As you can tell from yesterday’s post, a lot of reading happened on the holiday. It was glorious. Sun, sea, sand and a nice mix of stuff from the digital TBR pile and upcoming books. And this week’s pick for Book of the Week even came out yesterday so that’s some actual good timing from me for once!
Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport do not get along. They’re professional rivals and have been sniping at each other across the airwaves for years. But now the feuding TV presenters are being forced to work together on morning television – and if it doesn’t work, it could finish both of their careers. The ratings are in the toilet and they’ve got the month leading up to Christmas to turn it around. As long as they don’t kill each other first. But when mishaps start happening on set, it seems that they may have a common enemy. And then there’s the fact that the general public seem to be developing a misapprehension that these two are secretly lusting after each other. Which they’re totally not, right?
This is the fifth book in the London Celebrities series, and if you’ve read the previous installments, you’ve come across our leads before – Sabrina is the sister of Freddy, the heroine of the previous book, and we saw Sabrina’s combative professional relationship with Nick come to a head at the end of The Austen Playbook. Now while you don’t have to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this, it will completely spoil the plot of The Austen Playbook if you haven’t read that one first. Lucy Parker seems to specialise in enemies-to-lovers tropes and this is another really good one. What I particularly liked about it is that once they’ve got over their issues with each other, they move on as a team and the rest of the plot is not about people constantly trying to sow doubt in each of their minds about the other or silly misunderstandings between them that could be solved with a conversation.
As with the other books in the series, the dialogue is great – there is so much witty banter, and not just between the leads – the supporting characters get their share too. And I loved the situations that Nick and Sabrina found themselves in on the TV show – they’re exactly the sort of thing a ratings-obsessed editor might come up with and they’re funny but not in a cringey hide-behind-your-hands way. And if you have read the rest of the series, there are some nice callbacks for you. Obviously Freddy is in it, because she’s Sabrina’s sister, but there are also appearances from previous leads – and antagonists. It was a real treat – I even made myself slow down and go away and read something else to make it last longer at one point because it was that good. And don’t be put off by the fact that this is set in the run up to Christmas and it’s January, because it’s not that Christmasy – the Christmas deadline is just that, it’s not really the centre of the plot. I mean I read it on a beach in Lanzarote – and thought it was really a perfect book beach read, but equally it would lighten the winter gloom if you’re not fortunate enough to be somewhere relaxing and sunny!