I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
This is one of those books that I want all of my friends to read, because it’s so wonderful and I know you all will love it. (Please do what I ask; it’s for your own good.)
Okay, now that that’s out of the way.
I’ve loved Lucy Parker’s books since I first read the sensational opposites-attract romance Act Like It, and I think that Headliners is my favorite of a truly special series. Featuring long-standing professional rivals whose relationship has recently turned even more nasty, Headliners sucked me in with its glares and insults and caustic chemistry and then it slowly turned as sweet (and necessary to my happiness) as sugar. For much of the book I was a pile of goo.
In the previous book in the series, The Austen Playbook, journalist Nick Davenport reveals a huge scoop that just so happens to drag his reporter-nemesis Sabrina Carlton’s family through the mud and casts aspersions on her character. It’s the lowest moment for him personally, even if it does temporarily give him the career boost he wanted.
Now, in Headliners, Nick’s career’s in trouble, and the only way he can save it is by teaming up with Sabrina, who, thanks to Nick’s earlier scoop, needs her own success story. The struggling morning show they’re tasked with running is the only thing keeping them both professionally afloat, which is really unfortunate since they can’t stand each other and there’s quite a lot of bad blood between them (and not in a cute Taylor Swift song kind of way).
There’s so much about Parker’s writing, and Headliners in particular, that stands out to me—even in the sea of really well-written contemporaries I’ve read this year—but I think what it really comes down to is that Parker’s romances feel believable. The pacing is marvelously done: each moment of vulnerability feels like it’s leading convincingly to a future HEA, even if the protagonists started out as the most bitter of enemies at the beginning of the book. Even if one of them, *cough Nick cough* did something pretty bad that he’s now ashamed of.
It feels like Parker's characters make genuine connections through touch, potentially awkward situations, and difficult conversations, and you can see them fall in love as it happens (even if the characters themselves are less than aware). There’s no moment of doubt for me—no wondering if the characters actually know each other even as they proclaim their love. Just the sense that two flawed and yet lovely people have found their person and they’re fantastically well-matched.
I love Sabrina and Nick together--and also Freddy and Griff, the protagonists of The Austen Playbook who return in Headliners and are as cute as ever *bops them all on the nose*.
Headliners is all so good: warm and witty and told in Parker’s distinctive fashion, and I loved every word of it.
Give me that HEA, please.
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