Book Review: The Last Word by Katy Birchall

About the Book:

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: May 2, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: Harper Jenkins is at the top of her game. A brilliant, determined journalist with a well-known knack for getting tight-lipped Hollywood stars to open up to her, Harper loves her job as Celebrity Editor at a newspaper’s glossy weekend magazine and has the best contacts in the business.

But when her awful boss hires talented reporter Ryan to be the new Features Editor, Harper is furious. Because the two have met before: a decade ago, they were interns at the same publication, where they fell into a whirlwind romance…until Ryan betrayed Harper, and they never spoke again.

Thrown together in a busy newsroom, their dynamic is a disaster from the start. They can’t agree on anything and bicker constantly—Ryan can’t bear how chaotic and messy Harper is; Harper finds Ryan’s condescending nature infuriating. They clash over who’s writing what article, and fight over who’s going to which event.

Yet as they’re forced to spend more and more time together, Harper realizes she may have misjudged Ryan and can’t help but feel a spark growing between them. Long-buried feelings start to resurface and, when they’re thrown together on a romantic press trip abroad, their chemistry comes to a head.

But all is fair in love and magazines, and with the news that layoffs across the department are imminent, Harper is left to wonder: who will get the last word?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

A workplace enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance set in the publishing industry of London, The Last Word is a fun and entertaining read!

Harper has a really cool job, which she is extremely good at. Like, really good. She has a special way of making her interviewees feel comfortable and willing to share. The behind-the-scenes look at the publishing world was very eye-opening. Frankly, her sexist boss is a fool for not seeing how gifted Harper is. She’s met so many people in the entertainment industry, but her life isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. She is in a cutthroat industry, and between the competition, misogyny, and total lack of support from her family, she often faces the pressures by herself and with her very close friends.

I loved Harper. She’s so kind and thoughtful, and she’s a great journalist who always goes the extra mile when interviewing and working with people. And she has such a positive attitude. I can’t imagine being as upbeat as her if my livelihood was threatened, an old love became my biggest competition, and my parents always disparaged me. Harper, however, is determined and independent, and she’s learned how to stand up for herself and what she wants in life. There are a few moments, especially with her parents, where I wanted to stand up and cheer for Harper.

Ryan’s great too, and though the story is told from Harper’s perspective, I feel like you really get to know him. He’s very much Harper’s opposite. A bit more uptight and formal, he’s organized, whereas she’s messy. He’s a planner, and she’s way more impulsive and free-spirited. But they’re both caring and thoughtful people. His parents are also great and such a contrast to Harper’s elitist and demeaning ones.

Harper and Ryan have a contentious relationship, and several flashbacks shed light on what happened between Harper and Ryan and why they haven’t spoken for many years. They have a complicated past, and some of the issues they had bleed into their present relationship. It’s interesting to see how they deal with miscommunication, work pressures, and more now that they are a bit older and wiser. There were parts of the story where I wanted to shake both of them and tell them to stop their constant bickering and be more open with each other, but I could totally understand why each was so hesitant to be more vulnerable with the other. They had fantastic chemistry, and, oh my word, some of their moments together are so comical. (The scene when they are driving the woman in labor to the hospital is hysterical!!)

I enjoyed the story. It’s an entertaining contemporary romance with bickering banter, great friendships, an independent protagonist dealing with drama in her work and personal life, and some great messages about taking charge of your life, setting boundaries, and forgiving.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of the book. all thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The humor.
  • The life lessons/messages.


  • enemies-to-lovers
  • slow burn
  • opposites attract
  • second chance romance

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