Title: Lingerie for Felons by Ros Baxter
Publisher: Escape Publishing-Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 222 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
If there’s one universal truth, it’s this: You’re always wearing your worst underwear when you land in trouble.
Lola’s parents told her that everyone can make a difference. And she believed them. She’s been fighting the good fights since she was eleven years old. But at 23, Lola falls hard for an Australian stockbroker who thinks Doctors Without Borders is a porno and Joni Mitchell sounds like a harp seal being battered to death. She cuts him loose, but over the next fifteen years, through protests, misunderstandings, humiliating predicaments, and a number of poor underwear choices, their lives and paths continue to converge.
Along the way, Lola learns a few important life lessons: Never wear a red lace thong to a strip search. Make sure you take motion sickness pills if you’re going to the Southern Ocean to save the whales. And sometimes, Mr Right can be all wrong, and Mr Wrong just needs time to find the right path.
Funny, touching, emotional and political, Lingerie for Felons is Bridget Jones meets An Inconvenient Truth, about doing the right thing, finding the right person, and always thinking through your underwear choices.
With laugh out loud humor, a vibrant heroine and a refreshingly unique storyline, Ros Baxter’s Lingerie for Felons is a fun, light-hearted novel that is also thought-provoking and poignant.
Lola Murphy’s passionate relationship with Wayne only lasts a year, but when their paths continue to cross for the next fourteen years, she cannot help but wonder if he truly was “the one”. But the timing is never right for them to reconnect and Lola falls into a comfortable romance with Clark Cooper, the public defender she meets at her first arrest (more on that later). Just as she decides that maybe it is time to give Wayne another chance, she is thrown an unexpected curveball that forever changes her life.
Lola is passionate, headstrong and she truly believes that she can make a difference. A math geek who finds comfort in numbers, she settles into academia, but continues to wonder what she is going to be when she grows up. She never gives an inch when it comes to her causes and beliefs and while I admired her for it, this trait could also be frustrating. In Lola’s world, everything is black and white, with no shades of grey and that gets in the way of her happiness on more than one occasion. Lola has a great support system but she is so independent that she sometimes has a difficult time accepting their help.
And speaking of her support system, Lola’s family is her staunchest cheerleader no matter what wacky situation she finds herself in. Arrested more than once for acting on her fervent beliefs, they, along with her good friends Heidi and Steve, always rally around her and raise her spirits in the sometimes humiliating, but always humorous, aftermath. It is following her first arrest that she meets Clark and they fall into a comfortable relationship that withstands their differences, but in the end, proves unable to survive her long lasting feelings for Wayne.
Ahh, Wayne. How I wish we could have had more of him! When Lingerie for Felons begins, Lola and Wayne have already split up and we only get to experience their tempestuous relationship through flashbacks and their brief meetings through the years. What little bit we did see of him though is wonderful and I positively adored him. He is kind-hearted, gregarious and well-liked by Lola’s family and friends. While they don’t always see eye to eye, Wayne truly values her opinions and most importantly, he likes Lola just as she is. Although they are complete opposites, Wayne is perfect for Lola but she lets her principles get in the way and ends their relationship.
A lot of Lingerie for Felons is revealed through flashbacks and while it takes a little getting used to, it is an effective form of storytelling. These transitions from present to past usually occur at a critical point in Lola’s life and the shifts add a bit of suspense to the unfolding storyline.
Lingerie for Felons is an extremely entertaining novel with an outstanding cast of appealing characters. Witty dialogue and Lola’s giggle inducing internal monologues perfectly balance the more serious moments in the story. The overall plot is quite clever and I was absolutely delighted by Ros Baxter’s unexpected plot twists. All in all, a very smart and amusing novel that I highly recommend.