Cobie is the quintessential girl next door, one of the safe lesbians who doesn’t scare the public and has that squeaky clean teen girl image. Now she wants to grow up, and in particular she wants to play the hard, ambiguous and edgy lesbian lead from a NYT bestseller. But despite having the script she will never get cast while she is seen as a rom-com specialist.
Lila has dated every eligible bachelor, and quite a few in-eligible ones, while trying to keep her profile high between albums. She has done everything she can to shock and tease the paparazzi and run out of men and tactics. When Cobie and Lila’s managers suggest a fauxmance to help both their careers Lila jumps at the chance and instantly takes control of the situation. But despite micromanaging everything from their public appearances, behaviour, kissing and wardrobes Lila can’t control her growing attraction to the gorgeous Cobie and all that means is trouble.
It takes a damn good romance with something of a twist to catch my attention these days; too many romances, too many repeats of the same story. So when you get one that grabs your attention you know it’s something special. “In Development” is one of the best books I’ve read this year and May was a pretty good month all round.
It’s a traditional romance in the sense of the story arc but much more in terms of the depth of the main characters and their growth. Cobie and Lila are so real you feel as though you know them. The juxtaposition of their public lives, one withdrawn and quiet, the other brash and demanding, with their private characters, makes for a really interesting character development scenario. Both have faults, both need to change, and Lil, in particular, has some very deep-seated issues. But while Cobie has less baggage to overcome she still needs to develop into the grown up, powerful and strong Hollywood star she is capable of being.
Extremely well written, this is Spangler’s best yet. I rarely want to re-read a romance, but I literally fell for these two and this is definitely on the pile to revisit.
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(publisher review copy received)
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