An aspiring playwright copes with her boyfriend’s newfound fame in this sequel.
Twenty-four-year-old Alex Sinclair is the envy of many an English teen. Her boyfriend of nearly two years is 25-year-old heartthrob Mark Keegan, star of the fictional BBC drama Lairds and Liars. Unfortunately, dating a celebrity is not all it’s cracked up to be. As Mark runs himself ragged filming around the globe, their brief reunions are often measured in hours rather than days, and Alex misses the time they were both struggling artists working at the National Theatre. After finding a ring in Mark’s backpack, Alex looks forward to marriage as a remedy to the growing distance between them, but curiously, he doesn’t pop the question. Besides his reluctance to commit, Alex has to deal with trash-talking fans, unflattering tabloid stories, and Mark’s obnoxious agent, Wink. Everything finally boils over after a fateful New Year’s Eve party; Mark’s latest co-star, Fallon Delaney, divulges some incriminating secrets. Alex retreats to her father’s house in Manchester to reconnect with herself and later returns to London with a new lease on life. Here, Middleton (London Belongs to Me, 2016) has mastered chick lit. While the plot is driven by Alex’s love life, her career and personal growth (particularly her mental health) feature just as prominently. Alex’s friends—her fiery “bezzie mate,” Lucy; the ever exuberant Freddie; and his stylish fiance, Simon—are fully fleshed out, with arcs of their own. The settings are vibrant and detailed, giving an accurate snapshot of life in cities like London, Dublin, and New York, complete with nods to the theater scene and fandom culture. The narration is well-crafted, full of seemingly innocuous tidbits that later become significant, raunchy banter between friends, and the kind of sweet nothings that hopeless romantics die for. In the end, it’s ultimately quite rewarding to see Alex come into her own, with or without Mark by her side.
A winner for romance and chick-lit fans as well as Anglophiles and geeks.