The Break-Up Agency

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 18 Oct 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

Talking about this book? Use #TheBreakUpAgency #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

Ellie Shaw loves love. Unfortunately, she’s also an expert in break-ups. When a friend needs help with her ‘too nice to dump’ boyfriend, Ellie agrees to help. What she doesn’t expect is for American Dan to be kind, caring, to love dogs and look like a Disney hero. In other words, completely too good to be true.

She lets him down with grace and, encouraged by her friends, sets up Softer Landings, offering kinder, gentler break-ups.

A year later American Dan reappears in her life. With a new girlfriend. One who also decides he’s not the one for her.

The team hatch a plan to let Dan down easy, but while Ellie attempts to lead him gently away, real sparks start to fly. There’s just one big problem she can’t ignore. Can Ellie reveal that their romance is the result of an elaborate con without it feeling like a huge betrayal? Or is she about to star in the most awful dumping of all time?

Ellie Shaw loves love. Unfortunately, she’s also an expert in break-ups. When a friend needs help with her ‘too nice to dump’ boyfriend, Ellie agrees to help. What she doesn’t expect is for American...


A Note From the Publisher

Sheila McClure lives in the English countryside with her Scottish husband, their dogs, Harris and Skye, and a small herd of delightfully striped Belted Galloway cattle. Prior to rural life in the UK, she was a camerawoman and news producer for Associated Press. As she’s originally from Seattle, she began her working life as a barista. She will never refuse a quality dill pickle.

Sheila McClure lives in the English countryside with her Scottish husband, their dogs, Harris and Skye, and a small herd of delightfully striped Belted Galloway cattle. Prior to rural life in the UK...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781662505331
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 98 members


Featured Reviews

Ellie Shaw loves love. Unfortunately, she’s also an expert in break-ups. When a friend needs help with her ‘too nice to dump’ boyfriend, Ellie agrees to help. What she doesn’t expect is for American Dan to be kind, caring, to love dogs and look like a Disney hero. In other words, completely too good to be true.
She lets him down with grace and, encouraged by her friends, sets up Softer Landings, offering kinder, gentler break-ups.
A year later American Dan reappears in her life. With a new girlfriend. One who also decides he’s not the one for her.
The team hatch a plan to let Dan down easy, but while Ellie attempts to lead him gently away, real sparks start to fly. There’s just one big problem she can’t ignore. Can Ellie reveal that their romance is the result of an elaborate con without it feeling like a huge betrayal? Or is she about to star in the most awful dumping of all time?
Couldn’t put it down really enjoyable read totally recommend
Thank You NetGalley and Amazon Publishing Uk
I just reviewed The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure. #TheBreakUpAgency #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Ellie Shaw runs Soft Landings, a business helping people get through break-ups more kindly - an idea first inspired by the time she broke up with her friend’s boyfriend, American Dan - a guy who’s too nice to dump, with his earnest kindness and his adorable dog. Ellie is smitten from the first. After the break-up, Dan moves to Ethiopia for work, leaving his dog with Ellie, except he quickly stops replying to her communications.

A year later, he’s back, this time with a new girlfriend who wants Soft landing’s services to help break up with him. Ellie is reluctant, but eventually agrees, because she wants what’s best for Dan (since she’s in love with him, of course.)

This book had so much potential as a charming romcom, and I think I would have really loved it if it weren’t for that fact that I was on edge the whole time. There a plenty of signs early on that there’s a plot line leading to the reveal of a disability, and there’s also plenty of signs that this story is not in safe hands. The language was the first tip off - there’s a lot of common language that’s ableist, and I understand that breaking those habits takes learning and practice, but when it’s a book that tells any story related to disability, I need to see evidence that the author has taken the care to learn about it. A selection: “Thea had either been insane or blind” (for not appreciating Dan); Gus the dog working with “special needs kids”; a child’s stutter being described as “horrendous”; the fact that Simon’s home life “was crippling” (I’ll get back to why that was particularly galling). We have the old classic - able-bodied people using disabled loos, and not even for going to the toilet (they take a call in there so their boss can’t see).

And then there’s Simon’s husband Diego, who is terminally disabled, and his only role in the story is slowly dying off-screen - he never actually makes it onto the page, he’s just there in the background to be talked about as Simon’s motivation for being involved with Softer Landings. We’re even told that when Diego first got the terminal diagnosis, he tried to get Simon to leave him, since “it was time wasted, he insisted. Time Simon could use to find someone else.” So yeah. Any elements related to disability felt decidedly unsafe as a disabled reader.

Was this review helpful?

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This has such a fun premise but it felt a little unreal to me.

Was this review helpful?

I want to say this in the nicest way possible: This book was all over the place for me.

The premise of a "Softer Landing" dating agency seemed promising and a strangers to lovers is always a good trope for me. However - this book just felt very inauthentic in so many ways. I felt the side characters were just added for extra angst without actually adding anything (including a terminal diagnosis that was treated like an inconvenience). Ellie felt one-dimensional and was ready to accept marriage to a guy she had known for about three weeks.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Honestly this book gave me anxiety. It was a bit too much all packed into one story. I loved the premise of the book but it could've been executed better.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

What a read! Just when I thought I had things figured out, a curveball got tossed it there.

This was a lighthearted romance with a spin. Ellie Shaw is a break up specialist who just can’t seem to find love herself. When she agrees to do a break up for a close friend she doesn’t expect American Dan and his fluffy companion, Gus. What she really doesn’t expect is taking the fluffy companion while American Dan pursues his dream all while ghosting her. Fast forward and American Dan is back and not alone, he’s got a new girlfriend. Ellie is heartbroken but pushes through for the sake of their shared dog. Another break up for hire, a new friend, some secrets and big ole Gus in the middle makes for some interesting times.

Although it was a bit hard to follow in the beginning, I really loved this story. The ups and downs of Ellie and Dan’s relationship kept me intrigued the whole time, and who doesn’t love a dog in the middle? It was your typical love story with some not so typical bits thrown in.

Was this review helpful?

The summary of the book was intriguing and I was so excited to start it! Unfortunately, I could not get into at all. I found myself re-reading paragraphs and zoning out. DNF.

Was this review helpful?

Adorable and a perfect little light read for all romantics.
This book is about a young woman who works with a group of friends who offer a breakup service for people wanting to be single, however she ends up personally involved with one specific case where she is supposed to get a guy to fall in love with her so he can break up with his girlfriend in a nicer way. 
I was immediately hooked into this book after seeing the dynamic of the whole breakup agency and with the way they have questionnaires to fill out if they're looking to use the service. I loved the inclusion of emails as I felt more connected almost as if I was working for them🤣 seeing the way Ellies career mindset changes in the middle was interesting and the ending was perfect and really rounded everything off for the romance.
The main character Ellie was kind, empathetic and hard working so it was nice reading about a workplace that predominantly had female employees together. There's some characters that were a bit iffy for me but I assume the author wrote them that way for a reason. Gus, my new favourite fictional dog, was ADORABLE. Having him so included in the book was sweet and I seriously loved reading every chapter he was in.
The cover is your typical romance cover with love hearts and light colours which work really well together. It's definitely one to stand out from the shelves.
It only took me 3 separate sittings to finish this and I would happily read more from those author in the future.

Was this review helpful?

I love rom-com. I wasn’t the right reader for this particular book. American Dan and Ellie just seemed to force. Then Simon’s dying boyfriend was mentioned, but never actively appeared in the novel. Thea had issues as well. It was too much going on and none of it held my attention.

Was this review helpful?

**Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the eArc.**

This was a fun, light read. I definitely think readers' enjoyment of this book will depend on how well they connect to the characters and how willing they are to suspend their disbelief.

I don't have a lot of analytical notes here, so I'll just add a few of my thoughts:

I feel like sometimes, we're told more than we're shown. Ellie is said to be a caretaker, but most of the time, she doesn't really feel like it. Thea is said to be wild, but we don't get to see that side of her often. Honestly, it sometimes feels like Gus, Ellie's dog, is one of the most well-developed characters. (Not that I'm complaining. I love him.)

I also feel like the pacing was a little off. I enjoyed the first two-thirds or so. Then it slowed down, only to zip right through from about 90% to the end. I felt like things were fixed too quickly, giving us little room to breathe.

I'm also not all that sure about the ending. I'm trying to avoid spoilers here, but I feel like the wrong person apologized. There were some things that should have been more adequately resolved.

That being said, I enjoyed my time with this book, and it's definitely an interesting premise. I'm curious to see what Sheila McClure will do next.

Was this review helpful?

The Break-Up Agency
Sheila McClure
Pub Date: Oct 4 2022

MY ratings:
Title: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Blurb: 3/5

Response to the Note from the Publisher: The cattle comment is cute, the dill pickle one isn't.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for sending an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

If I am being honest, had I picked this book up organically, I would have DNF'd it around the fifth chapter. Since I recieved it as an eARC, however, I felt obligated to finish it and offer my honest opinion. This is my *spoiler free* review of The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure.

I felt as though the author may have been in a different head-space writing the middle of this book than she was while writing the beginning and ending. The middle, namely chapters 18-30, was the only time where I was following the story with interest. In this section, the writing and dialogue felt natural, the pacing was appropriate, and we began to (finally) see some character development.

The beginning was a slog to get through. The main character feels like a self-pitying, judgmental prude who loves to highlight everyone elses flaws while making excuses for her own. The two friend characters were obnoxcious and shallow until way too far into the book. The main character's behavior in the first part of the book was truly unbelievable, as in I could not concieve a moment in reality where a rational adult would behave in the same way. (neighing??? if you know, you know)
The Instant-Love trope is what the first third of this book relys on, which is a big miss for me personally. The last five chapters could have easily been condensed into two or three without missing any vital informaiton. Also, the epilogue felt entirely unnessecary.

I can't reference it directly, since this is spoiler free, but I did really enjoy the line about a particular huggable sugar cookie.

Was this review helpful?

The plot for this book had a whole lot of potential, unfortunately it was just a little too messy for me.
It was easy to get lost and it needed a more clear, and defined plot line.
The characters felt either one dimensional or added for the drama.
But just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't for you!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, Sheila McClure and Amazon Publishing UK for allowing me to read this book in advance, in exchange for an honest review.

Ellie is a master at break-ups. She started helping her sister break up with her boyfriends, and slowly realized how good she was at it. When given a chance to use these skills to help people as her full-time job, she runs with it. With the help of her sister and some friends, she starts a side company that helps people break up with their partners in a friendly way. When Ellie helps her sister break up with 'American Dan', she falls for him instantly. American Dan never leaves her mind, and her heart breaks when he returns from a trip with a new girlfriend. Luckily, her newfound company might be the solution to all her problems.

The Break-Up Agency was very intriguing to me right away after reading the description. I love a good love story and I love a strong female main character. This book falls within the YA category but has some adult themes sprinkled in it. It took me a bit to get into this book and I found some of the paragraphs were filled with a bit too much description of the scene. However, as I continued to read, I really enjoyed the characters and the banter that they had with each other. Ellie's friend group was really easygoing and relatable. They had some interesting personalities and some hardships - but they always stood by each other.

Ellie and Dan's friendship was super cute and the addition of Gus made it all better. I really enjoyed their friendship and the adventures that they went on together. Exploring London and having a fun time with it. Dan's character is just super likable because of how kind and caring he is. He's the type of guy that anyone would want around, as a friend or a boyfriend. I really enjoyed Ellie's character too. She gained love with me the more she opened up about her parents and her past relationships with Dan.

I gave this book 4 stars because I am not normally a huge fan of YA novels, but this one kept me reading and wanting more. The long paragraphs brought down the stars a little bit and I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I did really enjoy the format of the book though, and the cover is very eye-catching. I would definitely recommend this to others!

Was this review helpful?

I thought the premise of this book was interesting. I love dogs in a book and Gus was great. There are quite a few side characters who i think are all unique and fleshed out. With so little happening in the actual romance in this book, there was time for the author to include a lot of subplots.

I think this book really toes the line between women's fiction and adult romance. The romance is sweet, the main characters only kiss on page. The relationship grows between the main characters as the story progresses but the hero is engaged to another woman for almost all of the story. Then, when they are finally together, the third act break up can be see coming from a mile away. I think this story would have benefited from clearing up who was who at the beginning of the story. With the interspersed flashbacks, it was a bit confusing as to who was exes with who.

I would have also liked to see more character growth from Ellie throughout the story. Her growth is minimal at best and that is all forced onto her by other characters. I wish Dan would have done something to show how he cared for Ellie at any point in the story. Him staying his fiance when they were both clearly unhappy and neither of them taking the time to just talk to each other about what was happening was so frustrating. Overall, in my opinion, a great premise with a poor execution.

Thank you to NetGalley for kindly providing this ARC for review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for an arc of this book; it was a nice summer rom-com read. Unfortunately there are some elements of the story that I did not connect with and thus could not get into. I think this is more of a reflection of my personal preferences with writing styles and plots - regardless it was a cute romantic read, and I think a lot of people would enjoy this book.

Was this review helpful?

I like the concept of the books - an agency that helps people break up when they want out of a relationship so that the dumpee is let down easy. Unfortunately that wasn't the main focus of the book, but more of the side plot with a touch of push for the main characters stories.

The book is well written, and the characters and side characters are well rounded and unique. However I just couldn't get into this book. Maybe it was the second hand awkwardness and just so much angst that the FMC just radiates, which is not for me.

One of my drawbacks is the ableist undertones which with the specific inclusion of disability plotlines adds to the disappointment. I will leave a more nuanced and specific discussion to those that are in the disability community, but from personal experience I disliked the use of Gus, a "failed" seeing eye dog. First, dogs who go through training to be a seeing eye dog have other options for placement than just adoption and they would never just let him be adopted by someone who would just drop the dog off with someone else after owning them for a week (do you know how much money is spent training these dogs??). Second, the FMC just hands Gus off left and right to do service work without her - service work is not a replacement for a doggy daycare or dogwalker. And most annoying to me (a personal pet peeve) she just puts on his working vest so she take him wherever she wants (restaurants, stores, tourism locations). Not ok.

So overall a good premise and the bones to be great, but could do with more editing and sensitivity readers.

Was this review helpful?

I feel like this book had so much potential but the execution just wasn’t quite right. It could be a cultural thing and things got lost in translation but there were parts that just didn’t make sense. Like Sadie’s break-up plan? Vee’s business plan?

Things I liked: Gus, the sightseeing duo was really sweet, Ellie’s mom, the rock climbing couple, Dan’s parents comforting Ellie.

Things I didn’t like: all the questionnaires (a couple was cute but it got annoying after 4), the whole Simon story (it seemed to be really brushed over for how devastating it is to watch someone die of ALS),, the way the disabilities were discussed (It really made me upset when she calls antidepressants “happy pills” like they aren’t a legitimate treatment for a medical condition), Vee, referring to him as American Dan even after she “fell in love” was weird.

Side note to the editors: starting at chapter 29 it switches between the name Sherry and Shelley frequently and randomly. Maybe fix that?

Was this review helpful?

If you’re looking for an easy romantic comedy then The Break-Up Agency may appeal. With an entertaining side cast of over dramatic colleagues and intense bosses this is an escape from reality.

Is the premise totally believable? No. Could the main characters have had more depth to them? Yes. Are some of the issues and themes clumsily handled? Yes

But it’s lighthearted and easy to skim read when looking for a distraction.

Was this review helpful?

The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure is a great book about second chances. This novel was about an agency that helps couples when they are breaking up. This feel good story shows that break ups don’t have to be horrible.
This story has you cheering for Ellie as well as the other characters. I loved how the characters interact with each other and how you can tell they make each other better.. This story is an easy read and perfect for a day at the beach or a rainy day.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this fun and fabulous book. It was fresh and funny and feel good. I liked the romantic element running throughout and the characters were great too.

Was this review helpful?

Ellie and her friends of Simon and Thea run an agency that helps people break up from bad relationships. I like the premise of the story, and enjoy it overall, but found myself skimming after awhile. Trying to keep up with their clients and deal with their own issues at times got tiresome. Might just be me. Still though, I did like this story and would recommend it. Fun summer read.

Was this review helpful?

I fell in love with the characters in this wonderful Rom com from Sheila McClure, every single one of them. Ellie is an adorable disaster who means well and American Dan is a heart throb of a hero with a heart of gold. Secondary characters such as Thea and Simon are laugh out loud hilliarious. Which is why the darkness that lingers in the shadows of this book is so painful to read. There is absolute tragedy. There is heartbreak. The result is a really fulfilling story of love, and loss, of heartache and redemption, of moving on in life and finding the One. There is a depth here which makes the humour sparkle even more brightly, and makes the happily every after deeply satisfying. I'd give more stars if I could. I love a comedy, but a comedy with teeth, one that makes you think and makes you feel, is always a treasure.

Many thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review.

Was this review helpful?

This book has so much potential, although at the start I was slightly confused, with the back and forth I wasn't sure who was who and what was where. This did put me off, but to review means to continue, so I pushed on.

The story line was a lot, although it was very easy to piece together what was coming next in a lot of it. The random pop up of characters was quite confusing.

However, I didn't not enjoy it, but it isn't one I would read again.

Was this review helpful?

The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure was a fun read! I really enjoyed the story and loved the characters. Five stars!

Was this review helpful?

I wasn't super crazy about this book. The premise was cute if a little far-fetched, but I could get past that for the sake of a narrative. However, as a disabled person, I couldn't get past the outdated ideas and language about disability. I didn't love that one of the characters was an off-screen disabled person whose only job in the narrative was to be an inspiration while dying. Disabled folks deserve better.

Was this review helpful?

The break-up agency stars Ellie Shaw, a break up specialist who starts Soft Landings. Soft Landings specializes in ensuring both sides of a break up leave the relationship feeling like it was the right path to take. She started doing this for her sister at a younger age and realized she was good at it. Her business starts after she ends up heartbroken in London and helping a coworker, Thea, end a relationship with American Dan, a guy that seems perfect to Ellie. Ellie ends up agreeing to take American Dan's dog while he goes out of the country to pursue a career dream. Upon his return, she is heartbroken to learn he has brought a girlfriend home with him.

Enjoy

- The questionnaires for the break up service were fun

- I loved Gus, the dog

- This book made me want to go to London!

Did not enjoy

- The book was hard to get into, it seemed sort of jumbled at the beginning

- It was stressful knowing that Ellie HAD to make things work with Soft Landings to ensure she would have an income; the whole business plan forced upon her made me anxious

- Ellie seemed to have a slight "whoa is me" attitude that bordered on distracting

- Ellie's relationship with her coworkers (friends) seemed to be very 'third-wheel' and I felt for her wanting to be included

- The fact that Ellie fell in love with her coworkers boyfriend without first meeting him and only off of her descriptions of things the coworker did not like about him

Was this review helpful?

The summary of the book is intriguing but after diving into I keep on zoning out and have to go and read back. I can’t connect much wiyh the character.

The plot has the potential but the execution doesn't meet expectations.

Was this review helpful?

DNF AT 64%
This book was a lot. I tried to keep reading it, but I genuinely didn't have it in me to finish it. This book felt like it had everything but the kitchen sink which made it incredibly overwhelming. I do think that it would be enjoyable for some readers though. I just don't think I was the ideal reader. It also felt very predictable at the point I set it down, I felt like i could predict the ending of the book. Though I do really like the cover.

Was this review helpful?

I was excited for this book based on the cover art and description, but it really fell flat for me. I’ve been on a huge romance kick lately, but I really struggled to even finish this one. It took me a lot longer than my normal reads.

I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, and none of them were exceptionally likeable. I will say that I enjoyed the development of Thea over the course of the book though. There was zero chemistry between the two main characters, and I felt myself getting bored with their interactions.

Overall this just wasn’t the book for me. I did receive a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

After years of breaking up with her sister's boyfriends and going through a rough split of her own, Ellie decides to take matters into her own hands and create the break-up agency. Her new company will ensure that deserving "dumpees" leave the relationship feeling cared for and like they are better off rather than wonder what they did wrong to deserve a break-up. One of the first people she helps is her friend/co-worker Thea who needs to break up with Dan, but things go awry when Ellie starts to feel some sort of way in the midst of the break-up.

Flash forward one year later and Dan shows up again. Will Ellie act on her feelings even though Dan is in a relationship? Will she take Dan's girlfriend up on her unique offer? And will she ever figure out why Dan is giving off these mixed signals?

This book took awhile to get into and was honestly not my absolute favorite, but it was still a relaxing summer read. I would not necessarily call this a true romance as it felt more like a "finding oneself" novel instead.

Was this review helpful?

Need to break up with someone? Ellie and her co-workers at Softer Landings will do that for you. Their goal is to offer gentle break ups. As Ellie has been offered to take this company to a higher level, the break-up that started it all is back. Dan was not her ex, but as Ellie was breaking up with him for his girlfriend, she fell in love with him. She also ended up acquiring his dog. Now that he’s back and has a girlfriend, his current girlfriend decide she wants to break up with him.

As I read about the premise of this book, it sounded very interesting. As I started reading the book, there were parts that hooked me, but a lot that started to lose me. The relationship that Ellie had with her coworkers was a very confusing one. She worked with them in her day job but also at Softer Landings, but she also socialized with them outside of work, even though she did not seem to consider them friends. I also did not like the way they appeared to treat her. Simon seemed to be OK, but I did not like Thea. Also, it was just not realistic how she instantly fell in love with Dan while she was breaking up with him for Thea. And, he just instantly handed over his dog, just like that? And the whole business that all of them worked at during the day was just very confusing. I think the plot had a good outline but I think everything in between could have been better.

I definitely will give this book a second read at a later time. That may help process details and make the story make more sense later on.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for this ARC. Our thoughts and opinions are mine.

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


This was a good read for the most part. The concept was interesting but the execution could have been a little different.

What I liked about the book:
- Gus
- The funny Softer Landings interviews
- The slow-building friendship between Ellie and Dan.
- Ellie's friendship with the school librarian

Things that I wasn't particularly fond of that led to this rating:
- the writing, the first chapters were really confusing and hard to follow
- too much inner monologue
- some side characters that were there for no reason ( Diego )

I really enjoyed the chapters in the middle of the book because we finally saw Ellie and Dan interacting more. But then by the end, the book turned a little chaotic like it was at the beginning.

Also, one important thing around 41% : Ellie says something along the lines of " people who can't have kids probably wouldn't choose to work as a primary school librarian because it could be torture and then she compared it to unrequited love" . And honestly, that left me a little baffled.



Summary

When Ellie moves to London she gets her heart broken and starts a new job. When one of her new friends needs help to break up with her "too nice" boyfriend she offers to help. What she doesn't expect is that the "too nice boyfriend" (also known as American Dan) is actually a nice and kind person and someone who she could totally fall for. After the break up she offers to keep Gus, American Dan's dog, while he goes on a volunteer Missionar trip to Ethiopia. But Dan stops communicating with her shortly after.


Seeing how good Ellie was at helping people break up in a gentler way, encouraged by her friends she starts her company Softer Landings.

After a year American Dan reappears in her life with a new girlfriend. They quickly become friends but Ellie notices a difference in him but He refuses to talk about it.

After a while American Dan's girlfriend hires Ellie to break up with Dan in her place, only her plan is a little different from what Ellie usually does. Ellie feels guilty and tries to give her her money back but American Dan's girlfriend leaves the UK and can't be reached easily.

Ellie and Dan keep spending time together and they finally confess their true feelings... and of course something happens and they get separated. They eventually find their way back to each other and we find out what really happened in Ethiopia. And there is a happy ending!

Was this review helpful?

I think the book's premise was fascinating and it was what got me requesting this book in the first place. A break-up agency is a concept that I could see happening in real life. I am not a massive fan of slow-burn romances, but I won't hold that against this book as it is just my personal preference. I felt that this book was a little bit difficult to get into. To be honest, I had to really force myself through a lot of the story as it got a little bit too long in some parts of the story. I probably would not read this one again, but it was something that I would recommend to others. It just is not my thing.

Was this review helpful?

This wasn't the book for me. A large reason for that is because this has insta-love which is my least favourite trope ever. And the whole romance roots upon this insta-love which it made it difficult for me to care or root for it. There were cute moments but overall, the romance just didn't work for me.

The characters were okay though sometimes I felt the dynamics were confused. No spoilers but I didn't get Thea and Simon's friendship and overall, the characters were okay but entirely forgettable.

Positives include that it did hold my attention and I loved the premise. I also didn't see the plot twist coming and that worked for me. I definitely would have enjoyed this more if it wasn't for the insta-love which honestly made me want to tear my hair out. And Ellie was very forgettable so maybe more character development for her.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book to be hard to get into, especially during the first few chapters. Just based on this, I typically would have chosen to put the book down but since I had received an arc, it was only through the obligation of reviewing it that I felt the need to continue on.

There were parts that I felt so much second-hand embarrassment (when she said “don’t be jelly, Simone” I literally cringed) and those moments alone were enough to make me not wanna continue reading. Secondly, I just couldn’t click with the main character like I had hoped to. Maybe it was because of the amount of inner dialogue, where I just couldn't keep focus on what Ellie was actually doing? Furthermore, the way that disabilities were brought up made me feel a bit uncomfortable (“happy pills”??? c’mon…). It definitely could have been approached with more sensitivity.

The concept of the book is what caught my attention, and I think it’s a great foundation but the execution could have been a bit better. I don’t think I really ever got “into it.” Like, at no point did I feel indulged in the plot. This was a lighthearted read but I don’t find myself reaching for it again in the future.

Was this review helpful?

The Break-Up Agency is my first book by author Shelia McClure.

The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure is a great book about second chances. This novel was about an agency that helps couples when they are breaking up. This feel good story shows that break ups don’t have to be horrible.
This story has you cheering for Ellie as well as the other characters. I loved how the characters interact with each other and how you can tell they make each other better.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author.

Was this review helpful?

I’ll start off by saying that this book isn’t one I’d Normally go for. I chose it as I like to explore different genres now and again and this one just jumped out at me. The cover is just lovely, it certainly did it’s job in catching my eye.
The premise of this is something I’d not heard of before. An agency that softens a break up. There was so much going on, more than enough to keep you occupied. Really well written, brilliant characters! All unique and all well rounded. I got so invested in it, I just had to keep reading.
Honestly, for this genre, this book is a stand out novel.
Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for my arc
5 out of 5

Was this review helpful?

"The Break-Up Agency" is the perfect read for everyone who is looking for a couple of hours of good and romantic fun. It took me two chapters to find my way into the story, since you get thrown right into it without any sort of explanation, but once you're in, you don't want to get out. Loveable characters, a dog you just want to adopt right out of the pages and a plot that might be predictable, but entertaining nonetheless. I could hardly put this novel down and am looking forward to seeing it on the shelves.

Was this review helpful?

I adored this book, it was everything a Rom-com should be. A main character who I’d love to hang out with (Ellie), a love interest I’m completely crushing on (American Dan), a couple of brilliant best friends plus … an amazing doggie- Gus.

The book tells the story of how Ellie sets up her business - Softer Landings - after helping her friend gently break up with a man. What Ellie doesn’t expect, though, so is that she’ll fall head over heels in love with one of the ‘dumpees’.

It’s a brilliant story, the plot covering many aspects of modern life and touching on sensitive matters which I don’t want to mention here and create spoilers - you need to enjoy this book spoiler free!

There is, of course, a happy ending and I was grinning from ear to ear as I read the final chapters. I was SO invested in Ellie and American Dan it was ridiculous!

A brilliant book which I highly recommend. If you’re a fan of rom-coms I think you’ll find this one irresistible!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure. This book was different than anything I've ever read because I'd never heard of the break-up agency trope prior to downloading this novel. McClure's story is riddled with a lot of strengths and weaknesses, and I found that some of them were interchangeable.

The first thing I found to be both a strength and a weakness is the description and placing of landmarks. Having never been to Europe, this book did an amazing job of allowing me to travel without leaving the comfort of my home. However, I felt as if I was being bogged down by the constant insertion of the landmarks. I understood that American Dan was interested in all of the places mentioned, but it kind of felt like I was reading a fictional travel guide rather than a romantic story.

Another strength that also proved to be a weakness in my eyes is the characterization of not just the main character and her friends, but American Dan as well. I'm not sure if I was too far in my feelings while reading, but I felt as if a lot of his characterization was an exaggeration of what the author felt Americans were like. I'm also not sure if his characterization (at least in the beginning) was supposed to reflect what the characters felt or if his characterization was made out of assumptions and stereotypes.

As much as I wanted to love this novel because of the unique plot, I had to rate it 3/5 stars. I'll be giving this author's work another chance, but The Breakup Agency proved to not be my personal cup of tea.

Was this review helpful?

Honestly, I wanted to like this book. I was excited about the synopsis. But it just didn't hold my attention. There is nothing wrong with this book, it just wasn't for me.

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book. The characters were well thought out and the plot moved at an appropriate pace. I would be interested in reading something by this author again in the future.

Was this review helpful?

In this funny, moving and ultimately uplifting book, author Sheila McClure cleverly takes us and her lead character, Ellie Shaw, on inspiring journey,. It's an engaging and very heart-warming read - a real page turner.is The Break-Up Agency the first book I have read by Sheila McClure but certainly won't be the last.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I am always on the hunt for a solid romcom involving a dating/breakup agency but have yet to find one. Unfortunately this feel flat as well. Painfully repetitive and taking itself way to seriously. I couldn't connect with the supposed protagonist.

Was this review helpful?

I really tried with this one. The concept seemed amazing and I was interested in reading it. But Comic Con? Seriously? It was just not my speed and the hero sounded just unlikable overall in the starting.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book so much! The first few chapters were a little slow and hard to follow, but I find that to happen in a lot of books. There’s a lot of world building and characters being introduced at once, so it’s easy to get lost. But once I got farther in, the chapters were so good and the characters were so lovable. I loved Ellie and Dan’s relationship and how real their characters were, they weren’t written to be some perfect humans in a perfect world. I loved how their love confession tied into the things mentioned previously in the book, it was my favorite moment! I did feel as though some side characters, like Diego and Vee, were just thrown in there and while they were side characters didn’t hold much purpose. Overall, it was so good and so enjoyable!!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Sheila McClure and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After reading, I think I would give this book 4/5 Stars! *Possible Spoilers*

I truly enjoyed this book, and enjoyed the storyline! Once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Dan has all the qualities any lady would want! I honestly felt bad for Dan because he is such a kind man and a dream guy for most girls, but had such bad luck with women for being "too nice." I'm glad he was able to find a happy ending! I'm overall very happy with this book!

Was this review helpful?

SPOILERS

First few chapters did not engage me at all. Would have DNF’d if I didn’t receive this Arc in exchange for an honest review.

The story line is interesting for sure and a little bit different than usual books of this genre. However, I didn’t love some of it.

There was no connection to the characters at the beginning.

I started enjoying some development of characters around chapter five. I did love seeing the questionnaires for Softer Landings throughout the book though. I always love when there are emails or things such as this in novels.

The middle- end of the novel is more of a 4 star for me. I loved the connection with Dan and Ellie and Gus. Also, I’m from NC so that resonated with me a bit.

Why hasn’t he told her about his leg? Definitely didn’t see that as something he would have held back from her as she was his best friend. Also, I wish she would have told him about her feelings before Sadie “hired” her. I know he was sorting through his feelings so it made sense he didn’t say much.

Sebastian didn’t need to come back in the book. That was so fake feeling and weird that it was even in there to be honest.

When reading around 85-90% of this book, I was on my period, which in turn means I was emotional. Not sure if I would have had crying eyes if this wasn’t the case, but I will say this book got better with the last half of it. I did enjoy how it ended and overall would say it’s a 3.5 read for me.

Was this review helpful?

This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Amazon Publishing UK and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

I was confused by how all over the place this story was. I found the story interesting but didn’t find a way in to it.

Was this review helpful?

DNF. This book was tedious. I'm all for a slow burn but this was ridiculous. It took getting 85% through before the characters even acknowledged their feelings to each other. The premise is good but the story could've been so much better. I did like Thea and Simon. I'm a sucker for a sassy best friend character.

Was this review helpful?

Until the end, i am still wondering what Diego is doing in this book. While the plot is good, the writings and chapter us pretty hard to follow. Im looking forward for more Ms McLure works in the future.

Was this review helpful?

A quick and easy read that I found myself picking up after a long day to unwind. The characters are beautifully written and I came to love them within the first few pages and was rooting for them all the way to the end. At times I wanted to stop reading because I just wanted the experience to go on for longer.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The first few chapters starting out interesting, engaging me to read more but then the story flashed back to a year ago and went off on this tangent, leaving me completely bored to death.
The story just had alot characters involved that the story felt like there was too much noise with many personalities that the story got away from the main character. I usually like to give stories a chance but this one was difficult for me to finish.

Was this review helpful?

It starts off well and the premise is great but it goes downhill quickly. Not inclusive or friendly toward those with disabilities.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

After moving to London following her long-term boyfriend and getting her heart broken by the man, Ellie comes to the decision that no other person should go through that, so she begins by helping a friend break up with American Dan for her. After she breaks up with him for her friend, American Dan decides that he must live life better. He leaves his golden retriever with Ellie, and off he goes. Ellie felt an instant connection with American Dan and expected him to return to her and fall in love, but that wasn't the case...

This book could've been that perfect book for me. But the first chapters were so hard to read, and I believe that this happens because of the tools used to portray certain situations. The whole setup of the story is a little difficult to follow and get into. Once the set-up is over, the book is actually really great and easygoing, but you have to tackle the whole set-up first. I will never say that the book is bad, because this book is great, but the set-up does the overall story a disservice.


Special thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK and Lake Union Publishing for the e-ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This was an easy romantic read. A quick finish and was something to escape too. Thank you for the advance copy of the book.

Was this review helpful?

*Spoiler Free* Ellie Shaw is very confident when speaking to others about the reality of their relationships, when it comes to her own life, not so much. I loved the premise of this book and her well-meaning intentions behind Softer Landings, her break-up agency. You can't help but cheer on a character who is truly trying to help her fellow humans. The opening chapter of the book was one where you can't quite figure out what's going on, which I liked. It made me pay attention and once I figured it out, it pulled me right in. With an unusual premise, relatable characters, and a solid plot/side characters, I would definitely recommend this book to others!

Was this review helpful?

First of all I would like to say that romantic stories are not my usual genre pick. I decided that I wanted to branch out and discover new authors to entertain me. The premise of the book made me think, this is going to a sugary sweet story (nothing wrong with that). But, it was a surprisingly cute story. The story is slow to start, but in my opinion I would keep reading because it does get entertaining. There is drama, romance and amusing characters. The book is a nice, light story and definitely a beach read. A story where you can kick back with a margarita and relax with.


Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this ARC, I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of The Break-Up Agency via NetGalley to read and review.

Honestly I really enjoyed this one. Yes there are somethings that feel a little forced and as always a simple conversation could clear up a TON of issues but I think that’s also the fun of this genre. You can have a few out there things and internally yell at the characters but ultimately it’s nice to see how everything turns out.

Was this review helpful?

To begin with i struggled with the inserted emails/forms in this book but quickly grew to love them and the humour they added to this story. The very idea of a break up agency was really clever in general, and the scenarios in the story showed why there was a need! I thought all the characters in the book were authentic and lovely and I really wanted the best for them. Whilst Thea would annoy me in real life, I could see that her character was there to bring Ellie out of her shell. I loved loved American Dan and Gus too of course. There was an interesting twist that I absolutely didn’t see coming, which was great as often this genre can be too predictable, and yet the love story itself was delightfully predicatable in all the right ways. We don’t want the twist to stop the girl getting the right man after all! A great read, thank you.

Was this review helpful?

The Break Up Agency follows the kind, caring Ellie Shaw who sets up Softer Landings to make breakups easier and help guide the couples to find their own happily ever agrees separately. Inspired by recently going through her own breakup and dumping her colleague Thea’s “too nice to dump” boyfriend American Dan, Ellie sets up the company with Thea and Simon’s help. However, when ‘dumping’ American Dan she finds herself falling in love at first sight and ultimately looking after Dan’s dog Gus whilst he goes on a charity mission in Ethiopia.

This book is super cute and heartwarming! All the way through I was rooting for Ellie and Dan to end up together and to form a perfect family with Gus. The book deals with an array of topics with a lot of compassion and grace and the side stories were touching (Simon and Diego especially). I loved every character in this book, even the ones you weren’t so sure on in the beginning ended up showing character development throughout the story. Definitely an easy, cutesy rom-com book to warm the soul.

Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to review this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

A Slow burning start of a four-star read. This was an odd one to rate and review, as it took me a while to get into and then I was consumed and then it went off the boil again and dipped and then I was hooked again. You do have to suspend reality when you read this story, but that’s kind of why I love this genre, you can simply sink in and forget the world. Do give it a go, as It could be me having a slump and that’s why it ebbed and flowed for me, I liked the writing and will be looking for this author again.

Was this review helpful?

I was really disappointed in this one!

The premise of the book sounded very interesting and I was looking forward to a zany romance caper, however, this fell completely flat. The main protagonist seemed downright miserable throughout, constantly feeling sorry for herself. This is a fine and valid choice for the main character, but maybe not one for a romcom.

The pacing was off and so did not grab me which meant I couldn't overlook certain flaws that maybe for this sort of book I have done in the past.

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun romp. The pacing was a little stilted, rushed and then slow and then rushed again, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment. A quick summer read with an interesting premise.

Was this review helpful?

First of all, I would like to thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange of my honest review.
I found Softer Landings a really curious thing - very fictional and definitely unbelievable but still intriguing, also the premise was different than the usual so it was fun to read! Absolutely loved Thea and Simon, I wish I was part of their group!
Gus was the cutest character!
Ellie was relatable.
And American Dan… a dream guy!
Although there were some parts of the book I found a bit boring - probably because of the amount of inner dialogues - I also wished to know more about some side characters like Diego.

Overall, the book was ok. There are positive and negative things about it but if you are looking for something to read, you may like this one!

Was this review helpful?

I really liked the idea of the break up agency,it had alot of promise.

I enjoyed the interviews for softer landings, Gus! The relationship between the MC and the librarian.
It was a slow burn which I enjoyed but at times I thought it was too slow burn, not just with the relationship, it dragged out a little and everything happened in the last 20%.
It also felt a little predictable.

Special thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review

Was this review helpful?

This book was so adorable! I LOVE Gus! American Dan is an absolute gem, too, but Gus the dog really stole the show for me. In my head, American Dan looked like Chris Evans, so that's saying something.

Ellie runs Softer Landings - a service for gently breaking up relationships so that the dumpee is not destroyed. This all started when she had to let down lovely American Dan, who was dating her friend Thea. Then Dan left, leaving Gus the dog with Ellie. And now he's back ... which means Ellie could lost both her dog and her heart...

I liked how Ellie was kind and capable, but vulnerable as well. come to think of it, I would say the same about American Dan. What a ray of sunshine he is!

I really loved this book. It was such a feel-good read, it left me with a big smile on my face.

I received an ARC from Netgalley. This is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a DNF for me as I just couldn't connect with the writing style, it felt very scattered and the language was kind of vague. I tried to push through, but threw in the towel once the insta-love hit. Great concept though.

Was this review helpful?

I was very excited by the premise of this book, it was filled with potential. The beginning of the book was messy and confusing. I really struggled to get into it and just was not able to pick it up from there. There are a lot of unnecessary characters and plot lines. Unfortunately, this is a DNF for me.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an E-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book had some potential; I liked the idea of someone opening up a Breakup agency. I mean I remember a time in middle school when I broke up with my friends “boyfriend”. This was a lighthearted clean romance book. I think the aspect I enjoyed the most was Gus, and the relationship Ellie and Dan had with him. There were some things I didn’t enjoy about this book: I didn’t enjoy. I felt like I had to reread the beginning a couple of times, to clear up the timeline. Also like other people have mentioned, I didn’t like the fact that Simon’s husband only purpose was dying, and Dans big reveal. I wish the book spent more time exploring the relationship between Dan and Ellie. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. Thanks NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this ARCin exchange for an honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Ah, I really wanted this one to work for me. But the book felt rather disjointed and hard to keep straight. Lots of characters and plots to try to follow. Interesting premise, but not for me.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of The Break-Up Agency via NetGalley to read and review.

I really wanted to like this. Ellie Shaw inadvertently discovers she has a talent for breaking up with people by letting them down gently when she handles a break-up for "American Dan," the boyfriend of her coworker. She become enamored with Dan and helps to let him down gently, spurring a business venture called Softer Landings where she does "break-ups for hire." When Dan comes back from a year-long assignment in Africa, Ellie finds herself entwined with him again and even more complicatedly, she is asked by his new girlfriend to break-up with him for her by distracting him with a new girl: herself.

The break-up agency idea was clever, but I just couldn't get behind the idea that most of the time, Dan thinks he is still in a relationship. Their hang-outs are very cute but -- he still has a girlfriend! Not cool, Dan. Even though the audience is in on it, I found it hard to root for Ellie and Dan for the majority of the novel. Also, not even closed door. There are no doors. If you're looking for a steamy rom-com, look elsewhere.

The side characters of Simon and Thea were well developed and had great dialog. Their interactions were some of my favorites in the book. I also really liked the dialog writing, even if Ellie was written to be idiotically naïve at times.

Overall, not my cup of tea, but I'd be interested to see what McClure writes next.

Was this review helpful?

Highly recommend this one! This was my first book to read by this author but definitely won't be my last. The characters will stay with you long after you finish the book and you will find yourself wishing the story would never end.

Was this review helpful?

This was a cute book and just what I needed in between my normal thrillers I really enjoyed it and thought the story was good thanks NetGalley for the ARC

Was this review helpful?

This had such promise and such a great premise, but this fell super flat for me. I wish I knew what it was. I think it was that there was SO MUCH packed in here and not all of it was ever truly unpacked or explored all the way.

Was this review helpful?

What's a break-up specialist to do when she is tasked with breaking up with her perfect match, by two separate women?

This was a fun read, even though it covered some very heavy topics. It was a little long, with the first half of the book unfolding pretty slowly. About halfway through, it picked up and I was fully invested!
This book explores a lot of different types of relationships: family, friends, mentors, and even pets. Both Ellie and Dan grow a lot during the course of the book.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this. My favourite characters were America Dan and Elle Shaw. The secondary characters were good as well. I took a dislike to Vee Ellie’s boss.

This had everything I like in a book. Great characters, funny, dating. And social media. I look forward to reading more from Shelia.

This is out October 4th.


Thanks goes to net galley and the publishers for proving me with a copy in exchange for an honest review and the author for writing it.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed Ella's story. Sure she had a tough job but hey someone has to do it. I really love how the author constructed her world. The side characters were entertaining and added value to the story. I will recommend this story to others.

Was this review helpful?

I was hooked by the end of the first chapter! Such a fun and light hearted read, the perfect palette cleanser between heavier books. I found the concept of Softer Landings to be utterly unique and wonderfully entertaining. Ellie, our main character was real and fantastic and I loved how her relationship with Dan developed throughout the book. I love a book with well written secondary characters and The Break-Up Agency had them in spades, Gus, the adorable ‘failed’ guide dog was a particular favourite! A great time was had all around!

Was this review helpful?

I could not finish this one. I thought that the overall plot of this book was really dumb. And I kept getting annoyed with the characters. So I choose not to finish.

Was this review helpful?

I’m sure I smiled throughout reading this book, with its warmth, wit and joy. It’s like McClure is telling you Ellie’s story from the other end of the sofa. There’s a dreamy, kind hero, a gorgeous hound and shenanigans galore as selfless Ellie endeavors to let hearts down lightly, while overlooking her own. The Break-up Agency is an absolute heart-warming hoot.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so boring and bad. The two characters had no chemistry and it made no sense that he's the one who came back to her in the end when she's the one who messed up.

The author spoke really weirdly about disabilities and I didn't like that. Also as far as I can tell the author is a white woman so I really hate that she used the f slur in the book.

I received an arc through netgalley.

Was this review helpful?

I was interested in this story idea but I could tell right from the beginning it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t a fan of the writing style and the story felt like it had too many characters and too much going on. I had to keep reading parts over because it didn’t come across clear. It didn’t come across as fun as I thought it would be. Actually felt like more of a process. I’d still suggest others check it out but I wasn’t into it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a sweet rom-com! I loved American Dan and Gus the service dog! The first meeting between Dan and Ellie was adorable.

It started a bit slow, but then picked up. Although the plot was kind of predictable, it was still a really cute mash-up of tropes. There's a bit of fake dating, friends to lovers, and soul mates sprinkled here and there.

If only all break-ups could be handled by Ellie and Softer Landings.

Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬-𝘜𝘱 𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 follows Ellie Shaw breaking up with her colleague's too good to be true boyfriend, Dan, for her. Combine that with years of experience breaking up with people on behalf of her sister? She's landed herself in a position to earn from her skill. And so she decides to open up Softer Landing - to help people break up with their partners with the interest of both parties at heart.
However, Ellie's problem? Dan's back in town and with him, so is her all encompassing crush.

- ~ -

Dan, the poor soul's, been dumped almost twice because he just too nice... and Ellie, who's been once dumped for the same reason, sees a kindred spirit in him. Too bad he's got a girlfriend... who wants Ellie to break up with him for her. It's about to get real awkward.

Ellie's too whiny. That's mostly all I could gather from the story. The woman fell in love within the span of a week when she hadn't even met the guy and 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘥 at 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘸𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴.
She really was a goner at the barest of human decency he showed. Uff.

The colleague trio character development is something I can get behind though. As well as Ellie's relationship progress with her family.

- ~ -

3.18 / 5✩

𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘈𝘮𝘢𝘻𝘰𝘯 𝘗𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘜𝘒 & 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘨𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘐 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 & 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘥. 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯.

Was this review helpful?

I know this is meant to be a light hearted rom com about Ellie and Dan but it's not entirely. Ellie's asked to facilitate a breakup where one partner is terminally ill and that just.....Some of it is funny and some of it is poignant but on balance, this was, regrettably a miss from me. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

The story
When her friend Thea asks Ellie to break up with her boyfriend, “American Dan”, Ellie turns her skill into a business. Ellie works at a recruitment company by day and by night has the “break-up agency”. With her soft heart, she wants to make sure break ups aren’t painful and there is light at the end of the tunnel to give hope. But Ellie really wants more from her relationship with Dan, and not just to be his fellow dog-mom friend.

My thoughts
This is a sweet and different premise for a story. Ellie is extremely nice and kind and maybe a bit too nice for her own good. The start of the story jumps forward and backwards in time which was confusing, and there is a lot of angsty-ness. Ellie and Dan have strong feelings for each other, but keep these very hidden. They also seem to keep other key facts about their lives from each other, in the spirit of this being a “romcom”. I enjoyed the break up examples and how the threesome got really creative to get the job done well.

Was this review helpful?

"It's a big responsibility, dabbling in other people's relationships."

While the premise/outline of the story was an interesting concept, the writing and characterization fell flat and the pacing was all over the place. Truth be told, had this not been an ARC I probably would have DNF'd, it was that much of a slog to get through.

Let's get the first big note out of the way - this is a contemporary fiction novel, NOT a romance. While filled with deep longing and pining by our MFC, Ellie, there is ZERO romance in this book until about the 85% mark, but even then I'd be hard-pressed to label it as 'romance', as their relationship (Ellie & American Dan's) is wrapped up in a cheating/OW scenario.

My biggest gripe is that Ellie is just not a likeable protagonist. She comes across as whiny and judgemental without any aspect of introspection to her own behaviours. Hers is a life full of deception - she's lying to her family about her current relationship status, she's lying to her coworkers about her personal life and background, she's lying to American Dan (yes, he's always called that...never just 'Dan') about her true feelings and what she does for a living, but most of all she's lying to herself. She spends a lot of time "thinking deep thoughts," but there's too much telling and not enough showing. Even though they're described as 30-somethings (we later find that Ellie is 28), tonally it reads very YA with the jargon, slang, behaviours, reactions, and treatment of one-another. "Ellie made a silly boo-boo face"...seriously, that line is pulled from the book. Ellie's big character arc is to overcome her pride, and had that been developed or given more focus rather than including some other ridiculous and pointless plot-points (seriously, what was the point of including a side-character's dying partner other than for said side-character to blow up at everyone to 'seize the day because you never know when it's your last'), I may have enjoyed it a bit more, but otherwise it's just fluff with no real substance.

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I read the synopsis and thought this book sounded so entertaining. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into this one and found that it moved slowly with not much action. I gave it to 50% and DNF. I’m sure this will be a favorite for some but this wasn’t the book for me.

Was this review helpful?

The Break Up Agency

I like Gus. Gus is cute.

The beginning of this book was so busy that I was constantly confused. I liked the concept for this book, paying someone to do the dumping for you sounds like a solid plan. However the actual agency just didn’t sit right with me. I felt like they were clutching at straws the whole time, no one worked well together and Ellie was a shocking business woman.
The relationship with Dan and Ellie was sweet though. Slow burn, forced proximity, very pg romance, I liked Dan a lot (he’s nice and I dump-able) and I liked Ellie when she was with him.

Plus they had Gus. Did I mention I liked Gus?!?

Thanks NetGalley for the advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Break-Up Agency by Sheila McClure is a most delightful contemporary novel that will leave you smiling.
The novel is about friendship and kind hearts. We need those around us who will always be there for us. There are some very kind hearts who just want to make the world a better place.
We hear of mission trips to bring medicine to those who have none. There are dangers lurking.
There is a beautiful dog, Gus, who is used as a PAT dog, helping anxious children who will open up when he is near. Gus’ boundless energy and affection really fill the characters and the reader with love.
The novel also has a character with a physical disability who does not let it hold him back.
All the characters were warm and welcoming. An air of love and friendship permeated the whole novel.
Family is important. Family is not necessarily those related by blood, but those who love us throughout all the seasons of life.
I absolutely loved The Break-Up Agency. It was a wonderful, warm read that I can highly recommend.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC for an exchange for an honest review.

Absolutely enjoyed this book.

Was this review helpful?

This book was everything I wanted it to be. It had me turned pages without even realizing. It was so good!

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun romance by the author. I thoroughly enjoyed the character development and look forward to reading many more.

Was this review helpful?

I had a lot of fun reading Sheila McClure's debut, The Break-Up Agency! I definitely recommend this very sweet & swoony (clean) romance to anyone looking for something heartwarming and a good time, and a book that isn't going to bring you down. Not too angsty, a lot of heart, and so very many good feels!

There is a whole lot going on in this novel - poor Ellie Shaw has been relegated to being the one her (younger) sister makes break up with all of her boyfriends. It's generally the same poor sod over and over again (spoiler alert - not really - the sister is now marrying that guy!). She's become so good at it, that she's created a side business out of it, "Softer Landings," to help others break up with their partners in a kinder way. She's even brought in 2 of her closest friends and work colleagues. When her boss lets her go as office manager, but lets her stay in the company to do this full time, allowing the friends to devote a certain number of hours per week to it, while somehow backing it, she thinks she just might have it made - until the guy that her one friend had her break up with a year ago (and left his dog with when he fled the country to follow his dreams), and she has been pining over ever since, is back... and his new, perfect girlfriend? She needs her services.

Ellie has to figure out how to break up with the perfect "America Dan" a second time, while also in love with him, trying to keep her (his?) dog from being taken back, and trying to use a new technique the new girlfriend has suggested... making him fall in love with her to make the breakup easier all around. What could go wrong - except literally everything.

This was the sweetest book I have read in quite a while, and there are so many surprises that keep popping up, especially with a twist at the end, that just makes so many things even more special and made me love it even more. A definite recommendation for anyone who loves love, and romance in general - looking for an uplifting read! I couldn't put this one down.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing, and this is my honest feedback and review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to @rachelsrandomresources for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What’s not to love about a rom-com with a girl who deserves all the love in the world and a cutie dog! This is a fabulous story of love, break-ups and friendship.

The main character, Ellie, is such a lovely character with a big heart and the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has her own past on there, her future, family - basically everything! But her friends from work, Thea and Simon, are on hand to help and make her laugh through the story.

Dan and Gus are such a great pairing, I loved reading about them and how much they got on with Ellie. I don’t think there is a character in this I didn’t like actually! The ending was fab, the story kept my interest all the way to through and I was sad it was over.

Was this review helpful?

OK, this was an unusual premise not the typical romance novel.

Ellie Shaw believes in love but is an expert in break-ups. A friend ask her to help to dump a man who is way too nice and Ellie offers her help. She didn't expect this American Dan to be handsome, but at the same time very nice. Ellie slowly and gently breaks American Dan up with the friend and sets up her own firm that experts on gently and kinder break-ups. But a year later, she meets American Dan once again.

As I mentioned earlier, the plot of the story was unusual but the story was slightly confusing and boring at times. However, I did like the ending, although it was predictable and I do like the characters in the book, particularly Ellie Shaw and American Dan. All in all, if you like a Hallmark romance novel, then this book is once for you--worth three stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: