Title: Just Like in the Movies
Author: Heidi Rice
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication date: March 12th, 2021
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Ruby Graham’s verdict: I want to live in Oz, where danger is defeated by friendship, your dreams are always in glowing Technicolor and you can get a pair of absolutely gorgeous ruby slippers simply by landing a house on a hag!
Luke Devlin’s verdict: Flying monkeys? Seriously?
The late Matty Devlin was so much more than Ruby Graham’s boss. He was her best friend, her father-figure, and she is showcasing a series of his favourite classic movies at the independent cinema in Notting Hill which was his life’s work … and of which she is now part owner.
Matty left the other half of The Royale to his nephew, Luke,the elusive Manhattan property developer and rumoured son of a Hollywood icon.
It’s all beginning to sound like the plot of one of Ruby’s beloved films until it becomes clear Luke is no more interested in swooping in to save the crumbling Royale than he is in talking about his famous father. He’s bad-tempered, cynical, and he couldn’t care less about the cinema!
But saving The Royale is about far more than just Matty’s legacy. The Royale is the only place where Ruby gets to live in a world of dreams and happy endings, a place where there are no lost causes, and where falling in love is just like in the movies … or is Luke about to change all that?
Just Like in the Movies is a British contemporary romance following Ruby, the manager of a small theatre and Luke, the long lost nephew of Matty, the owner of the theatre. When Matty dies suddenly, Ruby is lost without her best friend. Even worse, she finds out Matty’s split the theatre between her and Luke in his will. Luke wants to sell the crumbling, under-performing theatre but Ruby can’t imagine taking the theatre away from the community that so loves it. Can Ruby win Luke over to save the theatre, and maybe her heart?
I like Luke’s character, but I didn’t always vibe with Ruby’s character. She really understood him in a way that no one else seemed to, but her actions outside of Luke made little sense for her character development. I loved the drama in the book with Luke’s mom and Matty. Also the theme of not judging anything by the outside appearances, as you’re likely wrong.
There were so many old movie references in this book, which just isn’t my jam. It felt over done and forced. I also did not like any of the supporting characters, they didn’t have any good qualities (even the friends) and just served to further drama with Luke. However, there was a surprising level of spice, which I always enjoy. Content warning for open door scenes, so if that isn’t for you – maybe skim those parts.
Overall, this was a good love story that was paced well and was an easy read. If you love old movies, you’ll get a kick out of the references and reactions throughout the story, that part just wasn’t for me.
Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!