In brief: Indy’s an out of work actor who doesn’t have the perfect job, car, man or even handbag. When she’s set up with her flatmate’s brother, she finds a handsome stranger instead – who has a secret of his own.
The good: The characters bounce off each other well with witty dialogue and I loved the references to Aussie Rules footy.
The not-so-good: I’m hoping to find out more about some minor characters – Logan and Em (Indy’s boss and colleague) for example – in the future.
Pages: 188 (eARC)
Publisher: Destiny Romance
Setting: Mainly Melbourne, Australia
My rating: 8.5 out of 10
I really enjoy the Destiny Romance imprint by Penguin Australia – it contains a variety of romance themed books that contain funny dialogue, exciting action and awesome settings. Spotlight on Love is no exception – it contains some of the wittiest dialogue I’ve seen outside Jane Austen wrapped in a familiar (but exciting) setting of Melbourne with a lovely hero on top.
This is the first book I’ve read by L.J. Young and it makes brief reference to a previous book, The Trouble With Lucy. Lucy is a friend of Indy, the heroine, but this book stands alone. If you’re a fan of Lucy, sorry, but she doesn’t get much of a mention. She’s doing fine though!
The heroine is Indy, a struggling actress. Despite her father’s repeated attempts, she doesn’t have any other qualifications to fall back on and primarily works in a bar. Her agent is lost in an alcohol soaked dream, sending her to auditions for retirement villages and roles as a tomato. The future doesn’t look that good and Indy laments the lack of a good job, car, handbag and man. This is the year she’s going to try to get one of them – preferably the man. So when a confused young man with a Hawthorn (Aussie Rules football) jumper walks into the bar, she’s kind of interested, despite being there as a setup for her flatmate’s brother. This is the introduction to an entire gang of characters, which keeps the narrative fresh and interesting as each of them has something going on. There’s Logan, Indy’s boss and Em, Indy’s eternally sullen colleague. Bec, Indy’s flatmate, has a hate-hate relationship with her brother’s best friend Troy (this provides some excellent dialogues as they jibe at each other). Bec’s brother Daniel has brought his sultry English girlfriend Ana with him – and she’s trouble. Add in their new friend Luke, the Hawthorn jumper wearer, who has escaped across the world to avoid making a difficult decision and you have a fun cast of characters.
But wait, there’s more! As Luke and Indy become closer, he charms her agent to send Indy for an audition for a play. Indy lands the role, and other characters are added to the mix: Carl, Ursula and Maggie. This is where things start to get sticky as the group intermingle and everyone’s trying to please someone else. There are romantic French texts sent, match making and secret outings galore. I loved this part of the book – it’s a great ensemble, which reminded me of Love, Actually. I also enjoyed the references to the Australian Football League (AFL) teams and their players – don’t worry, it’s not frequent enough to have you scratching your head in confusion if you’re not familiar with the game, but it was kind of like a minor in joke.
The cover of this book was particularly well done – the man has just the smile that I imagine Luke would have.
This is light, good-hearted and sweet romance that’s fun to read. Definitely enjoyable.