I read Melanie Blake's previous novel, "The Thunder Girls", and absolutely loved it. Again drawing from her extensive experience in the entertainment industry, Melanie constructs a fast paced, enthralling, sensual and explosive novel about the world of soap opera. It's a soap opera about a soap opera, if you will.
There are a lot - and I mean a lot - of characters to get your head around, so make sure you keep a bookmark by the cast list at the front of the book.
"Falcon Bay" is one of Britain's longest running soaps, but it is falling sharply in popularity. The showrunners know desperately that they need to do some major work to get them back on top.
Enter the new network owner - Madeline Kane. A glamourous, sharp, clever woman from America, she is there to ensure the show gets back on top. Her ideas include a live Christmas day show, a horrifying prospect logistically, but something that will certainly get everyone's tongues wagging - which is what the show needs.
There's not too much I can reveal without spoilers - the amount of twists and turns dropped throughout the novel are impressive and rather a lot to keep up with. However, I can guarantee that the dynamics of the characters, both on and off set, make it an entertaining and somewhat suspenseful read as it reaches the finale of the novel.
However, there is something I should add that is somewhat spoilery but I won't reveal the context of it. One of the characters is revealed to be a transwoman, which I was initially worried about as there are too many instances in which the state of someone's transition is the butt of a joke. However, Melanie handles this situation really well, and the reveal of the character's transition has valid reasoning. It is not treated unkindly - it is normalised.
If you are a fan of rom coms and soap operas, then this novel is perfect for you.