Bonnie only has one person who she can turn to: her friend Esther Knight, who waitresses at the Fifties-themed diner. There, retro songs play on the jukebox as fries and sundaes are served to satisfied customers. But where has Esther gone?
Alone in New York City, Bonnie breaks down in front of arrogant news reporter, and diner regular, Jimmy Boyle. Jimmy offers to help her. Can she trust him?
When the kindly owner of the Starlight Diner offers Bonnie work, and she meets charming security officer Nick Moloney, she dares to hope that her luck has changed. Is there a blossoming romance on the cards? And can Bonnie rebuild her life with the help of her Starlight Diner friends?
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From reading the epilogue in Milkshakes & Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner I was already intrigued about this mysterious woman Bonnie who turned up at the diner and what was her story, and boy what a story she had to tell.
Bonnie is like a rabbit in the headlights when she first arrives in New York looking for Esther who she's hoping will offer her a place to stay, and like Esther in the previous book it's obvious that she's running from something. But it would appear that she's out of luck as Esther is currently overseas so Bonnie will have to fend for herself for a few days that is until she's soon offered a place of refuge from an unexpected source.
Although she was scared I also liked the strong independent side of Bonnie who wasn't going to run back to her family and do what they wanted her to. I liked that she knew what she wanted to do with her life, she just needed to deal with the situation she currently finds herself in first, which sees her going back to Atlantic City to deal with what happened there...
It was great re-visiting the Starlight Diner and meeting up with the crew again, it really was like catching up with old friends and getting to know them better and even see a different side to a few characters. Esther really came into her own and, despite only being a few years older than Bonnie, really looked out for Bonnie and offered her comfort and protection when she needed it the most.
This is not your typical girl meets boy romance story as like the first book in the series, there's a darker, sinister storyline at play which puts several characters in danger. But once again I liked how the gang at the diner rallied round someone who they've taken into their circle and offered her friendship, love and support.
Despite Secrets & Fries at the Starlight Diner being book 2 in a series, it is not technically a sequel so can be read completely on its own merit as the central storyline is a new one revolving around Bonnie who we didn't meet until the epilogue in Milkshakes & Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner. But to get a better appreciation of the characters and the diner setting, I would totally recommend reading both books one after the one and I'm sure you'll, like me, will want to pay New York a visit and find a retros diner yourself.
I'm not sure whether Helen Cox has any plans for future visits to the Starlight Diner but I would hate to think that this is the last that we see of them, I'd definitely love a catch up with them all again one day.