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Heartbreak Cafe: No Experience Required - Janet Quin Harkin

"It’s 1989. Life's easy for DEBORAH LESLEY: she's up-market, drives her own flash car to school, and looks pretty good too. She's never had a job, either; but now her parents have split up, and she needs the money.


JOE GARBARINI is cool. He likes motorbikes, girls, and fun. He doesn't have time for much — he's running Heartbreak Café when he's not at school.


The Heartbreak Café is a noisy hangout on the north Californian coast. Joe's worked there for years, and knows what it takes. He's sure Debbie won't last a month — but Debbie's determined to put up with his wisecracks and prove him wrong.


Debbie, Joe and the rest of the gang are all at the Heartbreak Café. Meet them in this sparkling series from bestselling author Janet Quin-Harkin."

Pages: 224

TW/CW: fatshaming / suicidal thoughts (not acted upon)

I received No Experience Required (Heartbreak Cafe #1) by Janet Quin Harkin for free by Vicki Berwick from Ellfie Books in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.


Thank you so much for the early copy and for having me on the tour - make sure to check out all of the other amazing bloggers on the tour!


Additionally, if you love the sound of this book you can download the first chapter of No Experience Required for free down below! Thank you so much again to Vicki for providing the first chapter.



In this 80's romance we follow our main character Debbie who is used to having a very luxurious lifestyle until one day when her parents announce they are getting a divorce. Suddenly she is thrown into the real world and to help with the money situation she manages to get a job at the Heartbreak Cafe where she meets sarcastic bad boy Joe. Their relationship has a rocky start and when Joe bets her that she won't last a month at the Cafe, she is determined to prove him wrong.

Debbie is definitely spoiled, stubborn and selfish but I really enjoyed her character development throughout the book as she started to learn and accept personal responsibility and how her actions have real life consequences. It was nice to see her confidence in herself grow and feel comfortable in a new group of friends. Overall she was a well rounded character and I liked how she wasn't perfect and wasn't afraid to show her insecurities.


Her relationship with Joe was definitely interesting! I loved the banter between them and it was easy to spot the chemistry they had from the very first scene they had together. Whilst they both have their faults and flaws, they do make each other better people and as a reader you can tell that they definitely start to care deeply for each other.


I really enjoyed the 80's nostalgia throughout the book, I'm a big fan of 80's films and of romantic comedies so this was a lovely book to start off the new year.

Heartbreak Cafe is a fun, entertaining and easy read - I'm excited to see where the series goes next!


Thank you Janet Quin-Harkin, Ellfie Books and Vicki Berwick for this early copy! If you love the sound of this book here is Chapter 1 of Heartbreak Cafe: No Experience Required free to download, I hope you enjoy!


CHAPTER 1 Heartbreak Cafe 1 No Experienc
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Download • 221KB

Thank you for reading my thoughts, you can also find me on my Twitter and Instagram! Let me know if you have any recommendations of what I should read next.



Janet Quin-Harkin is better known these days as New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen, writer of the historical Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mystery series. She has won the Agatha Best Novel Award and was nominated for the Edgar Best Novel. In the eighties, when this series was written, she was dubbed by one newspaper as “the Queen of Teen Romance.” Janet/Rhys is a transplanted Brit who now divides her time between California and Arizona. You can visit her website at www.rhysbowen.com.

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