Tuesday, August 15, 2023

REVIEW: Codename Charming by Lucy Parker



When Lucy Parker releases a new novel, we're always ready. Her novels entertain us with snappy dialogue, plunge us into London (and in this case a royal family), and always guarantee a good time. In Codename Charming we get to watch Pet and Matthias go from pretending to be annoyed (or actually just a little flustered) around each other to becoming friends while faking a relationship that we all know will never be fake at all. Both Pet and Matthias come from less than wonderful upbringings and both carry wounds from earlier years; the difference is that Pet is a ray of sunshine while Matthias is perceived to be a grump (he's actually a huge softy) and while these wounds could prohibit them from falling for each other, it's really their disbelief that the other could possibly want them that is the real obstacle. Typical. 

Playing in the background is a royal family that is a hot mess in the most hilarious ways and a nefarious media circus always trying to put them in the worst light--which is how the "fake" romance comes to be. While this is all going on, we get to know more about our main characters and their friends, as well as see more of Pet's brother and sister-in-law and how their dueling bakeries are doing (happy to report all is well there). 

As usual, Parker not only has us invested in what's going on with our main characters, she's building interest in secondary characters, making us hopeful we'll get another book in this series. 

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Following Battle Royal, beloved author Lucy Parker pens another delicious romantic comedy about a fake relationship between a grumpy royal bodyguard and the charming, sunny assistant who melts his cold, hard exterior.

Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal’s giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites—she’s spontaneous and enthusiastic, he’s rigid and stoic—but she can sense there’s something softer underneath that tough exterior…

For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out of trouble is more difficult than he imagined because everywhere Johnny goes, calamity ensues, and his petite, bubbly assistant is often caught in the fray. Matthias hates the idea of Pet getting hurt and he’s determined to keep everyone safe, even if it means clashing with his adorable new coworker.

When a clumsy moment leads to a questionable tabloid photo, the press begins to speculate that Pet is romantically involved with Johnny. To put an end to the rumors, the royal PR team asks Pet and Matthias to stage a fake relationship and the two reluctantly agree. But as they spend more time together outside of work, they begin to wonder what real emotions this pretend connection might uncover. Especially when a passionate kiss leaves both of their heads spinning… 

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