The Author Visits received Shelf Life in exchange for an honest review.
Shelf Life is the second installment in Christina George’s three-part romantic series, The Publicist.
Kate Mitchell is a publicist in the world of publishing. Kate has her work cut out for her trying to keep her crazy author clients and their antics in line. But things have a way of blowing up in Kate’s face and in the Shelf Life, Kate is subjected to the negative side of publishing when a publicity campaign blows up in her face and her reputation is one the line.
Kate needs her friends and Grace Adler, her best friend from college and Nick Lavigne, the nephew of her beloved friend, Allan Lavigne, swoop in to help Kate find her grounding after her rather massive publicity fiasco thanks to Mac Ellis, her lover and Edward Sherman, the head of Morris and Dean.
Kate makes some major changes in her life, moving from the east to west coast for starters and deciding to take a different direction with her career. She also says good-bye to Mac and makes a life for her and Nick.
Although Kate believes she has her everything worked out, she can’t break the bad habit that is Mac Ellis.
Shelf Life examines Kate’s choices, both professionally and personally.
What I liked about Shelf Life:
1. Cast of characters:
I am a huge fan of Grace Adler. I hope George is planning on writing a series about Grace. She is definitely best-friend material but more than that, she has the makings of a leading lady. I wanted to scream at Kate so many times but was glad Grace was there to talk sense into Kate. Grace is level-headed, observant and thoughtful in ways Kate is lacking. But perhaps that is the angle George needs to take in Kate’s evolution as a character. Maybe, making Kate appear needy is part of the continual development of her character arc and what I feel is lacking could be a deliberate choice. Only time will tell.
Andrew Trapp: the aging British rocker who on the outside appears to be a bad-ass rock star but on further inspection, is nothing of the sort. On the contrary, Andrew is a warm-hearted, down-to-earth, fantastic kind of guy who has been having a love-affair with his best friend, James for twenty years. Andrew, James and Kate form a long-standing friendship and I loved the addition of these two men into Kate’s life.
George’s writing matured with the second installment. There was less info-dumping and more exploration of the emotional quotient. George’s strength lies in her ability to write at length about what she knows intimately, in this case, the world of publicity and publishing. But as Kate went from one bad situation to another, George was able to get the depth of feelings across the page far better than the first go around. I also saw a side of Kate that was so human, one, when she is blindsided by the publicity fiasco and two, when she has to make some hard choices where her heart is concerned. Love can do crazy things to even the most grounded women and Kate has been through hell and her emotions are all over the map. Mac has this mystical ability to make Kate second guess herself and although that makes her appear weak, it also makes her human.
There were some fantastic twists in the Shelf Life. I loved watching Kate come into her own as a publicist and forging her own way. The triangle between Kate, Mac and Nick had some major ups and downs and while the ending of the second book was unceremoniously lop-sided, the writing for what’s to come is on the wall.
What I didn’t like about Shelf Life:
1. Kate’s character development:
Kate’s character is still lacking well-roundedness. I still think Kate is too immature, too flippant and too gullible for her own good. While Kate is an adept publicist, every other area of her life is lacking that kind of steadfastness. Kate is still very one-dimensional. But I am giving George the benefit of the doubt in the hopes the third installment will find Kate evening out the playing field between heart and head.
Still do not like Mac.
Shelf Life put a smile on my face. Kate is a lucky girl. Despite being in the line of fire, I love that she takes a chance in rebuilding her career. As for her love life, that’s a totally different story. Who does Kate finally end up with is the million dollar question. I am definitely looking forward to the last book in the series. I can’t wait to see where Kate goes from here. I suspect she still has some hard lessons to learn but overall, the Shelf Life was worth the read.
My rating: 4 Stars.
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