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Prime Time

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Laura Meredith never imagined herself on British TV – too old, flabby, hormonal, and busy with son Stanley, after husband Daniel left for a young thin replacement. But best friend Charlotte is determined, and soon a camera crew follows Laura everywhere. Wined, dined, and pampered, she sees the charms of younger men, specifically gorgeous TV director Cal. When she turns detective to protect Charlotte’s marriage, things go horribly wrong.

224 pages, Paperback

First published December 13, 2011

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About the author

Jane Wenham-Jones

33 books40 followers
Jane Wenham-Jones is the author of six novels – her latest is The Big Five O – and three non-fiction books. Wannabe a Writer? is a humorous look at the trials and tribulations of becoming a scribe and Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of? is a how-to on PR and self-promotion. 100 Ways to Fight the Flab (and still have wine and chocolate) is full of useful tips to combat Writer's Bottom - an occupational hazard often encountered after reading the first two! Jane has also contributed to several short story anthologies and two cookery books, the latter being a particular achievement since she barely knows where the kitchen is. As a freelance journalist, she has had numerous short stories and articles published in women’s magazines and the national press and is the agony aunt for Writing Magazine. Jane has appeared on a variety of TV shows – from Ready, Steady, Cook to The Politics Show - and dozens of radio programmes. As an interviewer she has "been in conversation with" hundreds of big-name authors and celebrities, has presented the Romantic Novel of the Year awards for the past nine years and is regularly booked as an after-dinner speaker.

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5 stars
71 (21%)
4 stars
122 (36%)
3 stars
89 (26%)
2 stars
40 (12%)
1 star
11 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for andshe.reads.
266 reviews6 followers
January 16, 2012
Fantastic, I've never read anything by Jane Wenham-Jones but I definately will be loooking to read another book of hers! Humour within the book had me chorkling more then once and who doesnt love a good laugh after a long day at work!
I found it easy to engage with the characters and although Laura has her faults I found myself wanting everything to work out for her! I also felt all the characters were genuine and completely down to earth!
Overall I couldnt put this book down or should I say my kindle, gotta love ebooks of all kinds! I found myself just starting and then finishing and wishing there was more. Want a book thats funny but includes serious issues of real life we can all relate to, then grab this book and give it a try you seriously won't regret it!!
Profile Image for Sharon Booth.
Author 41 books42 followers
February 20, 2013
I admit here and now that I owe Jane Wenham-Jones a huge debt. It was reading her book "Wannabe a Writer?" that finally persuaded me to give writing a go after years of believing that I couldn't do it any more and I will always be grateful to her for that. Even if nothing ever comes of it, I have enjoyed myself so much over the last couple of years that I would heartily recommend her book and its follow-up "Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of?" to anyone.
Having said that, I hadn't read any of her novels in spite of meaning to for ages. When I saw that this novel was one of the ones nominated for an award from the Romantic Novelists' Association I decided to give it a go. Having read various magazine columns, Tweets and Facebook comments from Jane I was pretty sure it would be a light, amusing read. What I wasn't expecting was that it would also be surprisingly moving and would really make me think.
Laura is divorced from Daniel who has walked out on her due to his love for a stick thin, health obsessed, much younger woman. Laura feels fat, frumpy and washed-up. In her early forties, she suffers from low self esteem and treacherous hormones. But Laura's life is about to change as a series of events lead to her becoming involved in reality television and with a gorgeous young director called Cal.
This novel is brilliant because, although Laura is quite self-deprecating, she's not a quitter. She's a devoted mum to her son Stanley and a loyal best friend to Charlotte, but both of these relationships cause her much angst and lead to her feeling even more of a failure. With Stanley seeming to be permanently sad after his parents' divorce and apparently deeply unhappy at school, in spite of the kindness and concern of his teacher, and Charlotte oblivious to a looming crisis in her own life, it's down to Laura to desperately try to make everything all right for everyone around her, in spite of the fact that she has a stressful and unsatisfying job, a demanding boss, raging PMT and a mother from hell.
Don't for a minute think that this is a gloomy book, though. Laura is funny and Jane Wenham-Jones writes in such an easy, chatty manner that you could be listening to your best friend as she regales you with her tales of woe, while you both knock back the wine and tuck into the Maltesers, promising each other that you'll fast tomorrow.
Stanley is beautifully drawn and your heart aches for him and for Laura as she battles her guilt and tries desperately to ensure that he is able to cope with his new circumstances - living apart from his father and settling in at high school.
She is a well-rounded heroine (no pun intended!) whose vulnerability is well-observed. This makes you really ache for her as her life spirals out of control and you just know that she is about to come a cropper. Poor Laura is always trying to do the right thing, but unwise associations, the monthly "curse" and, quite often to be honest, too much wine, leads her to somehow always making huge errors of judgement that just makes everything much more complicated.
Will Laura ever recover her shattered self-esteem after her divorce? Is Cal really all he seems? Can Stanley ever be happy again? Will Charlotte ever put down her wine glass long enough to open her eyes to what's going on around her? And can garden gnomes ever be truly exciting? It's all here in this lovely, thought-provoking novel. Its nomination is well-deserved and I'm now going to have great pleasure working my way through this writer's other novels. 5/5
Profile Image for Lucy Felthouse.
Author 266 books758 followers
December 31, 2011
Article first published as eBook Review: Prime Time by Jane Wenham-Jones on Blogcritics.

I've been acquainted with Jane Wenham-Jones' work (both fiction and non-fiction) for a while now, and have always enjoyed her writing style. Her humour is such that she can even make non-fiction funny, as well as hugely informative. Previous novels of hers that I've read are Perfect Alibis and One Glass is Never Enough , both of which I enjoyed.

Prime Time is a romantic comedy about a middle aged woman who feels every bit her age. Laura Meredith is not having a good time of it: she feels old, fat, hormonal and is still incredibly bitter over the fact that her husband left her for a younger, thinner woman. Add to that a difficult young son, and it's no wonder that Laura's PMT is off the scale.

Things in Laura's life take a dramatic turn, however, when her best friend Charlotte persuades her to appear on a daytime TV show to talk about PMT. Following the show, she's head-hunted for another one and suddenly she's being wined, dined and pampered, as well as having mad flirtation with one of the show's directors. As things heat up in that department, however, other parts of Laura's life become much more difficult. Charlotte's husband Roger is up to no good, son Stanley is having trouble at school and she's struggling to keep up with her day job.

As Laura juggles all the elements of her life, she struggles to keep her cool. Will she manage it, or will her crazy hormones take over and ruin everything? There's only one way to find out...

Prime Time is a brilliant novel. It's full of Wenham-Jones' typical humour, and had me sniggering on more than one occasion. Laura Meredith is a great lead character and despite her faults you find yourself rooting for her throughout, and hoping everything works out for the best. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book and it certainly kept me turning the digital pages until the very end - which was a stroke of genius in itself. So if you're looking for a rom-com about real women and real lives, you should definitely check out Prime Time.
Profile Image for Melanie Adkins.
790 reviews16 followers
February 25, 2012
Laura Meredith is a 40 year old divorced mother of one. Her husband's affair with a younger woman did a real number on her self esteem and confidence. She saw herself as ugly, fat and old. Her midlife crisis sends her along a path she never saw coming. A chance to renew herself and be the woman she wanted to be. During this midlife crisis, she finds out her best friend's husband was having an affair with a woman at work. She is desperate to prevent their marriage from going the same path as hers. Laura goes to some pretty extreme measures to make herself beautiful in her own eyes and she just might find love. After all she's in her prime.

I found this book delightful. The message is such a terrific one for women of all ages. Be who you are. You are beautiful. It's heartbreaking, funny and full of wonderful writing. This book is a real look at women today and just what they deal with. The way they perceive themselves. Jane Wenham-Jones did a beautiful job of capturing just what millions of women the world over deal with every day.

The only problem I had with this book is there was almost no romance. It was more of a last minute thought.
Profile Image for Anne.
1,776 reviews
February 4, 2013
This was my first book by Jane Wenham-Jones, and it most definitely won’t be my last. I picked it up because of seeing it on the Romantic Novel of the Year shortlist, and really wasn’t expecting it to be my cup of tea – I sometimes find romantic comedy a little too light for my tastes, but that certainly wasn’t the case with this one. The basic story is a relatively straightforward one – divorced mother becomes involved in a reality tv show and its aftermath. But what set this one apart for me was the quality of the writing, which drew you into Laura’s life and kept you in her corner throughout, however her tv and personal experiences twisted and turned. This is also a wonderful story of friendship as she tries to handle her best friend’s husband’s affair while battling through her own crises, and the supporting cast is every bit as strong as the main character. There are many laughs – but I also found myself with a tear in my eye as the story unfolded, as there’s a lot more depth to this book than initially meets the eye. Recommended to everyone who enjoys a really well written chick lit read.
Profile Image for Anne Harvey.
393 reviews13 followers
October 1, 2013
There is no doubt in my mind that Jane Wenham-Jones has based this novel on her own experiences. I have seen Jane at a talk; she is hilarious with a fund of anecdotes at her fingertips. She is as humourous and uninhibited in her writing as she is in real life. Who else would have the guts to write about PMT and Botox in such a candid way? The gist of the story is that Laura, whose husband has left her for younger woman, has been left totally demoralised. When she is given the opportunity to appear on a makeover reality tv show, she snatches the opportunity with disastrous results. But the book is as much about friendship and how that can sometimes be tested to the limits. Worth spending few days or your time on.
Profile Image for Kirsten McKenzie.
Author 11 books239 followers
June 12, 2015
I read this book in super fast time, basically because I devoured it! I needed to know what was going to happen next. The author kept us all guessing as to the potential outcome/s, which is essential in any book. I loved the characters. I cringed at the miscommunication - we've all done that to friends, or had it done to us. I ended up hating who know who (can't say who, as I don't want to spoil it for others).
I enjoyed Jane's writing, her characters, and her plot immensely.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to other women in their 40's!!! Read it. You'll love it, and no doubt you'll recognise bits of yourself in it. And maybe it just helped me put on my trainers and go for a quick walk round the block!!!
Loved it, and look forward to Laura's next adventures! I hope she has more.
Profile Image for Reading Haven.
38 reviews7 followers
February 1, 2012
"Prime Time is still a good read and an intelligent one, too. It is nice reading about a woman who knows a word with more than two syllables and doesn’t sound pretentious at the same time. The plot twists, while a tad predictable were well written. And while the PMT is a bit distracting, it’s Laura’s humor, heartbreak, and zeal for what’s right, that make this story a good one."

Reviewed at the Reading Haven.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.
Profile Image for Harmony Kent.
Author 45 books379 followers
June 16, 2013
This book struggled to hold my attention, and none of the plot twists were a surprise. Rather they were easily anticipated in advance. The book itself however, was well presented with not too many errors. I picked this up for free on Amazon, and am glad I didn't pay money for it. It gets three stars because the author did a very good job of building realistic, believable characters - which helped me see this book through to the end. I am really sorry I can't be more positive than this, and wish the author good luck in her future writing.
Profile Image for Judith Chandler.
8 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2014
This book was quite moving in places. I wouldn't class it as a comedy really. Laura is a woman in her forties who has been dumped by her husband for a younger model. She is extremely vulnerable and she is badly exploited by a TV programme maker who plays on her vulnerability. I enjoyed the story, perhaps because I identified with her in parts. But like all good romantic stories it has a happy ending.
As the story built in momentum, I found I couldn't put it down. Not a heavy read but well worth it anyway.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Bailey.
Author 135 books255 followers
March 29, 2014
This is the first Jane Wenham-Jones I've read and I enjoyed it, even though I'm not a huge fan of angst-ridden wine-swilling forty-somethings. The heroine captured me after a bit and I got thoroughly hooked into her problems. I was glad she ended up with the guy I was gunning for, though it took some handling to get to that. It's wonderfully written, and a page-turning read.
Profile Image for Dawn.
116 reviews11 followers
August 22, 2014
Everything about the book seemed like your typical rom com/chick lit type. I spent the whole book trying to decide if the fact it didn't exactly fall under the usual formula was a good thing or a bad thing. In the end I was pretty indifferent to the book. It was nothing special. It was something good to read in the car on the way to holiday and that was all.
9 reviews
May 28, 2013
I got a bit irritated with Laura, as she seemed a bit useless at times! Her constant disorganisation made me think she deserved her fate! That said, the book flowed fairly well, and it was a reasonable read.
Profile Image for Hannah.
290 reviews5 followers
August 21, 2013
It was okay, but it didn't thrill me. I think I found the 1st person narrative a bit annoying, it dragged in places and it wasn't nearly as funny as it thought it was. A nice easy summer read but quite forgettable.
Profile Image for Sue Mackender.
Author 4 books2 followers
April 21, 2015
Written with great humour when divorced mum of one, becomes thrown into the limelight of daytime TV. As the situation gravitates you wonder how she will reclaim her life but Jane Wenham – Jones swiftly brings it all together
49 reviews
May 31, 2015
I've read worse. This book seemed to take ages to get going and I almost gave up. The story was actually quite good but it had pacing issues, dragging in places. I did, however, enjoy the author's writing style.
Profile Image for Nicola S.
32 reviews
February 6, 2017
It was OK. I felt like the plot was a bit lack lustre and not very exciting. I can tell the author is funny and there were some funny bits but the book didn't really go anywhere or do anything for me so was a bit disappointing overall.
Profile Image for Morag Gillespie.
65 reviews5 followers
May 7, 2013
I enjoyed this, pure chick lit no concentration required, but sometimes that's what you want. A good sunshine read.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Ducie.
Author 27 books82 followers
May 10, 2013
I loved it! It made me smile all the way through and laught out loud in several places.
Profile Image for Anne.
144 reviews1 follower
June 2, 2013
A bit predictable but genuine story about being female and facing your 40's.
Profile Image for Patsy  .
322 reviews18 followers
December 29, 2013
Enjoyed this one. The first of Jane Wenham-Jones that I've read but it won't be the last as I have another two lined up.
Profile Image for Debbie Viggiano.
Author 26 books141 followers
September 23, 2014
Read this on holiday and it was the perfect beach read. An entertaining read laced with humour which kept me turning the pages!
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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