From Publishers Weekly
Fern Kendal, London bartender and underappreciated lounge crooner, wants a break as a singer. But, she asks herself in Briton Matthews's latest (after With or Without You
), how can she get her big break when she's working two jobs to help support her brother, Joe (he cares full-time for his severely asthmatic son), and to subsidize her gambling father, who takes up residence on Fern's lumpy couch. She lands a part-time job as personal assistant to Evan David, a handsome opera singer, and, not shockingly, sparks fly. She's hesitant to tell him when Carl, her high school boyfriend and current accompanist, talks her into trying out with him for the reality talent show Fame Game
(her "attempts seem so feeble compared to [Evan's]"). The show's judges ask her to appear on the show—but without Carl's accompaniment. Fern is torn between her deep friendship with Carl, her developing relationship with Evan and her quickly building career, but the knockout punch comes when Lana, a fiery Maria Callas–like diva, appears to set her sexy hooks into Evan. Matthews has a knack for snappy dialogue, though the plot twists involving Evan and Lana feel contrived. An apropos tearjerker ending caps this likable heroine's journey from lager-slinger to pop singer. (Sept.)
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Popular chick-lit author Matthews returns with one of her most winsome tales yet. -Aspiring-singer Fern Kendal has always put taking care of her family above her own ambitions. Her brother, Joe, is a single dad with a very sick child. Her feckless father has just been kicked out of the house by her mother and has come to crash at Fern's place. Her gig as a pub singer isn't enough to pay the bills, so Fern takes a second job as the assistant to handsome -opera-singer Evan David. Although Fern doesn't know a thing about opera, Evan is surprised to find himself drawn to her anyway. But when Fern gets the opportunity to compete in the talent-search show Fame Game,
she bolts, as much to escape accomplished Evan's inevitable disdain for the program as to give herself a real shot as making it as a singer. With a lovable heroine, a dashing hero, and plenty of twists and turns, Matthews' new novel has all the right ingredients. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved