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Review by Suze
Stevie always had her older brother Marsh right by her side, but him being married means he doesn't have as much time for her as he used to. Marsh is eight years older and when they lost their parents nine years ago he was old enough to become his sister's guardian. He's entered a new phase in his life and it's time for Stevie to grow up, to stand on her own two feet and to make something of herself without counting on Marsh all the time. The first step is to become independent and start an event business. Stevie can't think of anything she'd love to do more.
Stevie's first job is to organize a charity event at a manor in Oxford. The house is beautiful and the owner, Evelyn, thinks Stevie is the perfect candidate, she's young and ambitious and she knows how to get things done. The only downside is that Stevie has to do it on an almost nonexistent budget. Stevie has to be creative and she has to make sure she makes a success of the event. Even though she might not get paid much, there will be plenty of networking opportunities to make it worthwhile. Another benefit is that Evelyn's son Tom is the guy Stevie used to have a crush on when she was a teenager, it's going to be great to see him again, or isn't it? Will Stevie be able to get through her first job unscathed?
Girl Having a Ball is a fun story about a strong and resilient girl. Stevie is twenty-two years old and has already been through a lot. She decides it's time to grow up and make something of herself. She's sweet, brave, bold and creative and I loved reading about her ideas. Everything she does is an adventure and that's one of the things I enjoyed most about this book. Stevie is looking for love, she's young, but she knows the meaning of it very well. Tom likes his freedom and isn't in the market for a relationship. I liked their chemistry and was intrigued by their connection from the start. They have interesting conversations and I loved the chats Tom has with his best fried about Stevie, they give the story a lovely extra spark.
Rhoda Baxter writes about smart and competent women, which is something I admire about her work. Stevie can stand up for herself and she's capable of making it on her own. She only has her brother, which can be a bit lonely and Rhoda Baxter describes the feelings she has in a believable and empathic way. She makes the main characters of Girl Having a Ball come to life really well by giving them vigorous personalities, which provides extra depth and makes them a joy to read about. The story is lively and charming. I read this book with a big smile on my face and think it's wonderful.