Book review: Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

20 Jun

love like the moviesKenzi Shaw knows the plot of her life down to the last line – the career she’s building as an up-and-coming marketing exec, the gorgeous fiancé (Bradley) she’ll marry in a fairytale wedding, the children they’ll raise in her dream home. But when heart-breaking ex Shane comes back into her life, life starts going off the script . . .

Shane tries to win Kenzi over by re-enacting all the rom-com movies they used to watch together – Sleepless in Seattle, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing to name a few. He’s just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again. But has he really changed? Not only is her head in a spin over Shane, but now her job is on the line. And with her perfect sister-in-law showing up every tiny thing Kenzi does wrong, she feels like she’s permanently in the corner.

Should she risk her sensible life for the chance of a Happy Ever After? One thing’s certain, when Shane meets Kenzi (again), she’s suddenly not so sure who her leading man is . . .

Love Like the Movies is an absolute treat for fans of romantic comedies in both book and film forms! I love the way Victoria Van Tiem has incorporated so many little movie facts and snippets into her plot. Each chapter title is a take on a classic romantic film and with titles like, ‘How to Lose Your Mind in Five Days’, ‘Dangerous Dancing’ and ‘Confessions of a Rom-com-aholic’ you can see straight away how much fun this book is.

Leading lady Kenzi Shaw really is starring in her own rom-com (although I’m sure Kenzi wouldn’t see it that way for much of the book!) She’s surrounded by classic rom-com characters;  the sensible, handsome family approved fiancé who contrasts brilliantly to the gorgeous, talented but slightly rough around the edges, English ex who broke Kenzi’s heart when she was at college. Then there’s the high maintenance and uptight sister in law who outdoes Kenzi on every front, the best ‘frenemy’ and the true best friend. Not to mention the slightly distant mum and the heart of gold Dad.

The characters are instantly recognisable from rom-com plots and that makes them easy to get to know and to side with or against but as with any good chickflick, there are some twists along the way and the cast of Love Like the Movies have some excellent surprises up their sleeves!

As Kenzi’s ex Shane chooses her agency to come up with the design and concept for his new restaurant, he gives Kenzi a list of ten movies he wants as part of his concept and the idea is that she will live ‘Love Like the movies’ with him to create the campaign. I loved seeing Kenzi act out her movie moments with Shane. From what could be clichéd, the plot is actually very original and a whole lot of fun as Shane and Knzi bounce lines of each other and Kenzi’s indecision between Shane and Bradley gives a nice edge.

Who hasn’t dreamed of acting out the dress shop scene from Pretty Woman or learning to dance like Baby and Johnny? Victoria Van Tiem gives us classic movie scenes with a twist and they work really well within the plot. This book features some of my absolute favourite movies including My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sleepless in Seattle and How to Lose A Guy in Ten Days. It’s quirky, funny and its soooo romantic it deserves to be made into a movie itself.

A quick fun read perfect for giving you that feelgood rom-com buzz!


Love Like the Movies is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank Pan Macmillan for sending me a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Victoria Van Tiem and her writing at:

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