Clare Martin has spent the last ten years in the spotlight, becoming Hollywood’s It Girl. On the surface her life looks perfect, but in reality she’s faltering. And the last person she expects to provide any relief is her best friend’s brother, the man who’s been tying her in knots for months.
Alexander Richards has paid the price for every single mistake he’s made. He makes no excuses for what he’s done, and wants nothing more than to find some peace. But that may be impossible since he has to help the woman who’s been driving him crazy since he moved to California.
Thrown together in the middle of nowhere, there’s no way to deny the attraction that burns within them. But how can they build a future if they can’t address their own insecurities? And what happens when secrets and lies from the past threaten to pull them apart?
I was given an Advanced Reading Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 3 Stars
When I received this book to review, I immediately read the first book in the series, to get a feel for the author’s writing style and to understand the trilogy a bit better. I honestly couldn’t finish it. The main characters seemed to be halfway in love by chapter two, and were sleeping together within the first 30% of the book. There was no build up, no real emotional connection, in my opinion. They met, grew feelings, and that was that. I’ve never been a fan of insta-love. I like my characters a little angsty and tortured – it makes things that much sweeter when they finally give in. Because of my dislike of the first book in the series, I was nervous to read this one. I am extremely happy to report that Miss Hollywood is a vast improvement over Miss Congeniality. I LOVE books about a romance between the best friend’s brother/sister – I don’t know why but they are just my thing. There is also plenty of angst to go around, as well as a damaged hero – another favorite of mine.
Despite my rating of 3 stars, I really enjoyed the plot of this book. The two main characters had real chemistry and I loved their interactions. I wasn’t sure how Garner would bring them together and thought that them getting closer while helping her father save his auto body shop was a clever way to do it. At the start of the book Clare is in a downward spiral and its quickly affecting her career. Alex is still struggling to maintain his sobriety and get his life back together two years after serving time in jail. Somehow, they help one another overcome their issues and of course fall in love in the process. Marie Garner has a real talent for making characters easy to connect to. Oftentimes when reading a book with a famous main character, there are parts of the book where I feel disconnected from them. Despite the fact that Clare is one of Hollywood’s best known starlets, she never has a diva moment and I often forgot that she was famous at all. She was a very relatable character.
Unfortunately, its that time. Time to talk about what made this a 3 instead of 5 star book. For me, it was just an issue with editing. There were paragraphs where the same word was repeated multiple times, making each sentence seem redundant. There were misspelled words (something that I often overlook because it happens to all authors occasionally) and some of the dialogue was just plain awkward. Now some of this can be chalked up to the usual mistakes any author is bound to make when writing a book – nobody is infallible, mistakes are easy to make. However, many of these typical mistakes made are caught during the editing stages of the book. I’m not sure what happened here, maybe there was an overabundance of mistakes, or someone had to meet a deadline, but I would definitely recommend that this book be read through a few more times (I know it has already been released, but it couldn’t hurt).
My Takeaway: Although the story was great and the chemistry between the characters was steamy, I struggled to finish the book because of the at times awkward dialogue and spelling/redundancy issues. Because I think that Marie Garner has a real talent for writing relatable, interesting characters, I plan to give her next book a chance in the hopes that some of these things have been fixed.