Title: The View Was Exhausting
Author: Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 6th July 2021
THEY CANNOT BE TOGETHER AND THEY CANNOT BE APART.
Whitman ‘Win’ Tagore and Leo Milanowski are the greatest love story of our time. International movie star meets the beautiful son of a millionaire. Their kisses write headlines and their fights break the internet. Nobody needs to know it’s not real.
Win knows that Hollywood demands perfection – especially from a woman of colour.
Leo just wants to enjoy life, and shift press attention away from his dysfunctional family.
Together they control the narrative.
Except this time, on the shores of Saint-Tropez, Leo is hiding a secret that is about to send Win’s world spinning. Now everyone’s dream couple must confront the messy reality of their relationship. Just as they’re starting to realise that they might actually be falling in love…
I loved the sound of The View Was Exhausting and happily I can confirm it totally lived up to my high expectations of a glamorous, smart and compelling read! The story follows movie star Win and a millionaire’s bad boy son Leo. Together they have been faking a relationship for the benefit of the press to further both their interests. However, things become complicated as Leo hides a bombshell from Win which inevitably explodes, just as they realise that their romance may not be as fake as they have been telling themselves.
I really enjoyed this gorgeous book which felt like a perfect read for summer. The story whisks its reader to the exclusive and sun soaked St Tropez and I loved the sexy escapism it offered. Win and Leo are both interesting, imperfect and layered characters and I ended up very much rooting for both of them. Their story has drama and the glamour of the rich and famous but it also has heart. They feel like real, flawed people and it is easy to be drawn into their easy chemistry. I also found the exploration of what it is like to be a woman in an industry that, depressingly, still seems to hold men and women to different standards sharply observed. Win is not only a woman, she’s a woman of colour, which adds a whole load more complexities, micro aggressions and outright racism. The way she is caught in a sort of trap where every move she makes is not only scrutinised but could also potentially end her career is saddening and gives The View Was Exhausting a real resonance. It is an engrossing, elegant and vivid take on the discrimination and illusion present in the entertainment industry and also a believable romance which crackles with chemistry. Highly recommend!
I kindly received a review copy from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.