It is another glorious Friday night and that time of the week again….where I review another book of that well-loved and revered genre ‘Chick lit’. This time around, the book that I read brought back some magical movie memories, with an enticing storyline set in the U S of A and a promising new author from across the ocean, Victoria Van Tiem.
The story of novel could easily be from one of Hollywood’s many romantic comedies that we all love to watch (particularly on the couch with girlfriends sharing tons of pop corn and chocolate).The book is about Kensington A.K.A Kenzi Shaw, a career girl with from a prestigious family of over-achievers who consider her to be their ‘black sheep’. Trying forever to please them, Kenzi has been dating and is now engaged to the perfect on paper, blonde and handsome Bradley. However, her one true love was the enigmatic, darkly attractive Shane and he also was the one who broke her heart and got away….
Shane makes a dramatic re-entry in her life, as an important prospective client for the ad agency she works for, which has just gone into financial crisis mode. Shane can help save it by agreeing to come on board as a client, however there is a massive catch….Kenzi must re-enact scenes from 10 Rom Com movies (only she and Shane know that these movies were her favourites), added to which she must also agree to her paintings (Kenzi used to paint) being displaying in Shane’s new restaurant venue.
Kenzi agrees reluctantly and what happens next forms the major plot of the novel. This was such a fun book to read!! I loved the references to the popular hollywood romantic comedies in the book, some of my favourites are in there! Pretty Woman, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Notting Hill, Love Actually, you name it, they are there!
Kenzi is a likeable heroine who finds herself in the dilema of trying to please her family all the time and being compared to her intellectual brother Grayson and his wife Ren, both of whom are apples of her parent’s eye. Indeed, the reader almost feels outraged on her behalf when her mother treats her more like a step daughter and her daughter in law more like a favoured, spoilt first child. Bradley, her fiance is your quintessential all American ‘ideal fiance/boyfriend’ but the reader can tell straight away that there is not a lot of substance to his personality and the relationship only exists because Kenzi wants to be accepted by her family and Bradley is her family’s idea of the ideal husband for her.
Enter Shane, the blast from the past that shatters Kenzi’s well-ordered world. Kenzi has never quite forgiven Shane for his past indiscretion (a realistic one this time which I found believable!) but he is the only one that can save the ailing ad agency in which she works and save her job as well as those of others.
The reader witnesses some great chemistry between Shane and Kenzi while they re-enact the various movie scenes and my favourite has to be the re-enactment of the Pretty Woman dress selection scene and the Dirty Dancing wedding dance scene, that should be enough incentive for you to actually read the novel. Shocks aplenty unfold as Tatiana, Kenzi’s frenemy creates a lot of stress, anxiety and misunderstanding for everyone, including Bradley, Shane, Elli (Kenzi’s workmate) and even Clive (Kenzi’s boss). However, all’s well that ends well and the reader will love the ending of the novel in one of New York’s biggest landmarks!
The novel is nicely paced and I thought that the plot of the novel absolutely flowed. This novel can easily be read in one sitting because it grasps the reader’s attention and you definitely get that ‘I want to know what will happen next’ feeling. It deserves every one of its four stars. The only criticism that I do have is that I find it implausible that someone who is creative and definitely perceptive like the heroine Kenzi would have a long lasting friendship with someone like Tatiana, who would have obviously shown her true colours at some point in the passage of time. This was the one thing, I feel, which somehow did not make sense in the story. However, the reader will find that Tatiana is an integral character in the novel who sets off an important chain of events.
This book is like all good chick flick movies, with all the right ingredients in the correct doses… warmth, humour, a little heartbreak and a lot of romance! ‘Love like the Movies’ is out now and is published by Pan McMillan, well worth a read!