I discovered Lucy Parker through a Cannonball review. The first book of hers I read was Act Like It, which I loved, and I’ve read all of Parker’s books ever since. I enjoyed this book, although I still think my favorite Parker book was her first. I’m finding that I enjoy these in the moment but forget them relatively quickly once I’m done.
Headliners (2020) occurs in the same world as Parker’s West End theater books, and the story continues with characters we’ve already met. In fact, it would be very helpful to read The Austen Playbook before reading this one. Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport are rival television presenters, and they hate each other. They constantly snipe at each other through the press, but their animosity hardens after Nick breaks the news to England that Sabrina’s grandmother took the credit for a play that someone else wrote.
With Sabrina and her family wracked by scandal and Nick in the doghouse for comments made about his boss, both of their careers are teetering on the edge. Their last chance is a failing morning show. The two must work together and bring the ratings back up by Christmas or they will be fired. The morning show is kind of silly and kind of fun. Sabrina and Nick actually work well together when they’re not fighting. It also forces them to spend a lot of time together.
At the same time, the show is plagued by problems. Accidents with props and lights are sometimes even putting people in danger. Sabrina and Nick start to work together to figure out where it’s all coming from. And at some point they start to like each other.
My favorite parts of this book were the relationship between Nick and Sabrina and the backstage look into the running of a television show. The challenges and mishaps on the show were fun to read about, and it was satisfying that they were able to be successful. In addition, Nick and Sabrina were a cute couple. I liked that the plot didn’t turn on misunderstandings. The two had healthy communication. I also liked that Nick was protective without being jealous or controlling. He let Sabrina take care of herself but he cared what happened to her.
My only problem was that the culprit for everything going on set seemed a little too obvious. And once again the villain felt a little too villainous to feel real. Lucy Parker remains on my must-read list, though.
You can find all of my reviews on my blog.