take the laptop with me into the lounge room while we all watch television or a movie, but that doesn’t work too well. It’s hard to write while my son is explaining why I really should add zombies to my plot and a contestant on Master Chef is having a meltdown over a gluggy chocolate soufflé.
So my main time for writing is Fridays. My “home day”. The one day a week that I don’t go out to work. Once the kids are at school I sit down and go for it. I have six hours to ignore the laundry and the cleaning and try to write something that doesn’t sound like a grade six book report.
I’m also fortunate to have a domestic god for a husband. He can cook. He can do laundry. He knows how to use a vacuum cleaner. And he built me a writing desk so I don’t have to balance the laptop on my lap anymore. If it wasn’t for him, Over the Edge would probably still be on chapter three.
Over the Edge will be available for purchase beginning this Thursday, May 9th.