Friday 15 July 2016

Book Review - Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

Amazon UK
Title: Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner
Author: Helen Cox
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 4th July 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Esther Knight is sharp, sarcastic – and hiding something. She waitresses at The Starlight Diner: a retro eatery where Fifties tunes stream out of the jukebox long into the night, and the tastiest milkshakes in New York are served.

Nobody at the diner knows why Esther left London for America – or why she repeatedly resists the charms of their newest regular, actor Jack Faber.

Esther is desperate to start a new life in the land of the free, but despite the warm welcome from the close-knit diner crowd, something from her past is holding her back. Can she ever learn to love and live again?

Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner is a witty, romantic, New York-inspired novel.

Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner was so much more engaging and gripping than I was perhaps first expecting. There are secrets galore and twists and turns. A few times I thought the story was wrapping up quite early, and then suddenly one of the characters would reveal something, and you would find out yet another layer to them, which would keep the momentum going, leaving me gasping for breath. 

The Starlight Diner itself is a pure retro 50s diner mainly serving burgers, shakes, and typical American breakfasts including pancakes. It has been open for years in its great location in New York, and its diners and staff become like a second family to Esther Knight. 

Esther arrived in New York rather suddenly and has been at the diner for a few months, when we join the action, shs is though clearly hiding something, and although you get hints quite early on, it takes ages for her to feel able to reveal exactly why she has appeared in New York. Yes despite her troubled past, she slowly finds she has feeling for a rather dishy actor Jack Faber. 

However Jack is also not as straight forward as he seems, but what exactly is he hiding? 

From the first pages I was gripped by this book, as the story weaves its threads and I got to know Esther, Jack and all the diner regulars. My initial comment to a friend once I got to the end of the book was "wow, that was really impressive" while at the same time I was thinking, do I really have to wait until December for the next installment in this accomplished debut series by Helen Cox. 

With an unusual mix of darker themes and laughter, set to a 50s diner back drop, this story set in 1990 is  well worth a look. 

Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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