Review: Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

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It’s rare to read a book that touches you on so many levels. LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES is more than a rom-com; it’s about love, life and choices–the ones we make and the ones that are forced upon us. And courage, of course.

Kensington Shaw finally has the boyfriend that’s guaranteed to win her battles with her family. Bradley Connors is the one…or so she thinks until her ex, Shane Bennett, comes back into her life. To secure her job, she has to make nice with Shane (who’s hiring her agency), and if it includes living–acting out–movie moments with him, then she’s game. But what happens when these scenes reach inside to rediscover the girl who’s been hiding beneath all these years?

From the first page, you know Kenzi’s going to be a great heroine—gutsy, funny, the kind we root for, the kind we can relate to. We see her family situation through her eyes, and wish there was someone who sees her, who values her for who she is. Maybe even herself. She’s been cruising along, maybe a little lost, until the moment when she’s jerked back to full wakefulness with Shane’s re-appearance. Throughout the story, we see her change and grow, not only in terms of her choices regarding her romantic partner, but also in her relationship with her family, most notably her mom and sister-in-law.

Shane, Shane, oh my! I think this book is spoiling us for real life. Really, how many men out there are like Shane? Hot and romantic. Super romantic. Did I mention romantic? Only a romantic guy would even think about re-enacting movie moments…oh, maybe I’m wrong, the correct term should be: a romantic guy who loves her, because he knows she loves rom-com movies and can recite all the lines. I love how he gets her, how he encourages her to be herself, and the way he shows his love for her. I can just imagine the yummy British accent. I swoon at the Love, Actually scene and the one at the end–the grand gesture. Oh, let me go read it again… Makes me want to watch all those movies again. Kenzi is one very lucky girl.

What makes this book fun to read is the author’s writing style–clear and smooth, with a dry wit. She also knows how to time things perfectly to get the most impact or laugh-out-loud laughter. Another fun factor was the movie reference, and while there are some I haven’t watched, I wasn’t lost at all, as the author gave a short, relevant summary when referencing it. The movies were a living, breathing thing, almost as good as another character. But while they pepper the heroine’s life, they weren’t obtrusive and instead underscore the magic that’s been missing. It was fun to watch them re-enact the movie moments and apply it to their own situation.

I finished the book in two days, yet I wish it didn’t have to end at all. I’d love to see more of Kenzi and Shane, and what other movie moments they’d get to live together. (Maybe Life As We Know It?)

My review probably doesn’t do this book justice. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed reading this story a lot. I laughed, I cried, I almost didn’t sleep! Victoria Van Tiem is an author to watch. She has a winner in this debut novel, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Highly recommended and a must read!

Rating: 5 stars

The Romance Review

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Summary:

In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.

What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

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