book review

The Perfect Winter Romance: Headliners by Lucy Parker {ARC Review}

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of co-hosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur… and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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meet the author

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

the enemies to lovers romance of my dreams

Enemies to lover is, without doubt, one of the best romance tropes. I hate overwhelming angst, but I’ve always eaten up the tension and passion that usually accompanies the enemies to lovers trope. On top of that, Sabrina and Nick are forced to work together, which yes, indeed, means that the forced proximity trope is also strong in this one!! If they want to save their careers they have to rely on each other and work together, and boy, was it fun to watch them struggle with that.

Those who have read the blurb and/or the previous book in the series – you don’t have to, though! this can 1000% be read as a standalone – will know that Sabrina has a good reason for despising Nick. So good, in fact, that I was scared of Headliners – I didn’t know how they could overcome something like that. However, I’m pleased to say that Lucy Parker outdid herself with this one – she sold this relationship to me completely, and did so right from the start.

I was rooting for Nick and Sabrina – both as individuals and as a couple – and found myself understanding Nick more and more as the story progressed. But back to the relationship – their chemistry was off the charts from the get go, and to see them build on that as they got to know each other was simply beautiful.

family for the win

Headliners dag deep into the characters families, which made me extremely happy. I adored reading about Nick’s mother, stepbrother and niece; all of whom are exceptional people. On top of that, the way Sabrina described Nick’s face softening when talking about his family made my heart melt. As for Sabrina, I’ve known how close she and Freddy are from the previous novel, The Austen Playbook, but their love and appreciation for each other was, if possible, even clearer in this novel.

Besides these positive examples, Lucy Parker took the time to explore the more complex relationships of the characters. We saw glimpses of who Nick’s father was, and how, despite having good intentions, he put an overwhelming amount of pressure on Nick to go after a certain career. Sabrina, on the other hand, has always had a complicated relationship with her father; and especially after everything that was revealed about him in The Austen Playbook, she doesn’t know where they stand.

morning show madness

I’m so damn fond of books that don’t just talk about the characters job, but dive below the surface of it; especially when a character’s career is so important to them, I want to see them working. Lucy Parker has always been good at delivering this, and she did so now.

We get significant glimpses into Sabrina and Nick’s new morning show. We can read all about what goes on behind the scenes – mishaps and all – and we also get to see what these two are doing while on the show. It’s fascinating and fun, and the fact that it all feels real proves that Lucy Parker does impeccable research every time.

overall..

As the title says, Headliners is the perfect winter romance – it’s sweet and fiery, and I can’t recommend it enough. The cast is magnificent, the plot is well-paced and entertaining, and the whole book is bloody incredible. I was really vacillating between 4 and 5 stars, and I still am, to be honest. Right now it’s 4 stars, but it will most likely jump to 5 when I inevitably reread it.

final rating: four potted plants (aka stars)

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let’s chat!

What’s your favorite romance trope? How about your favorite winter romance? Have you read anything by Lucy Parker before?

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12 thoughts on “The Perfect Winter Romance: Headliners by Lucy Parker {ARC Review}

  1. Ah of course I’m a sucked for the enemies to lovers trope but I do think that it can be done right or wrong but in this book it sounds like it was done amazingly!! 😍
    I also love the focus on family in books so that’s a yay!!
    I think a morning show is a really interesting setting too!!
    I’m so glad you loved this book and your review was great!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always love when there is an author or series which never seems to disappoint us. I have about three adult romance writers who I return to without fail but I also want to do better with opening myself to more romance writers in 2019 who write adult too. I am going to have to try this series. I like the sound of family being so included and the forced proximity working so well here 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, you can definitely come to me for adult romance author recommendations!! I have quite a few favorites, both in contemporary and historical romance – although it sounds like you have your own tbr list, haha. I hope you’ll love this series – let me know when you’re reading it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I won’t lie, I skimmed the review to avoid spoilers as I am a bad blogger who hasn’t read this yet. But the fact it’s a 4/5 star read is enough for me. I was always going to read it and if Lucy Parker’s previous track record is anything to go by I’m definitely going to enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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