ROMANCE

Crashing the A-List

Mira: Harlequin. Jul. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9780778369288. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488095207. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Clara Montgomery is an out-of-work book editor who is crashing on her brother and future sister-in-law’s hideous couch while she applies for new jobs. To help make ends meet, she takes a temporary job clearing out abandoned storage units. Amid the sorting she stumbles upon the paperwork of a former escort service, including information about a former employee, now famous British actor, Caspian Tiddleswich. After a drunken night leads to Clara accidentally blackmailing Caspian, she finds him at her brother’s door, threatening legal action. Then a photo of the two leaks and the press believes she’s the star’s new girlfriend. Caspian has a new ultimatum: pretend to be his girlfriend to get the press off his back and he won’t go to the cops.
VERDICT Heacock’s (The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky) sophomore novel draws on the fun of screwball romantic comedies while centering her characters’ relatable issues to create a compelling read. The ending feels a touch unearned with Caspian’s bad behavior overcome so quickly, but Clara’s rise from beginning to end is worth it.

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