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The Summer Job

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Beach Read meets Sweetbitter in this laugh-out-loud and ultimately heartwarming debut of a good friend's very bad decision and the summer job that stands to ruin or make her life.

What if you could be someone else? Just for the summer...

Birdy has made a mistake. Everyone imagines running away from their life at some point. But Birdy has actually done it. And the life she's run into is her best friend Heather's. The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather.

The summer job at the highland Scottish hotel that her world class wine-expert friend ditched turns out to be a lot more than Birdy bargained for. Can she survive a summer pretending to be her best friend? And can Birdy stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked, but who thinks she's someone else?

One good friend's very bad decision is at the heart of this laugh-out-loud love story and unexpected tale of a woman finally finding herself in the strangest of places.

384 pages, Paperback

First published April 15, 2021

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About the author

Lizzy Dent

4 books280 followers
Lizzy Dent (miss)spent her early twenties working in Scotland in hospitality, in a hotel not unlike the one in this novel. She somehow ended up in a glamourous job travelling the world creating content for various TV companies, including MTV, Channel 4, Cartoon Network, the BBC and ITV. But she always knew that writing was the thing she wanted to do, if only she could find the confidence. After publishing three young adult novels, she decided to write a novel that reflected the real women she knew, who don't always know where they're going in life, but who always have fun doing it. The Summer Job is that novel.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,871 reviews
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,543 reviews24.6k followers
April 6, 2021
Lizzy Dent's lovely rom-com turned out to have more depth than I expected, it features 31 year old Elizabeth 'Birdy' Finch, with an alcoholic father and disengaged mother, not the most stable, reliable, secure or loving home, all issues that have dogged her into her adult life. She has had a wide range of jobs, many of which she has blagged her way into, only to not last long in any of them, and she is in kind of a relationship with the unsuitable Tim, more a convenience, he has drug issues, is outrageous and 'fun'. It's fair to say she has self esteem problems, she has failed to find long term employment, and has felt no calling towards any particular career, but she does have a natural confidence and is blessed with an outgoing personality. Her best friend since primary school, Heather, is the complete opposite, she went to boarding school, has established a successful career as a world class sommelier and, against all the odds, their friendship has survived and thrived.

Heather has her own issues, one of which is she desperately seeks love often in the most unlikely places, currently a man promising to break up with his girlfriend, she is planning to go to Italy with him. As a result, Heather is unable to take up a summer job she had accepted at Loch Dorn Hotel in Scotland and leaves it to Birdy to let them know. Big mistake. A homeless and impoverished Birdy decides to impersonate Heather, expecting a run down place that will allow her to pull off the role of sommelier, only to find a upmarket and exclusive place with big ambitions. It is clear that Birdy is in way over her head, she knows well nigh nothing about wines, and to exacerbate matters she is falling for the chef, so unlike the men she is familiar with, he is decent, deliberate, calm and kind, and he seems to like her too. Is Birdy going to crash and burn and lose everything and everyone that has come to mean so much to her, including Heather?

Dent gives us a wonderful Scottish location in which she sets her entertaining and fun rom-com, and a wide range of great characters, from the lovely and compassionate Irene, the irresistable waitress Roxy who idolises Birdy, to Bill, the alcoholic bartender. It is Birdy who holds centre stage, having to work hard to get any semblence of wine expertise, with a talent for making people laugh and putting them at ease, illustrated beautifully in the promotion of British wines at the wine society event. She is faced with having to take a closer look at who she is, discovering she wants to belong, she fits in perfectly with the staff, and for the first time ever, she wants love, something she had never believed in. This is perfect escapist reading, engaging and with a fabulous location that will appeal to many readers. Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,106 reviews1,743 followers
May 20, 2021

My absolute favorite vacation is meandering through wine country, and wine tasting in the tasting rooms.

So, I knew this ROM COM would be perfect for me!

Heather, a trained Sommelier, has decided to ditch the Summer Job she had applied for at the Highland Scottish hotel, in exchange for Italy, and a chance at love with Christian. But, she is afraid to make the call informing them of her decision.

Her best friend, Birdy, volunteers to let them know, but in need of a place to live while Heather is in Italy, she ends up, taking the job in Heather’s place.

Just two itty bitty problems..

She doesn’t take the posting in her own name, so they think they are still getting Heather.

And, she knows next to nothing about wine or pairing foods, and their new wine list is rather extensive!

She had no idea how hard it actually is to become a Sommelier!

I thought the jig would be up as soon as she placed a bottle of champagne between her legs for leverage when a cork decided to give her a bit of trouble...🍾

But, she manages to live to fumble through another day!

And, maybe even find her own chance at love with the hot chef, James. ❤️

This comedy of errors is perfect for wine enthusiasts, foodies and gals who think that a man who can cook, among others things, is deliciously SEXY!


I enjoyed finding out!


Thank You to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for my gifted ARC provided through NetGalley!
It was my pleasure to provide a candid review!
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
April 5, 2021
Review also posted on the Blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Impersonating your best friend and pretending to be a World-Class Sommelier at a Scottish Hotel? Sounds easy enough, right? Baawwahh!

Birdy Finch’s life is kind of a disaster, thus when an opportunity arises for her to go to Scotland in her best friend Heather’s place and pretend to be a Sommelier for the summer, Birdy takes it. So what if she knows absolutely nothing about wine.

Once Birdy arrives at the Hotel, she realizes the job is going to be a lot more difficult than she realized and so it begins.

The hardest part? Studying and memorizing the wine list and googling food pairings for over 140 wines.

Oh, and opening a Champagne bottle. Who knew it was so hard? Good thing the only eye she poked out was her own!

Birdy’s, (oh I mean “Heather’s”) winning personality saves the day a million times over and helps her win the heart of James, the gorgeous chef at the hotel.

Sweet, funny, and oh so endearing, “The Summer Job” by Lizzy Dent won me over from the get-go and I have a feeling it will do the same for you.

This is the Perfect Summer Read!

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam - G.P. Putnam’s Sons & NetGalley for the arc.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,910 reviews1,438 followers
November 14, 2020
‘Heather’ who is really Elizabeth Finch, aka Birdy, stands in for best friend sommelier Heather while she finds ‘ true love’ in Italy. I mean, how hard can it be???!!! Birdy expects to finds a run down no hopes of a hotel in Scotland where she can easily blag her way through but instead finds a swanky two star Michelin turreted dream. Help!!!

The premise is crazy, right??? Birdy takes a crash course in wine and blunders around and you can’t help but love her! She has her issues growing up so there’s much more to her character than meets the eye. There are some fantastic characters in this entertaining and easy read such as easy on the eye chef James and his mother Irene and there’s a couple to loathe in odious Tim, Birdy’s ex who irritates and annoys the life out of me. The Scottish setting is gorgeous and makes a wonderful picture in my minds eye. There are some lovely descriptions to match the landscape. The storytelling has some good elements to it, it’s funny at times with some witty banter and it’s poignant at others. As it progresses it is clear it’s a search for belonging, to find a place and people to whom you belong and just be you. I love the ending which is really feel good.

Overall, it’s the character of Birdy that elevates this read. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s a blagger, she’s a very hard worker and she cares! James isn’t half bad either!!! An enjoyable book.

3.5 rounded up.

With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House/Viking for the arc for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emily.
Author 15 books68.6k followers
December 3, 2020
I absolutely loved this one. Birdy is around thirty years old, and she is floundering. Being the daughter of an alcoholic father and mother who did everything she could to pretend everything was fine, Birdy has emerged into adulthood with no support system, except for her accomplished sommelier of a best friend, Heather. While Heather has known and worked toward her professional dreams for years, Birdy has spent years cycling through dead-end jobs, simply surviving life--but doing so hilariously.

I found Birdy not only funny and charming but endlessly compelling. I probably would've read about her doing just about anything, but watching her pose as a sommelier in an idyllic Scottish setting, fall in love with a warm and handsome chef, and make friendships with the quirky cast of employees at the Loch Dorn hotel all added up to a perfect book for me. I have a huge reading hangover now, and want a half dozen novels just like this one to fill the void.

Funny, sweet, romantic, heartwarming, and altogether lovely.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,473 reviews19.2k followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
May 18, 2021
DNF @ 18%: I was highly anticipating this one, but the tone of the story ended up being a lot different than what I was expecting and it just didn't really work for me, unfortunately. Onto the next one!
Profile Image for Debra .
2,198 reviews34.9k followers
May 11, 2021
Ahh, A summer job at a highland Scottish Hotel sounds lovely! It is a promising opportunity to get away from it all, work, and enjoy life. You are expecting a run-down hotel, with low expectations of your Sommelier skills. But when you arrive it is not as you were expecting. You are not what or WHO they were expecting!

That does happen when you show up, pretending to be your best friend, Heather, a Sommelier, who was hired to do the job. But, Heather, is on holiday in Italy and you have no place to go sooooo.... you seize the opportunity and off to Scotland to you.

Thankfully, Birdy (the imposter), is a quirky personable and likeable character who thinks fast on her feet and can talk her way through some mishaps involving pairing food with wine. She quickly realizes that she needs to learn all that she can in a short amount of time.

When not trying to learn about wine, Birdy finds herself growing closer to James, the handsome and oh-so-likeable Chef!

The Summer Job is a fun light read which played out like a movie in my mind while I was reading it. There are some laughs, some eye rolling and fun. Birdy will have you rooting for her as she stumbles along, gaining confidence and forming a community of sorts with her co-workers. Along the way some secrets will come out which only add to the heartwarming feel of the book.

Sometimes a new beginning is all that you need. Even if that new beginning starts with deception.

I enjoyed the themes of friendship, belonging, community, starting over, and hard work.

Escapism reading, which is charming, cute, and captivating.

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Em.
660 reviews4 followers
June 30, 2021
One of my romance reading goals in 2021 is to search out new authors to try via NetGalley. So far it's been a mixed bag. Unfortunately, I don't think Lizzy Dent is for me - or maybe it's just this story. Either way, despite positive reviews here, I will not be returning to this author.

And confession time: I didn't and won't finish it, but I fully intend to tell you why.

Problem 1: The premise.

The premise of the story - that a young girl (Birdy Finch) runs away from her life and pretends to be someone she isn't - is...fine? I mean, TBH, who does that? None of the moms/friends in my life, but since this is a fictional romance novel, I guess we’re supposed to just go along with it. For funsies. Unfortunately, our runner has a history of poor decision making, an inability to hold onto a job, and she's impersonating someone who has none of these problematic issues in her life. Her best friend (only friend) since childhood.

Hold up, we've arrived at problem number 2.

Problem 2: Why would you do this to your best friend?

Nope, she isn't impersonating someone insignificant. She's pretending to be her ONLY friend, Heather. Heather who has forgiven her for a zillion misdeeds. Heather who has essentially funded Birdy's life since she can't hold a job or keep an apartment or even a sublet and/or save money. Heather who is a successful, aspiring sommelier following in her well-known and well regarded father's footsteps.

Heather who trusted Birdy to contact her employer and let them know she wasn't going to show up in Scotland for a job she agreed to take because she's running away to Italy to be with a total loser who already has a girlfriend.
“I think I’m in love with Cristian,” she said as her mouth curved into a nervous smile.

“Oh,” I replied, trying to sound buoyant as my heart sank.

“I know, I know.” She was blushing and grinning, and I wanted to break something in half. Not him. Cristian, the coked-up shoe guy.

“Really?” I said, bracing myself. “The cobbler?”

“The shoe designer—Cristian, yes,”
she said, sighing. “Anyway, I’m going to Rome for the summer with him, to see if it can be a thing.”

That explains the bikinis.

“He’s going to break up with his girlfriend,” she said quickly. To reassure me, I suppose.

And then she took a deep breath. “Birdy, I think I might . . . I mean I think we might be in love. I think this is it.”

Uh oh reader. We've stumbled onto problem number 3 haven’t we?

Problem 3: Your best friend might be just as big of an irresponsible loser as you are.

Following this ridiculous exchange, Birdy asks how Heather’s planning to let the Scotland hotel job people know she’s quitting.

And instead of calling, or doing the 20’something thing and just sending a fucking email (right?!), these two concoct a whole fake story about Heather and a stabbing (I’m not even going to put the quote in this review because THE CONVERSATION ISN’T FUNNY IT’S RIDICULOUS AND ABSURD. AND OH MY GOD I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T GET WORSE THAN THIS BUT - SPOILER ALERT- BIRDY ISN’T EVEN IN SCOTLAND FAKING HEATHER’S LIFE YET.) Moving on.

So, they concoct this dumb and not funny story and somehow Birdy gets nominated to tell it. Because Heather can’t be bothered to quit. Even though she totally has her shit together, and she’s a successful and aspiring and amazing sommelier and FFS. Obv, Ms. Dent, she isn’t.

Fortunately for this story, Birdy (who’s proven she’s super reliable and responsible.) is up to the task and has ALL THE PLANS to do the quitting. Except then she shows up to a wine event as super sommelier Heather (who’s currently running away to Italy) with a guy she fucks around with sometimes but who doesn’t respect her but he’s fun or something? [I do not get this character or understand why he is in this book.] But back to the event and the fake-Heathering.

At the wine event Birdy meets Heather’s future employer. The future employer who somehow doesn’t actually know Heather at all even though I THOUGHT SHE WAS AND UP AND COMING SOMMELIER AND THE DAUGHTER OF A FAMOUS SOMMELIER AND AT SOME POINT SOMEONE INTERVIEWED HER AND DOESN’T SHE GO TO SHIT LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME? BUT FOR SOME REASON NO ONE KNOWS WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE BECAUSE HER SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURE IS A CAT. The whole cat picture thing was Birdy’s brilliant idea that has something to do with keeping a low profile.

Whatever. Birdy and her boy toy manage to get totally wasted, fool absolutely no one with their wine knowledge, knock over a display of vintage crystal and then bolt. Future boss thinks it's funny. And obv Birdy can’t quit now! She’s met the boss! OH NO.

Problem 4: Birdy arrives in Scotland and everyone is expecting a person who looks like a cat and they laugh and shrug it off everytime she fucks up a wine selection EVEN THOUGH SHE IS AN UP AND COMING SOMMELIER WITH A TERRIFIC REPUTATION and the boss thinks Birdy is just great and the sous chef keeps giving her soulmate eyes and Birdy SHOULD READ UP ON WINES but always falls asleep just when it’s study time and the HOT Michelin starred chef somehow can’t recognize someone faking wine knowledge.

Wow! I think the problem is longer than my explanation why it’s a problem. So. I’ll just leave that there for you.

Convenient solution to Problem #4: Italy boytoy asked Heather to keep a low profile because he’s a cheating shoe designing coked up sleazebag, so no one knows anything about Heather except she looks like a cat in her profile picture. BIRDY IS WINNING at life.

Problem 5: Let’s go ahead and insult the American readers


Because Birdy doesn’t know much about wine - aside from how much it takes to get wasted at professional events that you attend pretending to be your super great gal-pal Heather, she doesn’t actually know what to recommend to guests at the super fancy restaurant she’s been hired to work at. But since the guests are Americans - and therefore BIG FUCKING MORONS - she offers them Chardonnay. With ice.
“I’m having the guinea fowl, with a glass of white,” a Very Confident American Tourist had said. “Which would you recommend?”

“Oh gosh, I hate recommending wines,”
I’d joked, scanning the list in a panic.

He chuckled. “Sounds to me like you’re in the wrong business.”

I quickly replied, grinning, as a memory of Heather complaining about how Americans only ever drink bloody Chardonnay flashed before me.

“Take the Chardonnay,” I said firmly.

“Oh, I love Chardonnay,” his partner said in one of those perfect little Texan accents. “Can I have an ice cube in that?”

FYI Ms. Dent:
I ALSO LIVE IN TEXAS. We’re basically stupid cavemen here.

Problem 6: Birdy’s inconvenient attraction to the sous chef and self-image issues.

The sous chef - who I am assuming is also the man she falls in love with, is nice to her. WHAT?! He calls her a breath of fresh air. Because she’s sucked at wine recommendations and it’s been super funny to witness your sommelier joke about not actually knowing what she’s doing. Um. Okay.

So then we get this bizarre personal reflection which doesn’t come off quite like the author thinks it does because Birdy is DELUSIONAL and a THIEF. I don’t know about the cunt part and it’s not my favorite insult, but I can see how the roommate arrived at this point based on knowing Birdy for barely 5 chapters of this book.
I’ve been called many things in my life, but this is the first time I’ve ever been called a breath of fresh air. My mum used to call me boisterous. My dad called me a little attention seeker. My first flatmate, an uptight cow who worked in HR, called me a lying, thieving little cunt because she thought I stole her MAC makeup pen. (I borrowed it and lost it, so I technically didn’t steal it, but either way, she couldn’t have known it was me.) I’ve been called a fucking loser enough times for it to feel normal. Heather mostly calls me wonderful, but then I have always saved the best of myself for Heather.

I look over at James and my heart flutters.

We both reach for the champagne. He gets there first and I deliberately “accidentally” touch his fingers. I can’t help myself. Even I can’t have misread the signals. Plus, I’m this fancy protégée sommelier, and everybody knows newness is eighty percent of attraction. Surely I am fanciable in this scenario?

I try to push the thought out of my head, suddenly embarrassed.

Oh, Birdy. I’M EMBARRASSED FOR YOU! You’re still stuck in this book!

I can’t with this. Everything about the character suggests some, if not all, of these things are true ~ and why would I want to read about her?

Newsflash: I don’t.

The Summer Job is dumb and not funny and painful.
Profile Image for Lucy.
410 reviews69 followers
June 8, 2021
The characters are flawed and believable. The setting descriptions are vivid and beautiful. This is the story about the summer job that changed the lives of many.

Heather and Birdy are best friends. Heather is a successful sommelier, while Birdy hasn't yet found her calling. This summer, Heather ditched the sommelier position she'd accepted at Loch Dorn in Scotland. Birdy, with no promising prospects for the summer, decides that's a perfect opportunity for her. Two problems: Birdy has to pretend she's Heather and knows nothing about wines. She's far from the world-class sommelier the restaurant is expecting.

This is an entertaining and uplifting story. The characters are well developed and each had issues to overcome. Together, they're a team with one goal: to make Loch Dorn a successful restaurant. All while Birdy is in a constant panic as she tries to avoid being found out for the imposter sommelier she is.
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,294 reviews
May 18, 2021
4 sommelier stars

Who hasn’t dreamed about stepping into someone else’s shoes? Birdy is at loose ends and saying goodbye to her roommate Heather for the summer. Heather is headed off to Italy with the latest love of her life. Birdy offers to call the hotel in Scotland where Heather is supposed to be starting a summer job with an excuse. But . . . Birdy decides that she might just be able to pull off taking the job instead.

I love Birdy’s optimism that she could pass as a sommelier when she’s only had a few jobs as a waitress. That optimism is part of her whole outlook on life, and I really enjoyed her character. As you might imagine, there are some hilarious moments when she has no idea what she’s doing, trying to pass herself off as a qualified sommelier!

There’s a handsome cook that Birdy takes a shine to and some gorgeous Scotland scenery to explore. And Birdy’s old boyfriend decides he wants to visit the hotel sending Birdy into a panic! Throw in a control-freak master chef and an important relaunch of the hotel and you have a recipe for an interesting book. Just when Birdy has found a place where she belongs, everyone thinks she is someone else. How will she get out of this mess?

I really enjoyed this one and it was a great escape for a few hours. Now I totally want to visit Scotland! I'm also interested in more books by this author. I loved these characters.

Thank you to Penguin/GP Putnam's Sons and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this one!
Profile Image for Lisa.
734 reviews
March 28, 2023
This was a fun enjoyable read about two friends Heather a young wine expert & her best friend Birdie who takes on Heathers job at a swank 🏨 hotel while Heather is finding love in Italy 🇮🇹 the girls have been bonded since they were young in kindergarten , but can Birdie pull it off & will she fall in love, I had at times thought about having a Chardonnay at times during this novel made me want to drinks red wine 🍷 also.

I loved my first read by this author it was well written had loveable characters & connected with Heather & Birdie straight away their friendship lasts forever a strong 4 stars ⭐️
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
June 14, 2021
4.5 stars.

What could go wrong when a woman pretends to be her best friend for a job? Read Lizzy Dent's upcoming novel, The Summer Job and find out.

Elizabeth “Birdy” Finch hasn’t had it easy. She had a tough childhood, she’s blundered from one job to another, and never found a relationship that would stick. But she’s always been there for her best friend, Heather, supporting her through her achievements as a sommelier, and as she chases after a love she’s so desperate to find.

When Heather decides to abandon the new summer job she’s landed at an old Scottish resort hotel to pursue a relationship, Birdy agrees to notify the hotel. But instead, Birdy decides to pretend to be Heather, like she’s done at parties and events before. How hard can it be to learn wine? And if the resort is old, how challenging will it really be?

Of course, the resort has been redone and the restaurant is now posh, with 124 wines(!) on its list. Birdy has her work cut out for her. The last thing she’s counting on is a handsome chef to distract/motivate her, not to mention actually starting to enjoy herself, despite the deception she’s perpetuating.

I really enjoyed The Summer Job so much. Sure, it was predictable in many ways, but it was funny and sweet and poignant (a little heavier than the average rom-com, which I always enjoy), and I love any book that takes place behind the scenes at a restaurant. This would definitely be a fun Hallmark or Netflix movie.

NetGalley and Putnam Books provided me with a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

The Summer Job publishes 5/18.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for DeB.
968 reviews246 followers
July 28, 2021
Temporarily homeless and generally aimless Birdy Finch takes up her best friend Heather’s sommelier position at what she thinks is some rundown hotel in the Scottish Highlands - except that her friend has opted out of the job, doesn’t know that Birdy has opted in, and that the hotel has been beautifully refurbished. Birdy discovers quickly that she won’t be able to treat this summer as a bit of a joke, for fear of tarnishing Heather’s renowned reputation- and the hijinks begin.

Love interest and chef James tears Birdy apart- her family dysfunction has left her unable to trust herself, her emotions or commit to much of anything; the hotel staff become a surrogate family, as Birdy gamely works to be part of the team, drilling down on wine lists, being genuinely kind, though her sharp tongue and awkwardness provide many comedic moments.

There is the idiot not-really boyfriend about to gum up the works, serious reference to the destruction caused by alcoholism and a bit less than predictable ending, resulting in a story both delightful yet with some depth. A refreshing debut.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,417 followers
June 9, 2021
I didn’t really know anything about this book when I requested it from the library aside from the fact that I somehow managed to not beg for an early copy and then had immediate FOMO because apparently 2021 is the year where I feel it necessary to read nearly every new freaking release that comes out. To hell with you, books I already own! There are new things every week that push you further and further to the backburner!

Anyway, I also saw this . . . .

Beach Read meets Sweetbitter in this laugh-out-loud and ultimately heartwarming debut

And lemme just tell you . . . .

I didn’t ever read Sweetbitter (that was before I became chronically ill with this new must-have disease) and I didn’t like Beach Read at all so I’m really glad I didn’t see that blurb or there’s a solid chance I would have managed to pass this up after all.

But now that I read it????? So surprised!!!!!

Oh yes, so very pleasantly surprised. For some reason I was thinking this was YA and yes I know I know I’m an idiot because not only does the main character take a gig where she pretends to be a sommelier, but there is also straight up a wine glass on the dang cover. I have no defense for my idiocy, it’s just part of my charm.

So anyway, once I figured out this wasn't going to be about 17 year olds finding love at summer camp my brain got right. The story here is about Birdy who has a history of underachieving featuring a revolving door of career choices. When her best pal decides to back out of a job offer at a Scottish highland hotel to go on holiday with her (loser) boyfriend leaving Birdy both jobless and flatless, Birdy decides to impersonate her pal and take the wine expert job for herself . . . . .

Well, sort of everything you would expect and yet somehow not nearly as much as you would expect. This was some quality Chick Litty fun times . . . .

“Thanks for everything, James. Can I call you Jamie, like the hot guy in Outlander?”

“What’s Outlander?”

“Kilt porn. It’s a whole genre.”

It’s funny because it’s true!

I was down in the back last Thursday and read this on and off throughout the day. It most definitely turned my frown upside down. If you are in search of something light and fun I wouldn’t hesitate to grab a copy.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books999 followers
April 23, 2021
When the real Heather decides not to take a job as a sommelier at a Scottish hotel, Birdie, who needs a job and a place to live, stumbles her way into impersonating her friend. Through study, memorization, and con games, Birdie/Heather mostly passes. But what happens when the guy she falls for finds out she’s been lying about who she is?

This is a fun book, and I love Scotland. It’s not a light-hearted rom-com, but it deals with heavier topics with a deft touch.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MAY 18, 2021.
Profile Image for Val (pagespoursandpups).
285 reviews69 followers
June 1, 2021
I just finished this book, and immediately wanted to get my thoughts and feelings down on paper. First, thank you so much to NetGalley and Penguin group for approving me for the advance copy of this book to read and review. It is rare for me to get approved for a book considered a romance in any sense, so I was elated to get approval on this one. When I read the synopsis for this book, I felt that I would instantly connect with it, and that I DID! I don’t usually read romance, but ROM-COMs I’m all in for.

This one is a RomCom at its finest! It had all the attraction and angst without the steam that I don’t love. At several points in the book my heart was racing because I was so nervous about the book going in a direction I didn’t want it to. But I shouldn’t have worried – this book was pretty close to a perfect read for me. Start with one self-depricating, hilarious and down-to-earth girl who sees everyone around her finding success when she just hops from job to job without purpose. Give her a lifetime best friend that knows all her faults and loves her unconditionally regardless of the missteps she makes. Now give the first girl a situation she falls into and can’t seem to find a way out of. This is the story of Birdy, her best friend Heather, and the summer that Birdy mistakenly “becomes” Heather.

Birdy is one of those characters that you can’t help but root for. She has experienced all kinds of rejection and blame, but still looks to find the good in people always. She never takes herself too seriously and naturally makes other people feel at ease in her presence. Heather is a well educated sommelier, just as her father was. She lost both her parents at an early age – around the same age she and Birdy met and became friends. There is an amazing line in the book,

“The great, lonely hole that she had inside her when her father died. The pain I didn’t understand, and which she tried not to burden me with. We wanted so much to be enough for each other, but it was too much of a burden for each of us to carry.” Birdy

Heather accepts a position as a sommelier at a Scottish resort. She decides on a whim instead to follow her boyfriend (who already has a girlfriend, by the way) to Paris for the summer instead. Thus begins the summer that Birdy becomes Heather. She falls into the situation pretending to be Heather, and then decides she might be able to make it work for one summer. The position is at an out-of-fashion, run down place in Scotland so she thinks maybe she can fake it for a little while. But once she gets to the newly-remodeled and more modern Scottish Inn, she immediately knows she is out of her depth. Now her only choice is to try to save the real Heather’s reputation by becoming the best version of herself that she can. Along the way, Birdy learns about being a part of a team, being responsible, being capable and above all what real love should feel like.

“And then I realize the feeling that is filling my heart is not only a sense of belonging. Or feeling like part of a team. It’s pride in myself. Quiet, personal pride. And it feels good.” Birdy

I’ve read mixed reviews for this one – but I absolutely loved it! The book is full of funny moments and endearing characters. It was a fun, light beach read and my heart was filled. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,678 reviews1,608 followers
April 8, 2021
3.5 stars rounded up tp 4

When Birdy's best friend Heather decides to jet off to Spain rather than take the job at Loch Dorne as a Sommelier, she leaves Birdy to let the hotel know. But Birdy decides to take the job instead. Birdy assumes the job will be easy, but not everything goes to plan.

Elizabeth Finch (Birdy) is a funny and likeable character. This is not my isial type of book but i'm glad i read it. It's set in Loch Dorne in the Scottish Highlands. The characters were well developed and likeable. It's a quirky read with some laugh out loud moments. Everyone believes that Birdy id Heather Jones, a Sommelier. But Biddy knows nothing about fine wines. But what will happen when they find out that Birdy is an imposter? You'll have to read the book to find out!

I would like to thank #NetGalley, PenguinGeneralUK and the author #LizzyDent for my ARC of #TheSummerJob in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dash fan .
1,457 reviews707 followers
January 6, 2021
3.5☆ A Witty Read, with a sprinkling of Romance!

The Summer Job is a feel-good, light hearted, at times Poignant and fun read.

Birdy is fed up with her life, with no job and no potential abode, so when she finds herself accidentally in Scotland pretending to be her best friend and working as their new sommelier in which she has absolutely no clue about! Not only is she way out of her comfort zone. It might actually turn out to be the best thing she's ever done!
As long as she can fake it long enough to make it work!

The Summer Job was a fairly quick, Poignant and witty read, with a sprinkling of romance, some mishaps and drama, and some laugh out loud moments. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Thank you to Penguin Viking Publishing for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
724 reviews4,627 followers
September 7, 2021
A woman pretending to be a sommelier at a Scottish hotel - what could go wrong? ⁣

I went into this expecting a cute, quick read perfect for summer and that’s what I got but there was also quite a bit more emotion than I expected. Floundering in her life, Birdy decides to take a job meant for her best friend as a sommelier in a hotel in Scotland for the summer. The only problem being that Birdy knows nothing about wine. ⁣

I enjoyed all of Birdy’s mishaps as she struggled to get a handle on the job. Birdy’s personality shined bright through it all. She was such an endearing character (even though she was being deceitful) and you can’t help but feel for her as you learn about her past. ⁣

I adored the cast of characters working at the hotel with Birdy. Everyone was so entertaining and I loved the community they formed with each other. Birdy’s relationship with James was sweet and while it was a focus of the story, it never overpowered it. This was more than just a romcom. It was a story about finding yourself, friendship, belonging, starting over and gaining confidence. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐛 was a wonderful blend of light and heavy, with moments that make you feel and others that make you laugh. It’s one of those books that simply put, leaves you smiling and craving a glass of wine. ⁣
1,022 reviews77 followers
April 4, 2021
This was a good book but, I did find it very annoying as the main character “Birdy” was very deceitful. She struck me as a bit of a silly, thoughtless person and I didn’t like her very much. But it was a good read. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,377 reviews204 followers
April 15, 2021
This is a story based on a lie but filled with good intentions. This meant that more layers of lies had to be laid down to cover the big one and before too long Birdy finds herself immersed in an alternative reality.

Birdy is feeling a bit down and out. Her best friend, Heather, is following her heart to Italy to chase a guy who could be ‘the one.’ She currently has no fixed abode or a job and she has no idea what to do, moving home is her last resort. When she attends a wine awards event, in place of Heather she soon finds herself down a rabbit warren of lies.

This is how Birdy ends up arriving at Loch Dorn estate as their new Sommelier. Accommodation and food is included so it’s a win win really - a great way to spend summer. Only catch is she knows nothing about wine, they think her name is Heather and the job is way bigger than she expected it would be. She really is in some deep shit.

Somehow she manages to fumble her way through the first few weeks with some minor hiccups and tries to educate herself about wine whenever she finds a spare moment. She has enough confidence and self belief to convincingly pull off her charade. She also enjoys making new friendships with her colleagues and in particular, James.

James is the chef who is truly adorable. Birdy is definitely crushing on him and he is showing signs of feeling the same way. James is the sweetest guy and makes her feel special. He is thoughtful, kind and patient. Birdy could see herself falling for him but is also mindful that she is only there for a small time and the fact that he thinks she’s someone she isn’t. Along the way Birdy realises that what she really wants is a simpler life with genuine people, even if it is not a life she could have imagined before this.

The risk of being caught was constantly on Birdy’s mind and mine through the entire story so I was on edge worrying when/if it would happen :) This is a fun, summer read. Plenty of laugh out loud moments and plenty of anxiety ridden ones too. The secondary characters definitely added to the overall story and I loved the background setting of Scotland.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,378 reviews375 followers
May 9, 2021
The Summer Job delivered on some of the aspects I adore in books – a Scottish setting, great characters and couple chemistry, all with the added extra of wine. The main character, Birdy (Elizabeth) was something of a mess, but she was an endearing mess that you couldn’t help but like.

The story was wrapped around the concept of lies and those lies getting deeper and complex, until it’s too much. That complexity was wonderfully offset by Birdy’s bright and hopeful nature, James the chef and a cast of characters in the gorgeous Loch Doon hotel.

Having spent a lot of time in the highlands, I have to say Lizzy Dent conjured a setting that really worked, I could envisage the Loch, the wildness and the people so well. I want to go and stay there, taste the wine and maybe nibble the chef… I mean his food!

James is calm, considered and deliberate. And I like it.

I so enjoyed the context of the life of a sommelier, it’s not something I’ve seen in contemporary fiction and I was pretty consumed by the idea. This story built on lies took the inevitable down turn and it was pretty hard to observe the crash but I continued to love and believe in Birdy.

The Summer Job was a refreshing, funny and wonderful read that will transport you to the highlands and immerse you in great characters. I think it’s the perfect read for summer and I can’t wait for others to read this.

Thank you to Viking Books for the early review copy.

Find this review on A Take From Two Cities Blog.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,325 reviews128 followers
February 22, 2021
The Summer Job is the first novel by Australian-born author, Lizzy Dent. Elizabeth Finch (Birdy to her close friends) is, without any knowledge at all of wine, posing as a sommelier for the summer in a newly-renovated exclusive boutique hotel in western Scotland. It was actually her best friend, Heather Jones’s job; it was meant to be a run-down family hotel with a tiny wine-list in a seldom-visited backwater; and it was supposed to have been cancelled. But here she is.

And after a shaky start, during which she makes numerous faux pas, Birdy, er, Heather is now getting a handle on the whole thing. She’s pretty well memorised the Wine List and, with the help of a very cluey apprentice wine waitress, managing to pair with the weird and wonderful dishes the Michelin-starred chef/supermodel foists on his sous-chef. And Birdy can’t walk out if the going gets tough: she has to make it work, or it will blow back and ruin her best friend’s reputation. And kill their friendship.

Tiny complications: the Loch Dorn Estate’s bar manager, Bill, seems to have a drinking problem; Birdy still hasn’t confessed to Heather what she’s doing; she is constantly terrified that a customer will call her bluff and expose her for the fraud she is; the dreaded restaurant reviewer is due for a visit; and, Birdy is seriously crushing on the sous-chef, James, a genuinely wonderful person to whom none of her boyfriends could ever compare; so, nothing too serious.

Before Dent gives the reader a satisfying, if not entirely unpredictable, resolution, there are event successes and disasters, a sweet romance not assisted by the surprise appearance by an obnoxious ex, newly family connections and, of course, a dramatic exposé of true identities. With a gorgeous setting, a cast of both appealing and annoying characters, a good helping of humour and plenty of witty dialogue, this is a very entertaining read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Penguin UK
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,483 reviews261 followers
May 18, 2021
Funny and crazy, but a little heartbreaking too.
I think great story is one that contains so many different elements that keeps you on your toes. Just like this one.

There’s a blend of wonderful characters with rich personalities. A storyline that is unique, powerful, and a little heart breaking too.

Conversations that are in-depth, witty, fun. And to top it off, a setting that is rustic and the descriptions jump off the page right at you.

This is the type of book that you hunker down and read until you can’t stop. It’s sprinkled with some poor choices, some great choices, a little bit of shock value, and a lot of feel good, and even a touch of romance.

The Summer Job is a unique and an all encompassing story that leaves you smiling. There’s something to be said for good friends and coming to your senses. A refreshing read, best served with wine!

* copy received for review consideration
* full review - https://amidlifewife.com/the-summer-j...
Profile Image for Shelby (allthebooksalltheways).
339 reviews81 followers
June 8, 2022
What an absolute treat this was, y'all! 🙌 And it was the author's DEBUT NOVEL! I am always so impressed when an author comes straight out of the gate with such a strong debut. There was not a single thing wrong with it, in my opinion. It is marketed as a rom-com, and it definitely has romance and comedy (lots of glorious comedy), but it leans a little more into the women's fiction genre with a dash of romance. 🤷‍♀️ The characters are all so endearing, and Birdy is this perfectly messy yet loveable character. I felt a range of emotions reading about her shenanigans. Delight, dread, saddness, frustration - ALL the feels.

"The Summer Job" is the perfect beach read! I highly recommend it and have no idea why it doesn't have a higher Goodreads rating. 👎
Profile Image for Neil.
1,385 reviews8 followers
February 3, 2021
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Sorry, but this was just to ridiculous for me.
Someone with no job experience in the hospitality industry as a sommelier being able to persuade supposed professionals that they know what they are doing.
It was an insult to anybody working in the hospitality industry.
I found it frustrating it was so stupid.
I apologise for the spoilers.
Profile Image for Kalyn Nicholson.
Author 3 books9,488 followers
August 14, 2022
This book was very cute, very light and fun to read.
I loved that it was a summer book yet it didn't take place in typical summer book fashion, and instead, followed the main character to a setting that you wouldn't quite expect out of a beach read: Scotland.

It's full of funny moments, steamy chemistry, lots of wine (which made me excited to enjoy a glass again post-pregnancy) and a wholesome cottage country setting.

What was missing for me was more depth into a lot of the different characters and better development of the main character herself (at times, I found her consistent internal spiral of self-pity and self-imposed misery redundant and sort of annoying). By the end of the book, she hadn't quite seemed to learn or grow much and there were many loveable, charming, supporting characters I would have enjoyed more details about or getting to know more backstory to.

Nonetheless, it was an endearing summer read.
Profile Image for leah.
264 reviews1,841 followers
June 30, 2021
this was a quick, light-hearted summer read with a little romance sprinkled in and some scottish ‘sweetbitter’ vibes, but not a new favourite unfortunately. if you’re a fan of beth o’leary, you’d probably enjoy this one!

also can we retire the ‘soft boy’ love interest for a bit because i need a dark and brooding type with sarcastic/dry banter pls
Profile Image for Rachel.
352 reviews156 followers
June 26, 2021
This book was so cute and sweet, I was taken by surprise! An additional star awarded for the lovely Scotland setting and the food and wine descriptions

Profile Image for Lavinia Reads.
240 reviews243 followers
June 20, 2022
Looking for a perfect summer read? This funny story is for you!!
Birdy goes to work as a wine-expert this summer at fancy Scottish hotel. But she knows nothing about wine. She goes there and pretends to be Heather, the real wine expert in the friendship :))

She gets there, meets the team and starts working from the very first day. Birdy makes a few mistakes but she manages to get along with her fake job.

As the time passes, she sees that this is an important job and doesnt want to screw this up. so she starts to learn as quickly as possible everything she needs to know so she can make a good job.

She spends good times with the hotel people and somehow she finds herself.
The story is funny, full of adventures and romaaantic, of course - she falls for the cook :) I liked the story so much because it was pretty realistic and it definitely gives you those summer vibes you need :)

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