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Love Like the Movies
     

Love Like the Movies

4.5 9
by Victoria Van Tiem
 
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.

What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing?

Overview

In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.

What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2015-06-08
Wish fulfillment ranks No. 1 in this romance inspired by a top 10 list of classic romantic comedies.After years of playing the black sheep, Kensington Shaw is finally a leading lady with a man her parents can appreciate. Bradley Connors is handsome and dependable, and Kenzi is sure he'll make a wonderful father. There's only one problem: she's still in love with her ex-boyfriend, Shane Bennett, who happens to be her new client at the advertising agency where she and Bradley work. Shane makes a poor first impression when he hijacks Kenzi's presentation in front of her boss—especially when he suggests that her agency might not be the best match for his movie theater and restaurant chain. But an odd, secret clause in his contract requiring Kenzi to act out her favorite scenes from romantic movies brings out his softer side. Scenes from Sleepless in Seattle (1993), You've Got Mail (1998), and other films weave fluidly through the plot as Kenzi puts the events of her real life in the context of her fantasies. With Pretty Woman (1990), for example, Kenzi skips the part about being picked up on a street corner, but she and Shane have a wonderful moment in a shop and another at the symphony that evoke Julia Roberts at her most graceful. What's fun about these scenes is that the shopkeepers and other strangers recognize Shane's attempts at chivalry while Kenzi tries to play it cool for the sake of her fiance, thus validating her conflicted feelings. In the process, Kenzi's movies help her deal with the resentment she feels for her own family. In one wicked scene, for example, she exacts revenge on her competitive sister-in-law, Ren, in the style of 27 Dresses (2008) after Ren steals her engagement-news thunder. It takes quite a few movies for Kenzi to sort out who's Colin Firth or Hugh Grant to her Bridget Jones.Rom-com fans will love the way this novel's film references transform into an original, heartwarming love story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476763682
Publisher:
Pocket Star
Publication date:
02/24/2014
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,209,028
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Love Like the Movies

CHAPTER ONE



Almost Thirty, Flirty and Thriving

WHEN I WAS NINE, I fired my mom. I simply wrote in bright red marker “you are fired.” I also drew a smiling daisy and a frog.

Okay, the flower was firing the frog and the words were in a cartoon speech bubble above its head. But if you looked really close you’d see Mom’s favorite necklace around the frog’s neck.

It was my satirical debut.

Sadly, that still didn’t get her attention. It was tossed into the kitchen drawer with all the others; the penguin I sketched from a photo, the cat I spent days on to get just right, even the butterfly with my art teacher’s handwritten note of “wonderful, such talent!”

Today, however, I don’t have to worry about getting Mom to take notice. The sparkly diamond wrapped around my left ring finger all but guarantees it. Bradley’s a complete catch. Blond, brawny, and refined, and he wants to marry me. I’m going to be Mrs. Kensington Connors. My insides flutter just thinking about it.

So why am I so nervous? Bradley catches me admiring my ring, flashes me a reassuring smile, and takes my hand as he opens the front door. He knows how anxious I get around my family and how excited I am to finally show them the ring and start planning the wedding.

We make our way into the kitchen, where Mom and Ren are cooking away. The aroma of sickly sweet pastries instantly fills my nose. I try to ignore the familiar pang in my gut. Instead of a confident twenty-nine-year-old, I’m thirteen again and desperate to win their approval.

“Hi,” I say with a nervous smile. Bradley gives Mom a kiss on the cheek and waves hello to Ren. He gives a quick wink my way before heading toward the sitting room, where Dad and my brother, Grayson, are discussing health care loudly enough that I can hear pieces of the conversation.

Mom sets the batter bowl down and wipes her hands on her apron. “There she is! We never see her anymore, do we, Ren?” She says this like I’m the visitor instead of the one who grew up here. She reaches to me for a hug.

“Hi, Mom.” It’s a quick squeeze. I notice she’s in one of her casual Jackie O sheath dresses with a shabby-chic apron tied around the front, and Ren is . . . wow, she’s wearing about the same thing. They’re like mother-daughter twins. I’m suddenly a tad envious. I want to yell, Get your own mom! But I know she lost hers when she was young, and I should understand.

“Hi, Kensington, you’re looking well,” says Ren with an abbreviated smile. No hug. She eyes my brand-new Coach bag. The one I saved up for. “I saw those were out. Everyone seems to have them already. I’ve got my eye on the new Burberry satchel.”

I smile and nod my acknowledgment that yes, she still reigns supreme.

“So let’s see. Give us a look,” Mom says, waving to my hand.

I feel the swell of a victory in my chest; a small win on the horizon for Team Kenzi. Yes, sadly I keep track. To date, I’ve never come out ahead. The overall standing looks something like this:

Team Ren: Two hundred and seventy-five.

Team Mom and Dad: I’ve lost count.

Team Grayson: Forty-five exactly. Although, since I’ve been with Bradley, he’s not as critical.

Team Kenzi: Four. And that’s including today.

Four check marks for a lifetime of coming in second. I was on the homecoming court, but not the queen. I graduated in the top ten of my class, but I wasn’t valedictorian like Grayson. I’m creative director at a prominent ad agency, but it’s not a serious profession like medicine. My dad, Grayson, and Ren are all doctors.

My first real win was when I brought Bradley home to meet everyone. They worship him. In fact, he fits into my family of Kennedy wannabes better than I do. The second mark is from staying together past a year. The third, from when Bradley and I got engaged this past week. And now, this mega-ring is a surefire winner to rack in my number four.

I hold my hand out so the light from the kitchen window gleams off it, creating the most perfect sparkle.

Ren pulls my hand up to take a better look. “Oh! It’s stellar, Kensington. Bradley is just too good to you.”

What she really means is Bradley is too good for me. At this exact second I’m proud of Bradley for being able to afford such a quality piece and having such refined taste. It doesn’t matter if it’s not my personal taste. It’s from Tiffany’s, it’s huge, and it hits all the marks.

Ren flinches. “Oh, you should really get those nails done, though. With so much attention on that hand, you don’t want the presentation marred by unkempt cuticles. You owe that to Bradley.”

Ding. Team Ren: Two hundred and seventy-six.

She digs in her bag, pulls out a business card, and hands it to me. “Here, call and ask for Cindy. She’s fab.”

“Yes, we just went for a girls’ day, see?” Mom holds her pink polished nails out to me and wiggles them. I notice Ren’s are the same shade of pale pink.

Girls’ day. Without me.

I admire them and smile. “They look great. I’ll be sure to call. So, what do you think, Mom? Bradley did good, right?” I ask, hopeful to lock in the check mark. I know it’s pathetic.

“Oh, yes, dear. Bradley did wonderfully.” Smiling, Mom directs Ren to grab some blueberries from the fridge and again busies herself with the batter.

“Do you need me to do something?” I ask, feeling a bit out of place. “I could set the table or start bringing dishes out?”

“No, we’ve got this down to a science, don’t we, Mother Shaw?” Ren crinkles her nose at Mom.

For a moment, I just stand and nervously fiddle with my ring. I guess that’s it. Round one of the Shaw Sunday brunch is officially complete. I’m sure we’ll talk about wedding plans over lunch. Of course we will. No way will I let this be shoved in a drawer.

Why didn’t I get my nails done?

I wander up the stairs and head for my old room, which was completely gutted and is now Mom’s scrapbook studio. A huge square project table was constructed to look like the one from Pottery Barn, but this one is on steroids with a million drawers and cubbies, each filled with different sticky letters and embellishments. The only me left in the room now resides on the closet’s top shelf in a fabric zip box marked Kensington.

With a sigh, I fish out my phone and click on the Facebook app. I’m always peeking at my phone to see what people are up to. Then I compare it to what I’m doing, or not doing, and it makes me think of what I should be doing. The thing is . . . I don’t really end up doing anything different. I just lose hours of my life doing it.

Since we only told our families about the engagement over the phone, I’ve been waiting until after today to officially announce it. And it’s killing me.

Two new friend requests. I click the icon and accept the first one, a girl I know from the gym. I freeze over the second. No way. I bring the phone closer, staring at the tiny photo icon. My chest constricts. It can’t be. Oh my God. It is.

It’s Shane.

Shane Bennett.

The same Shane Bennett who ripped my heart out after four years together. Now he wants to be friends?

Seriously?

A swell of emotion wells up inside. No tears, though. I’ve shed my tears for him, hundreds, maybe thousands of them. What I’m feeling now are only aftershocks of hurt that surface anytime I stumble upon a reminder of him. Little ripples of what once was.

He moved to the Midwest from England to live with his grandparents for high school and stayed on for college. That’s where we met. I don’t remember why, but we started talking and never stopped. We were always together. He was all attitude and messy hair. I loved his hair.

He was my first real love. My first real heartbreak. My first real everything.

I glance at my Kensington box in the closet. It should really be labeled Kensington and Shane. Every card that passed between us and all our little mementos are securely locked inside. I walk over and stand on my toes to jab at it until I have a good grip and pull it down. There’s one photo I’m desperate to see. I used to have it in a frame next to my bed; it’s how I remember him.

Placing the box on the project table, I unzip the top slowly, as if the memories I’ve trapped could somehow escape.

I push through the loose contents, searching. Cards are stacked and tied together with string. A terry wristband is lying loose. I lift it to my nose and inhale. The scent of him is long gone, but the memory of me wearing it while I slept isn’t. I set it down and wade through the photos.

My mouth presses into a hard line when I spot it. Shane’s leaning against the wall with his collar popped and his notebook hanging low in his hand. That’s the face I said good night to, the one that greeted me in the morning, and the one I missed for so long.

Looking between the old photo and his Facebook profile picture, I compare them. Same wavy dark hair. Same honey-brown eyes. Same Shane.

He’s older. But it’s definitely him.

A heavy sigh blows out. Why didn’t he tell me it was all a lie? I would’ve believed him. I wanted things to stay the same. I wanted him. But he didn’t say anything, just that he was sorry. And that it wasn’t something he could explain because—

“Kenzi?” It’s my Aunt Greta.

“I’m in here,” I say, throwing the photo inside the box and replacing the lid. Quickly, I zip it up and toss it back on the shelf.

“Thought I’d find you up here. They’re ready to eat.”

She has on dark jeans and a billowy white tunic. A turquoise necklace brings out the blue in her eyes and pops her newly red locks.

“Like the hair,” I say and smile, quickly clicking my phone off.

Aunt Greta flips her shoulder-length curls. “Your mom hates it. Says it draws too much attention.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Isn’t that the point?”

She laughs a warm, deep laugh. “It’s a bonus.”

I’m not sure if she means that it’s a bonus because it bothers my mom or that it gets attention. Most likely both. Aunt Greta is considered the black sheep, the unconventional one, because she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. She’s one notch below me, the never-get-it-right-but-at-least-she-tries hen in the Shaw family pecking order.

She pulls my hand out to admire the ring and whistles. “Wow. That had to cost a mint. What’d Renson say?”

Aunt Greta’s the only one who knows my nickname for the Ren and Grayson super duo. I grin and stifle a laugh.

She smiles. “Trust me, she’ll have additional stones fitted on her band next time you see her.” Releasing my hand, she nods toward the door. “Come on, might as well get this shindig started.”

Trailing behind, I fish out my phone again. I still don’t know why Shane would contact me now, after all this time. Wait. The friend request is gone.

Where’s the request?

A knot forms in my stomach. I tap on the app so my profile wall pops up. It reads, “Kenzi Shaw is now friends with Shane Bennett and one other person.” What?

AUNT GRETA’S LATEST BOY TOY is called Finley. He seems nice enough, but I don’t bother to get to know him, because he won’t be here for the next brunch go-round. He shows far too much interest in Ren, who is politely ignoring his nonstop questions about her culture.

“Ren’s from Chicago, Fin,” Aunt Greta says with a stern, enough-already look.

“So how’s the hospital been treating you, Grayson? Were you able to use the 3-D video to assist with the thorascopey?” Dad asks as he adds hot sauce to his eggs.

Grayson pauses with his empty glass in the air. “You know, I did get my hands on it last week. It’s an effective tool. I’m suggesting to the board that we invest.”

“Good, good,” Dad says and passes some sausage-rolled pancake things to Ren.

“Anything exciting over in Pediatrics?” he asks her and takes back the serving plate.

“Oh, well, there’s always something of interest when working with children,” Ren says with a smile.

Dad nods his agreement, manages a few more bites, and turns to Finley. “So, Finley, what do you do?”

Bradley piles two more sausages on his plate and waves Mom away when she tries to add a few pancakes.

“Bradley doesn’t eat carbs, Mom,” I remind her.

Finley sits up and clears his throat. “Well, sales. Phones now. I’ve always worked in sales of some sort.”

“Good, good,” Dad says. “Bradley’s the sales manager at Safia downtown, biggest ad agency in Indianapolis. Handles all my media buys.” Dad owns a medical spa here in the Village, where you can have Botox, a lip plump, and a plastic surgeon consultation, all under one roof. It makes no sense to me that he and my mom are so proud of Bradley for his position, but mine as a creative director is considered frivolous. We’re at the same agency and both hold titles.

Bradley nods and waves his fork to make a point. “That reminds me, I have some numbers crunched for the Channel Six afternoon blitz we talked about.”

I wait for Bradley to finish talking about when housewives with 2.3 kids in private school and a disposable income over six figures watch television. I outwardly nod and smile, but inside I’m bubbling with excitement, impatient to discuss our wedding plans.

Aunt Greta winks at me and interrupts Bradley’s long-winded ramble. “Kensington, have you two set a date yet?”

All eyes turn to me. I beam. I’m up. This is it. My stomach turns cartwheels.

Bradley grabs my hand and flashes a warm smile. “No firm plans as of yet, but maybe next spring? What do you think?”

“Maybe,” I say brightly at the thought. “Spring could be really nice—”

“Oh! I can’t stand it anymore. Guess what will be here next spring as well?” Ren blurts out the question with an unusual amount of bubble in her voice. “A baby! We’re pregnant!”

“Oh! Oh my goodness!” Mom squeals and is up running around the table. Her arms wrap both Ren and Grayson in an awkward bear hug. “She’s pregnant! I’m going to be Grandma Shaw!”

Everyone’s yelling and clapping. It’s like Vegas when the slot machine hits.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Team Ren: Two hundred and seventy-seven. No, three hundred! Five hundred! It’s too many to count. She’s hit the frickin’ jackpot!

My dad’s going on about being called Grandpa. Grayson explains they couldn’t put off kids forever, what with Ren being twenty-nine and all. I mean, my God, she’s almost thirty. Even Finley is pumping my dad’s hand in congratulations. Mom yells over to me that I have no time to waste, that Bradley and I had better have a quick wedding to get things moving.

Aunt Greta looks at me and gives me an “I know, honey” kind of look. I force a half-smile to show her it’s nothing. I mean, of course I’m happy for them.

A baby.

It is the jackpot.

I’m not thirty yet, so there’s still time.

Glancing at my engagement ring, I imagine a new you’re fired sign in thick red marker. This time it’s for my sister-in-law. No flowers or frogs for her.

She already has a baby.

WE DIDN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT the wedding.

I toss my bag on my kitchen counter, peel off my coat, and head to the fridge for wine. It’s been a long day. Instead of feeling excited and happy, I’m drained. Thoughts of today’s Shaw family brunch, Shane’s sudden reappearance, and Ren’s big announcement are swirling around in my head making me dizzy.

A bottle of white is opened and chilled, so I pour a glass. Bradley prefers the good stuff, but keeps my apartment well stocked with the less expensive sweet wine because he knows I like it. I take a sip and lean against the counter, letting the fruity blend push down the lump that’s been stuck in my throat.

A baby is big news. It’s the first grandchild. I’m sure after the shock wears off Mom will want to discuss the wedding and help me with all the details. Of course she will. I’m her only daughter and there’s so much to do: find a dress, pick a venue—we don’t even have a date yet.

She did like the ring.

I hold up my hand to admire it. What’s not to like? It sparkles and radiates all the four Cs: clarity, cut, consistency, and carats. Maybe I should include one more. Crazy. Because I don’t like it.

Well, I mean, I like it—it’s just not the ring I would have chosen. It’s traditional and really big. Maybe a little too big. My mouth lifts up in a smile because Bradley says I’m worth it.

The ring doesn’t matter anyway, it’s beautiful and I’m happy. I’m getting married and one step closer to starting a family. Bradley wants lots of kids, a whole football team. I’d be happy with one. Maybe two.

At least one girl.

Staring blankly, I imagine ballet classes and dance recitals. I could be a class mom and help with costumes. I once made my doll a tutu from the petticoat of one of my dresses. I remember Mom screaming because it was from some hoity-toity designer. I wonder if my daughter will be born with hair? Bradley was bald, and I barely had enough to clip a bow in. Mom had to tape it to my head.

Ren will probably have a girl.

It’s fine. I’m next. There’s time.

Finishing my wine, I promptly pour another glass. I do this after every Shaw family brunch, torturing myself with my tally of mental check marks to see how I’ve stacked up to my family’s expectations. I never win. I’m not sure why I thought today would be any different.

One more long drink to fortify myself, and I walk over and sit at my desk, logging in to Facebook.

I held off for a whole fifteen minutes.

My heart beats a little faster as I type “Shane Bennett” in the search box. Small sparks of excitement flutter around inside as his face appears, listed as one of my friends. All grown up. But did he really grow up? Shane had big ideas, but lacked follow-through. He barely made it to class. In fact, I did a lot of his papers.

I take another drink and study his photo. His hair is still in loose, messy waves, although it’s shorter. He has the beginning of scruff across his jaw. There’s a hint of a smile.

God, he’s still gorgeous. It’s frickin’ annoying.

The demon plan I’ve hatched includes posting several photos of my uber-ring, random posts about how wonderfully happy and successful I am, then after a few days—I need to make sure he’s had time to see it all—I’ll delete him.

Again.

Forever.

Goodbye.

I blow a wayward strand of hair from my face. Tonya, a girl we hung out with and I now work with, was the one who found out he’d cheated. I didn’t want to believe her, but when I questioned him about it, his face did that thing where the expression doesn’t quite match the words, and inside, I knew. I could feel it.

After that, when he tried to explain, I wouldn’t listen. Then he left for the UK to work with his dad, and I was left here alone. It was done.

We were done.

I sigh. I’m done. I log off and change.

My mind’s reeling with babies and Shane Bennett. I need to settle. We have a big presentation at work tomorrow. Bradley wants us well rested and ready. But I’m not resting, well or otherwise.

I burrow into my pillow and pull my covers up. If Bradley were here, I’d at least be warm. He’s like my own personal furnace and my feet are cold. I should’ve let him stay over, but I told him I wasn’t feeling well. I’m really not. My heart’s sitting in my stomach.

In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner’s character, Jenna, wishes to be thirty and with wishing dust she wakes to find she is, and her life is everything she’d hoped for. Until she digs in deeper and discovers it came with a price. But she gets a do-over.

Where’s my do-over?

I’m almost thirty and my life is . . . what? Everything it’s supposed to be, but still it’s not good enough. I’m not good enough. Fighting back tears, I stare at the ceiling. Today was supposed to be one of those special moments you always remember. The big feel-good scenes like you see in the movies. Where the dad can’t believe his little girl is really getting married and the mom sheds happy tears.

Instead, I’m the only one with tears, and my moment ended up on the cutting room floor.

Meet the Author

Victoria Van Tiem is an author, artist, black belt, mom of two, wife of one, and reluctant caretaker of their pot-bellied pig, Pobby. When she’s not writing, she indulges in her two favorite pastimes: a good book and a romantic movie.

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Love Like the Movies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
eBook_Addict More than 1 year ago
I received this novel in exchange for my honest opinion, and I absolutely adored this novel! This novel tells the story of Kensington Shaw and her love for romantic comedy films, and her journey to love. Her ex-boyfriend, Shane Bennett comes back into her life, years after dumping her, but this poses a problem for Kenzi. For one, she's newly engaged to her current boyfriend, Bradley; her family absolutely loves him. Kenzi is also assigned to work on a project for Shane, that was inspired by her and her love for romantic films. Although I never saw most of the films on the list of films that Shane came up with, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I loved the twists in this novel and thought the "movie scenes" were absolutely cute! Although I was sort of hoping for a more detailed ending (with one of the twists), I loved this novel!
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
Love Like the Movies, Victoria Van Tiem. Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews I enjoyed this read, made me laugh and the ending was just perfect for a romantic like me... I'm a reader, rarely watch TV but Him Indoors is a real film addict, especially old films. An Affair to Remember is one of his Classics, so I know lots of snippets from films, even though I don't watch them. This book is peppered with quotes and scenes from films, and especially that one and Pretty Woman, which even I have watched! I loved the way Shane took those beautiful moments from their past, linked them to films and used them to remind Kensington of their past, of who she used to be, what she's left behind....it was clear he still loved her and she'd never really mentally let him go. He passed her friends TFT ( tummy flip test) even though her fiance Bradley didn't. But Bradley loved her, her family loved him and it was time she got marreid and had a family...wasn't it? It plays out really well, I had some first impressions of her family that changed as we got to know them better, I didn't like Bradley but didn't know what had been going on with him, although as the story continued and there were clues I began to suspect...Victoria has a way of presenting people and themes, and then changing them around so I learned that Ren wasn't as she seemed, that Kensingtons parents were't quite as uninterested in her as they seemed, that Bradley – well...you'll find out. Shane, ah he was great, I loved the way he organised things, loved the restaurant scene even though that's a film I don't know...loved the dirty dancing bit ( daughter's fav film since she was a child), loved the paintball part :-) that really made me laugh. It's a fun read, with a good solid romance, and people who feel real, flawed as we all are, every office has its people just as they are here, some good, some all out for themselves, some who just want to take what others have. Stars: I'm hovering...not quite a five, bit more than a four, four and a half. ARC supplied via Netgalley
csingh More than 1 year ago
I'll admit this book had me at the blurb. The fact that it tied romance, comedy, and some of my favorite movies together was too good to pass up. I'd been hankering for a funny romantic read like this one for a long time. After all, at one time or another, we've all thought about the one that got away reentering our lives and trying to win us back with extravagant gestures. Kensington Shaw, is newly engaged to Bradley, a co-worker, and happy with work and family. She's wasn't looking for anything beyond having her family finally pay her attention when Shane, the ex who devastated her re-entered her life as her next business partner. Shane's back and he's looking to win Kenzi's heart again through the one thing he knows she loves, romantic comedies. Bradley's not helping by telling her to help him however he needs and Kenzi's not having it but she agrees grudgingly to see how if he can explain why he broke her heart so many years ago.  As the story continued and I learned more about Kenzi, Bradley, Shane, and Kenzi's family, my admiration for Kenzi grew as did my concerns about both Shane and Bradley. I wasn't sure about Shane's intentions and Bradley's seeming disconnection from Kenzi. I didn't like her "perfect" sister-in-law, brother, and the neglect of her parents. It's important to note not everything I thought was true, or the whole truth, wasn't. I loved being surprised by both the plot and character twists. It kept me turning the pages as fast I could read them. I didn't put this book down once and read it in one sitting in a couple of hours. I was also taken aback by the range of emotions I experienced while reading this book. Granted there was lots of laughter and swooning during the movie scene re-enactments, but there were tears and anger at times too. It's really hard to believe this is Victoria Van Tiem's debut book. The story flows so smoothly, with many emotional highs and lows, and amazing dialogue. It was really easy to connect with Kenzi and Shane as they found out what went wrong between them and reconnected with the good times they'd had. I may have gotten a copy from the publisher for review, but I had to buy the e-book and I will have a paperback copy for my shelves when it comes out in print later this month. Not to mention the fact Victoria Van Tiem has stolen my heart and found a spot on my must read list. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! So much fun, and a great debut from an author I will be watching. 
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Calling all Chick Lit and RomCom fans .. are you a hopeless sucker for true love romance stories and iconic romantic comedy movies? If so, then boy do I have a must read book for you! In her debut novel, Love Like The Movies, author Victoria Van Tiem weaves a wonderful romantic comedy that will melt your heart. Twenty-nine year old Kensington Shaw is a creative director at a prominent ad agency, who recently became engaged to Bradley Connors, but there is something missing. A romantic comedy fanatic at heart, she longs to have a passionate love just like in the movies. Kensington's world turns upside down when her ex-boyfriend Shane Bennett, the one who broke her heart years ago when he dumped her and returned home to Britain, suddenly shows up at her ad agency as a new client. Determined to win back her heart, Shane challenges Kensington to live out ten romantic comedy movie moments with him, and he'll sign with her agency. What's a girl to do when she has to choose between two guys: the guy her family loves or the one that provides a love like the movies? Love Like The Movies is a delightful romantic comedy that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, okay so I'm a unabashed romantic at heart, but seriously this was a sweet story filled with romance and humor that easily kept me following along as Kensington struggled with deciding which guy would win her heart. The twists and turns keeps the reader on their toes wondering who will Kensington choose until the very satisfying conclusion. The best part of the book for me was reliving fond memories from the references of ten classic romantic comedy movies that made up a big part of my teens and early adulthood. Seriously, I was captivated by Kensington and Shane's re-enactment of these classic and timeless romantic comedies: Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman, Bridget Jones's Diary, 27 Dresses, Dirty Dancing, Sixteen Candles, Love Actually, Say Anything, You've Got Mail, and My Best Friend's Wedding. I was swept away to my happy place by these movie references, they left me sighing with a silly grin on my face. Who wouldn't want to find love just like in the Hollywood movies? If you're looking for a little escape into the wonderful world of romance and fun with a touch of humor, than Love Like The Movies is the perfect guilty pleasure, you can thank me later.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I always feel like romantic comedies are such a toss up. I’m either going to fall madly in love with it or I’m going to hate it. There’s not any grey area for me. So, every time I watch one, I’m flipping a coin and hoping it comes up positive. I almost felt that way about Love Like the Movies, but I didn’t. I had a really good feeling about this book (maybe because I can relate to Kensington’s desire to be in love in a movie). It didn’t disappoint! Love Like the Movies is sweet, funny (I actually laughed out loud!), loveable, and absolutely relatable. And the whole idea behind the book (the ten movies) is fresh and fun. I love new ideas, especially when done well. It was a quick read, but nothing felt rushed or glossed over. Overall, it was definitely fun to read and full of plenty of “aww” moments. If you’re looking for a sweet romance, you can stop now. Check out Love Like the Movies. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Be sure to check out all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
Kensington Shaw has everything a girl could want; a successful career, a close group of friends, a fiance that her parents approve of, and a sparkling engagement ring. But whenever an ex-boyfriend sends her a friend request on Facebook, Kensington's world begins to spin out of control. She's faced with accepting the life her family wants for her and the life she wants for herself. I loved this book. With Valentine's Day nearing, I read this book, and it was the perfect fit. Usually, I am skeptical about books with a love triangle. Victoria does it flawlessly, and I identified with Kensington's struggle. I can picture this book being turned into a movie. There are a quite a few characters, but I never felt confused on remembering who was who and how they fit into the story. Each character had their own voice and motivations. Kensington is a very fun character to read her internal monologue. And Victoria offers characters that are easy to dislike. You immediately sympathize with the protagonists struggles. The relationships that Kensington experiences are amazing. The romance in the book is not overdone and unbelievable. I stayed up way too late with this book, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The plot flows so well that you just have to keep reading to figure out the next twist in the plot. Victoria's wit comes across at the perfect moments. I woke up my boyfriend and our cat several times laughing at this book. It's the perfect guilty pleasure read. I would suggest it to any fan of Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green. One last note, I adored the inclusion of the timeless rom-coms. It was such a nice touch, and I felt like it tied the book together perfectly. I cannot wait to see more from Victoria Van Tiem. **I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to the author and/or publisher!
BlushingReader More than 1 year ago
Are you a fan of Romantic Comedies?  Has watching movies completely warped your sense of what falling in love is really like? If you are a sucker for romance, quirky love stories and classic Rom-Com movies then Love Like the Movies will be a treat for you to read! Victoria Van Tiem created a book that really sucks you in and makes you believe in the fairy-tale of falling in love just like in the movies.  Not only does she give you a great story she lets you re-visit some classic scenes from some iconic romance movies (I knew every reference) and leaves you wishing you were Kenzi! This was a great, funny, sweet and a bit over the top story about how sometimes the life you have isn't the life you have always dreamed about but you should never give up on what you really want out of life.  To have the love like you see in the movies you have to take risks, put yourself out there and never stop dreaming (and be ready for some shenanigans). I highly recommend this book to any lover of romantic comedies!
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
"The magic of boy meets girl, the angst of catch and release, the serendipity of meant-to-be. It doesn't matter if a romantic comedy follows a predictable course, we respond because it's rooted in truth. In magic." You could probably guess this based on the majority of the books I read, but did you know romantic comedies are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine? They totally are. This book took two of my favorite things: rom com movies and books with characters you can't help but love and rolled it them into one amazingly charming package. Kenzi's life gets interesting soon after she gets engaged to her boyfriend Bradley (yawn!). Her ex pops back up into her life via Facebook. (Always fun when that happens.) She finds out she's in danger of losing her job. She has a huge client to impress and guess what? The big client is her ex. The one that got away. He's not too impressed with the design work she proposes, he knows she has more to offer, but is willing to give her a second shot, provided she play by his rules. Shane's opening a movie theater/restaurant combination (inspired by her... them) and wants to see her love of movies (romantic comedies, of course), her personality and talent shine through in the design. To achieve this (and hopefully win himself a second chance with her), he asks that she agrees to live ten movie moments with him. She does and hilarity (and more than a little real-life drama and romance) ensues. Love Like the Movies list:  ♥ Sleepless in Seattle  ♥ Pretty Woman  ♥ Bridget Jones's Diary  ♥ 27 Dresses  ♥ Dirty Dancing  ♥ Sixteen Candles  ♥ Love Actually  ♥ Say Anything  ♥ You've Got Mail  ♥ My Best Friend's Wedding Just look at this list. If you're a fan of rom coms, you can't help but love these movies. I may or may not own all of them. Knowing Shane and Kenzi were going to be recreating scenes from some of my all-time favorite rom coms was enough to completely suck me into this book. Which scenes?! I had a pretty good idea on some of the scenes he would choose, but others were a little more unclear. None of them were disappointing though. I hate using the word "cute" to describe a book, but I can't help it in this case. It was ridiculously cute and I enjoyed every single minute of it. I'm pretty sure I had a giant, goofy smile on my face for this entire book. "In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner's character, Jenna, wants to be thirty, flirty and thriving. Through wishing dust, it's granted, but it's not quite as she hoped. Eventually, she gets a second chance. A do-over. I'm not quite thirty and my life isn't thriving. But just like Jenna Rink, I have another chance to start in a new direction. Turns out, I get my do-over after all. No wishing dust needed. Only courage." I absolutely adored Kenzi. She was relatable and charming and completely awkward at times. Her relationship with her family was strained. Every time something big happens in her life, like her engagement to the totally dreamy (or not...) Bradley, she finds herself overshadowed by Ren or Grayson. Her family's an odd bunch. I wasn't honestly a huge fan of them. Nor was I a fan of her fiancé Bradley. He was boring. I didn't see the chemistry between them. He came off like a jerk with a secret... which he was. He was controlling and not in a good way. They didn't match well. Shane, Kenzi's ex, on the other hand, was brilliant. He was sexy and swoony and a perfect match for her. He supported her true dreams. He cared about her interests and obviously still had a thing for her. Their chemistry was off the charts. Love Like the Movies was completely charming and adorably swoony. Was it predictable? Fairly. Did I mind? Not even one little bit. I wanted a sweet book with an HEA and I got it with this one. I love second chance love stories and this one is high on the list of my all-time favorites. It was easy to love the characters (or at least Kenzi and Shane) and I loved Kenzi's inner dialogue. We have the same taste in movies and I really enjoyed how she related events occurring in her life with those she'd seen in movies. If you love romantic comedies (regardless of how "cheesy" they are) and you're looking for a fun book with great writing and lovable characters, you have to read this one. You'll love it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.