Published by Wild Lime Books on July 9th 2014
Genres: Women's Fiction
Jessica Banks is dragged kicking and screaming from her fabulous and carefree London life back to her hometown of Wellington, New Zealand and into the arms of her uptight mother.
She struggles to settle back in until she finds a way to bring her own version of London glamour to her new home. Things begin to look up when she meets Scott Wright, tennis coach, and possibly the hottest man on the planet - but is it a love match? Or is someone else the right man for Jessica? Someone she thought was out of her reach?
When both her best friend suddenly disappears and her high school arch nemesis rears her perfectly coifed head, Jessica‘s new life begins to unravel. Even her dearest friend, Ben, can’t protect her from her demons. She eventually realizes she needs to face her deepest, darkest fear - the fear she’s managed to successfully drown in cocktails for the last four years.
Can Jessica overcome her past and find love and happiness in unexpected places?
With Wellington - the world’s coolest little capital city and New Zealand’s answer to Hollywood - as the backdrop, Styling Wellywood: A fashionable romantic comedy is a humorous, heart warming, entertaining romp in the world of contemporary women’s chick lit romance.
I received an ecopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I love a good chick lit book from time to time and this was one I found myself thoroughly enjoying. What I loved most was the fact it takes place in New Zealand, somewhere I’ve never been, but would love to venture to one of these days. It just sounds so beautiful there!
After spending several years in London, Jessica returns home to New Zealand, somewhere she never thought she’d return to. After all, London had all of the glamour that she adored and had a faster pace than her hometown in New Zealand. Of course, reality sets in and when her visa expires, she’s left with no choice but to return home and to move in with her mother. The only thing leaving her excited to move back to Wellington, New Zealand, is the prospect of a new business. She partners up with one of her best friends to launch a styling business, which she finds herself thoroughly enjoying. but singlehandedly having to handle after her friend takes off without a warning.
While it seems Jessica will be occupied by her new job and the possibilities of a new relationship, her past can’t help but come back to haunt her. After losing a dear friend years earlier to suicide, Jessica finds herself having to face the things she once ran away from. Having to make amends with old friends and find peace and closure with herself, Jessica sets out on an adventure of self-discovery, something she didn’t think possible being in her late twenties.
I loved the ups and downs in this story and the journey Jessica found herself on when she least expected it. And while this book is a fun and light read, the fact that it tackles a few difficult real life issues makes it all the more appealing to me.
O’Keeffe has such a knack for writing her characters with such complexity, but also making them easily relatable. Jessica is such a complex character, who has quite a stubborn streak in her, yet finds herself having to face many of the skeletons she’s buried in her closet. Her voice, throughout the book, is one that is comical, yet almost as if you’re reading pages from your best friends diary. And the way in which the scenery of New Zealand is used is simply magical. I’ve always known how beautiful of a place New Zealand is, but reading about it in the way O’Keeffe describes it makes it even more so to me.
Styling Wellywood was a fun read and a spectacular debut for Kate O’Keeffe. I’m looking forward to continuing on in the Wellywood series and to see what else this author has up her sleeve.
four out of five stars