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Boot Camp Bride

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Charlee Montague is an up-for-anything rookie reporter desperate for her big break. She dreams of something, anything, which will take her away from the daily grind at celebrity-driven magazine What’cha! When she is sent undercover to a boot camp for brides on the windswept Norfolk marshes, it seems as if all her Christmases have come at once. Posing as a blushing bride-to-be, Charlee has to get the skinny on supermodel Anastasia Markova and her oligarch Russian boyfriend. However, every rookie needs a more experienced partner as backup and Charlee is no exception. At her side (posing as her fiancé), is award winning photographer Rafael Ffinch. World-weary Rafa has recently survived a kidnap attempt in Colombia and is no mood to cut inexperienced Charlee any slack. Furthermore, he makes it plain at the outset of their assignment that there is no room for love in his complicated life. Once the investigation is over, their partnership and fake engagement will be terminated.
From the moment she sets foot in the boot camp Charlee senses that there is more to the simple ‘dish-the-dirt-on-the-A-list model’ story she’s been sent to cover. Journalistic antennae twitching, Charlee decides to carry out an investigation of her own. What's the real reason behind Ffinch's interest in the boot camp, super model Anastasia and her shady Russian fiancé? How is it connected to Rafa’s kidnap in Colombia? In setting out to uncover the truth, Charlee uncovers yet more secrets and puts herself in danger.
And, as the investigation draws to a close, Charlee is faced with a dilemma - will she be able to keep her promise, hand back the engagement ring and walk out of Rafa’s life without a backward glance?

Kindle Edition

First published October 29, 2013

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About the author

Lizzie Lamb

9 books143 followers
Indie Champion Finalist
Romantic Novelists' Association 2022 and 2023

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I like writing about the ‘moment’ when the hero and the heroine fall in love. That, and trying to track down the all-elusive hero-in-a-kilt, is what gets me in front of the computer each morning. Since 2012 I’ve published six novels: Tall, Dark and Kilted, Boot Camp Bride, Scotch on the Rocks, Girl in the Castle, Take Me, I’m Yours and Harper’s Highland Fling. My latest novel, Dark Highland Skies is due to publish February 2023 and I’ve loved writing it. I organise the Leicester Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and present workshops on indie publishing to new writers. My feel good/uplit novels would be very happy to sit alongside Jilly Cooper, Jenny Colgan, Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews on your bookshelf.
I love writing because it’s given me the chance to celebrate everything I love about my homeland - Scotland, and to share those feelings with my readers. When I’m not writing, I spend summer with my husband touring Scotland in our caravan researching my next novel and avoiding the midges.

Slainte Mhath.

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5 stars
68 (46%)
4 stars
47 (32%)
3 stars
26 (17%)
2 stars
3 (2%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews
Profile Image for Shani Struthers.
Author 41 books454 followers
January 11, 2014
Seriously though, I finished this book last night and I almost sobbed - I didn't want it to finish, the world that Lizzie Lamb created in the pages of Boot Camp Bridge was so much fun, I could have read on and on and on! This is the second book from this author I have read and I had to admit, I was worried - would BCB be as good as Tall, Dark and Kilted, a book I completely lost myself in. Well, it took me until Chapter 3 to realise it damn well was - every bit as good in fact! The wonderfully named Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch is a total hunk and Charlee is just divine - full of fire and fury. Actually, the pair of them are pretty fiery, particularly when in each other's company, which makes for some very sparky dialogue and laugh-out-loud moments. I'm not going to re-hash the plot, but suffice to say this book is above the average contemporary romance for me - the reason why? It's intelligent as well as wildly romantic. The author loves language and that comes across on nearly every page - each sentence is constructed beautifully and she isn't afraid to use words you have to look up - thank goodness my Kindle Fire makes doing that so easy. The characters are very well drawn and there's attention to detail all the way through - oh, yeah, and a VW Camper - what more can I say? Actually, there's lots more I can say, I can wax lyrical about this book for a long time I loved it so much - but I'll end with sex. Yep, there's sex in the book and sometimes I cringe at such scenes, they are either too graphic or too sappy - in BCB they're neither - they are truly gorgeous. If you want a book that balances humour, romance and adventure in perfect proportions, check this out - I wouldn't hestitate to recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for June Kearns.
Author 3 books23 followers
November 29, 2013
Lizzie Lamb's latest, is a perfect follow-up to her brilliant Tall, Dark and Kilted - with added suspense and mystery for good measure.
It's that perfect blend of excitement, romance and humour, that she seems to do so effortlessly, but so well.
The relationship between Charlee, a trainee intern, and the mysterious but irresistible Rafael Ffinch is cleverly paced, and the twists and turns of the plot keep you guessing and page-turning.
Loved the funny, quirky chapter headings, and Lizzie Lamb paints as beguiling a picture of the magical Norfolk marshes,as she did of the Scottish Highlands.
Profile Image for Margaret Kaine.
Author 15 books30 followers
November 23, 2013
Lizzie Lamb's second novel is a fast-moving read interleaved with her usual lighthearted humour. Charlee is an ambitious heroine with an impulsive daredevil streak, while the fascinating Rafael is shrouded in mystery. And while the sexual tension between them sizzles, the intriguing plot unfolds! You will not only be taken on a roller-coaster ride but be anxious to turn the pages. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Patience Griffin.
Author 16 books645 followers
December 4, 2013
I loved this book; the story hooked me in from the beginning! Charlee is my kind of girl, up for anything and always thinking on her feet. And who doesn't love a fake engagement that turns into pure magic? The language in this book is snappy and at the same time beautiful. How does Ms. Lamb do it? Thank you for a fun read.
Profile Image for Sharon Booth.
Author 40 books40 followers
December 18, 2013
Sometimes I think Lizzie Lamb writes just for me. All the elements that make up an enjoyable reading experience are there in her novels. Likeable heroine? Tick. Gorgeous hero? Tick. Strong plotline? Tick. Inspiring setting? Tick. Yes, I know that many writers of romantic novels can tick all these boxes, but there’s something extra special in Lizzie’s books. It was there in Tall, Dark and Kilted, her previous novel, and it’s definitely present and correct in Boot Camp Bride.

I found myself wondering what it is about Lizzie’s books that works so beautifully and I realised there are several elements.

Firstly, there is the heroine. I sometimes read romantic novels and feel as if I want to shake the leading lady. Some of them are so blind and stupid, so simpering or aggressive that I often wonder what on earth any hero in his right mind would see in them. Lizzie writes great heroines. Fliss in Tall, Dark and Kilted was fun, feisty and realistic. In Boot Camp Bride, the heroine is Charlee (short for Charlotte) Montague, and, like Fliss, she’s the sort of heroine you’d happily hang out with.

Charlee is the only daughter in a house full of high-achieving sons. Her parents are also clever and successful people. Charlee was a surprise baby, a girl in a family where boys seem to be valued much more, and has always felt she has a lot to prove. Disappointing her mother and father who wanted an academic career for her, Charlee – who is not exactly stupid, having achieved a double first in Languages and Politics – has decided upon a career in journalism.

She has been given a chance working on the magazine What’cha! but, as it is owned by a family friend, Sam Walker, she knows that people think she has been given an unfair advantage, and so has plenty to prove there, too. So when Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch (great name, huh?) offers her the chance to work undercover on an assignment that could make her name, she jumps at the chance. Even if it does mean that she has to pretend – even to her own family – that she and Ffinch are engaged.

What I love about Charlee is how believable she is. She really could be someone you know. Sometimes she is infuriatingly stubborn, but then knowing her background and her hang-ups you really understand why she behaves as she does. Charlee is refreshingly honest. She doesn’t simper and deny any attraction to Ffinch. She really, really fancies him and makes damn sure he knows it! When her obstinacy, pride and anger cause her to walk away she quickly regrets it, and finds a way to wriggle out of the situation she has found herself in without losing too much face.

The truth is, you can have a fantastic story and a hero to die for, but if the heroine isn’t someone you care about the novel is going to fall flat on its face. The whole thing starts with her, and Lizzie has the knack of creating great female protagonists who quickly get the reader onside, cheering them on.

Now, the hero. Well, I adored the sexy Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart, in Tall, Dark and Kilted, and wasn’t sure anyone could live up to him. At first I was very wary of Ffinch. He seemed a bit arrogant and I wasn’t convinced he was good enough for our Charlee. Bit by bit I warmed to him, and as his story was revealed, layer by layer, I found myself falling for him just like his leading lady. Brave, compassionate, noble and – of course – jaw-droppingly sexy, Ffinch is the alpha male with a chink in his armour so beloved by romance readers. No pushover, nevertheless there is a wound there that leaves him vulnerable, and makes your heart go out to him, longing for him to be healed and find happiness. Yes, Ffinch won me over. (Don’t worry, Ruairi, I will never forget you!)

We have the characters. What about the story and setting? No fears there, either. This is a tale of kidnapping, drugs, gangsters, undercover assignments, danger and mystery. Columbian and Russian threads entangle and lead to, of all places, the Norfolk marshes, where a seemingly-innocent bootcamp for brides-to-be to get fit and beautiful for their big day is a cover for – what exactly? A beautiful Russian model is staying at the camp, and Charlee needs to get photos of her in a place where all cameras and phones are confiscated. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, Charlee appears to be working on a different case to Ffinch. He is keeping secrets from her, and the rumours about him keep niggling away at her as he deflects her questions and keeps the barrier between them firmly in place. Is Ffinch all he seems? And can Charlee really walk away at the end of her assignment, dissolving their partnership without a backward glance? The mission is on and an intriguing tale it is, too. The atmospheric marshlands are described beautifully, invoking a real sense of place, just as Lizzie managed with the Highland setting of Tall, Dark and Kilted.

Great characters, a well-paced plotline, well-drawn setting, sparkling dialogue, lots of intrigue and humour – yes, I’m pretty sure Lizzie is writing just for me. I can’t wait to read her next novel!
Profile Image for Cathy Ryan.
1,139 reviews63 followers
January 18, 2016
Aspiring journalist, Charlee Montague, is desperate for her big break. The story that will make people sit up and take notice, especially her ultra successful family. In the meanwhile she is an intern at the celebrity orientated What’cha magazine, owned by Sam Walker, the father of her best friend Poppy, where she is given the worst of the menial jobs.

She attends the Book of the Year Awards with Poppy, assuming she is a guest, until her boss and the bane of her life informs her she will be waitressing. So Charlee is not in the best of moods when she encounters the imaginatively named Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch, author and journalist, at the end of the evening. Their exchange isn’t exactly friendly and Charlee is amazed when she is called into Sam Walker’s office the next day and partnered with Ffinch for an undercover assignment on the beautiful Norfolk coast. She soon realises there’s much more to her task, and Ffinch, than he is letting on. And not just the fact he survived being kidnapped in Columbia and feels dreadfully sad and guilty that members of his team didn’t.

Charlee can’t understand why Ffinch would be interested in supermodel Anastasia Markova’s stay in a boot camp for brides. Is it something to do with her Russian fiancé? Charlee is determined to find out the truth…and gets much more than she bargained for.

All the characters are vividly drawn, including the secondary ones. I love the very amusing banter between Charlee and Ffinch and the way they spark off each other. Charlee’s prickly attitude is entirely understandable after meeting her mother and brothers. The relationships and family dynamics are built realistically and had me firmly in Charlee’s corner.

A very well written and engaging storyline with lots going on; intrigue, mystery, an undercurrent of danger, romance, likeable and rounded characters and wonderfully humorous dialogue. Not to mention the beautiful descriptions of the Norfolk coast.

Ffinch’s VW camper plays its part in the story, I always fancied having a VW camper van and wouldn’t complain at all if there was a Ffinch to go with it ;-)
Profile Image for Georgia Rose.
Author 10 books257 followers
October 7, 2015
Boot Camp Bride is an intriguing romantic romp across the marshes of Norfolk with the naive but enthusiastic Charlee and deliciously sexy and terribly capable leading man, Rafa.

Charlee Montague is a badly treated intern at What’Cha! Magazine and the fabulously named Rafael ‘Rafa’ Fonseca-Ffinch is a well respected, if somewhat weary, photographer who has reported from some of the most troubled areas of the world and has recently returned from Columbia where things went badly wrong. They team up when Rafa needs Charlee to infiltrate a boot-camp for brides to take a photo of a Russian supermodel, Anastasia Markova. In order to do this they have to get engaged and pretend to be in love. However danger threatens because there are other reasons why Rafa wants Charlee at the boot-camp and then both start wondering how easy it will be to walk away from their “engagement.”

Here is a delicious snippet from Vanessa, Charlee’s hateful boss.

“‘For the love of God, Sally, check out what each of them is wearing before you let them loose on the unsuspecting guests. Most of them look like extras from the “Devil Wears Primark”. I’ve never seen so many synthetic fabrics together in one room. A carelessly positioned candle and the whole place could go up.’ Her cold blue eyes treated them to one, last hypercritical sweep before she left the room, leaving a trail of her signature lung-clogging perfume in her wake.”

Entertaining with comedic elements throughout, the pace of this well written tale rattles along at a good rate with sexual tension building from the start. I found some of Charlee’s reactions to be a little knee-jerk at times and was surprised that no one in her family felt the need to ask her if the engagement wasn’t a bit quick considering none of them had met Rafa before, or even heard of him, but those small points aside although this is a lighter read than I would normally choose I found it a lovely one to wind down on holiday with and it’s definitely one to recommend.
Profile Image for E.L. Lindley.
Author 8 books90 followers
July 6, 2014
Boot Camp Bride is the perfect weekend read, it’s a light hearted, feel good page turner and once I’d started it I couldn’t put it down. The story sees Charlee Montague, an ambitious, feisty young reporter paired with award winning photographer Rafael Ffinch in order to pose as an engaged couple at a boot camp for brides to be. As far as Charlee is concerned the mission is about gaining an expose on a supermodel and her Russian oligarch boyfriend but it soon becomes clear that there is more to the assignment than she knows.

In Boot Camp Bride, Lizzie Lamb has created a wonderful protagonist in Charlee. She is every bit the gutsy, contemporary heroine and I loved her immediately. Charlee is a fiercely ambitious over achiever and we are given an insight into why when Lamb introduces her difficult, hard to please mother. Charlee’s enthusiasm is the perfect foil for the jaded, been around the block Rafael. More used to working in gritty environments and, having just survived a kidnap attempt in Columbia, Rafael is not impressed by Charlee’s perky approach. And this conflict is where the true delight of the novel lies as the two of them engage in deliciously witty repartee. Lizzie Lamb’s skill as a writer shines through in her clever and often hilarious use of dialogue.

The novel succeeds on many levels; it is a light hearted romp, interlaced with mystery and danger to keep the reader guessing. At the same time both the central characters and background characters are believable and likeable. If you’re looking for a bit of escapism from real life then this book delivers in spades.
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books113 followers
April 22, 2014
Lizzie Lamb's characters are so lovable, Charlee became my buddy from the very first line. She was fiery unpredictable and quite honestly a delightful handful. Charlee Montague is an intern at "What'Cha" Magazine, the lowest of the low and given the worst jobs. But she has a passion to make it big and her feisty attitude nearly gets her in to BIG trouble at the book awards when she gives her honest opinion about photographs by high profile author Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch.

Next day instead of being fired she's given the chance to redeem herself with a story about a young Royal playing away from home. But she has a partner and she must face Ffinch. Her best friend Poppy fills her in on Ffinch; kidnapped in Columbia by the Aguilas Negra, he was left to die, until he was rescued by an Amazon tribe. Now he's putting all the proceeds of the book in to a hospital boat and Charlee must eat humble pie.

The short story piece is only the tip of the iceberg and Charlee finds herself going the extra mile to get her scoop. Faking an engagement and booking herself in to a Boot Camp for Brides, Charlee's fulfilling the role, but what is it that Ffinch isn't telling her? Frustrated Charlee threatens to find the truth herself and just how long will it take for her to also see what else is standing right before her eyes?
Profile Image for TMDGReviews.
206 reviews4 followers
May 25, 2016
Charlee Montague aspired to outgrow her lowly status at a gossip magazine and become a full fledged serious reporter. The owner's daughter is her best friend and gets her into a book award party. She's excited until she realizes she'll be staff, carrying drinks and food to the real guests. When the party ends and she feels baited into giving her opinion about photographs from the award winning author, Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch, and she finds herself playing cat and mouse with the author himself. Fearing she'll lose her job, instead she is totally shocked to find she's being given an opportunity to redeem herself by pairing up with Finch. The couple's personalities spark and the attraction is real. Charlee is spunky and has a nose for a scoop, so she's determined to figure out what Ffinch isn't telling her about this seemingly simple assignment to take photos of a supermodel at a boot camp for brides. Their fake engagement led to some comical moments, and the chemistry between them made good romance. The mystery/crime angle was interesting as well. An entertaining romantic comedy.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
Author 6 books51 followers
February 7, 2014
I thought Lizzie Lamb's last book Tall, Dark and Kilted was good, but Boot Camp Bride is even better. The sparkling dialogue between Charlee and Ffinch had me hooked from the outset and I found it difficult to put down.

Charlee is a rebellious rookie reporter on a society magazine. Ffinch is a famous journalist, and when they first meet they don't quite hit it off. When they work together on an assignment, Charlee is kept guessing exactly what is going on, and what it is about Ffinch's past that makes him so touchy about it. The author builds the growing attraction between them skilfully, and the dialogue crackles.

Furthermore, part of the book is set in rural West Norfolk, England, which is where I happen to live, and I recognised it all! Ah, the moody cold salt marsh in January . . !

The denouement was a bit of a surprise, and the whole story of Ffinch's past was satisfying, and all the loose ends were tied up neatly.

I absolutely loved it. It deserves five stars.
Profile Image for Michelle Connor.
46 reviews7 followers
August 4, 2015
Another fantastic book from author Lizzie Lamb. Charlee works as an Intern Journalist in the offices of What'cha magazine. Currently her job entails researching material from a disgusting archive cupboard and where her friend Poppy finds her. Poppy is the daughter of The Boss, Sam Walker.

Poppy brightens Charlee's day by informing her she has tickets to the What'cha Book of the Year Awards as everyone has been taken ill.
Vanessa (Manager of What'cha) and her lapdog Sally (Vanessa's P.A.)inform those who have tickets, that as many have been taken ill, all those with tickets are now waitresses for the evenings event.
As the event goes on Charlee meets Author and Journalist Raphael Fonseca-Ffinch.

A fast paced story unfolds into a great page turner. Characters were well developed and the story was well written and researched. Cannot wait to read the next Lizzie Lamb book adventure.
Profile Image for Julie.
Author 5 books211 followers
April 11, 2014
When I started this book I was just in the mood for a light- hearted contemporary romance with a bit of something special to make it stand out from the crowd. This is exactly what ‘Boot Camp Bride’ delivers.
I loved the first meeting between Charlee and Rafa and the way she digs herself into a hole. It’s nervousness mixed with showing off which makes her very human and approachable to the reader who can imagine being in the same position perhaps.
Although the theme of the book is fairly standard with the reader hoping for a happy ever after, the plot most certainly isn’t. This is one fast –paced, page-turning story if ever there was one with the reader being swept along for the ride.
When Charlee goes undercover at the Boot Camp, the story takes on a whole new dimension and Anastasia is another interesting character.
A thoroughly enjoyable well-crafted book that gets my vote!
Profile Image for Anne Harvey.
393 reviews12 followers
July 30, 2014
Another brilliant romantic comedy by Lizzie Lamb. The dialogue between the two main characters, rookie journalist, Charlee Montague, and world-weary photographer, Rafael Ffinch is scintillating, full of repartee. As the only, and younger, sister of four hunky brothers, Charlee has always had to give as good as she gets and this stands her in good stead with Rafa. The plot was cleverly thought out, too, and includes drug-dealing, money laundering and kidnap so there are serious overtones. The passion between Charlee and Rafa fairly sizzles yet such is the tension between them that you sometimes wonder if they're ever going to get together. I absolutely loved this novel and couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Silvia.
582 reviews1 follower
February 1, 2015

OMG!... i love lizzie lamb ..shes very amazing author

i loved this book a lott...the story was funny as hell, and so fresh..i LOL from start till end and it was romantic

charlie so amazing, i love her..shes so funny, smart and very2 genuine and i wish she is a real person ha ha ha and then rafa he he hes very much heartbroken person but when he met charlie..the world seem become so bright... i love their bantered conversation , i love how they interact and i love this story ..i wish it has sequel for charlie and rafa because they so perfect for each other...and i love all the character as well
Profile Image for Sharon Lance.
85 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2018

This is the first book,written by this lovely lady, that I have read and I am very pleased that I finally took the plunge 😁 ..Take a strong feisty heroine put her with an equally strong alpha hero and you have a match made in...well, you need to read this book to find out. Absolutely loved this book and I am looking forward to reading more soon. 5 stars and more Lizzie. Well done 😁 xxx
Profile Image for Sudesna Ghosh.
Author 31 books49 followers
December 9, 2019
Interesting characters with intense chemistry between them. Intriguing plot with lots of drama. Enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Sarah Houldcroft.
Author 3 books49 followers
December 22, 2013
Set in London and on the wonderfully wild Norfolk coast of England, this book is full of intrigue and questions. It begins in London with a highly amusing dialogue between the two main characters, Charlee, a very headstrong and rebellious novice journalist and Ffinch, a well-known photo journalist with a past he wants to keep to himself. They both enjoy a challenge so when these two meet it really is, as the author says in her blurb, ‘… light the blue touch paper and stand well back!’ Some of the pages almost burnt my fingers as I turned them!

There is a sort of vintage feel to this book with the inclusion of the much-loved VW camper van which is a great quirky touch and will delight all those ‘Combie’ fans out there.

I like the mix of sub-characters and the relationships which the author built up between them. Family tensions which, I am sure, many readers will identify with, are beautifully constructed and dialogued and you can’t help siding with Charlee and spurring her on. She is totally believable and I just had to like her even though, at times, I felt like shouting at her when she got herself in a fix.

There is a thread of humour running all the way through the book which gives it not only a bit of an edge, but you get a strong impression that the author really enjoyed writing this book and developing her two main characters. I enjoyed Lizzie’s style of writing too and found the inclusion of some less ‘popular’ words very refreshing and these again added to the slightly quirky nature of the book.

I don’t know if the author intends to write another book with the continued adventures of Charlee, but if she did, it is certainly one I would like to read.

If you like your romances with a good strong honest heroine and a smouldering intriguing hero, a sprinkling of sex, a good dollop of humour with a few twists and turns added for good measure then this is definitely the book for you!
Profile Image for Diane Coto.
389 reviews9 followers
October 29, 2014
Charlene (Charlee) Montague’s dream after graduation had been to report breaking news from a war zone. She has high ambitions to live up to the successful careers her parents and brothers have achieved. Instead, she has to make do with her newbie reporter job at What’cha! doing grunt work for her unyielding boss, Vanessa Lloyd. But, Charlee is book-smart knowing seven languages; she’s determined; and she’s downright hard-headed. Her best friend and the boss’s daughter, Poppy, pulls her unwillingly to attend What’cha!’s prestigious book award ceremony. There she meets author, Rafael Fonseca-Ffinch. She doesn’t recognize him and becomes exceedingly rude. He knows the owner of What’cha!, Sam Walker. But instead of Sam firing her for her behavior, Mr. Fonseca-Ffinch had requested that Charlee be assigned to his current research project going under cover to spy on supermodel, Anastasia Markova. Charlee knows there’s more – much more – to this story and to Mr. Fonseca-Ffinch than meets the eye.

Charlee was a fun character to watch and the story line was amusing. It did make me a bit sad for her that her whole family, being high achievers, seemed to close her out and make her feel small. They had gotten used to not expecting much from Charlee. I’m not sure which is worse – to have your family feel as though you’re as good as you’re going to get, or to begin to feel that they may be right. This was a light, easy read. The bantering between Charlee and Ffinch was witty and made up much of the story. They play act their engagement so she can attend bride boot camp with Anastasia in Thornham in the English county of Norfolk. This is a chick-lit and as is the case with most of that genre, you can predict the romance. However, it is much more difficult to guess the mystery and danger that faces Charlee and cheer on Ffinch as he tries to protect her. I rated Boot Camp Bride at 3.5 out of 5.

Profile Image for Cynthia Harrison.
Author 20 books56 followers
June 10, 2015
Unique meets quirky in this suspense novel featuring a teasy romance with a snappy sense of humor. When cub reporter Charlee is paired with celebrated photo-journalist Rafael, she doesn’t question why a guy like Rafael would chase a story about a Russian supermodel looking less than perfect in a boot camp for brides-to-be. She’s just excited to be the fake fiance of the man who is going to take her career to the next level. Also, there’s chemistry.

Not that she’s going to let the faux engagement give Rafael license to do stuff to besmirch her honor. Well, not unless he starts treating her more like the smart cookie she truly is and less like a rookie riding on his fame. For one thing, after Charlee gets over the gorgeous part, she sees a world of pain in Rafael, and not a whole lot of interest in knowing her as a person. He’s a dismissive closed book and the whole cover story her boss and Rafael have cooked up is simply too silly for words. It’s rather insulting that they expect her to swallow it whole.

Charlee knows something big is about to go down in the marshlands of the Norfolk coast and she is determined to find out what it is. Also, she happens to really like that supermodel she’s supposed to be shooting secret candids of and senses the young woman is unhappy with her rich, oily fiancée. Charlee’s new friend may also be in big trouble, and Charlee, with Rafael’s help, is possibly the only person in the world who can get the supermodel home free.

With a delightful wink to the “marriage of convenience” plot of Regency novels and a dash of Nick and Nora Charles banter, this novel manages to be a throwback romp while remaining brilliantly contemporary. Lizzie Lamb has got it going on, and then some.
Profile Image for Melanie Robertson-King.
Author 16 books70 followers
November 20, 2020
From the very beginning, I was hooked. The chemistry between Charlee and Rafa was electrifying. It was a fantastic light-hearted read that was perfect for the strange times we're currently finding ourselves in. I loved it!

I know Lizzie has written more books since this one (which languished on my kindle for WAY TOO long before I read it), so I'll be getting caught up with her newer offerings.

If you've not read anything by Lizzie Lamb yet, you're missing out.
Profile Image for Emma Bennet.
Author 10 books65 followers
March 4, 2014

Rookie reporter Charlee Montague is desperate to be given a chance to prove herself on the job. However, when she's asked to pose as a bride-to-be at a bootcamp for brides as part of an undercover assignment, Charlee knows the hardest part of the job will be dealing with hardened phot-journalist Rafael Fffinch, who's supposedly her fiance.

Fffinch makes it abundantly clear that things between he and Charlee are to remain strictly professional, but it soon becomes apparent that this is one rule they're both going to find it very hard to stick to.

I'd heard a lot of very good things about Lizzie Lamb, and so was really pleased to be offered the chance to review this, her second novel.

I must admit that Charlee didn't grab my interest straight away - she was just so young and argumentative. Nevertheless, by a few chapters in, I was firmly a member of Team Charlee, an allegiance which was firmly cemented when Lamb introduces Charlee's horrible mother and brothers! It's no wonder the poor girl has a bit of a chip on her shoulder coming from a family like that!

The setting of the bootcamp for part of the novel was fun and original, and I also liked Ffinch's London house.

What really made this book stand out for me was the wonderful exchanges between Charlee and Ffinch. In a note at the back of the novel, Lamb writes that she loves 'the quick fire exchange between the hero and heroine - like in old black and white Hollywood movies'. I'm a huge fan of these sorts of films, and Lamb definitely captures their 'feel' in her writing.

A deliciously entertaining romp, complete with suitably plucky heroine, and a truly yummy hero. Proper romance at its best.
Profile Image for Nikki Bywater.
406 reviews13 followers
April 1, 2014
Ambitious rookie reporter Charlee Montague is looking for her big break in journalism. Handsome award winning photographer Rafael Ffinch may be her chance to achieve her dreams of becoming a top hack, when he offers her the chance to work undercover posing as his fiancée at a boot camp for brides. Incognito as a bride to be so they can take photos of the supermodel Anastasia Markova.

Not long into their assignment Charlee begins to have her doubts about Ffinch, and why he would need a rookie like her to accompany him? What is the real reason behind their mission? Charlee suspects he has a dark secret he may be keeping from her and wonders if it is connected with when he was kidnapped in Columbia.

In her search to find out the truth Charlee finds adventure, danger, romance and a VW Campervan awaits her!

I really enjoyed Lizzie’s first book Tall Dark and Kilted and I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed. This book reminded me just a touch of one of my favourite films romancing the Stone. You know the Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner one? The writing in this book is equally as good as the script to that film and the characters as likeable. So I really enjoyed the storyline and this book is going in my top ten reads.

Profile Image for LAKristy.
252 reviews36 followers
October 10, 2014
Well written and edited stand-alone book. This was really a 3.5 for me, but I rounded up.

I read the author's other book Tall, Dark and Kilted and really enjoyed that. That book took me a few chapters to get connected with the rhythm of the author and the dialog, but after I did, I thought it was cute and funny. Unfortunately, in this story there is a high usage of British slang, and I find it hard to slog through some of it. I actually had to use Google to look up several words I wasn't familiar with because they're not in the Kindle dictionary. That level of disruption makes it difficult to get into the flow of the story.

The story itself was interesting and the characters were unique and fun. The lead female character is strong, smart, independent and a little hard-headed, which actually made her more realistic and interesting. The lead male character is an adventurer who's come out of a very bad situation. The plot is probably overly complicated, but it was still entertaining and touched on current issues -- although this is a comedy.

I'd recommend this to fans of modern British chick-lit.
Profile Image for Katherine Hetzel.
Author 19 books11 followers
August 5, 2016
This was OK - started off promisingly enough and was reasonably predictable in a girl-hates-boy-but-he likes-her kind of way.

I was disappointed as I got nearer to the end though, because *spoiler alert* everything gets tied up really nicely...AND WE DON'T SEE ANY OF IT HAPPENING! A convenient phone call pulls the police in at the right time, the heroine leaves the terrible situation...I was left wanting a final showdown with the escaped baddie to ruin the bliss of the heroine - and it never happened.

If you like 'happily ever after', this is for you. But I couldn't help feeling as though the ending could've been so much more than it was, which would've improved this IMO.
Profile Image for Cathy.
Author 5 books19 followers
September 29, 2014
Charlee Montague is an aspiring reporter who is looking for a big break. After a seemingly chance encounter with an experienced photo-journalist she's on course for a scoop.
I really liked Charlee. I thought she was believable and down-to-earth and I particularly enjoyed her smart, sassy dialogue.
Author Lizzie Lamb manages to create lots of romantic atmosphere as the tale unfolds. Right until the end the temporary nature of the fake engagement is sustained and the reader is kept on tenterhooks throughout.
Boot Camp Bride is a well written and very amusing romance novel which would be ideal for a holiday read or a long winter night in front of the fire.
Profile Image for Lynn Dixon.
Author 14 books14 followers
June 1, 2015
Charlee Montague, a novice reporter, is assigned to work on a spy operation with star author, Rafa Ffinch. She must observe Anastasia Markova, a top Russian model who is attending a Bride Boot Camp for her hen party and Charlee is fluent in Russian. Charlee’s sassy ways make it difficult for Rafa to give her instruction and they get off to a rough start. But once it becomes clear that this is a secret and dangerous operation, teamwork is essential. Will they make it? What is really going on at the camp? Will their relationship improve or worsen? Read this intriguing, creative piece to see how things turn out for Charlee and Rafa in The Boot Camp Bride. An enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Adrienne Vaughan.
Author 12 books32 followers
December 13, 2013
This eagerly-awaited novel by one of RomComs' rising stars, Lizzie Lamb, does not disappoint. Following hot on the heels of her acclaimed debut Tall, Dark & Kilted, Boot Camp Bride delivers a feisty , fast-talking heroine, a deliciously erudite yet taunted hero, rollicking through all sorts of high jinks in the wilds of North Norfolk. A real page turner, with laugh out loud banter, a dying to know what happens next tale, drizzled with some sizzling sex! A touch Sophie Kinsella, a tad Jilly Cooper but all in all, totally Lizzie Lamb! Bring on number 3 is all I can say.
Profile Image for Mary.
Author 15 books15 followers
February 5, 2014
Charlee is a rookie reporter ,Ffinch a well travelled photo-journalist . She is an only girl in a houseful of brothers . He is carrying the emotional scars of a work-related tragedy. So what did Lizzie Lamb do ? She sent them both on a mission to a Bridal Boot Camp . The upshot is a humorous/ sad story as only Lizzie can tell it – with the added bonus of beautiful descriptions of the Norfolk coast. A very enjoyable read.
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