Book Review: Headliners by Lucy Parker
I first jumped into Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series earlier this year when reading The Austen Playbook, and fell in love with Sabrina then, as the sister of the heroine from that book. It was pretty obvious that she and rival TV presenter Nick were going to get their own story, but it was also obvious that Nick was going to need one hell of a redemption arc after doing something which was pretty much morally bankrupt near the end of The Austen Playbook, something which has had pretty far-reaching consequences for Sabrina.
If you’re jumping in cold to start the series here, I don’t think it’ll matter; the author does an excellent job of setting the scene and explaining just why Sabrina and Nick are at daggers drawn without infodumping. Or at least… I understand why Sabrina’s murderous. It’s never quite clear why Nick dislikes her so much, unless it’s professional jealousy, which seems somewhat unworthy of him. But then, that stunt he pulled which tipped things over into all-out war was pretty terrible. I started the book very much not on his side, but along with Sabrina, he slowly grew on me, and not in a like-mould kind of way. With the pair of them thrown into close proximity as they’re forced to work together on a new breakfast show, there are some absolutely hilarious scenes which play out - I laughed out loud any number of times - and they slowly start to come to like and respect each other, first on a professional level and then personally and romantically.
Nick does give an appropriate apology to everyone hurt by his past actions, and not only that, he shows by his actions that he’s changed. It’s Darcy-esque level self-realisation, remorse and redemption, beautifully written and very believable, and by the end of the book I was absolutely satisfied that Nick was indeed the kind of guy Sabrina needed and deserved.
This is such a fun read, but with some deep underlying truths about the decisions we make and the unseen, far-reaching consequences they can have when karma comes back around. Nick recognises and atones for his mistakes, but there’s a delicious comeuppance for at least one antagonist who doesn’t learn and change.
I don’t know much (anything, really) about the inner workings of a TV studio or the real lives of celebrities off-camera, but Lucy Parker writes it so believably, there’s certainly nothing here I read and thought ‘unlikely’. I’m hoping for a romance for Nick’s brother Iain (with adorable plot moppet daughter Pippi) next in the series! Five stars for a terrific read.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.