Younger Season 5 Episode 6 Recap



CC: Okay, so we are loaded up and ready for Younger season five, episode six, and I’ll have you know I’m watching this streaming on my phone, in my car, on the eighth floor of a parking garage, with my laptop jammed beneath the steering wheel. Because COMMITMENT. (Also, Younger.)

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The episode is called Sex, Lisa, Rock & Roll and I feel like the producers are taunting us here. Will there be sex? Is something going to happen with Liza and one of her beau? We shall see.

KC: Why are they suddenly spelling Liza’s name with an s?

CC: Last  week was such a filler episode, no Charles, and minimal (but welcome) Josh. And Liza’s would-be suiter Don Ridley was exposed for trying to reveal Liza’s secret.

KC: …Exposed as an opportunistic pig

CC: Maggie!

KC: Yay, Maggie!

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I really love that Maggie gets to be successful, too.

CC: Agreed. She’s got great news and wants a drink to celebrate despite the fact they’re both still in their pajamas. Liza tells her, “Mimosas ARE breakfast,” but Maggie demurs, “Let’s skip the OJ.” Both suggestions are excellent.


KC: And the art acknowledgement is a big deal because Diana knows all about it. She’s got an invitation (naturally) and is bringing Enzo. “Blue collar to black tie”.  Love it.

CC: Will there ever be a situation in Diana’s life that she can’t sum up with one simple sentence of sass? Also, I need a moment to just absorb Diana’s pearls. Wait a second – here comes: Charles! It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Oooh, and he’s so cold. Like ice.

KC: He’s back to being measured and hotly restrained.

CC: So they’ve bought the memoir of an ex rock star and delivery is waaaay overdue.

KC: This is feeling too real. Too. Real. I’m getting reflected stress.

CC: Liza is an absolute groupie, which is sweet. Charles tells Diana, ‘Let’s organise a skype meeting.’ Charles walks off and Diana turns to Liza: “Let’s means you.” I want to be Diana when I grow up.

KC: Me too.

CC: That was quick! We’re in the conference room, skyping with wayward memoirist rockstar Chrissie Hart.


KC: I mean, clearly supposed to be Chrissie Hynde. How does Younger get away without being sued all the time?? OMG, is the rock star being played by Gina Gershon? I’m sure it is.

CC: Not sure, but she’s so all over Skype Charles.

KC: She’s calling her book her baby and telling Charles she wants to hand it to him personally but I think she wants to hand him more than her baby. If you know what I’m saying. And I think you do.

CC: Poor Liza! Caught between her girl crush and her man crush.

KC: Ugh, Zane. You know what I think it is about Zane? He just wants to win. And he doesn’t care how he gets there.


CC: Jake and Kelsey are fooling exactly no one with the  both his editors cover up. Kelsey knows it, as evidence by that expression.

KC: Look, I don’t want to disparage another editor, but this is not good author care.

CC: Not to mention he’s being a major asshat. He’s obvious jealous and is taking it out on Jake.

KC: For a politico, I feel like Jake’s terribly indiscreet. Like he should know better? Also, Kelsey should not be making personal calls on her office phone. It’s unprofessional AND your company can totally listen in on your calls. It’s a thing.

CC: Chrissie’s home is AMAZING! Part gothic, part arts and crafts, all kinds of wonderful. Charles goes a-hunting for Chrissie and finds her lying on the couch with her legs out.


KC: Damn! That is a house. What is she doing? I mean, that’s one way to make sure a little skin is showing….

CC: Why do I want to have it done to me when I have no idea what it does? Maybe cellulite erasure?

KC: Man, Charles is so hot in this scene. The unbuttoned collar, the jacket, the well-fitting jeans. Hello, little notch between the collar bones. Whatever it’s called.

CC: Yeah, I’ll give you that. It occurs to me I should clarify that Charles IS hot, just not right for Liza IMO.

KC: I should remember what that notch is called.

CC: Do you mean the little divot near the Adam’s apple? He gives good divot, actually. Chin divot, neck divot.

KC: The English Patient made a big deal about it and I was OBSESSED with that movie.

CC: Chrissie rings a bell and tells Charles to ‘Taste her booch’.

KC: I bet you want him to taste your booch, Chrissie! Clearly she’s read page 58.

CC: Ha! A Marriage Vacation groupie.

KC: Did you see how she was pointing when she said that? Direct crotch point. And I love how her little session is never explained. Like she’s doing something weird with electrodes. NBD. Nothing to see here.

CC: So Younger. Like last week it was bread facing and now it’s body conditioning (maybe?) via electrolysis.


KC: Ooh Maggie’s name is printed on glass. That’s commitment.  Oh, and here’s Josh. You must be delighted.

CC: You know I am. And he’s looking divine.

KC: They’re going in for a group hug, Maggie, Liza, and Josh. Awww!


CC: Because: Friends. I wonder if Maggie would like Charles. Hold up. Am I crazy to think Diana and Maggie could have a thing? They’re building something up there, right?

KC: DIANA AND MAGGIE! That would be amazing!

CC: You feel it, right? Though I still love Lauren and Maggie.

KC: And I really like her with Enzo, too.

CC: Diana really is the perfect mix of neurotic and quintessentially unflappable.

KC: Diana’s staying the night at Enzo’s. And she’s packed a suitcase. Of course.

CC: She doesn’t know what to expect at Enzo’s!

KC: “I need to prepare for polyester.” Diana is EVERYTHING.

CC: She really is. I love how she’s so unashamed of her snobberies. It’s such an honest part of her. And as someone who takes pillow protectors away to hotels (because other people’s breath and skin cells do not need to be so close to my mouth, ugh, I get her vibe there.)

KC: Enter Enzo. He cleans up so nice!


CC: He looks so good, right? Love the suit. And his gravelly voice is 💯
At Chrissie’s house, it’s all TMI and not enough book. A weird tour of her somewhat macabre collection of skulls. Charles trying valiantly to KEEP THINGS ON TRACK. And… now Chrissie wants to show him a ten thousand dollar dildo.


KC: Look, I know Charles is uncomfortable, but Iwanted to see the ten thousand dollar dildo.

CC: YES! I mean, is it diamond tipped? Platinum?

KC: Why are Jake and Kelsey at a hotel and not at her office??

CC: She wants to work.

KC: At a hotel? And it’s clearly not working. Because Jake has a one-track mind.

CC: And there’s a huge bed framed in to shot right behind them. As Jake points out. I feel like it doesn’t bode well for his permanence that I can never remember his name. Is it Jack? Josh? Joe? Jake?

KC: Her self-tanner is still a funny hue.

CC: I think it’s hard for her to be pushing him to be professional right now when she’s blurred all these lines. She’s wanting to be his editor and his lovverrrrr. Ha, lover wins, apparently.

KC: Didn’t Kelsey learn her lesson from that guy in the first season? The scandi-noir guy?

CC: You would think. Okay, back to the fabulous party. I’m thrilled Maggie is getting her moment.

KC: Oh, yes! Yay, Maggie!

CC: Diana and Maggie meet and, obviously, bond over accessories. Maggie’s surprised Diana’s so hip and Diana’s surprised Liza’s never mentioned it.

KC: Because all ‘rompers and fanny packs’.

CC: Ooh. Charles is trapped at Chrissie’s house. And Diana can’t go because of her suitcase.

KC: I mean, clearly Liza was always going to go.

CC: Liza is going! I want to reiterate that this episode is called Sex, Liza and Rock and Roll so I am bracing for something big to about to happen here.

KC: But first, we’re at Enzo’s house. Oh, Enzo’s HOUSE!


CC: It’s so nice! All yellow and elegant. Diana is impressed.

KC: I love that hutch!

CC: So now we’re in Chrissie’s house.

KC: Damn, Charles. Enough with the supersternal notch! You’re killing me!  (See? I remembered J)

CC: And Liza is singing Chrissie’s songs because Liza is  a groupie.

KC: ‘Are you here to cock block me?’ I really hope so, Chrissie. I really hope so.

CC: Charles calls Liza one of their best editors, and that’s nice. Professional. Complimentary. Maybe he’s thawing?

KC: Poor Liza. Now she has neither the girl crush or the man crush.

CC: Jake’s come through with details about the Obamas…

KC: Is Jake making this shit up? Because I know Michelle would never do that.

CC: Also, I wonder how Younger gets permission to use these details? Look. I’ll be honest, there’s tension here and I’m not loving that Kelsey and Zane might hook up over Jake’s book.



CC: Yeah! They’re having a D&M and Zane is saying Jake’s too sweet for Kelsey and now… oh no. He’s told Kelsey to stop toying with his emotions. It’s catnip to Kelsey who leans in for yet another passionate kiss. Noooo! Remember seasons one and two Kelsey who was all engaged and somewhat monogamous?


KC: This is tacky.

CC: Right? I mean, probably don’t sleep with your author ever or your colleague ever, but with those barriers down, don’t sleep with both?

KC: It’s only like the on the first page of Strunk & White.

Oh, Liza and Charles are looking chummy on that couch. And Charles is … is he drunk?

CC: Well, they did apparently have Absinthe and Chrissie’s take on Stranger Things in the afternoon, which btw, is my idea of a perfect afternoon. I want to be Chrissie’s friend.

KC: Oh my God. Me too. We should do Stranger Things next. Oh! They are joking. ABOUT HER AGE. THEY ARE CLEARLY MOVING ON. AND THEY ARE BOTH DRUNK!


CC: They are definitely sitting close and I think we’re seeing real Liza here. And Charles is (drunkenly) noticing that. They have to stay the night at Chrissie’s because they’re too drunk to drive. The book’s been brought out but taken away again.

KC: Separate rooms. Boo.

CC: But they’re in the hallway. They’re laughing. They’re having fun. But… no. Liza can’t let a laugh go by. SHE WANTS TO TALK.

KC: Liza is not one to let things go.


CC: See he IS a bastard in relationships – I’m sorry. He is so immature to keep punishing her. That’s not love. Charles does NOT deserve Liza. How can anyone look at his behaviour and think it’s heroic? He’s made no efforts to understand why she got into this mess.

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KC: I’m not disagreeing. Charles is showing a distinct lack of analytical thinking. They go into their separate rooms and wait! Charles is hovering outside Liza’s! KNOCK! KNOCK DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU, KNOCK!


CC: This is the season 3 Friends finale, the cliff hanger with Ross/Rachel/Bonnie at the beach house. Will he or won’t he? Oh, but he won’t. He doesn’t. Because: Charles.

KC: At least we know Diana and Enzo got some.

CC:  Diana is clearly here for Enzo’s personal chef.

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CC: Oh, no. Kate! No! I can’t cope with this. He’s so perfect is all other ways.

KC: A  raisin instead of a grape??  Man, that is cold. And super ageist.

CC: BUT Diana speaks Italian. And speaks it with all the Diana-ness in the world. She tells Enzo’s mother she is a raisin! And she’s right. She needs an age-queer line.

KC: Age-queer. Oh my god, I forgot about that. Lauren is being reassuring. I mean, get yours, girl, but maybe not at work?

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CC: We are not reassuring.

KC: We are not.

CC: Josh walks in and he’s all, ‘I’m a one woman kind of guy’

KC: Yeah. One woman per night.

CC: Josh is looking for Liza. Kelsey tells him she’s with Charles. WORKING. But Josh is heartbroken. His face!

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KC: I love Lauren so much.

CC: Telling Kelsey to: have them both, diva! It’s healthier for your flora!

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KC: The best.

CC: Aw Chrissie and Liza are bonding, and there’s  so much angst behind Chrissie’s antics.

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KC: Is Chrissie’s eyeliner tattooed on?

CC: Can I just say, Liza is like the place Charles’s ex’s/wannabes go to die. She’s like the confidante extraordinaire to all the women who want Charles. Chrissie’s talking about her insecurities with her book, about sharing it with the world – what if it’s not good? And she is Every. Author. Ever.

KC: Liza is all wisdom here. And I totally feel her. Talking authors off the edge. It’s a huge responsibility.

CC: And we thank you for taking it so seriously. Hold up. They’re having a big heart to heart and Liza’s talking about her age and her divorce: why is she being so honest here? Isn’t her age still in the closet? Theoretically, doesn’t everyone think she’s a twenty something?

KC: I guess she could be that young and also divorced?


CC: OH! Back in the office, Liza has the book!

KC: And she is HOT and IN CONTROL.

CC: Or cold and in control. I feel like we’ve hit a Liza turning point this episode. Look how she’s wearing clothes that are more reflective of her real persona rather than twenty-something Liza? And how she was honest with Chrissie? And now… she’s slammed the book down on Charles’s desk.

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“How did you get that?” He asked.

“Because I didn’t run away, Charles.” And she stalks out of his office leaving him gaping.

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KC: And I do believe there is subtext there!

CC: Hell yeah. And she’s spot on. Charles has run from all his major relationships.

Wow! What an episode. Still no pay off on the Charles or Josh front but I’m loving Liza’s development.

CC: We’ll be back next week – hopefully not from a parked car.

KC: Or with children interrupting viewing time.








Younger Season 5 Episode 5 Recap



CC: So we’re starting the episode off with the return of Liza’s college-bound daughter Liza. Oh, and she’s breadfacing. WTF.


KC: This is clearly a cry for help.

CC: Yay! Lauren!

KC: I’m still stuck on bread facing. Is this a real thing?

CC: Definitely not one I’ve heard of. I’m clearly missing out. Meanwhile, Lauren’s assistant is SO. EXTRA. They are gender-queer. Josh isn’t completely on the same page though as the whole ‘can’t assume pronouns’ situation.

KC: I feel like living where Josh does, he’d be more au fait with the queer spectrum.

CC: Definitely. And just being who Josh is. Who’s the villain guy waiting for Josh?



CC: Can I just say how happy I am to have a JOSH SUBPLOT? I CARE. And it will be important in some way, to bring Liza back to her true love. Meanwhile, at Empirical, the entire Empirical staff is in a meeting with cute politico, Joe.

KC: YOUNGER is the worst name-dropper ever.

CC: I’m only here for the Zelsey tension, especially because Joe is flirting the pants off Kelsey.

KC: Like, SO name droppy.

CC: Oh, Zane is BURNING here!


KC: I’m down with Kelsey hooking up with the new author. I mean, professionally it’s a big ‘no no’, but fictionally it’s way better than Zane.

CC: These parties always make me want to move to New York and run my own imprint. And have Kelsey’s clothes and eyelashes.

KC: We all want Kelsey’s clothes. Hilary Duff should only ever wear baby blue. But her self-tanner is a bit off?


CC: Baby blue is definitely her colour.  I’m not sure about Joe’s manners though, dragging her away from other potential authors. New York is so sparklyin this scene! And they’re all  a deuxand Josh really puts the moves on. Kelsey pretending she’s surprised by his attention, and demurs with a: “I am your editor!” before leaning in for the kiss.


KC: Super not profesh, Kelsey.

CC: Oh, jeez. So Liza is still dating Don – I’d forgotten about this guy! I cannot understand why we have him as a potential Liza interest? I mean, obviously he’ll be a villain but, no. Just, no.

KC: They give Liza the worst secondary love interests.

CC: And now he pronounces ‘GIFS’ as Jifs. Or am I saying it wrong?


CC: Not least of which is they’re on a romantic date and now suddenly he’s talking about herpes? Ugh! And Liza is falling all over the place.


KC: Oh, he’s about to find out!




CC: Noooo! He is NOT A GOOD VAULT for this information.

KC: Right? Because he’s totally broke, and looking for a big break! CRAP!

CC: This could be very dangerous for Liza. Don says he hopes he can think of a way to make his own career great again and I feel like all the foreshadowing is there.

KC: Why have we not seen Charles yet?

CC: He’s no doubt being all broody and cross somewhere.

KC: So now, Liza and Maggie are at one of Lauren’s fabulous parties, and as they walk in, Liza gets a text to say Don can’t make it because he’s writing.

CC: Oh, gee, I wonder what he’s writing facepalm.

KC: Kelsey confides in Liza that she’s got a crush on her new author. I love how Kelsey and Liza’s friendship is still so solid.

CC: They are friendship goals, for sure.

KC: Lauren is being told by her intern that EVERYTHING CAN’T BE IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME.


CC: I fundamentally disagree with that.

KC: So wait. Did Younger introduce a non-binary character just to make this scene a punchline? NOT. COOL. YOUNGER. SO VERY NOT COOL. Like, this is not a Liza’s age thing, but a general respect thing. That could have been handled somuch better.

CC: Yeah, it feels like a strange choice, given the show’s viewer demographic.  Moving from the party, we (finally) come to Josh, sitting in Inkburg all alone (and smoking hot) and he’s calling Liza. JOSH IS CALLING LIZA. JOSH IS DRUNK CALLING LIZA!


KC: Of COURSE you would put that in all caps. At least we know who the mystery guy is. Not a villain, just a landlord.

CC: I can’t type because I am HOLDING ALL MY BREATH and crossing all my fingers! Please let there me Josh and Liza sex! They’re touching! And getting closer!


KC: Josh is just being really emotionally manipulative here.

CC: Because he LOVES HER.

KC: But Liza is wise.

CC: How do you not feel their tension?

KC: It’s in the past! There is too much hurt to get past. JOSH IS AN ENTRÉE.

CC: Okay, I love Josh, but I have to laugh at him calling Liza and asking her to leave a party for like a thirty seven second conversation. That’s not okay.

KC: OH GOD. And from the pages of the ‘we all saw this coming’ book, Don is writing an article about Liza’s age. A fact checker from Vanity Fair – name drop – calls Liza.


CC: Liza and Kelsey are freaking out about this – the fact checker is all over this, calling everyone who’s ever had anything to do with Liza or Millenial, but the sound of it!  ‘New phone, who dis?’ is Liza’s choice of dodge.

KC: I love everything about this scene in Reese’s office. EVERYTHING.


CC: Age-Queer is about to become a thing.


CC: So obviously Liza needs to confront Don about the article he’s writing. I feel like “The only thing Don cares about is the free food”. should have been her early warning sign..

KC: He actually says that, as a middle-age white man, he’s the one who’s marginalised! HE ACTUALLY SAID THAT! HE WENT THERE!


CC: Liza and I are in total agreement. Don is an asshole.

KC: Is Caitlyn just here to remind us all that she exists?

CC: Gah! Liza is now bread facing! “I like it on my chin. Really crusty.”


KC: That was amazing. I mean, Liza really sold that. I’m thinking of trying it myself.



KC: This is a nice speech from Liza, about how they’re all there for Josh. Josh replies with subtext.

CC: Josh goes in for a hug. And there is subtext: it’s game on. He wants Liza back, that much is obvious. I’m really so happy with this. I’m so team Josh and this is exactly why.


KC: No, let it go! It’s over!  Why was there no Charles in this episode?

CC: I don’t think we needed him this week.

KC: Age queer being a thing is amazing. I think it reframes the show from Liza’s lie towards a broader industry problem.

CC: I’m happy with that episode. Lots of tension and lots more fun, plus I think we might have seen the last of Don? Let’s hope, anyway. Next week will reveal all!



Younger Season 5 Episode 4 Recap




Clare: So, last week we finished with a long overdue confrontation between Charles and Liza over her age-lie.

Kate: in which Charles showed absolutely no self-awareness about the challenges of women working in publishing (or at all), but he’s hurting, so I’m hoping that comes later.

This week opens with MAFIA!

Clare: So much room for angst between Charles and Liza.

Kate: I love Mafia so much. I also love how much Diana loves Mafia. I also just love Diana.

Clare: It’s really just an excuse for Charles to go all jilted ex-lover on Liza and for her to make big sad eyes at him.

Kate: Also an excuse to introduce a new love interest (Thank God. Replace Josh. Josh is SO two seasons ago)


Clare: So, not. Josh is evergreen. But yes, there’s a new kid on the Liza block. Enter Don Ridley, a freelance journalist writing for magazines like GQ and People. Oooh er.

Kate: and Diana gets her flirt on. Also Zane gets Mafia murdered and I’m so here for that. I’m still holding on to residual Grey’s Anatomy angst when that actor played a girlfriend basher.  Also, Charles, enough with the subtext. I’m #teamyou, but enough already.

Clare: I’m not there yet in Grey’s so I still have the Zane love. This is, of course, contingent on how he treats Kelsey… Post Mafia, Diana has a plumbing emergency, and apparently she thinks Liza might have some special skill?

Kate: I think it might be that Liza is her assistant in everyway. Also I was reasonably willing to get on #teamnewguy until he bogarted a porkchop. Who does that?

Clare: Charles is all of us at that moment.


Clare: Oh my god, it’s Enzo! Good Time Enzo! What season was that? Three?

Kate: Thank goodness. Diana definitely needs a good time.

Clare: Oh, Enzo has been pining!

Kate: Diana is definitely feeling that downtown man thing. I really hope the Thursday night date gets onscreen time. Enough with Liza’s dating adventures, bring on Diana’s!

Clare: Speaking of, Don is not going to take no for an answer.

Kate: I mean, the People party sounds like it would be amazing, but also he stole a porkchop?

Clare: Charles is so convincing in this scene. Like, oh yes, you have to go, Liza. You have to go to the party with another man. Because I’m so over you and I don’t care about you and your new porkchop-souveniring boyfriend.

Kate: I love a good Tupperware burn.

Clare: It’s so Charles to go to Tupperware. Like the most banal of insults.

Kate: Look, I work in publishing, and there are parties, but I am notinvited to those kinds of parties. Damn. Also, I like the ‘you can pick one celebrity’. I would totally pick Taylor Swift. Or Oprah.

Clare: I love that Liza knows no celebrities and has zero interest. Can you imagine if Lauren was there? Anyway, works out well for Don because Liza listens to his celeb-gossip and asks him to pitch a book. Oh! We’re back in the office and now it’s late and Zelsey is on screen. Love this. Zane has a date with someone else and Kelsey takes a leaf out of Charles’s book and is all, “I don’t care” but her look says, I do care. I really do.

Kate: I know you’re in Zelsey land, but I am so bored with this story line. Kelsey needs to get better taste in men.


Kate: Don is the biggest name dropper that has ever dropped names.

Clare: But they’re loving his name-dropping. Uh oh, until Charles swans in all possessive and territorial and super-critical.

Kate: Yes, he’s being super professional and not at all punishing Liza. *calls HR

Clare: I like that Kelsey isn’t making Liza’s thing all about her…

Kate: But she could totally do an I-told-you-so dance right now.

Clare: Liza is so insistent in her meeting with Charles. Go Liza!

Kate: I can see the cold, methodical Charles that Pauline spoke about. He’s positively icy here.

Clare:  As opposed to his usual bundle of warmth rolls eyes Oooh! Liza slams his door when she leaves the office… It’s satisfying.

Kate: I think all of the Kelsey/Zane plot line should be replaced by Diana dating.

Clare: I am there for that, but you know I’m also in the Zelsey zone. Meanwhile, Diana’s earrings are out of this world, like extra extra extra. I need some immediately.


Kate: Diana refers to Liza as a drunk toddler and I suddenly had an anxiety attack about having a drunk toddler and now I have to practise yoga breathing for a second.

Clare: Speaking of being a bit extra, as Diana leaves, the camera pans out, and Charles literally looms up, out of the shadows.

Kate: Yeah, they played up the creepy there a bit.


Clare: I know I should find this creepy but there’s an intensity that I’m liking – I guess it’s on the emotional register and I’ve been waiting for Charles to, you know, discover his.

Kate: You and your thing for intense men.

Clare: I mean, I like intensity but really, I would settle for the hint of a pulse with Charles.

Kate: I myself am here for Charles being somewhat more self-aware and recognising Liza’s value as a personand not just a young person. But Liza does notread the room with her ‘let me share my life story’.

Clare: So we’re in Staten Island now and Diana and her earrings are having quite the date with hot plumber (much to her – and my – obvious surprise). Enzo assures Diana he’s not mobbed up, but seriously, the gold chain?

Kate: ‘I’m trying to impress you…it’s a first date, don’t get used to it.’ …wait, I’m #teamEnzo now. I’m sure that the mob thing is just a phase.

Clare: I love their date. Much better than this. What is that? Where are Don and Liza eating?

Kate: I’m definitely not Team Don. I mean, I get that being a writer is very hard, but a lousy tip rather than letting Liza pay?

Clare: I think we’re meant to find this charming but I don’t. They skip out and everything seems hunky dory as the camera pans out but alarm bells are screeching for me. He’s a hard-on-his-luck journo writing unscrupulous stories just to make a buck, and Liza’s sitting on the mother of all secrets. Really, what could go wrong?

Ominous drum roll…

Kate: I also do not approve of his facial hair grooming choices.


Kate: And fin! No Josh, no Lauren, no Maggie, no Pauline…

Clare: and not enough Zelsey

Kate: Too much Zelsey!

Clare: Let’s hope next episode brings the whole gang back together. Younger resumes July 11.







The Italian Billionaire's Betrayal
My first book! 

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but it’s been four years today since I published my first book. Where did that time go? Sixty Four romance novels later (what the?) and I feel like the last four years have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Birthdays are a great time of reflection, and I’ve been thinking about what this journey has taught me. So, without further ado, here’s:




My doctor asked me today what my hobbies are, and I had to stop and think about that for a minute. There are lots of things I love, like cooking and walking on the beach, but nothing I love so much as writing romance. It’s the last thing I do before bed each night and the first thing I do when I wake up, and I spend the day plotting and tinkering and writing and wishing I was writing when I’m not able to write.


I’ve become much better at ignoring reviews – good and bad. It’s hard to write the books you want to write when you have other people’s voices in your head. Not my characters’ voices, but reviewers’. Everyone has opinions, and those opinions are valid, but they’re not particularly helpful when you’re trying to do something creative. I can’t write the story I want to write if I have other people’s opinions swirling around my mind. Nurture the vision you have for a book, protect it from anyone’s bubble-popping until you’re one hundred percent happy with the book you’ve written.

close up of typewriter vintage retro styled


This one took me a long time to accept. After all, if you love what you do, can it really count as a ‘job’? The answer is ‘yes’, absolutely, and it’s important to prioritise it as such. I keep a to-do list, and schedule my time, making sure I tick off small tasks in the morning, then hit my daily word count, before returning to some other marketing chores in the afternoon. Anything remaining gets dealt with after dinner, and then, if there’s time, I write a little more before bed. I have to guard my work time fiercely – and this is even more important if you’re juggling writing with another job, or other time-taking family commitments.



It’s important to switch your creating-brain off sometimes, and simply soak up someone else’s work. I regularly take a few days to read or watch a TV series or movie (When Harry Met Sally is a favourite of mine!), and find this time my most productive for solving plot problems or hatching new story ideas. I always feel more refreshed when I next return to my work, seeing a project with more clarity.

It’s important to carve out regular breaks, as well. I’m not actually good at this, but I know I write better and feel happier if I force myself to take a weekend with my family- or minimise my work to an hour or two at most.

I guess there’s a lot more I’ve learned along the way – the nitty gritty of self-publishing, the workings of traditional publishing, the pleasure of seeing my book on the shelves of major shopping chains, the joy of knowing people are reading and loving my books, the importance of finding your awesome book tribe and cheering on their successes whenever you can, and the delight of being able to do this for a living …

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.45.36 pmThank you for reading my books, and this post! To celebrate my fourth-book-birthday, I have 100 e-copies of THE SHEIKH’S SECRET BABY to give away to the first people to click over and claim!

Love, Clare. x


The songs of Burn me Once

THE SONGS OF ETHAN ASHSo my latest release for Mills & Boon has been out almost a week, and I’m so ridiculously thrilled to share Ally and Ethan’s story with you. I loved writing this book. I loved everything about it – I particularly ADORED my hero, Ethan Ash.

He’s the kind of rock star that dreams are made of. He’s every musician fantasy you’ve ever had, brought to life: and he’s soooo much better in the flesh!

The book is dedicated to Isaac Hanson, who was my first (and remains and enduring) musician crush for me, but there were lots of singers and bands that helped me come up with Ethan. I listened, ad nauseam, to my BURN ME ONCE playlist while I was writing this book. So if you read it and loved it and want to immerse yourself in the full Ethan Ash experience, have a listen on Apple music.  

BURN ME ONCE is out now.

“You. Me. Sex. It’s easy.”

All she has to do is not get hooked…

Ally Douglas has made a deal with Ethan Ash: just sex, no strings, no forever. All she knows about him is that he’s a world-famous rock star and he’s absolutely gorgeous. Their sexual chemistry is instant and magnetic, and this arrangement satisfies their needs. Only now that Ethan has started to break the rules, will Ally be able to stop herself from getting burned…

Facebook Cover BURN ME ONCE-2

Fifteen Years Ago

Fifteen years ago, my nana died. She was in her eighties and as fit as a fiddle right up until the day she died. I’m old enough now to see that this was a blessing – a long life, well-lived, healthfully lived, until the end, which was swift and painless.

But at the time, I felt robbed.  It wasn’t painless for those who loved her. We were left wondering why? We’d just celebrated Christmas together, for Goodness sake. Her eyes had shone with their usual degree of whit and vivacity, her lips had twisted with that quirk of amusement that oft sat upon her face, and she’d talked and nodded, laughed and eaten with all her usual degree of enthusiasm.

Less than a week later, she was dead.

I think of my nana often. I have her photograph right by my door and every day as I walk outside, often several times a day, I bid her farewell. I think about her life, which was full of so many road bumps, and so many joys. I think about what a gift it was that we had her for as long as we did, and that we were spared the pain of seeing her life and love dimmed by illness or disease. She was herself until the end.

I think about the lessons she taught me -resilience, perseverance, independence. My Nana Connelly was quite ahead of her times in these ways – widowed early in her marriage, with three daughters, she had to take care of herself and she did so with aplomb. She never remarried: my mother tells me Nana would say, “Better to be a young man’s darling than an old man’s fool.”

I’ve been nostalgic for nana today, fifteen years after losing her. As a child, she was a constant in my life, sweet-smelling and soft, stern at times, huggly at others, and also so very loved. I remember her laugh, more of a chuckle, really, and her kindness and her interest in me – an interest that was marked, because of her love. I remember her curious turns of phrase, borrowed from a faraway time, that were ‘uniquely nana.’ I remember feeling impatient with her, as I reached my teens, feeling that I knew so much more and oftentimes rolling my eyes at her stories. But nana wouldn’t have minded. She was young once, too, and that’s the way of the young.

Now, I wish she were here. I wish I could have a few more days with nana, to introduce her to my children’ and tell her about my books and hear her laugh and listen to her re-tell her stories.

I think of my nana, who died fifteen years ago, every single day, and speak to my children about her often. Is there more we can hope for, in life, than to make this kind of imprint on our descendants? I was so lucky to have my nana, and I’m thinking of her today, more than usual.



My Writing Work Day

close up of typewriter vintage retro styled

I’ve had a few people ask me lately about my average working day. Only, I don’t really have an “average” working day, but I have phases of productivity which form a pattern. An overall working-month, more than a ‘working day’. I do work ‘full time’ as a writer, and yet it doesn’t resemble any other full-time job I’ve ever held, that’s for sure! I have a lot of flexibility in how I structure my diary, and I think it’s a very unique process. Every writer will have a different approach to their output. This is how it is, for me.

Phase 1. Plotting. This is a term I use pretty loosely. I’m not a keen plotter, in terms of detailed storyline development. I approach a story knowing my characters inside out, and their central conflict as well. I usually have an idea of how their conflict will come to a head, and how it will resolve. I also like to have a “Hollywood moment” in mind- that is, the scene that everyone would go, “ahhhh, awwwww!” at in the movie cinema. I’m often plotting up to five stories at a time (maybe more), in the same notebook and in my head. It starts as a kernel of an idea and drives itself around and around in my mind until it’s fleshed out enough as a concept for me to start writing. I’m plotting all the time. Even when I’m writing, an idea can come to me for another story and I add it to my notebook. Sometimes, it’s just a sentence, other times, the story is almost fully formed when it comes to me.

The plotting phase looks a lot like: vagueness. Distraction. Conversations that fade into the air, as my mind ticks over new ideas, distracting me from the real world completely.

Phase 2. Writing. this is, by far, my favourite phase. When I’m in a book, it is pretty much all I’m capable of focussing on creatively. I can’t read other books or edit books of my own. Apart from an errant idea for another book I’m plotting, it’s all about the Current MS. So, in this phase, I write obsessively. The only way to describe the intensity of this is ‘claustrophobic.’ I suffocate under the weight of my story until I have written it.

I want to put everything on hold except for my book, and to this end, when I’m gearing up for a ‘writing phase’, I do try to clear as much of my schedule as I can, but obviously, that’s not always possible! So I have to squeeze my writing into the gaps of life, around school drop off and pick up, grocery shopping, extra-curricular commitments, social obligations. Nonetheless, in the weeks I’m writing, I write diligently, usually getting a significant amount of words down per day. This means waking early, and writing late. And I love it! This is, without doubt, my favourite part.

I never feel like I don’t want to write. I resent it greatly if I’m not able to get into my story for any reason, and if I go too long without being in a writing phase, I get antsy and irritable. Writing isn’t just my job, it’s my passion and my hobby.

I often ruminate on the fact that I don’t consider myself a writer, so much as a storyteller. Don’t mistake me, I love playing with words, running them around the page until they find the right order, but what I really love is my people, and their world. I love their conflict, their tension and angst, and manoeuvring the pieces of their lives into place to find their genuine, authentic ‘happily-ever-after’. Once I have the idea for the story, I desperately need to commit it to paper. It overtakes me until it’s done, pushing all else to the extremities.

I write books that are between 50,000 to 55,000 words, with the exception of three single titles I’ve written that hover around 80,000 – 90,000 words in length (and are still being tweaked). I usually add a few extra thousand words during the editorial phase. A Mills & Boon is between 50,000 and 55,000 words.

The writing phase looks a lot like: endless cups of tea, a cramped neck, and a computer tan. I will dip into my story at every opportunity, meaning my MacBook often has toast crumbs spread across it from where I’ve been typing out a scene while getting brekkie organised for the kids…I’m also riddled with doubt for big patches of this phase. I doubt my story, my characters’ motivations and my ability to do them justice, but I know that doubt will disappear the closer I get to the end and so I keep my head down and push on.

Phase 3. Editing and promotion. Though I wish I could just write stories all day every day, there are other parts of the job that need my attention. When I’m not writing, I’m usually catching up on edits. I’m generally editing two projects at a time, one in structural and one in copy edits. On a day when I’m editing, I like to choose a time when I have a proper block to work at it. If it’s a day when my little girl is home, that’s during her midday nap. If it’s a day when both kids are at kindy/school, then I set myself up at the kitchen table with a pot of tea and have at it, not shifting until I’m happy I’ve done a solid chunk of the book. It’s important to see the book for what it is, putting aside all the visions that fill out your head when you’re writing it, and read it with as fresh eyes as possible.

To this end, once I finish a book, I usually put it away for as long as possible before I begin my first round of edits – sometimes that’s three weeks, other times, it’s several months. It means I can read it as a reader would, and I also find I pick up way more typos and mistakes this way, too.

I both love and loathe editing. Once I’m finished writing a book, I consider their story told, and I want to move onto the next adventure. I find the idea of revisiting it tedious. BUT, no book is perfect on its first draft. The editing process, once you can bring yourself to do it, is an opportunity to hone your words to make them really special. To cut out the waffle and tighten the prose, and to expand on ideas that you didn’t completely capture on the first pass.

I’m lucky in that I have always worked with fantastic editors, who hold up the PERFECT mirror to my words (a mirror that is both honest and kind!!) so that I can see what needs improving without doubting the quality of the book.

The editing phase looks like: I’m human, more or less, once again on top of the minutiae of daily life, able to function, grocery shop and finish an actual conversation.

If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about your approach. Do you write every day? Or just on weekends? What keeps you glued to the screen until you’re finished?




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When I was growing up, I never missed an episode of The Bold & The Beautiful. I loved that show with an undying degree of commitment. I have lost track of how many times we went through a Rooke phase then a Raylor phase, but I was as invested each cast-of-the-bold-and-the-beautiful.pngand every time as though it were the first. There’s something enduringly appealing about the dynastic glamour of stories like this – not just because of the unimaginable wealth and social status that allows us to imagine we were them, for a moment, but also, there’s the air of reality. Beyond all the couture and paparazzi, these were real people with real emotions, and though they proposed with twelve carat diamond rings, their hearts were no less vulnerable.

Late last year, I was invited by Harlequin to take part in an incredible exciting project – a serial novel full of glamour, betrayal, sex and drama. From the very first moment I read the premise I was suckered in. The Santiago-Marshall family, with their powerful patriarch Harris02-SECRETS-OF-THE-A-LIST-Quote-800-x-800on in a coma after a mysterious car accident, reminded me of everything I loved most about the Forrestors and the Spectors.

With Harrison indisposed, a question arises with absolute urgency: WHO IS THE FIXER? And what is his relationship to the powerful businessman?

The mysteries (and there are many) of this series are set agains the backdrop of a rarified world – money, status, wealth, society… the cast of this series are instantly, infinitely fascinating.

And they did fascinate me. I wrote the second ‘episode’ of this series, but I have devoured them all voraciously! It is a fast-paced, page-turning read and I am so jealous that you get to enjoy it for the first time now!


A new episode novella will drop each week for the next ten weeks (the first, Joss Woods’s awesome introduction to this world is FREE for a limited time so read it now and catch up!), and they’re designed to be devoured in a little over an hour – perfect, fast, exciting reading that will have you on the edge of your seat, hankering for the next instalment faster than you can say Netflix-and-Chill.

So, what are you waiting for? Go, go, go! Don’t miss Episode 1 of SECRETS OF THE A-LIST while it’s free, and then power through the series.

Enjoy, lovies!

The lastingness of love


I write mostly about romantic love, and romantic love is something that most people experience in their life. The presence of it, or the absence, I believe intrinsically shapes who we are.

But I’m thinking about enduring love today. Romantic love is – or can be – but I mean real enduring-in-the-face-of-adversity love.

The reason this is playing around in my mind is because I write from a cafe and have come to know the regular cast of characters who are here at the same times I am. There is one pair, and I cannot say if they are mother and son or husband and wife, to be honest. I know only that the woman, who wears a wedding ring, has suffered something, at some point in her life, resulting in her being silent and locked away inside of herself. And once a week, her companion brings her for coffee, and they sit and he reads the paper and she stares at other people, watches him, drinks her coffee, and every now and again, if she has stared for perhaps too long at any one particular person, he reaches across and taps her on the hand to draw her attention back to him. Her staring isn’t malicious, of course, but if you don’t see it against the background of her situation you might feel a little targeted.

In any event, the affection between the two never fails to bring a swelling to my throat. He takes such beautiful care of her, making sure she’s warm, patting her back as he settles her into a seat, laying a newspaper out in front of her to look at even though she doesn’t seem to read it.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe this is something we all think we would do for our spouse or parent, if they were to require it of us. It shouldn’t be extraordinary – this level of love should be more normal.

It’s just very moving and beautiful to see it enacted, and their love and connection gives me faith in the goodness of humanity and the lastingness of true love.



close up of typewriter vintage retro styled

Every single book I have written has a special place in my heart. I love them all. And yet… there are some, certain books, certain characters, that go into a whole other place. The book I’m writing now (my second for Harlequin’s new DARE line) – and will finish today – is one such book.

It has been an immersive experience to write. My every waking thought has been consumed by Ally and Ethan, and their story. I have resented every minute not spent at the keyboard (sorry, real world). It’s as though the ocean has grabbed me by the ankles and sucked me under; I am being rolled by every current and wave in their narrative. It’s exhausting and emotional but a rare and beautiful feeling, all at the same time.

This is a book about two people who’ve had their hearts broken in love before, and about the way those experiences have shaped them. Having been wrong before, he’s quick to spot the ‘real deal’ but Ally won’t let herself trust again.

Rockman Guitar PlayerI can’t define what, in particular, it is that makes some books like this. The characters, definitely. Ethan Ash is only my second rock star hero (the other is yet to be published), and I have buried myself in the world of beautiful musicians in order to research this book. I’ve listened to Ed Sheeran, in particular, on repeat, watched his concerts on youtube (like this one!) and Ethan Ash has become a real-life person in my mind. And I love him! As for Ally, the thing I love about her is that she’s someone we’d be friends with. She’s funny, smart, motivated, interesting and her vulnerabilities are completely understandable. In fact, the more she falls in love with Ethan, the more I find myself wanting to tell her to be careful, because we know how badly she was hurt last time.

And today, I will finish their story, and type ‘THE END’. And while it will be a relief – much like coming up for air, and being ‘myself’ again, I am going to be bereft. These people have been living inside of me and suddenly they’re gone… it’s a strange void to have to deal with.

I can’t wait to share it with you (in the first half of 2018).