A broken leg requires an orthopedist. A broken car requires a mechanic. And a broken heart requires a specialist too. The Breakup Doctor is now in.
Call Brook Ogden a matchmaker-in-reverse. Let others bring people together; Brook, licensed mental health counselor, picks up the pieces after things come apart. When her own therapy practice collapses, she maintains perfect control: landing on her feet with a weekly advice-to-the-lovelorn column and a successful consulting service as the Breakup Doctor: on call to help you shape up after you breakup.
But when her own relationship suddenly crumbles, Brook finds herself engaging in almost every bad-breakup behavior she preaches against. And worse, she starts a rebound relationship with the most inappropriate of men: a dangerously sexy bartender with anger-management issues—who also happens to be a former patient.
As her increasingly out-of-control behavior lands her at rock-bottom, Brook realizes you can’t always handle a messy breakup neatly—and that sometimes you can’t pull yourself together until you let yourself fall apart.
Mental health counsellor Brook Lyn (yes; that is her real name…) finds her life taking an unexpected turn when the offices where she works are demolished due to the discovery of asbestos. In desperate need of a new office and a plan, Brook and her best friend Sasha strike gold when they stumble across an idea for Brook’s new career path… After helping Sasha recover from one disastrous relationship after another and with her counselling credentials, the pair decide that Brook would be perfect for writing an advice column at the Tropic Times newspaper where Sasha works, on…wait for it…break-ups.
However one thing leads to another when the pair pitch the idea to Sasha’s boss, Lisa. However, Lisa is not having the best of days and is distraught after her husband has walked out on her and her children for no apparent reason. Before she knows it Brook’s interview turns into a therapy session. And so a new idea is born…The Breakup Doctor?
Offering counselling sessions to broken-hearted, confused clients soon proves to be lucrative for Brook, and along with her advice column things look as though they could really start to take off for her.
At least they do until she starts experiencing relationship problems of her own when her boyfriend, Kendall, suddenly pulls a disappearing act and texts her to say break things off. WHAT? He’s only just asked her to move in with him! Surely this can’t be right, after suffering one disastrous break-up already in her life (Michael, whom we shall not speak of. Brook is totally over it after all…) surely she can’t be dumped by a seemingly perfect boyfriend again??
Whilst dealing with this, Brook is also hit by a ‘Mom Bomb’ when her mother reveals completely unexpected news and then there’s the discovery that her best friend is dating her brother which is too weird for words for unsuspecting Brook.
Unsurprisingly Brook goes a little crazy (clue; tattoos, arrests and the demolishing of dry-walls are involved) Feeling like a total hypocrite that she can’t handle her own break up and yet here she is advising her clients on how to navigate their love lives, Brook discovers that to be able to put yourself back together, you have to fall apart a little first…
I thought that the idea for The Breakup Doctor was a genius…who couldn’t use a little advice on their love life from time to time? Also, crucially, there’s the potential for one heck of a good story from it!
I got hooked on The Breakup Doctor right away and I loved watching Brook’s journey of self-discovery unfold. It was fascinating, funny and sometimes heart breaking watching her go from being an in-control professional and someone who is ‘as cool as a popsicle about breakups’ to, well, quite frankly, a bit of a crazy lady…
Yes, some of the things she got up to might have been completely out of character but it shows you what heartbreak can do to a person. The fact that she’s kept so much bottled up throughout her life proves that it all has to come gushing out sometime (and if it’s in the form of a donkey tattoo then so be it…)
Whilst I really felt for Brook and loved seeing her come to the realisation that we are all human, my favourite character was Sasha. She made me laugh so, so much, she’s lovely, open and the kind of person I would be proud to call my best friend. Her dating dilemmas are hilarious (attending AA meetings as a way to meet a new man…really Sasha?)
The only thing that I couldn’t identify with Brook over was her shock and surprise at Sasha dating Stu, Brook’s brother. How could she not see that from a mile off (also the fact that it’s obvious they are perfect together)? I thought that as such a relationship expert, the fact that she hadn’t noticed these two or even put them together in her wildest dreams was a little odd.
There’s a great cast of characters and I really liked Ben, especially. We don’t get to see too much of him but I feel he has great potential! Here’s hoping we find out more about him in book two, Bedside Manners…
The Breakup Doctor is a fantastic debut and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. It’s got the makings of a great chick-lit novel and there’s plenty of laughs and romance. I love the underlying message to The Breakup Doctor too, that we can’t all be perfect all of the time and that sometimes you have to just let it all out and hit the bottom before you can start making your way back up to the top.
Brilliantly written (and with some cracking advice if you find yourself experiencing relationship problems of your own…) this is a warm, witty, light and hugely enjoyable read. Now it’s time for some of my own advice, keep an eye out for Phoebe Fox, I’m expecting big things…
A huge thank you to Phoebe who provided me with a copy of The Breakup Doctor to review on my blog.
Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to WIN a copy of The Breakup Doctor…
Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications, and is currently a regular guest blogger on relationships for the Huffington Post. She’s been a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; an actress; and a game show host; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.
Phoebe Fox ♥