This is the fourth novel by Matt Howard. He has had a different publisher for each of his novels and seems to be quite fascinated with operation of the industry. He writes about the publishing industry, the characters and workings of publishing with quite an ironic tone. This story deals with a young woman, who lives in London and has self-published several romantic stories. Monica, her family and a few minor characters form the core of this story.
It is set in London, where Monica lives a rather solitary life. A tragedy has affected all members of her happy and close family, resulting in her parents separating, and Monica and her sister Dianne drifting apart from a close relationship. Dianne’s husband works for the famous publishing company Wyatt Dean, and perhaps this has helped to draw attention to Monica’s writing.
Xavier, an editor, has been chosen to work with the budding author, and perfect her style for book sales. Monica is a hoarder, and Xavier is a minimalist. This causes quite a few amusing situations, as both are open minded and aware. Monica gives Xavier a gift for helping her, and Xavier panics as he doesn’t have a shelf to hold the vase she has offered.
We follow several of the characters through a short period of time and it is quite interesting to see how situations in their life arise and how they deal with them. Dianne has developed an acid tongue and quick wit and has no idea of how unkind she is until she overhears her tennis friend discussing her. Jamie is related to Monica and Dianne and is a gorgeous character. He is a dreamer and an individual. When applying for a job at the publishing company he gives some amazing answers to the HR prepared questions.
Along with the interesting characters, the drama that Dianne has to sort out, and the accidental fame that is opened up for Monica and Jamie, the humour carries the story along well. There is also the possibility of a romance for Xavier, and closer relations between Monica and Dianne. A satisfying and interesting read.