Reviewed by Susan Lobban
Life in New York is like living on a real life movie set and romcom fan Beth has always hoped that some of that movie magic will one day happen to her. However, she has nothing in common with Meg Ryan and her long time boyfriend is no Tom Hanks. Over the years any silver screen romance Beth and Danny had, has faded with time and neither know quite how to recapture it.
One morning at work Beth receives an unusual delivery of a piping hot coffee just the way she likes it with a cryptic message scribbled inside! The inscription rings a bell faintly but then Beth’s exhaustive film knowledge kicks in and she knows exactly where she must go. This is just the start of a scavenger hunt that will take Beth around New York stopping at famous movie landmarks along the way. Beth needs to concentrate on her love life not run around on a wild goose chase but surely just one more clue won’t hurt.
A few years ago I visited New York and as it was my first visit my whole itinerary consisted of movie related stops. My poor husband even had to visit the Starbucks Tom Hanks regularly frequented in You’ve Got Mail. To him it was just another coffee shop but to me it was a big deal. Everywhere you walk you are surrounded by movie reminders and in this book Melissa Hill has managed to convey this perfectly. The streets of New York are steeped in cinematic history and I loved that this romantic read was overflowing with real life references. New York, movies and romance. What’s not to love? It certainly makes for reading heaven.
When Beth receives a mysterious message inside a coffee cup I took great pride in working them out with her. As the hunt progressed I racked my own encyclopedic film knowledge to see if I could beat her to the answer. Beth was a wonderful character and is one that will resonate with a lot of readers, who don't want more romance in their life. I had my fingers crossed that things would work out for her and I was just as surprised as her with the twists and turns her story took. Just when you thought you knew which way Beth was headed she was lead down a different path.
The Love of a Lifetime encapsulates the perfect romcom movie in the pages of a book. As an added bonus there is a festive backdrop. The main focus, however, is love with a hint of intrigue not Christmas – so no need to save it until December to unwrap this gift of a read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves New York or even the idea of it. Although be warned, buying this book could be costly as you will instantly want to buy a ticket to the Big Apple too!
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