Can you fall in love with a character in a book? I can’t eat, I can’t sleep and he’s all I think about. Yep I think I’m in love with Hal.
In Kat French’s second novel The Piano Man Project, Hal is Honey’s new neighbour. Honey (short for Honeysuckle) works in a charity shop attached to a care home, is in her late twenties and has never met a man who has, how shall I put it, made the earth move for her. Her two friends, horrified to hear she’s never experienced the big O, decide urgent action is required to help her meet the right man. This starts the piano man project. A man who plays the piano must be sensitive and good with his hands right?
Her friends go out in search of the elusive piano player but Honey can’t stop thinking about new neighbour Hal. He’s grumpy, rude, drinks too much and ignores her most of the time leaving her talking to his door but for some reason she can’t stay away and I couldn’t blame her.
The pages with Hal just sizzle. He may be grumpy and rude but as a character he was just so appealing every encounter left me feeling decidedly hot and bothered and desperate for more.
Honey was also a great character, described in the book as a combination of Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Jones and Uma Thurman (in Kill Bill) she has a big heart and a bit of fire that leads her to fight for what she cares about. There were definitely sparks flying between her and Hal and she did well at holding her own.
There are a couple of sub plots going on, the care home is threatened with closure and a family secret is revealed to the elderly sisters who volunteer in the shop, but for me the main draw was the relationship between Honey and Hal.
The writing throughout is fantastic and I found myself fighting not to laugh out loud or shed the odd tear when reading on the train (I suspect I was making some strange reading faces so apologies to my fellow commuters).
I have previously read Kat French’s first book Undertaking Love but for me this one was so much better. I wish I could give more than 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to everyone.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Rating: 5 stars plus