Book Review: For Once In My Life by Sian O’Gorman

What better way to kick off the week by welcoming Sian O’Gorman to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, For Once In My Life. 

A Tale of Love, Discovery, and Second Chances…

In the bustling world of Dublin’s advertising scene, Kitty O’Sullivan, a copywriter, feels an unexplainable void in her life that she can’t quite pinpoint. Her five-year relationship with Dave is stagnant, her creative juices have dried up and she’s even entertaining thoughts of marriage as a cure-all! Something’s missing from her life but she can’t work out exactly what it is…

When Dave decides to take time out from ‘them’, Kitty finds herself momentarily liberated to explore life and have some fun. She and best friend Shazza are corralled into joining a five-aside football team where she meets the intriguing Sweetman brothers, Tom and Rory.

As they sail around the enchanting coast of Dublin, engage in fierce football battles and stumble upon a magical secret drinking den, Kitty falls in love with her new life – and her new self – but is it only temporary until Dave returns?

Will Kitty find the answers to life’s mysteries and take charge of her future?


Copywriter Kitty O’ Sullivan is beginning to feel that something is missing from her life. She just can’t put her finger on what.

When she suddenly finds herself living alone and more surprisingly part of a five-aside football team, she starts to see that maybe there is a great big beautiful life out there. Can she find the courage to reach out and grab it?

I’d previously not read any novels from author, Sian O’ Gorman. A mixture of a beautiful cover and an intriguing premise had me pleased to be welcomed onto the blog tour for For Once in my Life (please say I’m not the only person with Stevie Wonder’s song in my head with this title. LOL.)

There are other novels based in the Irish seaside town of Sandycove but if you’re like me and haven’t read any of them don’t worry, this can read as a standalone. I will be checking out the other novels though.

Let’s start with Kitty. Oh Kitty. I feel she’s her own worst enemy. She seems to have this profound sense of duty and a need to not rock the boat to the determent of her own happiness. She is most certainly stuck in a comfortable rut. I wanted to reach in, grab her and say ‘come on girl, let’s get you back on the right track.’ I felt quite protective of her actually. Having not had the greatest role model with her Dad, she’s not got the highest opinion of what she deserves.

The supporting characters, for the most part, are great. Tom is adorable, understanding and a perfect gentleman. He had a lovely sprit.

Her work colleagues, Alex, Mary Rose and Hughie are lovely. Shazza is brilliant as is Kitty’s mother, Catherine. Like Kitty, I got a little frustrated with Annie. Having said that, I think the author has done a great job of presenting characters who get developed well and have the chance at redemption. Even Kitty’s dad Billy gets this opportunity. Whether he takes it is something I hope you’ll discover for yourself.

Dave and his mother…… ugh. Haha.

Sandycove sounds so lovely. I have always wanted to visit Ireland and I felt that, through this book, I got a glimpse of this amazing, beautiful country. I adored the sense of community Sian O’ Gorman has built through her story, characters and setting.

The plot itself moves at a great pace. The inclusion of the mixed five-aside football was a brilliant addition. There were some laugh out loud moments along with scenes that were heartwarming, emotional, poignant and outright frustrating where I wanted to give the characters a shake. I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoiling it.

For Once in My Life was heartfelt with relatable characters. It had warmth and humour and is a reminder that it sometimes takes losing something to find what you really need in life. If you’re looking for a dreamy escape, this book is perfect.

I’ve become a fan of Sian O’ Gorman and can’t wait to visit Sandycove and its residents again soon.

(Thank you to Netgalley, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.) 



About Sian O’Gorman –

Sian O’Gorman was born in Galway and now lives just along the coast from Dublin.

She works as a radio producer alongside writing contemporary women’s fiction inspired by friend and family relationships. 

Say hello to Sian via Goodreads. Click here to sign up to her newsletter. 

For Once In My Life was released by Boldwood Books on 25th June 2024. Click to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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