Romantic Comedy Recap 7.13.18
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Rom-Com Recap, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading (or more accurately, devouring) them! I recently read Lucy Parker’s latest in her London Celebrity series, and then I discovered Lauren Layne. She has several series and a couple of standalones, so I read a lot of her books while on vacation at the beach in May.
Making Up is the story of Trix Lane and Leo Magasiva. Trix is Lily’s (from Pretty Face) best friend, and Leo was briefly introduced as a super hot makeup artist. Making Up starts off as the lead in Trix’s musical suffers a horrible injury, and Trix must take over. If this had been a year ago, Trix would have leapt at the idea, but after a disastrous relationship with Dan St. James (or "Ramsay Bolton" as Luc so perfectly coined him in Pretty Face), Trix’s confidence has been shattered. Leo is hired as a makeup artist for The Festival of Masks, after a horrible incident with an allergic reaction to another actor. So Leo’s career needs the boost. Leo and Trix have a complicated history. They went to school together and used to be friends, even crushing hard on each other, but when Trix got a scholarship to a boarding school, suddenly they were no longer friends. And then every time they crossed paths in the years following, they were constantly bickering and antagonizing each other. But when Leo moves into the flat that Trix and two other aerialists share, they can no longer ignore each other. And it turns out that all their fighting masked the incredible sexual tension between them. I love that they were quickly able to move past swiping at each other (and a big teenage misunderstanding), but they both needed to work on themselves individually. Trix is still a mess from her relationship with Dan, and Leo has his sights set on winning a makeup & special effects competition to earn a prestigious spot working on a tv show in America. Neither one of them wants to talk about heavy issues and is ready to commit, even though the sex is great. I absolutely adored Leo. He is a huge guy with an even bigger heart, and everything he does for his horrid sister Cat and Trix just made me swoon. Also, his pet hedgehog, "Reggie the Hedgie". Leo, are you trying to kill me? We also see Luc and Lily’s wedding, which was a delight. As I've said before, I just adore Lucy Parker's stories; her couples are relatable and flawed, but still so in love. Parker's next book, The Austen Playbook, is about Freddy, the young actress in Pretty Face. Her love interest is a grumpy theatre critic. Say no more; you had me at hello.
Love the One You’re With is the second book in Lauren Layne’s Stiletto series. Grace Brighton has just broken up with Greg, her boyfriend of nine years, after she finds out he's been cheating on her. She decides she needs to be more cynical and wary of men and become Grace 2.0. On her first day as Grace 2.0, she has to share a cab with a super sexy, yet annoying guy. When she volunteers for a new joint column for Stiletto and Oxford magazines, her Oxford counterpart is none other than the cab guy, Jake Malone. The two of them are obviously attracted to one another, but the article is about who can read the opposite sex better. Will it be Grace, who just had her heart broken and her pride hurt? Or will it be Jake, whose womanizing ways have made some headlines and caused some issues in his career? As things heat up between the two in the fake relationship, their respective magazines are taking advantage of the publicity and start a website where readers can vote and comment about the dates and whether or not Jake should notice if Grace got a haircut. The hijinks for the magazine are hilarious, but behind the scenes, neither one of them can stop thinking about the other. Jake is afraid of commitment and wants nothing more than to be the new Travel Editor for Oxford, while Grace thinks she should swear off dating for at least six months. I absolutely loved Grace and Jake. I read the Stiletto series, and then the spin-off Oxford series by Lauren Layne, and as much as I like the other couples, Grace and Jake are my favorites. The two of them are undeniably attracted to one another, but don’t know how to handle it or even know if they want it to go anywhere. Spoiler alert: they figure it out, and the ending is so good! The fake relationship trope gets me every time; I'm a such a sucker for it.
Walk of Shame is a standalone Lauren Layne book about two neighbors who absolutely cannot stand each other, Georgianna Watkins and Andrew Mulroney. When Georgie returns home from the clubs and bars at 5am, she always runs into Andrew, who is on his way to work out before working as a high-profile divorce attorney. Georgie is a trust fund kid, whose days are filled with shopping and charity events. She and Andrew could not be more different, but somehow both of their favorite times of day are the 5am run-ins in the lobby of their building. When they see each other out at lunch, Andrew acts like he doesn’t know Georgie, which hurts her feelings because she always enjoys their banter and run-ins. The next morning run-in, their heated argument turns into a pretty intense kiss in the rain. The absolute best scenes take place when Andrew gets sick and Georgie takes care of him, and then in turn Georgie gets sick and Andrew takes care of her. It is seriously so sweet and adorable. But things are not smooth sailing for the two of them. Georgie is getting restless in her life and wants to do more than just go to clubs and plan charity events. When she visits her parents for their weekly brunch dates, she senses that something is off, but cannot figure out what exactly is wrong. Andrew is unused to sharing anything with anyone and has a hard time adjusting to the new relationship with Georgie. And Georgie is still a touch naive about some things. But these two opposites are delightful. As easy as it would be to dislike Georgie, Lauren Layne gives her depth and makes her a likable and relatable character. Also, if you loved the movie Enchanted, you will appreciate all the shout-outs to the movie in Walk of Shame. Enchanted is Georgie’s favorite movie, and I just love how Layne used something kind of silly as a big gesture in the end.
If you are looking for something light and fun this summer, I definitely recommend these three titles. It's an added bonus if you like them, since they’re either part of a series or by a writer with lots of other works.