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BOOKS: The Party Season by Sarah Mason. Time Warner. pounds 5.99.

Byline: Reviewed by Vikki Nilsen

Described as 'a colourful debut that will keep you turning the pages long after you have started the ironing!', Sarah Mason's first novel, Playing James, was a triumph.

The winner of the Parker Romance Novel Of The Year Award, The Party Season, her second book, looks set to do just as well.

Although it sticks rigidly to the usual main ingredients -a guy. a girl and several warm, fuzzy feelings -The Party Season manages to keep you thoroughly entertained on its journey of life, love and loony aunts.

Our heroine is Izzy, now a successful party planner, with lots of friends and a hectic life.

However, she's haunted by the bullying in her childhood committed by her supposed best friend of the time, Simon Monkwell.

She's therefore horrified when fate plays a cruel game and her latest assignment turns out to be a charity ball at Simon's father's country home. But that's nothing compared with her confusion at actually coming face to face with her foe when she arrives back in their old haunt.

As Simon is now a successful, but ruthless, businessman, Izzy is more than happy to believe the unflattering newspaper reports about him.

But as fact and fiction drift further apart, she starts to wonder if she's been directing her hatred at an unworthy cause for the past decade or so.

So, will Izzy and Simon ever get past a litany of misunderstandings and bad judgements to take their relationship back to its former glory and then beyond?

With warm, funny and lovingly created characters, The Party Season is the must-have accessory for any fun-loving girl.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 6, 2003
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