The Last Word

A Novel

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Pub Date 02 May 2023 | Archive Date 16 May 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


"Birchall's effervescent novel combines an engaging enemies-to-lovers story line with a vibrant London setting." ––Shelf Awareness

A young journalist puts her career––and her heart––on the line when her former work nemesis is hired in her newsroom, for fans of The Hating Game and Beach Read.

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?

"Birchall's effervescent novel combines an engaging enemies-to-lovers story line with a vibrant London setting." ––Shelf Awareness

A young journalist puts her career––and her heart––on the line when...

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ISBN 9781250882752
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Average rating from 682 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press Group for the ARC.

🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 4.5/5 stars

The Last Word is a fun workplace, enemies to lovers romance full of banter and drama. The story follows Harper, a talented journalist with a gift of putting everyone (including skittish celebrities) at ease. She is the celebrity editor at her newspaper and loves her job..until her former nemesis, Ryan, is hired. The two banter and clash as everyone around them wonders how they know each other and what exactly happened between them.

The chemistry. I absolutely loved Harper and Ryan’s banter and fights. The two are very swoonworthy together, but also are hilarious. I loved the flashbacks to how they fell out and it really added to their story. Both are very well-rounded characters that you automatically root for. Fans of Falon Ballard and Sally Thorne will love this romcom!

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This book was described as the Hating Game meets Beach read which are both big shoes to fill! I feel like it met the mark for me! I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a lot of run! I enjoyed both characters on their own and felt they were even better when they came together. I've read a few other titles by Katy and can't wait to dive deeper into her backlist.

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Enemies to lovers office romance? I'm in. Harper is a celebrity blogger and prides herself on relationships. She is the best in the business, getting all the best scoops and writing for the magazine she is with has been her dream. She also is a bit of a mess. Literally. She is a chaotic mess but she wouldn't have it any other way.
When her nemesis from her internship 12 years ago joins their team, she wonders what she did to deserve this. Ryan, and all his perfectness, charms everyone at the magazine, but Harper knows the real him. After what he did to her 12 years ago, she can't fall for that charm again.
As Harper and Ryan are thrown together on more and more assignments it's clear to see that maybe there is more to Ryan than Harper is giving him credit for.
The banter, the longing, the fun! I loved Harper, even if she was a mess, and I loved Ryan because he was so genuine. I could see what Harper was missing each time his character came onto the page, but I could understand why she was so leery. She didn't want history to repeat itself so Ryan had a lot of ground to make up. This book was absolutely adorable and exactly what I needed.
Thank you to St. Martins, Katy Birchall and Netgalley for an early copy.

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Wow! I totally and completely loved this book so much! It was the perfect blend of women's fiction and romance and I never wanted it to end! I seriously enjoyed every single second of this book.

Harper was such a fantastic main character and I really enjoyed her development throughout the book. She knew who she was and what she wanted and she owned it. Harper was so easy to root for and such a pleasure to read about! Ryan was delightfully nerdy and wonderful and I adored the way he loved Harper. Their banter was excellent- so much fun to read! This slow burn second chance romance was perfection!

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After absolutely loving The Secret Bridesmaid and The Wedding Season, I was beyond thrilled to receive an early arc of Birchall’s upcoming release. Well, after I got over my initial disappointment that this wasn’t a wedding-centric book. But it was so funny and adorable! A complete feel-good book with wit and humor that I’ve come to expect from Birchall. Much more of a romance than her first two books, which lean more towards Women’s Fiction. This had all the good tropes: workplace enemies to lovers, he fell first, second chance romance, and opposites attract. Really enjoyable. It pains me to say this but I am SUCH a Harper. All the way down to her 20 alarms that are like 3 minutes apart, the chaotic tote bag, pettiness, and overall messiness. So to me, she was an incredibly relatable character. I loved her heart of gold and her work ethic. And Ryan was a total babe, loved him and his appreciation for Harper. Yeah, I would’ve liked if he handled some situations differently but he’s a man with strong ethics and I respect that. I also liked the found family aspect and the side characters. While I prefer Birchall’s other books, this was an absolute delight to read and had me smiling the entire time. Definitely recommend to my fellow contemporary romance fans.

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I read both of Katy Birchall’s other books last year and they were two of my top 2022 reads, so The Last Word became one of my most anticipated reads of the year. This enemies-to-lovers/second chance follows ambitious journalist Harper, a vivacious celebrity editor with a knack for talking to people. But her job gets turned upside down when a new features editor starts and it’s Ryan, someone she interned with years ago and fell into a whirlwind romance with until he betrayed her trust. This workplace romance was addicting. From page 1, you know Harper and I just loved her. I love the frantic messy energy of her, even though it makes me want to clean her apartment and desk. And Ryan is such a strong character too, he is so ambitious and endearing, and I just love how he really shows up for Harper. He’s loyal and kind but in a way that’s honest to Harper. Their banter is so strong and I like how they push each other’s buttons and challenge each other. Their romance is spicy and fun, and their connection felt really organic, the progression from enemies to lovers happening gradually and naturally. The conflict felt real, there was nothing forced and the miscommunications felt understandable. This felt like more of a romance than Birchall’s other books, which have romance but are a little more woman’s fiction, but what I loved too about it is how much it highlighted Harper as a strong woman making her dreams come true. It was witty and romantic and emotional and just truly a fun read.

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I adored this book. I really did. I loved Harper. I loved how quick witted and funny she was. I almost hated Ryan until his character was brought into the story more, then I loved him. I loved the chemistry between them. I loved the banter. Heck, I even loved her friends that were around through most of the book. I ended up finishing this book in a day because I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I haven’t had a book like that in a few weeks where I couldn’t stop reading and this just made me so happy. I really recommend this book to anyone that needs a happy read. Were there heavy moments? Yes. But overall, the book was very much a feel good book. Not a whole lot of spicy scenes and even the spicy scenes weren’t explicit. Not much cursing either. It was a pretty safe book all around. Honestly, this was just such a fun read. Highly recommend!!!!

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This was a perfectly cute rom com type book! I love a good enemies to lovers trope and this executed that PERFECTLY!

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Katy Birchall delights once more with The Last Word.

Harper is a celebrity columnist for Flair magazine. Her warm personality allows her to dive into celebrity's lives and form actual relationships. Ryan, who interned with Harper, is now the features editor for Flair. Both haven't set eyes on each other in ten years after Ryan's heartbreaking betrayal. As both try to work together and are forced into trips, things may not be what they seem. This time around, Harper is set on having the last word.

I enjoyed reading The Last Word and found myself instantly relating to Harper. I always have things on my desk and have to set multiple alarms for my morning! I admired her gut and warm personality when talking to anyone. While this novel worked well as a single point of view, I was interested to get into Ryan's head and learn how he was feeling throughout. Labeled alike to the Haring Game, this novel has sparks of enemies to lovers but I wouldn't exactly qualify this as enemies but rather second chance. Overall, lovers of Birchall's other works and romantic comedies will enjoy The Last Word.

Thank you St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for my earc in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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The Last Word by @katybirchallauthor
Release Date - May 2, 2023

Harper is a hot mess, hustling, celebrity editor of a glossy magazine. Not interested in writing click bait, she writes interviews with empathy…unusual and refreshing. Ryan is a Type A, gorgeous, smart, sweet, feature editor who comes on board and can’t get enough of Harper, though he’s not exactly sure how to show it.

Forced proximity, and a sexist boss handing Harper’s stories over to Ryan, set these two up for some epic banter and undeniable chemistry. They care about each other, but in and out of office competition make it hard for either of them to give in.

Thank you @NetGalley and (publisher) for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
#KatyBirchall #TheLastWord #stmartinspress #stmartinsgriffin #netgalley #enemiestolovers #forcedproximity

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<i>Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.</i>

Ever since she met Ryan on their first day as news interns, Harper insists on getting the last word in. Their bickering gave way to something more, until everything fell apart. Now, eight years later, Harper, a wildly successful (if stifled by her sexist boss) celebrity editor, is furious to see Ryan showing up to take a job at her magazine. Their sniping starts up again, and soon, those familiar sparks begin to fly… will their chemistry once again catch fire… and will it again implode in disaster?

I enjoyed [author:Katy Birchall]’s first two adult romances, [book:The Secret Bridesmaid] and [book:The Wedding Season], so I was excited for her latest, [book:The Last Word]. I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed.

Harper and Ryan are fiery as competitive colleagues but so, so sweet when they put down their knives and pitchforks and get together. Their personalities clash: Harper is a chronically late mess who has an incredible knack for talking to anyone, making her a spectacular and insightful profiler of the stars, whereas Ryan is serious and rabidly organized. But they complement one another.

As a former journalist myself, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves when (so often!) fictional reporters are (a) successful at their jobs despite being horribly incompetent or (b) engaged in deeply unethical practices. I’m pleased to say that Ryan and especially Harper (and their colleagues) are just good at their jobs, and Harper’s love of talking to people and sharing their stories really shines through in her dogged pursuit of stories and her interactions with her interview subjects. Her horrible boss (Cosmo!) is all-too-realistically drawn: assured in his own rightness as he is a poor judge of newsworthiness, dismissive of Harper’s and her beat’s value, and deeply sexist. Unfortunately, Ryan’s major miscues come when he fails to do enough to stand up to Cosmo, even when he’s clearly wrong. And while that makes him less of a Dream Book Boyfriend, it does make him all that more real.

[book:The Last Word] by [author:Katy Birchall]
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5 stars rounded down
🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ Door is open and the bedroom is steamy
👠 (only one shoe)
🧺🧺🧺 London’s best picnics
🚕👶 Unexpected babies

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Thank you to the publisher for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

The Last Word is a fun and emotional “second chance” workplace romance. It’s perfect for fans of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Just My Type by Fallon Ballard.

One of my favorite parts was Harper’s career decisions. I felt inspired as she worked her way through tough decisions in an even tougher industry.

Ryan was amazing. He was the sweet intern everyone fell in love with, including you, dear reader of my reviews. I loved how much he cared for Harper.

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Wow! I’m in love. What a delightful and highly entertaining read it was. The constant bantering, the chemistry, the romance and the end? It was soo good. I absolutely loved and seemed to have highly enjoyed reading it.

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Thank you so much to Net Galley, the publisher, and author for providing this book for my review. This was such a cute enemies to lovers rom com. Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope and this book certainly did this trope well. I also really enjoyed the dialogue and main character. This was my first book by Katie Birchall, but it won’t be my last. I can’t wait to read more from her. Thank you again for this delightful book. I highly recommend it.

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I had a fun time with this book. I really wish I could be a celebrity journalist too. I loved the bickering between the two and the way the author described Harper's clumsiness so well. This had all the good tropes: workplace enemies to lovers, he fell first, second chance romance, and opposites attract. I also usually like that though this is a romance, this was also introspective and had some elements of women's fiction too. I will definitely be reading this author's other books.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me this eARC

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