Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins | #BookReview #RomanticComedy

In Marlowe Banks, Redesigned, Jacqueline Firkins wonderfully captures the messiness of failure, forgiveness, and embracing a second chance on life and love.

Marlowe Banks’s life has come apart at the seams. Her engagement ended abruptly. Her latest costume design was shredded by critics. Her student loans are overdue. Her parents have never been more disappointed. Desperate to hide from her failures, Marlowe flees New York City to embrace invisibility in Los Angeles as a menial Production Assistant on a popular TV show. While sorting socks and taking care of her boss’ spoiled Weimaraner, no one can confront her poor artistic choices or the end of her engagement, the end her ex refuses to accept.

When a costume mix-up requires Marlowe to step into in a scene, the camera catches a heated look between her and Angus Gordon, the show’s arrogant bad boy, thrusting Marlowe into the spotlight. As the pair is forced together on set, Marlowe learns she’s not the only one hiding. Walls come down for both of them, revealing a life Marlowe isn’t sure she’s ready for, and when her past comes calling, she has to decide if she’s going to stay invisible or if it’s time for a redesign.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins is a romantic comedy about a young costume designer trying to make her mark in the television industry after a failed experience in the theater.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):

This story sounds very much like one I would enjoy. I love a little glitz and glam plus depth in my romantic comedies, and this one seems to have both.

Actual Reading Experience:

I loved that this is a character-driven story. This gave the story a depth I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a romcom, especially considering the setting. And the characters are so relatable and flawed that their story is exciting and quickly leads me from start to finish. The support characters, too, are so unique that they charmed me. I think they are exactly what I would expect to see in Hollywood but with some twists to their personal story that made them the individuals they are.

I also loved learning more about what happens on the production side of a television show. I’ve always wondered about the more business aspect, which also has its creative components, so getting this backstage look felt completely authentic was interesting.

The use of social media in this story is very compelling. It shows how Twitter and the trends fans create on Twitter can influence decisions made by producers of television shows. I’ve noticed this happening in real life, so that aspect of the book intrigued me very much.

There are a few steamy love scenes, but only a couple, and I did not notice them ever crossing the line into crudeness. I’ll admit, I fast-forwarded through most of those few scenes but still caught the gist that they are very romantic-type scenes rather than down and dirty.

Characters:

Marlowe Banks is a mess – literally and figuratively. She left her fiancé and New York behind when a failed costuming job left her no choice but to try her luck in Hollywood. She is full of self-doubt and even some self-loathing, which makes believing in herself and standing up for herself all but impossible. But she is a talented designer and needs to find that inner strength she lacks to pick herself back up, dust herself off, and try again.

Angus Gordon is a famous actor on a popular tv show. He is known as a bad boy with a different woman in his trailer daily. And when he first

bumps into Marlowe, he lives up to his reputation and then some. But the more she gets to know him, the more confusing the real Angus becomes, as all the pieces don’t add up.

I loved the whole fantasy versus reality theme that goes into developing these characters. Hollywood is such a land of fantasy that many of us lesser mortals don’t stop to wonder if the gossip and image based on gossip are real or just part of the fantasy. This story shows that the reality behind the fantasy is often much different than we would expect.

Narration & Pacing:

The pacing is very fast from start to finish. I flew through this book, and it kept my focus, which is often a challenge with any story. The narration is in the third person, which I think works great. If it had been in the first person with Marlowe as the narrator, the reader could get too bogged down in her self-doubt and insecurities, which would slow down the pace and made for a less enjoyable reading experience.

Setting:

The setting of this story is Hollywood, mainly focusing on the television studio and surrounding area. I loved that I was given a backstage pass into this little talked-about world of what goes on behind the stage (so to speak). I think it’s great to see how hard it is to get even the less glamorous positions in Hollywood and all that goes into them.

Read if you like:

  • Stories about bouncing back from failure
  • A backstage look at what goes on in the production of a tv show
  • Enemies to Friends to Lovers love story
  • Witty banter
  • Great character development and a character-driven story
  • Slow-burn love story
  • Fast-paced story

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Originality5
Writing Quality8
Pace10
Character Development8
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness8
World-Building / Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5 point system.

20 Replies to “Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins | #BookReview #RomanticComedy”

    1. She really did, though I’m kind of glad it wasn’t in first-person. Being in her head in the first part of the book might have been trying.

      Like

    1. It’s so relatable with the theme of picking yourself up after a failure. I think we’ve all been through that at least once in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

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