California Dreamers – Belinda Jones

“Ever wished you could make-over your life? Make-up artist Stella is an expert at helping other people change their images, but when it comes to transforming herself, she doesn’t even know where to start. So when her new friend, glamorous Hollywood actress Marina Ray, summons her a movie set in California, Stella can’t resist the chance to start afresh – it is the land of sunshine and opportunity after all!”

The description for this book says it’s the ‘perfect escapist read’ – and I couldn’t agree more. With California Dreamers, Belinda Jones has created a fun, fresh and original novel, which is hard to do in the romance genre. Stella Conway is the ex-girlfriend of Navy member Jonathan, touching upon a theme largely unexplored in the world of chick-lit. When she accompanies Marina to California she sets her sights on Milo Vallis, which seems like a set-up for a very predictable ending – but isn’t.

Belinda weaves pop-cult references and witty dialogue into this fast-paced, well-written novel. In a typical find-the-best-in-everyone uplifting book style, we see that Marina (notorious diva) and Orla (uber-tanned, short-skirted Milo groupie) aren’t as bad as others – or first impressions – make out. The part where Stella organises a reunion for couples separated by the Navy will put a smile on your face and a little warmth into your heart. I can tell that California Dreamers will sit on my bookshelf for years and will be my first port of call for a fun, light-hearted read.

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the review copy.

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