Love Song

Love Song was written by Sophia Bennett and first published in 2016. It’s a contemporary romance that focuses on a teenage girl who finds love while travelling with a boy band. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Everyone knows who The Point are. Jamie, Angus, Connor and George are the biggest boy band to ever roam the earth and almost every teenage girl would give her right arm for a chance to meet them. Unfortunately, Nina is not one of these girls. She only attends a meet and greet with the band to chaperone her sister but while she is there something happens that changes her life.

When a freak accident almost injures Sigrid Santorini – reality TV star and fiancé of the beautiful Jamie – Nina is lucky enough to come to her rescue. A few days later, Nina is contacted by the band’s manager and offered a place on tour. Sigrid’s personal assistant has resigned and she wants to hire Nina to take her place. Although Nina is reluctant, the tour does offer a unique opportunity to see the world and so she accepts.

However, things soon prove to be a lot more difficult that she was expecting. Sigrid is rude and demanding and Nina soon starts to see that her continued presence is starting to put a strain on relationships between the band members. Slowly, Nina begins to help the boys overcome their problems and realises that they’re all quite different to how they appear on TV. However, in befriending the band she gradually starts to make an enemy of the jealous Sigrid…

Before I begin, I should probably note that I’m not really a reader of contemporary romantic fiction. While I have reviewed, and even enjoyed, novels of this sort in the past, you might want to bear in mind that I don’t tend to gravitate towards them in the way that I do fantasy and science fiction novels. Because of this, I don’t really consider myself any sort of expert on what makes one of these stories “good” and so you might want to read this review with that in mind.

Anyhow, I will start by saying that I don’t think that Love Song is actually a bad story by any means, despite not really being my cup of tea. It’s a light, feel-good read that does have a lot going for it. While it’s not without its issues, I think I’ll start by talking about the positive.

Love Song is actually a lot more realistic that you might think. While it does follow the tried and tested trope of average girl being swept off her feet by a rich and famous boy, it does a great job of showing that travelling with a boy band is actually not that glamorous. While the boys get time to party and sleep around, from Nina’s perspective we see how grim things can be for their long-suffering staff.

Because of this, the first half of the story was actually pretty engaging. While there wasn’t a lot of romance on the cards in this section, it was kind of fun to follow Nina around on her day to day jobs and see the kind of messes that she had to deal with. Unfortunately, the story was unable to keep this up.

The plot started to fall down for me over its second half. This is where the tour ends the boys (plus Nina) find themselves sequestered away in a rundown manor in Northumberland. From this point on, the plot was a bit all over the place. While it lacked the build up of the first half, at the same time it seemed to move far too quickly as Nina fell in love at the drop of a hat.

The way that the romance in this novel was framed is also a bit problematic. From the moment that the novel revealed that she had the initial of a previous boyfriend tattooed on her chest (the letter “J”), it was pretty obvious that she had to wind up with Jamie somehow. Yet she doesn’t really talk the boy in question until they are in Northumberland. This means that prior to this, he is often present while Sigrid is being obnoxious to Nina but he never makes any effort to defend her. Personally, this isn’t something I’d find that attractive in a man. In the first half of the novel, I felt that Nina had far better chemistry with Angus. At least he talks to her.

However, it was the climax of the novel where things felt the most problematic. The “misunderstanding” that Nina had with Jamie wasn’t really a misunderstanding at all. It was totally Jamie’s fault and I can think of several ways by which it could have been avoided or resolved with relative ease. This could speak more of me as a human being than anything but I think that I would have had a really hard time forgiving Jamie for what he did. I won’t spoil it here but it was a really stupid stunt to pull.

Yet ultimately, the ending was at least heart-warming. It does exactly what you would expect from a romance novel, wrapping it up nicely so that the good characters get what they desire and the bad ones get a measure of comeuppance. The only thing that I found a little odd was that the penultimate chapter was suddenly told in third person while the rest are all told in first. This was an unusual choice but it didn’t detract from the fact that the positive ending made this book a lovely feel-good story.

The very best thing about Love Song was Nina herself. She is a remarkably normal human being and I mean that in the most positive way. While a lot of the characters are a bit out-there, she is very easy to relate to as she is a completely ordinary teenager. Nina is pragmatic and sensible. While she can see that the boys are attractive, she does not immediately fall for their charms and never allows herself to become star-struck. I really appreciated her ability to stand her ground and stick up for herself.

The supporting cast were also very enjoyable. I loved Windy, the band’s eccentric manager, and reality TV show star Sigrid was very easy to hate. However, the bad themselves were probably the most fun. All of the boys are very different to each other and can be hilarious prima donnas at times but they also have their baggage. I liked the way that the book presented things like George’s drinking and Connor’s insecurities as it helped to illustrate that, under their money and fame, they were all still real people.

I think that about sums things up. All in all, if you’re looking for a light romance novel, you could do far worse than Love Song. It can be incredibly moving in places and contains some really well-rounded characters. It’s not really to my taste but it’s still a very fun, feel-good story on the whole.

Love Song can be purchased as a Paperback and eBook on Amazon.co.uk

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