Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Book Review: Love Me Do

By Becky Gulc

I was lucky enough to go to an evening with Lindsey Kelk (and Milly Johnson) back in July and it was a wonderful to hear all about the new releases from some of Yorkshire’s finest romantic comedy writers! Lindsey and Milly are so warm and funny, just like their books! Lindsey was promoting her summer release Love Me Do at the time, but what is it all about?

‘She's written the perfect romance... for someone else.

Greetings card copywriter Phoebe Chapman knows a good romantic line or two - and it makes her a fantastic Cupid. So when she lands in the Hollywood Hills - a place that proves film stars, golden beaches and secret waterfalls don't just exist in the movies - she can't resist playing matchmaker for her handsome neighbour, carpenter Ren.

But you can't hide from love in La La Land. And isn't there something a little bit hot about Ren, her own leading man next door?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Waterstones.)

For those unfamiliar with Lindsey Kelk, she is from South Yorkshire, England originally, but now lives in Los Angeles after a number of years in New York. When discussing her latest novel, Lindsey said how it had taken time to adjust to life in LA but loves it now and this story is almost a love letter to LA itself. I definitely felt that love when reading this book. I’ve been lucky enough to visit LA a couple of times and the book captures perfectly the vastness that resonated with me. (I have navigated LA on public’s not easy!) While there's a superficial side of LA, I definitely saw a side to LA you don’t normally get to see and appreciate as a visitor, and if I go again I think I’ll have a different view of it thanks to this novel.

Love Me Do is warm and full of wit. There are so many laugh out loud moments, particularly one unforgettable Mermaid party. I adored all the characters in this novel and would love to know them in real life. Phoebe is a funny, self-deprecating, and engaging character who makes the most of every moment of her time in LA by quickly making friends with her sister’s personal trainer, the handsome neighbour Ren, and the mysterious former star who lives nearby. The characters felt very real – they all have their own history, imperfections (okay, maybe not Ren, he seems pretty perfect...), and have so much to offer one another, and I loved how Phoebe entered all their lives.

The book is full of love and heart and not just in the romantic sense, I particularly loved scenes with Phoebe and Myrna, the reclusive former film star. The chemistry between Phoebe and Ren is sizzling, and whilst I won’t say what happens, their friendship develops so organically and you just want the pair of them to be happy with whomever they end up! 

There are some references to emotional abuse in the novel which added depth to the characters and story without ever losing the romantic comedy focus of the novel. It must be hard to get that balance, but Lindsey executes this so well. 

I adored this novel and highly recommend it!

More by Lindsey Kelk:

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