actors

Grounded by Aidan Wayne Review

     Grounded by Aidan Wayne 3.5 Stars!

Between raising his daughter Camille, his work as a full-time pastry chef, and his hobby of capoeira, Baz’s life is pretty full. He may be a little lonely, but he’s too busy to think about it all that much.

When his cousin Alaina introduces him to Terry, another capoeira student, Baz is instantly drawn to him. Though quiet and withdrawn, Terry ends up being a fun, interesting person who Baz can’t help but fall for. And when Baz does things, he doesn’t do them halfway.

Terry is a successful voice actor and a talented martial artist. But the fact that he’s shy, on top of being a trans man, has kept him from really dating. He likes Baz, he does—he just doesn’t want to mess up their friendship by failing at romance. Still, Baz is nothing if not stubborn, and Terry is willing to give things a try.

Review

I liked everything that was in this book but to make this romance really sing I need much more to make an emotionial investment.

I like the slow unspooling of Terry’s character. I enjoyed the details of how Baz’s manages single fatherhood and the scenes with his daughter. The details of each hero’s job were were well done. I like how sexual desire and romantic affection is handled.

I like Baz and Terry and their courtship and relationship.

However, so much floated in this story that I couldn’t engage. Setting needed much more developed. Baz’s sexuality isn’t really discussed as well as many aspects of his back story. A great deal about Terry is shadowed as well. We don’t get much martial arts really either.

So, it is sweet and gentle romance with great everyday details but I needed more emotionial intimacy.

Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow Review

   Played! (Shamwell Tales Book 2) by J.L. Merrow 2 Stars

Posh boy Tristan Goldsmith has one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when the Shamwell Amateur Dramatics Society begs him to take a leading role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an added incentive, he’ll be giving private acting lessons to a gorgeous local handyman who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances.

As a late-diagnosed dyslexic still struggling with literacy, Con Izzard’s never dared to act before. With arrogant yet charming Tristan helping him with his lines, he finally has his chance to shine. But Con’s determined not to start a romance with a man he’s convinced only wants a casual fling.

Tristan’s never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when he realises his attraction to the tall, muscular handyman isn’t just physical. Just as he thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes with a slip of the tongue that shatters Con’s trust and sends him running for cover. This show may be over before the curtain’s even opened.

Review

There are some lovely moments in this book but overall its very unsatisfying.

Tristan is not very self reflective, entitled, self centered, arrogant and often cruel. He is 24 not 6 and as an actor one would hope be way more in touch than he is.

I think Merrow sets him up to be a study in unexamined privilege but he but he is mean and so thoughtless his road back to redemption needs to be longer than this book allows. We also have to spend time with his even more awful friends Amanda and that is not a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Con is lovely but a bit of a doormat. The rest of the plot is engaging which is why I finished it but Tristan should have had to work harder and longer on his change to get a HEA.

Lip Action (Kiss Talent Agency #1) by Virna DePaul Review

   Lip Action (Kiss Talent Agency Book 1) by Virna DePaul 2.5 Stars! 

Marissa

Appearance is everything to my upper-crust mother, but when she insists I take back my pedigreed-but-cheating ex? I’d rather stab myself with a salad fork. So I blurt out I’m dating someone new. Someone like…that smoking-hot, vaguely familiar guy across the restaurant, who could be the next James Bond.

Turns out he’s the star of my favorite, cheesy, sci-fi soap opera. (Don’t judge me.) One minute I’m fantasizing about Borg and his green-hued abs. The next, Simon Dale is making me an offer my sex-starved body can’t refuse.

Simon

I’m up for a breakout movie role that’ll launch me off the B-list, but I don’t need a script to read the scene between Marissa and her mum. Even though I’m a London gutter rat who never rubbed elbows with a Royal, I easily slip into the role of Marissa’s doting boyfriend. Why? I need a favor in return— a steady girlfriend, just long enough to convince the producers I’ve changed my wild ways.

Trouble is, I’m going all Method on this relationship—and close to losing the one thing that could break me. My heart.

Review

I wanted to like this and the lead characters were likable as was basic plot. I love me some pretend relationship when we only just met.

I don’t mind mad cap rom com either but even though the feels between the leads felt right the plot time line was too rushed, the villains (parents included) teeth gritting simple and annoying, and the sex too fast and out of character.

So, a jump with a sweet connection at the center with a good closing.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it!

Tough Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous, #2) by M. Leighton Review

   Tough Enough by M. Leighton 2 Stars 

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.

I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

 

Review

In order for a romance to work for me, I have to connect with the characters. I don’t always have to like them but I have to think they are interesting.

I didn’t like the hero. He was no attuned to the heroine. I didn’t care for the heroine either as she was really judgmental and I was stuck in her head.

They could have both grown and it would have been a more enjoyable book as the writing is well done but they didn’t do that with any compelling elements and too slow for me.

So, I didn’t care about them in the end.

One True Pairing by Cathy Yardley Review

    One True Pairing   by Cathy Yardley  3 Stars!

They couldn’t be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley’s One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family’s bookstore. It’s a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?

Review

I love Cathy Yardley’s writing. I love it in this book too. Her words just pop off the page.

She creates great characters. Jake is such a lovely sexy human. Halley is fierce and loyal and funny.

My favorite parts of the book are the most feminist ones. Yardley does a great job thinking about the small oppressions and aggressions on selfhood and imagine a world in which the heroine calls them sees them and calls them all out. Loved it.

She is sexually assertive and clear about her sexual needs. She calls Jake out when he tries to “do” for her when she can handle things herself or it really isn’t his business.

Jake is reflective and apologies. He has never been told these things and really processes what she says. That is hot. There is also a good bit that deals fandom and the objectification of Jake.

I love Haley’s sisters and Jake’s fellow actors. I adore pretend dating plots though really they just should have dated.

However, the rest of the plot was wonky, tired, and unneeded, I don’t want to give out spoilers but it would have been a much better book if it stayed with the basic conflicts and not pour all the extra sauce on.

I am really interested in the sisters getting books and I will read them happily.

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting Review

    Shacking Up by Helena Hunting 4 Stars! 

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Review

This romance made me smile.

It isn’t complicated but its fun. There are a lot of things that could have been more developed but it remains a feel good romance with dirty talk, banter and a couple that really likes each other.

I really like them too and the pets. Oh, I love the pets.

I don’t care for many of the side characters even the heroine’s best friends who is closed off to a good smack in the head for being in an icky relationship.

The heroine is charming and hero is a good guy if built on over the top sexy scale.

A great way to spend an afternoon.

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker Review

4 Stars!

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

Review

I love Lucy Parker’s writing. This is a wonderful romance with a kind of pull between the hero and heroine that makes you ache right along with them.

We get a great setting in the London Theater and a close up look at falling in the love with the last person you should but you do. They have such a kindness for each other and such wit.

The sexism the book deals with is well explored as is the pain of the heroine’s childhood disappointments but it is also a funny sexy book.

There is a sub plot with the tabloids I thought was a bit much but the tale of friendships in the book was good.

A great way to spend your evening! Can’t wait for the Trix’s story!