Hall of Fame Review: From Notting Hill with Four Weddings... Actually by Ali McNamara (5/5)

Monday, 20 October 2014
Set in the world of all your favourite rom-com movies, this is the gorgeously romantic new novel by the author of From Notting Hill with Love . . . Actually

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, planning her wedding to handsome fiance?, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie - life couldn't be better.

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

Indulge in all your favourite rom-coms at once with this warm, fun tale of what happens when you really live the glitz and the glamour.

Ali McNamara is in my top three favourite chick lit authors and this book was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. I just couldn't wait to read it and get back into Scarlett O'Brien's crazy and outrageous world. Scarlett is such an amazing character. She's almost perfect but not in that sickly sweet way that is annoying, but in a way that you really warm to her and wish she was your friend. She's always positive about life, having an almost childlike view of it yet in this book she was also quite grown up when the situation called for it but still retaining that loveable excitement that makes her such an easy character to adore.

Straightaway I was addicted to this book once I was back in the company of Scarlett, Maddie and Oscar. Given that I didn't like Oscar much in book one, he's now one of my favourites in the series and plays a huge role throughout the book which I really enjoyed. Scarlett is planning her wedding to Sean, trying to manage two businesses by flying back and forth to New York and then the world famous actress turned singer Gabriella Romero hires Scarlett to find an estranged family member only for Scarlett to then end up attempting to show Gabriella how to live a normal life which is where Scarlett then finds her own life turned upside down.

Scarlett and Sean are having some difficulties planning their wedding given the travelling she does and their lack of organization so far. Sean is an intriguing character and one that's hard to read sometimes, on the one hand he can be quite moody when Scarlett is at her most eccentric but on the other they are clearly perfect for each other and are a believable couple rather than that forced perfect couple you often find in chick lit. All the other familiar faces are back with a couple of newbies, the biggest being Alex, an old friend of Sean's who at first seems quite nice but does he have a hidden agenda? Say no more...

It is incredibly difficult to discuss the book further than the blurb for fears of spoilers but this was probably the best Notting Hill book yet. It was action packed, fun, hilarious but with touching moments too and easily one of my favourite chick lit releases of the year. Also the book had one of the best endings to a book I have ever read. I literally felt every emotion reading this book and I loved every minute of it.

I can only hope that Ali is planning to continue Scarlett's story. I know all writers love their books and characters but sometimes you get a series where you can see just how much the author loves it. That is definitely the case here. Scarlett loves New York just like Ali and that love and passion was so evident. I felt as if I was in New York myself walking through Central Park. In the crowded world of chick lit Scarlett is a character that stands out and is one of my absolute favourites, I could never tire of reading about her and her exploits and hope we don't have to wait too long for more. That said Ali's standalone Step Back in Time was also a fantastic read so I am very excited for The Little Flower Shop in Cornwall in 2015.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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