About the Book
London’s most glamorous glossy magazine is in trouble. Advertising revenues are non existent, and if editor Laura Lake can’t pick them up, she’s out of a job.
According to those in the know, Scotland is having a fashion moment. Haggis tempura is on Michelin-starred menus, smart spas are offering porridge facials, and a chain of eco-hotels is offering celebrity bagpipe lessons. So Laura’s off to a baronial estate in the Scottish Highlands to get a slice of this ultra-high-end market.
It’s supposed to be gorgeous, glitzy and glamorous. But intrigue follows Laura like night follows day. And at Glenravish Castle – a shooting lodge fit for a billionaire – Laura finds herself hunting for a scoop that won’t just save her job, it could save her life…
What I thought
There are three full novels plus a novella in the Laura Lake series. I’ve read the previous two and was really looking forward to this one. To the extent that I had a search around Netgalley once I found out its title and was excited to get a copy to read.
If you haven’t read either of the other two books it doesn’t affect reading this one, it is a stand alone but in all honesty I would at least recommend you read the first one – Three Weddings and a Scandal. That way you can completely appreciate the full back story, get to know all the characters more thoroughly and ‘get’ the humour. I do think the humour is an acquired taste, you’ll either find it hilarious or you won’t find it funny at all. I don’t think there’s an in between. If you read this book without having read the others you can’t really appreciate the relationships between the characters that have developed over time and within past events. I don’t think you get to know the characters at all in this book if you’ve never met them before.
For me it started off well, it had me laughing out loud at the turn of almost every page. It was like putting on an old comfy pair of slippers, the familiarity of that crazy, tongue in cheek humour. Wendy Holden’s imagination at coming up with funny names, her observations of how easily the most ridiculous of ideas can be sold with the right marketing, and how fools are so easily parted from their money, provided of course they’ve got plenty of it, I think is so good.
However the second part, once Laura and Lulu were in Scotland didn’t really hold my interest. It’s not the first time in this series of books that a situation has developed into something farcical but in this instance I thought it went too far and just verged on silly. I was also quite surprised to find I’d reached the end too, it did seem a little bit rushed with all the loose ends suddenly all tied up and sorted.
All in all, though I did get quite a few laughs from this book, I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed in it. I don’t think either of the two subsequent Laura Lake stories have quite lived up to the first one which I just thought was brilliant from beginning to end.
A View to a Kilt was published on Kindle and in hard back on 4 April with the paperback due to be published on 8 August. You can find it here along with Wendy Holden’s other Laura Lake books. With thanks to the publisher Head of Zeus for my ARC via Netgalley
Three Weddings and a Scandal
As I reviewed this on Amazon when I read it two years ago and since I thought this one was the best and the funniest out of the three I decided to include that review too. It is in this book that you get to know Lulu, how Laura meets her and how they become friends. Lulu has me in stitches with her difficulties with our English language. You are also introduced to a whole host of other characters with peculiar names who make brief appearances in A View to a Kilt but in this book you find out much more about them. Here’s my review taken from Amazon:-
Ok so I haven’t actually finished this book yet but couldn’t resist being the first to review it. I’ve read just slightly less than half. Up to now its brilliant, I love it. It’s a little bit silly but I’ve had some real belly laughs from it. It really appeals to my sense of humour. Laura is a would-be journalist and would love to follow in her fathers footsteps. She joins Society – a monthly glossy celeb magazine as an intern. The book is a satirical, tongue-in-cheek dig at all things ‘celebrity’, not to mention media ‘luvvies’. Anyone who loved Ab Fab (absolutely fabulous) will enjoy this book, there are so many Eddie and Patsy’s here, albeit a little younger. I’m off to read some more as Laura arrives at the first of her Society weddings at which she’s tasked with getting the low down on the guests for an exclusive feature in the magazine. The venue? A Victorian loo in Shoreditch!
I finished the book. It was pretty funny all the way through, the ending was good and I will read the next one – *Laura Lake and the Celebrity Meltdown due to be published in the spring of next year. However I must admit I did think it got a bit ridiculous in the end, too far fetched to be even believable but it made me laugh, and that’s the main thing.
*In the end the title for the second book of Laura Lake and the Celebrity Meltdown must have been changed to the published title of Last of the Summer Moët, a much better title I think.
♥ Happy Reading ♥