Friday, 30 January 2015

Book review: From Notting Hill with Four Weddings... Actually by Ali McNamara


My edition: Paperback, published on 23 October 2014 by Sphere, 448 pages.

Description: Movie addict Scarlett O'Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she's dreamed of, but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread. Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, and planning her wedding to handsome fiance Sean along with her best friends Oscar and Maddie--life couldn't be better.

Then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamourous. But as she begins to experience the other side of being rich and famous, it's not only Scarlett's perfect wedding that's put in jeopardy, but her whole world.


Rating:



I loved Ali McNamara's Step Back in Time when I had the opportunity to review it last year and so I was thrilled when her latest novel, From Notting Hill with Four Weddings... Actually, arrived in my mailbox. I've not read all the titles in this series, but that was perfectly okay as while they tell a continuous story, any prior knowledge needed to be able to understand the latest instalment is explained so casual readers won't get lost along the way.

As the title of this novel may give away, it's finally time for protagonist Scarlett O'Brien to get that happily ever after she'd always been swooning over in the romantic comedy films she adores so much. Things are great between her and her fiancĂ© Sean, though she is extremely busy with her various jobs – always travelling between New York and London – and so she finds it difficult to actually find the time to plan the wedding of her dreams. Sean does offer that he can take care of some of the arrangements, but knowing how sensible he is Scarlett rather does it all herself than end up with any boring old do.

When her charity work leads her to meet celebrity party-girl Gabrielle Romero, the two of them hit it off straight away and although there are already too few hours in Scarlett's days she is soon not only working on a super-secret project for Gabi, but she's also roped in to become the other girl's life coach and bring some much-needed normality into her celeb-heavy lifestyle. Scarlett loves all the glitz and glamour surrounding Gabi, but when a friend of Sean also arrives in New York, Scarlett is dividing all her time between helping Gabi and trying to figure out Alex when really she should be focusing on finding a wedding dress...

And when her charity unexpectedly comes under scrutiny, not to mention her picture-perfect wedding venue falls through, Scarlett is at wit's end. She even starts to wonder whether the happiest day of her life isn't meant to be yet.

Ali McNamara writes some of the sweetest and funniest chick-lit (and I don't use this term in a derogatory way!) currently being published and this was another charming romance read by her hand. Sure, it isn't the first (or last) time a women's fiction novel focuses on a protagonist plotting and planning the perfect wedding, with all the trials and tribulations that inevitable pop up along the way, but McNamara's wonderful characters are an absolute joy to read about – no matter what setting they're in.

And even though this is of course foremost the story of Scarlett and Sean, it's actually the smaller characters that I have falling in love with the most. I've always adored Scarlett's flamboyant GBFF Oscar and his crazy outfits (and in this book he and his partner Luke have some lovely moments to shine), and Gabi perfectly fitted into that circle of friends, which also includes the likes of Bradley Cooper. It may sound a bit silly to include a Hollywood actor like it's no big deal, but it works in McNamara's world and adds to the sheer fun of the novel.

If you love dreaming away with romantic comedy films as much as main character Scarlett does, then this romantic comedy in book-shape is the perfect escapism from the not quite so glamorous or exciting every-day life (which sadly doesn't tend to include random encounters with the dashing Bradley Cooper!).

You can pre-order the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: www.alimcnamara.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AliMcNamara.official

Twitter: @AliMcNamara


This review was first published HERE on Novelicious.

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