I Heart London is the fifth novel in Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart series, following our heroine Angela Clark, who ran off to New York from London in the first novel and never went back. Firmly entrenched in the chick lit genre, the series is fun, lighthearted and surprisingly addictive – so much that I pre-ordered the Kindle edition of I Heart London.
In the previous novel, I Heart Vegas, we left Angela in New York, engaged to the lovely Alex Reid, despite her madcap actions of the novel. At the opening of I Heart London, life is going well for Angela – she has her USA visa after fearing deportation, she is working on starting up a new magazine, and of course she has Alex. But then her mum hears about the engagement and orders her back to London, with Alex, to attend her 60th birthday party. Angela’s best friend Jenny tags along, and soon Angela finds herself agreeing to marry Alex on the day of her mum’s party, only one week later…
The story of I Heart London has everything required to lead to more crazy Angela antics. Through no (or little) fault of her own, she is always finding herself in ridiculous situations and in all sorts of messes. With a week to plan a wedding, Jenny on the verge of a breakdown, and being in the same town as her ex Mark, there’s plenty of scope for monumental disaster. What is refreshing though is that Angela and Alex’s relationship really is on solid ground throughout I Heart London – for once she doesn’t come close to wrecking that, and frankly I was glad. Although you’re almost guaranteed a happy ending in chick lit, I was glad not to have to worry about the scatty Angela losing lovely Alex.
The characters of the I Heart series are really what makes it work. Of course the settings, particularly New York, are quite special, but these stories are all about the characters. Angela is relatable, an important characteristic for a chick lit heroine – you may read for a bit of escapism, but in chick lit you always want to believe that it could be you having the fairytale ending. Angela is scatty, messy, worries about normal things, and gets herself into daft situations when drinking with her girlfriends. Alex is perhaps one of the best chick lit leading men out there – he is a genuinely sweet guy, more sensible than Angela, and of course gorgeous. Jenny, Angela’s New York best friend, is a complete nutter that you can’t help but love, and in I Heart London we get to spend more time with Louisa, Angela’s London best friend, who is the opposite of Jenny.
Kelk’s writing is perfect for the stories she is telling, although there are maybe a few too many pop culture references for my taste – but then again these do fit with the characters. Her writing is quite humourous, as you would expect it to be given everything that Angela manages to get up to – although you do end up cringing at the same time!
One slightly disappointing factor about I Heart London was Kelk’s use of the setting. I love Angela’s life in New York, but I was excited to read about her and her friends in London, and to see what shenanigans she could get up to here. But I felt the setting was underused – most of the story took place in the town her parents live in, which I think is in Surrey, with only a few trips into London. The city certainly isn’t a character in the story life New York always is.
Despite this however, I loved I Heart London. I was hooked right from the start, and couldn’t put it down until I finished. I don’t know if there will be more installments in Angela’s story, but I hope so – I’m not ready to say goodbye to Angela and Alex yet.
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