August 2, 2011

the shopper and the entrepreneur

PBMG No. 4: Becky Bloomwood and Luke Brandon from the "Shopaholic" series

Title: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, Shopaholic and Baby, Mini-Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella

The Shopaholic series tells the misadventures of fun, spirited Becky Bloomwood Brandon as she attempts to overcome — or at least live with — a shopping addiction. She's joined by a cast of fabulous characters, including her boyfriend-turned-fiance-turned-husband.

The scoop on Becky and Luke

Rebecca Bloomwood is a financial reporter in the first book, who later becomes a TV personality, personal shopper and mother. Luke Brandon is the smooth, sophisticated founder of Brandon Communications who Becky knows initially on a professional basis.

The meet cute

Becky and Luke met before the book begins. Luke noticed Becky at her first press conference.

"He confessed that he'd started sending me invitations to PR events even when they weren't relevant to my magazine, just because I always livened up proceedings" (Shopaholic Ties the Knot, page 401).

The first time we see them together in the series is when Becky covers another press conference for her magazine and Luke lends her money to "buy a gift for her sick aunt," when in reality, she wants to buy a designer scarf she found on sale.

Their paths cross more times before they begin a relationship.

Scene stealer

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan is probably the hardest in the series for me to read. Things go spectacularly wrong for Becky, and she reaches an all-time low. But then the final scene happens, making up for all of it.

The couple breaks up after a bad run in New York City, and Luke returns to London — seemingly permanently — while Becky starts a new life in Manhattan as a personal shopper at Barney's. After two months apart, Luke arrives at the store one day to "buy a suit."

Their banter is fantastic. While seemingly talking about whether or not she'll take him on as a client, the two actually hash out the mistakes made in their relationship and whether or not they're up for working it. Thankfully, they do, and they return for four more books to date.

Other favorite scenes include:
• Debating each other on the nationally-aired TV show "Morning Coffee" and following it up with dinner at the Ritz Confessions of a Shopaholic.
• Sitting by the tree talking after their wedding in Shopaholic Ties the Knot.
• Becky and Luke going up against each other during a protest she mistakenly helped orchestrate against one of his new clients in Shopaholic and Sister.
• The first months after their daughter, Minnie, is born in Shopaholic and Baby.
• Becky's attempts to distract Luke from discovering the super secret surprise birthday party she planned for him Mini Shopaholic.

Why I love them

Becky is fun, kind and witty. Luke is smart, serious and dedicated. Both are also flawed.

They compliment each other. She helps him lighten up and enjoy life. He helps keep her in line without breaking her free-spiritedness. They are different enough to keep it interesting, but share the same most important values: love for family and loyalty.

It's refreshing to read a modern series that has a romantic subplot so based in the reality and trials we all face. It's why they are the highest placed modern couple in my countdown (spoiler alert for what is to come in couples No. 1-3).

I can't wait to see what happens next with the Brandon family — hopefully another addition with their temporary move to Los Angeles.

Best lines

"You've had me on the hop for quite a while, Rebecca."
(Confessions of a Shopaholic, page 339)

"I don't just need someone like you. I need you."
(Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, page 373)

"Becky Bloomwood, I love you."
"I'm Becky Brandon now, remember… Mrs. Rebecca Brandon."
"There's only one Becky Bloomwood. Never stop being her… Whatever you do, never stop being Becky Bloomwood."
(Shopaholic Ties the Knot, page 406)

"You should be proud of yourself. Hurricane Becky, they're calling you."
"What, I leave a trail of destruction everywhere?"
"You blow people away. Everyone you meet."
(Shopaholic and Sister, page 383)

"Becky's instincts mach no one else's. Becky has ideas no one else has. Her mind goes to places no one else's does. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to go along with her her… She makes me laugh. She makes me enjoy life. And I love her more than anything else in the world."
(Shopaholic and Baby, page 338)

Read the original post to learn more about this series. You can also see couples 5-10 by clicking "pbmg" in labels.

Check back Thursday for No. 3.


  1. I LOVE Becky and Luke!!! And the whole Shopaholic series. People are seriously missing out by not reading it. And the movie was cute, but doesn't even come close to the books!! I really hope she writes another Shopaholic book! I need it!

  2. I'm with you on all counts. I'd like to see what happens for the Brandons if they make a visit to Hollywood.

    Thanks for reading!