Marlowe Banks, Redesigned
In Marlowe Banks, Redesigned, Jacqueline Firkins wonderfully captures the messiness of failure, forgiveness, and embracing a second chance on life and love.
Marlowe Banks’s life has come apart at the seams. Her engagement ended abruptly. Her latest costume design was shredded by critics. Her student loans are overdue. Her parents have never been more disappointed. Desperate to hide from her failures, Marlowe flees New York City to embrace invisibility in Los Angeles as a menial Production Assistant on a popular TV show. While sorting socks and taking care of her boss’ spoiled Weimaraner, no one can confront her poor artistic choices or the end of her engagement, the end her ex refuses to accept.
When a costume mix-up requires Marlowe to step into in a scene, the camera catches a heated look between her and Angus Gordon, the show's arrogant bad boy, thrusting Marlowe into the spotlight. As the pair is forced together on set, Marlowe learns she's not the only one hiding. Walls come down for both of them, revealing a life Marlowe isn't sure she's ready for, and when her past comes calling, she has to decide if she's going to stay invisible or if it's time for a redesign.
Firkins's uneven adult debut (after How Not to Fall in Love) finds costume designer Marlowe Banks having fled New York's theater scene, and her ex-fiancé, for a fresh start on the set of TV soap Heart's Diner. Her production assistant job doesn't utilize her skills, but it does shield her from the harsh critiques she's come to fear. That is, until she's forced to fill in as a background actor for a day, placing her near the show's brooding star, Angus Gordon, with whom she disastrously collided earlier that same day. She's happy to leave her brush with stardom—and Angus's intense stare—in the past, but when the episode airs, a tricky bit of editing turns their obvious dislike into sexual tension and sends fans clamoring for more. Despite some false starts, Marlowe and Angus bond as production forces them to spend more time together. Both feel a connection, but Marlowe quickly learns she may not be ready for the scrutiny that comes with dating a star. Though the main couple has chemistry to spare, the rest of the story falls flat in comparison; the backstory behind Marlowe's life in New York comes too late and feels too tepid to make readers invested in her personal growth. It's a shaky start, but Firkins shows some promise.
Charming and delightful
Four and a Half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒
Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins is a cute romantic comedy that I really enjoyed.
Marlowe Banks’s life is a bit of a mess. She broke up with her fiance and her design business failed, and she has her student loans to pay off, So, she escapes to Los Angeles where she gets a job as a production assistant on a popular TV show. She’s given the most menial tasks, but she enjoys the invisibility of the job while she can figure out what to do next.
Angus Gordon is the show’s bad boy and he has a reputation. When there is a costume mix-up, Marlowe is thrust into a minor role as an extra, but when the camera catches Agnus giving Marlow a very smoldering look, social media blows up wondering if the characters have a past. And then the producers decide to give her a more involved role in the show. Working together, Marlowe and Angus learn more about each other and eventually develop a relationship. But, what happens when Marlowe’s life in New York calls her back?
This book was a lot of fun. I enjoyed learning about what happens behind the scenes of a television show and all the issues of costume design for the show. The harried pace and demands of the stars were interesting for me to read about.
But the characters are what really drew me into the story. Marlowe might be a bit of a mess at first, but she is hard-working and didn’t complain about all the menial tasks she was assigned. She really knew her costume design stuff and it was fun when she knew more than the lead costume designer. Marlowe was also very modest and she didn’t want to have a role in the show, but she knew it was the only way to help her friend who had caused the costume mix-up. Her loyalty to her friend was admirable.
I don’t usually like a famous actor as the main character in a story, but Angus Gordon was surprisingly very down-to-earth and relatable. Yes, he has a reputation for being a bad boy, but we find out that he cultivates the image in order to protect his heart. He is a very endearing character and I grew to love him too.
I highly recommend Marlowe Banks, Redesigned to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
A Hollywood romance is always magical!!
I love this book because one of my bucket list items is a trip to California. So until I could visit I was happy to join Marlowe as she navigated through the busy Los Angeles traffic, basked in the warm California sunshine and searched for the meaning of life.
Marlowe knew that her job as a personal assistant was demeaning but living in Los Angeles if only briefly, was good for her soul. She needed to get away from her old life for a while, broaden her horizons and finally put herself first. Marlowe never considered an acting career but somehow she found herself the recipient of “the look” from Angus Gordon, superstar heartthrob. Social media ran away with their one, short scene and Marlowe couldn't handle all the nasty comments and innuendo. How could a brief glance between two strangers change her life so drastically?
Marlowe’s interaction with Angus would never be considered “movie star quality” but it surprisingly set the stage for a friendship that was beneficial to both of them. Angus helped Marlowe understand the ins and outs of Hollywood and Marlowe got to know the real Angus behind his sexy and brooding character. Everyone thought that Angus was a player but in reality, he was a regular guy who liked to relax at home with a good book. Angus could be himself around Marlowe and they spent many hours sharing stories of their childhood and their hopes and dreams for the future. The entertainment industry is constantly changing and Marlowe was confused as to what to do about her future. Should she stay in California, or would the bright lights of New York City call her back home?