Headliners is the latest published book in the London Celebrities series of romance novels by Lucy Parker. I find all of these books adorable; this is the first one that isn’t about a stage actor in London, though Sabrina, leading lady, has a sister on the stage (she was the protagonist from the prior book in the series) and is a television presenter. It’s an enemies-to-lovers romance story between her and a rival presenter, Nick; there are no surprises here. It’s a pretty straight-up romance.
Lucy Parker’s leading ladies are always warm and inviting; the men always seem to be a bit gruff and maybe demanding, but they all have hearts of gold. I will say that, as this is the fifth book in the series, it does help to have read the fourth book for a bit of background on the enemies part of the story, though I don’t think it’s strictly necessary. There are cameos from most of the couples in the previous books in the series (after all, they all have plays that need promoting on Sabrina’s and Nick’s morning television show).
There is another book in the series planned, and I’ll probably read that one too. Like I said, these are charming and warm and a nice bit of escapism as we finish off the first year of the pandemic.
The Austen Playbook is a contemporary romance novel, and I thought this was one of Lucy Parker’s better books. The romance is front and center; but the subplot is a mystery that needs to be solved – just what happened between the protagonists’ grandparents, anyway? It added a level of conflict that propelled the story along – romance novels can sometimes be short on plot and require the main characters to have unrealistic conflicts. That didn’t happen here.
Plus, the main character is described at one point as a contagious joy fairy. She is a naturally upbeat person, but isn’t obnoxiously so. Just like being around happy people usually makes me happier, being around the main character in this book also makes me happier.
The Austen Playbook is definitely recommended.
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by telling you about the latest romance novel series that I’ve been enjoying? London Celebrities is a romance series about stage cast and crew members who are thrown together in various ways and have various relationships, and, of course, have swoony happy-ever-after endings.
Act Like It is the first book, and the two leads are persuaded by the people running their production to fake a romance in order to help his reputation and keep ticket sales high. Pretty Face is the second, and an older director falls for a young up-and-coming actress (they talk a lot about how cliche it is). Making Up is about two people, an actress and a makeup artist, who initially dislike each other – and have since high school – but, you know, they’re thrown together and things change.
The books are charming, the romances are fairly believable, and overall, they were lovely stories. I listened to two of them as audiobooks and the narrator did a good job reading them.