Book Review: How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson

I loved Melissa Ferguson’s Meet Me in the Margins (which is a fun take on You’ve Got Mail/Shop Around the Corner like my debut novel), so I knew I had to read How to Plot a Payback when it came out.

Ok, so I didn’t read, I listened. I love a good audiobook, and this one was so fast-paced and witty that I couldn’t take my ear buds out. Dual POVs are my favorite (both to read and to write), and both narrators here sounded exactly like I thought the characters would in my mind.

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In this utterly delightful and laugh-out-loud funny novel, screenwriter Finn Masters thinks he’s finally caught a break landing a dream job writing for the hit sitcom Neighbors. But his joy is tempered by one major downside – he’ll be working alongside Lavender Rhodes, the show’s effervescently charming star who has unwittingly been his personal nemesis since childhood.

With impeccable comedic timing, Ferguson created a riotous will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic as Finn tries to plot his revenge by shaking up Lavender’s sickeningly sweet on-screen persona.

What ensues is a masterclass in romantic comedy as Finn’s hilarious schemes comically backfire, forcing him to re-evaluate his long-held grudge against his old friend. The banter between the two sparring leads is whip-smart and endlessly entertaining. But it’s the tenderly moving moments that reveal their unmistakable chemistry that will keep you rooting for them in the end.

This witty yet deeply heartwarming tale of old wounds and second chances is simply unputdownable. An absolute must-read for fans of classic romcoms!


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