Monday 22 January 2024

Benidorm, actually - Jo Lyons

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we will shortly be arriving into Alicante. Please ensure your big lips and heavy eyebrows are securely fastened, your eyelashes are stowed in the upright position and your leg tattoos are clearly visible for landing.”

Connie Cooper’s classical music career is at a dead-end. She’s singing cheap covers to a sea of bald heads and the nearest she has been to a romantic relationship in years is watching the Bridgerton buttocks scene on a continuous loop.

The last thing she needs is to be on a flight to Benidorm with strict instructions to impress the boss of Jezebel Music. But as she tries to keep up with support band, The Dollz, and the constant flashmob dancing, the going out in less than you’d wear on the beach and their obsession with the promiscuous bearded-Nuns in the villa next door, the boss seems less and less impressed.

The clock is ticking. She’s meant to be finding her voice, not finding his brooding good-looks irresistibly attractive… How can she show him that she has what it takes to succeed?

That’s right. Instead of just being herself, she’ll follow The Dollz’ advice to dress like a low-rent stripper and impress him by pole-dancing on top of a table full of drinks.

What could go wrong?

What did I think?

I absolutely loved this book; it was just what I needed to banish the winter blues as it whisked me away to sunnier climes.  It's so laugh-out-loud hilarious that it should come with waterproof pages as I had tears rolling down my face on so many occasions.

I've never been to Benidorm but Jo Lyons brings the vibrant and colourful holiday resort to life between the pages of her fabulous debut novel as we follow Connie Cooper's last ditch attempt to make it in the music business.  From the minute Connie steps on the plane in Newcastle, the reader is under no illusion that is going to be a regular holiday romance type of book...not with The Dollz around anyway.

I had such a vivid picture of The Dollz in my head and their constant practising of their routines still makes me smile long after turning the final page.  They're supposed to be Connie's support act, both in the story and character weighting, however, they are so much larger than life that nothing will keep The Dollz out of the limelight.

I absolutely loved Connie though; she seems to puts her foot in it every time she opens her mouth, especially with Mr Window Seat who she is destined to run into again (quite literally) when the plane touches down in Spain. 

Filled with sun, sea, sand and singing, Benidorm, actually is an entertaining and hilarious romantic comedy.  It's a sparkling debut from Jo Lyons and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

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