Erin Watt (in reality two authors using one pen name) has now achieved autobuy status. First they knocked it out the park with the amazeballs Paper Princess trilogy (which shouldn't have worked, it just shouldn't, but it had me utterly hooked for three books) and now this.
Like Paper Princess, the premise of this book shouldn't work. The whole schtick is a fauxmance between a mega-famous pop star and a commoner. His public image needs a boost, so his record label hire someone (who is ardently not a fan and actively dislikes him) to pretend to be his girlfriend. And what do you think happens? Do you think they might fall in love against the odds? My god, I can't believe you saw that one coming!
So far, so cliche. Seriously, it's a plot description that I'd usually avoid like the plague. It just sounds so naff. But Erin Watts has taken a plot that sounds dumb and characters that sound stupid and woven them together into a book that had me utterly, utterly hooked. I was deliberately reading slowly in order to not finish it too quickly.
I don't know how they do it. I've studied this book and also the Paper Princess trilogy quite hard to try and work it out, because seriously it's like they put crack in the ink this book was printed with or something. The best I can come up with is the following:
- The characters are well fleshed-out and have enough back story to make them interesting
- Sparky dialogue and plenty of it
- Plot points that are slightly soap-opera, but just this side of believable
- Strong female characters that aren't afraid to stick up for themselves
- Baddies that retain their humanity
Even then, there's still something in their writing that I can't put my finger on. Something in the style of writingthat acts as magic fairy dust that lifts their books above the run-of-the-mill contemporaries out there. There's sexual tension, but I read loads of books with sexual tension. There's sex (and well-written sex), but again I read plenty of books with sex in them.
I don't know. Maybe they really do put crack in the ink.