Who’s That Girl? – Mhairi McFarlane

Sometimes Amazon sends me emails of books it thinks I might like. This was one of those, and at only 99p, I had no reason not to give this a try. The synopsis sounded fun, the cover art was cute, and the subtitle on Amazon (a laugh-out-loud sparky rom-com) were all enough to get me to hit buy and then read it a few weeks later.

Who’s that Girl? – Mhairi McFarlane

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She kissed the groom. She’s not the bride…

Edie thought she’d found The One…until he told her he was marrying someone else. And on the day of his wedding, when he kisses her, life really does go pear-shaped…

Labelled as a home-wrecker and office outcast, when her boss offers her the chance to get out of town Edie jumps at it, even though moving back in with her eccentric father and prickly sister isn’t exactly the escape she needs.

When her work throws her into the path of rising star and heartthrob Elliot, Edie is expecting a highly strung diva. But as their unexpected friendship develops, Elliot isn’t the only one in the spotlight…

This isn’t all that different to a lot of romcoms I’ve read – fluffy chick lit where the heroine is thrust back into circumstances that they thought they had escaped (usually their miserable home town) due to some misjudgement on their part. In this situation, Edie is nursing a wounded heart as the guy she thought was something to her has her painted as a homewrecker after he lunged to kiss her on his wedding day. And naturally, they were caught by the bride. Ostracised from her workplace (both bride and groom are colleagues), Edie is sent on a ghostwriting assignment back to her home town of (gasp!) Nottingham. While there, she ends up working with megastar Elliot, who fired his previous ghostwriter on a whim, and seems like the kind of stroppy, egotistical diva that Edie just doesn’t need to deal with.

Throw in a truculent sister and barely-keeping-it-together Dad, some dark secrets in the past of many of the characters and the love/hate relationship of being back in your home town, and you have a recipe for a highly enjoyable, if somewhat predictable, Brit-lit romcom.

There was a lot to like in this book – the family relationships, the realisation of being in your thirties and living a shallow life, the lasting power of solid, real friendships, the social media whims that can overtake a crowd and have them baying for blood, and a few romantic moments as well. Edie’s sister and next-door neighbour add some comic relief, and the premise of the book as a whole is solid.

This hate-turns-to-love story of a budding romance between our heroine and her leading man is both helped and hampered by his superstardom, and in the typical style of misunderstandings and lack of communication, the couple end up at cross purposes more often than facing the same way.

Finishing up in a way that I actually quite liked, it was all kind of undone by a last line which was a massive cliffhanger and tease that I’m sure has to be followed up in some way. Until that point I was totally behind this book, but I wasn’t so sure about the ending.

Nonetheless, though, I read this book in a single day, and will definitely be looking at other McFarlane offerings in the near future.

Four Stars
****

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