But the director of the film has other ideas – Ella is apparently the only one who can save the film from total meltdown and she, more than a little begrudgingly, steps in to ‘save the day’. Can a mere make-up artist really stop the impending disaster and does she really know what she’s let herself in for?
Kiss Like You Mean It is the latest novel from bestselling author Louise Harwood. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of her before this, but I’ll definitely be looking out for her again. I really enjoyed this book; it is a chick-lit with a twist. By that, I mean that it has all the markings of chick-lit, but it wasn’t as girly as I was expecting it to be. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but the front of this book makes it look like a typical summer read that I would read, finish and forget about. But Kiss Like You Mean It has a bit more sophistication than that. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a classic and is never going to set the world alight, but it is an enjoyable read with a little bit more depth than you expect from this genre.
I think Louise Harwood has hit gold with the basic plot of her story; the fact that it is centred on a film set means that the book has glamour and glitz a-plenty, but her real genius move is the fact that it is a war film. The serious nature of the subject means that she has been able to show a softer and more passionate side to even the most despicable of her characters. I felt that it made it a lot easier to get to know and like the characters – something that is crucial to the enjoyment of a book in my opinion.
The characters are all there – philandering leading man, cruel boss, ditzy supporting characters and a strong leading lady. Ella isn’t a goody-goody, insipid character – she has style, common sense and she can stand up for herself, but she also has modesty and a little self-doubt that makes her a really likeable character. I think Louise Harwood has created the perfect heroine for this type of story.
The fact that Harwood has chosen a war film as the centre of her story is interesting and very clever. Like I said, it brings out a serious and passionate nature to her characters which I think keeps the story from being unbelievable and too far-fetched. It is also an excellent way of bringing so many diverse characters together in one storyline. She has been able to really mix up a group of people that would clearly never usually have met and she has been successful in doing so.
I only have one criticism of the book and it didn’t really impair my enjoyment of it, but I think it’s worth mentioning. The ending seemed to come about a little too quickly. Harwood spent a lot of time building up the story and relationships but then seemed to run out of pages to get the ending in. It didn’t seem rushed so much as not quite in keeping with the pace of the rest of the story. It is only a small fault though, because it didn’t stop me from really enjoying the book.
I would highly recommend book and I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for her other books.