I’m a bit of an audiobook enthusiast. There’s nothing better than popping in my earphones while I’m cleaning or cooking, listening while driving back and forth to work to the sounds of a perfect pitch narration. Sometimes I just sit in my car, unable to move because the book has gotten so good that I don’t want to break the spell that’s come over me, entranced I am by the characters and wondrous production.
Headliners by Lucy Parker, is the latest in the glorious London Celebrity series, a contemporary romance series that is delightful in any incantation but is brilliant on audio. Narrated by Billie Fulford-Brown, she’s been the voice of four out of five of the books, each set against the backdrop of the London entertainment scene. Each book is connected somehow–either in passing or with overlapping characters and Billie shines with her distinctive accents and personal touches for the variety of characters.
In Headliners, Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport are rival news presenters, headlining their own shows and generally being snarky to one another. Their shared apathy goes up a notch after Nick releases the news that is damaging to Sabrina’s entire family and his best friend’s family (see Austen Playbook, book 4). His own reputation takes a bit of a hit too after he is caught on camera going on a tirade against the network’s owner, Lionel Grimes. In an effort to save their careers and the morning show that’s on the rocks, network directors and producers put the two of them together for the month of December. If the two can’t get the morning show’s ratings up, they are out. Deeply competitive and driven, the two rise to the challenge. But when on-set incidents dip into their ratings and credibility, Sabrina and Nick must work together to save their show and careers.
The romance is deeply satisfying and the plot just as enticing. Sabrina is a force to behold and someone I want to be like—kind and strong and solid in her choices, if a little passionate. And Nick! I loved reading about his journey and his choices! I fell for him because of his growth, definitely.
Every time I start another Lucy Parker book, I wonder if it is possible to love the characters as much as the past book. It turns out that I love them all equally, I even find myself having a hard time deciding who is my favorite—though since I just finished Headliners, I might say Nick and Sabrina!
And Billie Fulford-Brown deserves all the awards for her performance in this series. She infuses warmth into every character so that you’re ultimately in love with them seconds into each book starts. She takes what Lucy Parker has created—charming, delightful and sexy situations and characters—and brings them to life. It is a remarkable production and one that I can’t recommend enough. I’m never sure if I sigh with happiness or longing to start another London Celebrity book when the audio finally stops because I am usually hanging on to every word by its end. New and seasoned romance readers will find much to love about these books and these audio recordings. They simply are some of the best I’ve experienced in my many hours of audiobook listening.
And if you’re not an audiobook person—please note that these books are fantastic in any format and should be binge-read if not binge-listened to. I was able to listen through a fantastic feature that my library support—-an app called Hoopla, which allows me to listen on my phone. The books are also available via Libro FM, Audible, and audio CD. Don’t miss out, you might find reasons to keep yourself busy as you fall into Lucy Parker’s irresistible world.