Book Review: Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner


Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner
Release Date: 4th July 2016
Publisher: Avon UK Maze
Buy: Kindle


Esther Knight is sharp, sarcastic – and hiding something. She waitresses at The Starlight Diner: a retro eatery where Fifties tunes stream out of the jukebox long into the night, and the tastiest milkshakes in New York are served.

Nobody at the diner knows why Esther left London for America – or why she repeatedly resists the charms of their newest regular, actor Jack Faber.

Esther is desperate to start a new life in the land of the free, but despite the warm welcome from the close-knit diner crowd, something from her past is holding her back. Can she ever learn to love and live again?

Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner is a witty, romantic, New York-inspired novel.


Esther Knight has fled London for the bright lights of New York and finds herself waitressing at the glorious Starlight Diner. (Think classic 50s diner with milkshakes and pancackes aplenty!) No one knows Eshter’s exact reasons for leaving London or who (or what?) she’s running from. The only thing that is apparent is that Ester is somewhat reluctant when it comes to relationships. Whilst she quickly becomes part of the family at the Starlight Diner, she is resistant to the charms of hunky actor and diner regular Jack Faber.
Things look set to come to a head when some familiar faces from England drop into the diner… Will Esther’s secret be revealed? What IS Esther’s secret? And is Jack quite as straightforward as he seems…?

I was one extremely excited book blogger when I got my mitts on Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner. It was one of those books that I had been hearing about for months beforehand and I had also seen lots of positive reviews, as well as absolutely loving the premise behind the story.

I will admit to being completely surprised by the darker elements to this novel as it’s something that I wasn’t perhaps expecting, but it worked extremely well. There are plenty of lighter moments and lots of humour to the story, but the darker twists alongside those made for a really intriguing and gripping novel that I absolutely loved.
The Starlight Diner is such a vibrant setting and makes for a brilliant backdrop. It added so much to the story and I had absolutely no difficulty picturing the diner in my mind (mine’s a milkshake and a burger, please!) It gave the story a really fascinating spin and I loved Bernie, Mona and the whole Starlight Diner family.
Ester was a fascinating and deeply complex lead character. I was desperate to discover the secret she was hiding from her past and the real reason as to why she was afraid to get close to anyone. Smart, witty and a first-class crossword solver, I really liked Esther and was quickly embroiled on the emotional journey she appeared to be on.
I also loved getting to know Jack. Initially a bit of a grump, like Esther I was wasn’t sure what to make of him, but needless to say my affections for him grew and as soon as it became clear that Jack was holding something back too, I was desperate to find out exactly what.

There are so many shocking twists and turns in this book (but not enough to make you dizzy- it’s still believable and easy to follow) and the story flows in such a way that just as you think you know where you are –BOOM – something changes and the story takes a new direction.
Helen’s writing is wonderful and it’s really difficult to believe that this is her debut novel. Her writing is confident, engaging and really easy to read. She has created a wonderful cast of characters with so many layers to them which it is a joy to unfold as the story progresses. Her writing is also full of imagery and description and she was done such a marvellous job at creating this little piece of heaven in the form of the Starlight Diner.

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait for the next instalment of the story – it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger! Helen, how could you do this to me!? I cannot wait to return to the Starlight Diner and for more from Helen Cox. Gritty chick-lit that will intrigue as well as entertain, Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner is one summer read you won’t want to miss…

A huge thank you to publishers Avon for approving me to read Milkshakes and Heartbreak at the Starlight Diner on NetGalley.



Helen CoxHelen Cox is a book-devouring, photo-taking, film-obsessed novelist. If forced to choose one, Helen’s Mastermind specialism would be Grease 2. To this day, she still adheres to the Pink Lady pledge and when somebody asks her if she is a god she says ‘yes.’

After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen found work writing for a range of magazines, websites and blogs as well as writing news and features for TV and radio. She has written three non-fiction books and founded independent film publication: New Empress Magazine. She currently lives in York and writes novels.

Helen Cox |  Website |  Twitter |  Goodreads |


One thought on “Book Review: Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner

  1. Pingback: Milkshakes and Heartbreaks Online Launch | Author: Helen Cox

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