Laaadies and Geeentlemen!!! Welcome to Thunderdome, where the ultimate battle will take place between #teamnick and #teammac for the lovely Kate. Yeah, the hashtags are actually a thing. There couldn’t be a more appropriate title for this book, as the previous two novels in this series really are a build-up to the climactic conclusion of this seemingly never-ending love triangle.
Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit. Kate Mitchell has everything. She’s the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she’s about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career. And that’s when everything falls apart. Everything is perfect…until it’s not. In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again. Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended. When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made. Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.
Welcome to the final installment of the Publicist series! It’s been a long journey, filled with blood, sweat and tears. Well, none on my end, but definitely for the characters in the book. As I stated at the end of my review of book two, I had mixed feelings towards the fact that there was a third book. Shelf Life came to a nice close, and I liked that Kate had finally chosen to be with Mac, while he in turn actually grew a pair and ended things with his wife. But alas, Climax quickly reveals that there is trouble brewing in paradise between our engaged couple. Kate is extremely busy with her newly created publishing company, and loves Mac sooo much, but when she bumps into her ex-fiance Nick on the teeming streets of New York she questions whether or not she made the right decision in giving him up. Especially since Nick now seems to have moved on completely from their relationship. As if that experience didn’t cause enough confusion for Kate, Mac’s ex-wife has been diagnosed with cancer, and he is spending an inordinate amount of time taking care of her. Rock, hard place…haaave you met Kate?
Alright, here we go. To be honest, I found it extremely difficult to like or sympathize with Kate for about 90% of this book. Here is how I read the situation. She chose Mac. She is devoted to him. She loves him. Then she runs into Nick and, surprise!, he appears to be over her. That’s when she’s like, “How can he be over me so quickly? I thought we had something special!” Girl, you left Nick to go after a man you were having an affair with, you are now engaged to that man, and you have sex with him on a regular basis. I think it’s safe to say that Nick can and should move on from whatever it is you two once had. At the start of the novel she seems firm in her decision to be with Mac. It’s only after bumping into Nick, and her close friends constantly pestering her that she is still in love with Nick that she starts to question her decision to leave him. Let me put it to you this way. I once loved scallops, but I don’t so much anymore. However, if my closest friends in life reminded me of how much I once loved scallops every time we went out to dinner, by God I’d probably think about ordering the damn things again. It’s called peer pressure, and it seemed like Kate was undergoing quite a bit of it in this book that she almost had no choice but to think about Nick again, and question her relationship with Mac.
There were some definite highlights to this book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Firstly, the majority of the previous novels were told from Kate and Mac’s points of view, but this book prominently features Nick’s thoughts and feelings towards Kate and their mess of a relationship. Finally, Nick feels like a real character!! I struggled with that lack of character development through most of books one and two, so I was unbelievably excited to see this change in book 3. The second highlight of this book: Kate gets therapy!!! Wow, I need to calm down with the exclamation points. Yes, after all of the drama and issues Kate has dealt with in the previous two novels, a friend of hers recommends that she see a particularly quirky therapist, Dr. Ruth Ann. Now, although Dr. Ruth Ann was funny in a wacky sort of way, her character was almost too cartoonish to be believable. I mean, unless things have changed in the therapy world and doctors can actually tell patients all of the mistakes they’ve made and what is really going on in their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully in support of an outsider telling Kate to wake up already and see that she doesn’t make the best decisions in regards to her love life, but don’t therapists usually let the patients discover that on their own rather than telling them outright? Eh, what do I know? I took one Psychology course in college, and that was it.
In spite of the possible ethical issues surrounding Dr. Ruth Ann, she did tell Kate one of the most eye-opening things ever: Kate’s love life is on spin cycle. Sooo unbelievably true! Kate is sort of like an errant sock in a washing machine of relationships; she’s in a vicious circle of latching on to one man before sticking herself to another, and at one point even becomes that missing sock that you never seem to be able to find when you fold your clothes. I think this spin cycle of a love life played heavily into why I had a difficult time liking her in this book. It was sort of like, “Seriously? We’re back to you debating between Nick and Mac…AGAIN?”
If I had to put a label on it, I’d come right out and say that Kate is a weak and selfish character. Her feelings are constantly jumping back and forth from one man to the other. Although both men have their faults, she really isn’t being fair to either of them. Even when I thought she had made an ultimate decision at the end of the last book to be with Mac, the minute things aren’t wonderfully perfect in their relationship she starts to think of Nick again. She’s weak because during all the time that Mac is helping his ex-wife through her illness, Kate presents an outward facade of being fine with it, but deep down she feels neglected and knows that his spending so much time with his ex could lead to serious problems between the two of them. Speak up woman! Towards the end of the book she finally develops some backbone and kind of rips on Mac for being selfish, but she’s no prize pony either. Gosh, first she’s a sock and now she’s a pony. I need to just pick one analogy and stick with it.
I must say it was fascinating to see how this series, as well as the characters within it, progressed from one book to the next. Kate herself has definitely grown as a character, and it was unbelievably satisfying to finally see her tell off a pain in the ass author. I just wish she had her aha moment of strength a little earlier on, rather than in the last 30 pages or so of the book. Climax was a tad too long for my taste, and it made me extremely anxious towards the end. Most people like an added layer of suspense, and sometimes I do as well, but this particular kind just put me on edge. I don’t want to spoil it though and tell you why. The book does still need some editing, as there were a few grammar mistakes, and parts of sentences were said twice. One of my favorite parts of the book though would have to be the final literal battle/fight between Nick and Mac. They finally had the opportunity to release some of their built up testosterone. Although I did enjoy how this book ended, and it’s the last book of the series, I question whether or not the winner of the battle and Kate will actually have a lasting relationship, or if she’ll just get conflicted again and switch back to the other guy after a few years. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
Series: The Publicist Series, book 3. The complete order of this series is The Publicist, Shelf Life, and Climax. Looking back I’d have to say that book 2 was my favorite. It had the most interesting side story, and really kept you guessing throughout the entire thing.
Should you read this series? If you love love triangles, then I would say absolutely. The internal struggle that Kate experiences going back and forth between Mac and Nick is interesting to read. I myself was constantly changing my opinion of whether I wanted her to end up with Nick or Mac, but although I could understand the debate, it still did get a bit frustrating at times.
Smut Level: There was one scene at the beginning of this book where I was like, “Hello! We are crossing the line into a PG-13 rating here!”, but for the most part the love scenes in this book are fairly clean and well written.
Author’s Bio: Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.