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I picked up this book when I was doing the monthly shop, over 6 months ago. It caught my eye, because I noticed the Richard and Judy’s Summer Read logo on the front cover; plus it was only £3.63.

As I had a mountain of unread books waiting for me, it just got added to the top of the pile, and remained there till I finally got round to reading it the other day.

For those, like myself, who love character driven books, My Best Friend’s Girl was an absolute treat.

My Verdict

Gosh I loved, loved, loved this book.

Not since Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife, has a book pulled me in so many different directions.

Every now and then, it’s good to get away from the fluff, and read something that actually makes you look at life, love, and relationships in a different way.

Koomson’s My Best Friend’s Girl, certainly achieved that, and so much more besides.

The book starts with a letter or a diary excerpt from Adele, Tegan’s mother. She explains how she discovered that she had leukemia, and the subsequent heartbreak over having to leave her child forever.

My eyes teared up at that point, and pretty much stayed teared up, through the rest of the book.

Let me start this review, by concentrating on each of the main characters.


Kamryn was the kind of angsty, insecure heroine that I usually abhor in a romance, but there was a difference between this character, and a lot of the standard angsty romance heroines out there.

I was able to empathise with her more often than not. In fact, surprisingly enough, there wasn’t actually a point in the book, where her actions made me want to shoot myself in the eye. Her insecurities, and bouts of low self-esteem was the result of being called ugly, and fat, during her formative years. She was psychologically scarred from a childhood that taught her that the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.

Although Kam had her faults, and could be a tad paranoid, she was a woman with whom, I could have been friends with. This is how I tend to judge heroines in books.

Because the book was written in the first person, I was a little apprehensive as to whether or not I would be allowed to enjoy the story. I usually try to stick to third person POVs, but every now and again, I’ll go over to the dark side. I wasn’t sorry that I did so on this occasion.

I felt Kam’s grief at the passing of her best friend all the way through the book. The sadness, and devastation that one experiences upon the death of a loved one, was brilliantly portrayed by Koomson.

I could totally empathise with her struggles, and the various adjustments to motherhood that she had to make. I felt the love that she had for her new daughter, the rage that she felt at her friend for dying, as well as her conflicting feelings about the two men who entered and re-entered her life, shortly after Tegan went to live with her.

Kam’s relationship with Tegan was a heartbreaking thing to read. I know it seems trite to say so, but reading this book was really like riding a rollercoaster. The highs were great, and gave me reason to laugh, and rejoice, but the lows really were the pits, and I had to constantly reach for tissues, and my stash of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, at the risk of puking my guts up.

Kam wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, she could be surly, unforgiving, sarcastic, and techy at the slightest provocation, but she felt real to me, and I was able to understand her motivations, and identify that she was going through the grieving process. Through all of this, the only thing that I was sure about, was that she would eventually make it past the grey storm clouds, and into the sun.


Usually in a romance, the reader is never allowed to have conflicting feelings about the hero, especially when it comes to a love triangle.

We don’t meet Luke Wiseman till later on in the book, but he was a great character. He’s Kam’s new boss, and they hated each other on sight.

I on the other hand liked him. I really did.

When they first met, he made it more than obvious to Kam that he found her lacking, as a woman. This was something that Kam found very hard to deal with, because it was too reminiscent of her childhood feelings of inadequacy. It was refreshing to read a book, where the characters don’t instantly rush into unrivalled lust at first sight.

As they get to know one another, their relationship changes, and Kam is forced to look at Luke in a less judgmental way, and he, her.

I love the struggles that Luke had with himself over his feelings for Kam.
All his life, he’d always been attracted to a certain kind of woman, and even through Kam’s POV, it was interesting for me to see how he dealt with the fact that he was falling for a woman who was nothing like his perceived ideal woman.

Luke wasn’t the typical hero, he was condescending, and superior, and at times insulting, What am I saying? He sounds exactly like a HQ Presents hero! but guess what, the good things about him totally outweighed the bad, and even from Kam’s point of view, I was able to see beyond his false front of easy confidence, and arrogant veneer. A complex, but lovely man.


Nate had cheated on Kamryn with her best friend, so I really shouldn’t have liked him as much as I did, and in a standard romance, he would have clearly been the bad guy. Luckily, Koomson didn’t go down the cookie-cutter, bastard-other-guy route.

I really wanted to hate Nate, but couldn’t, because despite the fact that he’d betrayed Kam so badly, I believed that essentially, he was a good guy, who genuinely loved her.

All the way through the book, I found myself swaying from Luke to Nate, then back again.

In romance books, there’s usually never any ambiguity as to whom the heroine should end up with, but I have to say, I found myself constantly changing my mind about that very question, in this book.

Yes, Nate had been a rat-dog bastard, but he really loved her, I could tell. On the other hand, Luke was an arrogant son of a bitch who needed taking down a peg or two, but he was just as insecure as Kam, in his own way. The arguments in my head went on, and on, right up until the final few pages, when Koomson put me out of my misery, and let us know who Kam would be sharing hers and Tegan’s life with.

Koomson didn’t insist on giving the reader the whole backstory in one go. It was done via a series of flashbacks throughout the book, as well as in the form of a diary/letter from Adele hereself. I didn’t feel bombarded with lots of information that I’d have to process, before I could move on, and for that I was very grateful.

Another thing that I particularly loved about MBFG, was that you never quite knew where the author was going to take you. All the way through the book, I agonised over who Kam was going to ultimately choose to be with, and let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy thing to figure out at all.

There was one point in the book where I thought Koomson was about to betray me, by taking me down an avenue I didn’t expect her to take, but luckily (for her) she didn’t follow through. (If she had, the results would have been a very snotty, and pissed off Karen.)

The book did make me question how I would have reacted had I been in either Kam’s or Adele’s shoes. Would I have taken in the child of the best friend who’d betrayed me with my lover? Would I have asked the friend I’d betrayed to look after my most cherished possession? Sigh. I’m still trying to figure the answers out.

MBFG is not your typical romance, (I think it’s actually described, wrongly in my opinion, as chicklit) but it did indeed have some strong romantic elements. I loved how the author was able to capture my interest, and not only kept me hooked, but I found myself actually not wanting the book to end. Seriously.

The romance purists out there may not be interested in reading this book, because of the themes of betrayal, but I have to say, in my opinion, they’d be missing out on a fantastic read.

It was well written, well paced, and packed an emotional punch that had me literally crying, then laughing, then crying again.

This is a book that I’m going to do my best to recommend to anybody and everybody who are willing to give it a chance. Yes, I loved it that much.

You can buy MBFG here, and visit Dorothy Koomson’s website here.

Note: Loosely related to The Racism In Publishing Issue…

I thought it was fairly clever of the cover artist to have the little white girl with the blonde hair, holding the hand of the black woman. As a white reader, you probably wouldn’t notice that the hand that the little girl was holding was black, because so much of the cover was focused on the little girl herself. This way, white readers who profess to be uncomfortable with ‘black books’ aren’t confronted by anything that jars them out of their comfort zone.

After Richard and Judy included MBFG in their Top Summer Reads of 2006, Koomson, a career journalist, gained overnight literary fame, by selling over 110,000 copies of her book in a very short period of time. She made the best-sellers lists over here in England.

This was a book, written by a black woman, from the point of view of black female character.

So, how come most of the people who bought this book were white?

Simple. If you market anything effectively enough, people will buy. Richard and Judy gave it their seal of approval on their show, which meant that people were more than happy to go out and read it, regardless of the colour of the person who’d written it, and the colour of the protagonists.

Kam is a black woman who falls in love with two white men, and has been entrusted to look after a white child, but at no time did the racial element ever take over from the main theme of the story.

This was a story about the fragility of life, grief, forgiveness, and love. In short, this was a story about people. And as people, aren’t all of the above issues, something we all have in common?


  • Jane
    April 14
    2:10 pm

    I’m convinced. I’ll have to see if it is in the bookstore.


  • Anonymous
    April 14
    2:19 pm

    Had to buy it used. It sounds right up my alley.. I will read it when I need a sinus cleaning… lol..


  • Maralyn
    April 14
    2:33 pm

    Okay Miss Karen, I will take a risk even though I don’t believe that cheating can ever be justified! Your review sounded so great that I’ll have to see if I agree with you.


  • Barbara B.
    April 14
    2:45 pm

    Wow! This is one of the many reasons why I love reader blog reviewers. I discover a variety of books that I just don’t find anywhere else. Thanks so much for blogging about this book, Karen. I want to read this book. I’m going to see if B&N has it because I don’t like buying used books unless it’s from a USB.


  • Desiree Erotique
    April 14
    2:58 pm

    Sounds like a great book, Karen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  • Rosie
    April 14
    5:31 pm

    I’ll be looking for this book today!


  • Eve Vaughn
    April 14
    6:22 pm

    You have absolutely sold me on this book Karen! Now I’ll have something to read on the plane when I got on my trip. Thanks for the recommendation.


  • Anonymous
    April 14
    8:08 pm

    I just bought this from amazon.co.uk Karen, they still have them in stock. I’m not sure if the Americans can order on the UK site. I have to tell you, this review was amazing, you really should think about becoming a writer, your words inspired me to flash the cash without a second thought!



    April 14
    9:54 pm

    Hi Karen,

    Pardon the intrusion but there I was in a bar in Bordeaux watching the Roma match surrounded by Frenchmen.

    When they scored the first goal I started jumping up and down; by the 3rd I was bouncing about on their expensive leather sofa. You can imagine the state of things by the end……hope you had a great night too !

    Best Wishes,

    M x

    OK everybody – back to the discussion of romantic genres.


  • Mad
    April 14
    10:49 pm

    I’ve been looking to get my hands on this book since you mentioned it the other day…finally broke down and bought it from Amazon since I couldn’t find it locally.


  • Stacy~
    April 15
    1:37 pm

    Great review Karen. The cheating thing is one of my hot buttons, but I’m still tempted to get this book.


  • Claudia
    April 15
    5:50 pm

    Like Mad, I was sold on this book when Karen first mentioned it, but can’t find it at stores or local libraries. I’ll get it with next month’s Amazon order.


  • Anonymous
    April 16
    11:42 am

    Hi Karen
    At your recommendation/review just ordered mine from amazo.uk. Also since perusing your blog, you’re about the only blogger that has convinced me to give Nora Roberts a try. So could you also recommend something for me?. Bare in mind I’m relatively new at romances and my absolute preference is I/R, but will open my mind (heart) to other genres. Have already added a few of the AA romances to my list, so need a few from other racially diverse authors.



  • Karen Scott
    April 16
    12:16 pm

    Chandra I think you’ll love MBFG, and if you don’t be sure to come and tell me what didn’t work for you.

    As for LaNora books, hmmmm, if you like romantic suspense, I’d definitely start with her J.D. Robb In Death books. Naked In Death is the first book in that series, and it will make you want to read the rest. I think I have a spare copy of Rapture In Death somewhere, and if you send me your address at hairylemony @ gmail .com, I’ll snail-mail it to you, when I find it, that is.

    As for older Nora books, The Devlin Brothers were great to read, as were her Macgregor series, but I’d definitely try her In-Death books first, they are very smartly written books.


  • SarahT
    April 22
    12:22 pm


    I LOVED this book! I think I even listed it as one of my top books of 2006 when you asked for book recs a while ago.

    You make a valid point about the cover photo. I also picked it up because of the Richard & Judy endorsement and I didn’t realise that the main character was black until I started reading the book. It wouldn’t have mattered to me in any case. But I do wonder how many readers were surprised to find themselves reading a book with a black protagonist. As you said, clever marketing.

    Koomson’s next book is being released in June and I can’t wait!



  • Anonymous
    April 24
    1:06 pm

    Damn you, Karen! I got this book yesterday afternoon, stayed up late to finish the damn thing, along with a box of tissues and now feel hungover with the leftover of a sinus headache….

    Great book!!

    Sallahdog(blogger says I have the incorrect password)


  • Karen Scott
    April 24
    9:53 pm

    Ahhh, Sallahdog, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s always a risk loving a book so much and recommending it to people who may not like it!


  • Anonymous
    April 28
    12:42 am

    Thanks so much for the lovely review of my book, Karen. So glad you enjoyed it.
    Dorothy x


  • Karen Scott
    April 28
    9:42 am

    You’re very welcome Dorothy, it was a fantastic book, so actually, thank you for writing it!


  • Ms Mac
    May 9
    12:31 pm

    Hi, I read this book not long ago and loved it too. I read it in practically one sitting and wept the entire way through (not that that’s hard for me, I cry at Neighbours) but I thought it was a marvellous read. I didn’t even realise the main character was black until she started looking for appropriate hair shampoo for Tegan. (Let’s not mention my reading comprehension skills!) You’re right about the cover but I must say, the Richard & Judy sticker put me off buying it for a few moments. I can’t bear those big endorsement stickers over the covers of books, esp. the Oprah ones. At one point it was nigh on impossible to buy a book not sporting an Oprah sticker (In Australia, anyway)!

    I found it in Asda’s or Tescos or something, in case anyone hasn’t thought to look for it there.


  • […] was a book that Karen Scott reviewed a while back on her blog. It was available only for sale in the UK at the time and while […]

  • Dalia
    October 24
    3:19 pm

    Aargh, I hope somebody reads this because I really want to talk about this book!

    Ever since Karen mentioned it, I’ve looked for Koomson’s work as ebooks (nada!) and finally, finally, yesterday I saw it in a used bookstore – yay!

    So, read it last night and really liked it but AHEM – what the hell happened in the ending?????????????

    SPOILER from here on so if you haven’t read it yet, close yer eyes!

    Between one chapter and the other we have a gaping hole of 16 months and a frickin marriage!!! What the hell is going on with Luke? Why would he do that???????? I’m not going to blather on to the ether but I hope someone reads this. I’m just left not knowing – did he call Tegan during these 16 months? No. What kind of father totally cuts a little girl out of his life esp given what she’s gone through? And why did Koomson have Kamryn take this betrayal – yes, it was another betrayal! – ‘lying down’ again? Why did she not fight for him? And of course, why did she not have Luke fight for her? My man Luke not only doesn’t fight for her, he frickin marries someone else!!! Hello?

    I apologise for the exclamation and question marks. Things are still fresh in my brain. Really want to read the Chocolate Run. Will have to break down and purchase it on Amazon (takes forever to arrive and ok, times are tough but NEED TO READ)



  • Dalia
    October 24
    3:24 pm

    But oh my gosh, the scenes when she remembers her love for Nate and just wants to watch him sleep etc etc – Good God, I loved those scenes.

    I think I wanted her to stay with Luke because all I could think of with Nate is CHEATER, CHEATER, WITH BEST FRIEND CHEATER. Yes, in caps and in my brain.

    But, I preferred how Nate’s character was drawn. I seemed to know more about how his mind worked and what he felt for Kamryn. With Luke, I like Kamryn just wasn’t sure.

    And that time when he started to tell her if she’d lose some weight she’d be pretty(er)…WTF? I didn’t forget that brain fart from him.

    Ok, I’m shutting up now.


  • Dalia
    October 24
    3:44 pm

    Ok, yes I know I’m pretty much speaking to myself, but it gives me a better arena than a dusty shelf in my brain:

    Two things I could have done without:

    – eye colour description. Steel blue, royal blue, orangey-brown. Okay, I get it!

    – cos. Everybody speaks with the word ‘cos’. Why is this? Why not because? What’s that about?

    I”m gone for real now. I’m talked out.


  • Hi Dalia I think one of the great things about the book was how conflicted the reader would have felt about who Kam should have chosen in the end. I was convinced that Luke was the guy (although the weight thing was a little unforgiveable) and then Nate comes waltzing into her life, and he’s not just a cookie-cutter cheating boyfriend.

    I was a little annoyed about the ending, but the rest of the book was so good that I forgave Koomson for seemingly rushing things at that point.

    And please, please please, get The Chocolate Run, I absolutely adored that book.

    Her latest one was fabulous too, but I warn you, the ending was definitely not romantic.


  • Dalia
    October 25
    1:58 pm

    If the rest of the book is like the excerpt on her site, I think I’ll adore it too!

    Amazon.com has it for USD 15 and change so I think I’ll get my sister in Notts to purchase it for me and bring it home for Christmas. I actually had it in my cart (the one for USD 15) but also had North and South box set, Persuasion and some other DVDs I feel I can no longer live a quality life without. Amongst this is Kate & Leopold. I try not to judge myself.

    So I said, Dalia given the ‘state of the economy’ (vague terminology that has yet to directly affect my bank balance, but still), let’s practise ‘saving’. So Chocolate Run will be a lovely and much awaited Christmas gift.

    Thanks again for introducing me to Koomson Karen. I really loved My Best Friend’s Girl 🙂


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