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Can't Live Without

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  65 reviews
How does it feel to lose everything you own?

Stella Hill is proud of the home she's created for herself and her daughter. She's worked hard to buy the very best of everything ... But when she wakes one morning to find her kitchen on fire, Stella knows her life will never be the same again.

At least she has Paul to lean on: Paul Smart, owne
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Mirrorball Books
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  447 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Megan Readinginthesunshine
Stella Hill is a single mother who has worked so very hard to create a home for herself and her teenage daughter Lipsy. One morning, Stella plods downstairs with the intention of making herself a cup of tea, only to find that her kitchen is on fire. After the shock of standing outside in one of Lipsy’s short night-dresses, surrounded by her neighbours whilst watching her beloved house burn down, Stella is now faced with the prospect of starting all over again. Now attending work in her little-bi ...more
Cindy Roesel
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
***This review first appeared on CHICK LIT CENTRAL

How does it feel to lose everything you own? Stella Hill knows only too well. She wakes up one morning to find her house up in flames. From there, things go from bad to worse in Joanne Phillips’ debut chick-lit comedy romance novel, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT! Hard to imagine things getting tougher with a start like that, but where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be some flames and CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT has plenty of sizzle!

Written i
Susan Buchanan
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given an Advance Review Copy by the author, in order to provide an independent review.

Contrary to the cover, which I really like, but comes across as being very chick-lit, Can't Live Without is so much more than chick-lit. Rather it's the exploration of relationships and assessing what's important in life. After Stella's house burns down, she changes from being very materialistic to actually focusing on what she can't live without. I particularly enjoyed the relationship betwee
Tahlia Newland
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sleek, beautifully crafted novel about Stella, a thirty-seven-year-old single mother with a sixteen-year-old daughter, and a boss who’s been her best friend ever since the father of her child walked out on her many years ago. She’s known Paul since they were kids. She even had a crush on him once, and they have the easy kind of relationship that comes from being truly good friends.

Stella is instantly likable, self reliant and rather stubborn. Paul is an adorable confirmed b
Debbie Young
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read books in this genre but was intrigued by the opening situation and gripped by the first few pages - a woman who loses everything in a house fire. When tidying up my eternally untidy house, I've been guilty of occasionally fantasising about this happening to me, as a quick and easy way of decluttering. But no more!

I immediately cared about what became of the heroine and her family and tore through the book as fast as I could. Well written, humorous, unexpectedly l
Linda Gillard
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in a couple of sittings and thoroughly enjoyed it. The novel opens with the horror of the heroine's home going up in flames and the pace never lets up. There's a big cast of characters, the plot's full of surprises and pathos, the dialogue is convincing and often very funny. But the story has depth. Despite the misfortunes that beset her, Stella the disaster-prone heroine (loveable, flawed and so very real) never resorts to self-pity. Stripped of her material possessions, she learns ...more
Elizabeth Jasper
This romance is the perfect pick-me-up if you're feeling a little down in the dumps for any reason. Well-written, perceptive and funny, it cheered me up on a dark, rainy day.

Stella picks her way around the disasters of losing her home in a fire and losing the trust and respect of her daughter by means of determination and sheer hard work, with a little help from her boss, Paul, who is also the guy she's had a crush on forever. Confused about her relationships with ex-husband, her par
Lynda Kelly
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. A typical chick-lit book but easy reading and hardly any errors either which in itself makes it a delight for me these days with e-books.
OK, Stella (the star of the tale) has a teenaged daughter with a ridiculous name-Lipsy but I'll forgive this !! Stella wakes one morning and her house is on fire and she loses all her worldly goods. Her boss and best friend Paul helps her to get herself back together and she also has her mum to cope with who spends money like it's goi
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Downloaded this as a free kindle book. Didn't expect a lot, was very pleasantly surprised. This is a quality chick lit. I will check out this author to see if she has any other kindle books. I would happily pay a few dollars to read them.
Good characters and interesting story, don't think I've ever read about someone who's house burnt down before. It's certainly made me check the washing machine is off and I paid my insurance bill!
Lipsy maybe does a bit too much of a personality flip to be conv
Rebecca Bradley
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging read with a believable protagonist in Stella, a sometimes dipsy woman with a fairly sensible head on her shoulders. This makes her easily identifiable with and someone to care about as the story moves forward.

I was genuinely laughing out loud in front of my dog, at the scene near the end, in the park, where Stella decides to go for a run. That's all I'm saying without doing a spoiler.

An enjoyable easy read and I'll be reading the next one by this author.
Pete Denton
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of an Eclectic Reading challenge and I am very glad that I did. I found the writing style very easy to read and both the characters and the story-line are engaging from the first page.

Stella is a fabulous character and the interaction with her boss and work colleagues, to the home life problems she has with her parents, brother, daughter and lodger made a cracking story to read.

It will also ensure you purchase something very important!
Graham Dinton
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The charaters in this are instantly likeable and its a great read. The plot is not deep but it is well structured and there's an overall humorous edge that I liked. An easy read thoroughly recommended.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I can't believe what all she goes through. I like it because it shows how it would happen in real life. This is real situations that people go through and it showed how people react.
Marina Sofia
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read, with very lively characters, a great sense of humour, some farcical situations... yet an underlying serious theme of a consumer society driven to rethink its priorities - which is very topical at the moment.
Talli Roland
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable, witty read by a new talent.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant first novel. Well done, really enjoyed your book.
Xara Niouraki
Jan 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
I don't like the characters, especially the teenage daughter. I feel that they are exaggerated. I'm not going to finish it. No point in wasting time with books I don't like.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another cute, quick read. Enjoyed the journey.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
sooooo loved this book. funny, emotive and addictive!
Annabelle Heath
I decided to start reviewing Self Pubbed books because I think Self Publishing is moving away from the 'Vanity Press' days to becoming a valid avenue for writers looking to get their work out there. With fierce competition for limited places in publishing house line ups, there must be thousands of good books out there that get turned away (Harry Potter, famously rejected many times before JKR made her fortune).

I must admit though, even though it's something I'm considering myself (fo
This book had been on my kindle for a long time. The story was a little drawn out but still a good read.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweet, find out what really matters in life story
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved the opening. I was immediately drawn in and felt comfortable with Stella’s narration – her character was easy to relate to, funny, down to earth and perfectly believable. There were moments when she got a bit repetitive but it was always in character and never got too much for me to bear.

I liked Paul as a character, too. He was Mr Right but with a healthy dose of useless-man syndrome so I didn’t get as irritated with him as I do with the lead romantic interest in some books.
Julie Kirby
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story, House burns down, daughter is seeing a man old enough to be her dad, mother had a shopping addiction, dad is inside and brother is AWOL. She is in love with a man who is in love with her, but both don't have a clue!

Stella wakes up to find her kitchen on fire, gets out of the house to find help, when her neighbour Joshua, finds her, he stops her from going back in. She goes to live with her mum, finds out that her daughter's boyfriend is twice her age! and she doesn
Natalie TBGWP
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's always a book you find that when you read it, it becomes more reality than fiction. I know most books do that they're supposed too, but I mean the ones were you forget it's not real. Can't live without to me is a perfect example of that book.

I loved that it was told by three different people, firstly and mainly being Stella, Secondly her daughter Lipsy, and third and finally Stella's boss and long-term friend Paul. Getting each individual thoughts and narrative increases the overa
Amanda McKeon
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last year my family and I upped sticks and left Paris for some sunny region in the south of France. I say some sunny region because we had no idea where exactly we were going to move to. We packed up our belongings, took our daughter out of school and hightailed it out of Paris.

With nowhere to go we put all our belongings in storage and just kept the essentials for camping over the summer, during which time we planned to find the perfect place to settle. It was a good lesson in learn
Caius Durling
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
This feels like the author hasn't written anything that's been edited and given constructive feedback before. It just keeps hitting you with bombshells (x did this, y got offended about that) just to (so it feels like) spin the story out another 50 pages. Take half the bombshells out and it would be a much nicer book to read.

It's not that it's a badly written book, in fact it's fairly well written I'd say. It just suffers from having too many events happening within a very short spac
Fiona Chapman
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Single mother Stella Hill wakes up one morning to find her kitchen on fire, which in no time at all has spread throughout the house and her home is up in flames. What isn't destroyed by the fire is ruined by water damage and Stella loses everything she ever thought she couldn't live without. What follows is an amusing account of her journey to put her life back together and the obstacles she encounters along the way, including some disastrous dates and a healthy dose of self-discovery.

This is t
Michelle Proulx
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an exceptionally fun read. The main character, Stella, is totally incapable of managing her own life or keeping her daughter in line, and watching her fumble her way from one situation to the next was extremely entertaining. But while I would usually find myself irritated with such a character (who on Earth doesn’t buy home insurance and then accidentally burns their house down?), Stella is so quirky and full of life that I found myself cheering for her from start to finish.

James Minter
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeopardy drives the characters of fiction writing; for 37 year old single mum Stella, jeopardy is in the form of a kitchen fire that soon engulfs her whole house. She loses everything. Worse, her teenage daughter, fortunately away at the time, who already hates her mum as teenagers do their parents, suffers the same fate. But stuff to teenagers is their life. Not satisfied there Joanna adds a new twist to Stella's jeopardy when we learn she has no home insurance.

After losing everythi
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Q&A with Joanne P...: FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow 1 2 Jul 13, 2012 11:49AM  
Q&A with Joanne P...: Paperback is out! 1 3 Jul 04, 2012 11:27AM  
Q&A with Joanne P...: Your own 'can't live without' list 14 10 Jun 23, 2012 03:42AM  
Q&A with Joanne P...: Print or e? What's your preference? 7 7 Jun 19, 2012 03:19AM  

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Joanne Phillips lives Cheshire, England with her nine-year-old daughter Lulu, and spends her days (and often nights!) writing commercial fiction, romantic comedies and contemporary mysteries. Her first novel, Can’t Live Without, was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012, and the stand-alone sequel, The Family Trap, won the coveted SpaSpa award in 2013 for Best Romantic Comedy.

Joanne developed