contemporary · hollywood · romance · suspense

One True Pairing by Cathy Yardley

♥♥ 2 Fandom Stars ♥♥

Reading the synopsis, I was completely sold on this. There’s fandoms, geeks, and Hollywood stars — what’s not to like?! Unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to what I was hoping for.

Jake Reese, a hot and sweet actor, literally runs into Hailey in a coffee shop while running away from some overzealous fans. Hailey, independent, blunt, and struggling for money, helps hide him and they make a connection. When Hailey has a family crisis and cuts their date short, they think they’ll never see each other again. But when Hailey needs a favor from him to save her sisters’ bookstore and Jake needs someone to pose as his girlfriend, they strike a bargain. In essence, I love this trope and always enjoy it. But I found both the hero and heroine naive and kind of annoying. Hailey doesn’t do relationships; she does one-night-stands. I’m all for women having the sexual freedom they desire, but it was annoying that in order for Hailey to not want commitment, Jake had to be weak and borderline emasculated. Why can’t they both be strong and independent? This just took the gender role reversal too far for me and made it difficult for me to connect to the characters.

Additionally, the tension in the plot was a tad over-contrived. I won’t give anything away, but I felt like the characters didn’t adequately address the threat, and Jake was pretty oblivious to the people messing with his life. The climax was…anticlimactic. I found myself rolling my eyes a little too often and almost marked it as DNF. Overall I was disappointed; I think the tension could have been developed better and the characters could have used their heads a little more.

**ARC generously provided via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

contemporary · hollywood · romance

Henry & Me by Sasha Clinton

♥♥ 3.5 New York Stars ♥♥

This was a good vacation read. Max met Henry when he asked her out in college and she brutally rejects him. To be honest, she’s a bit of a spoiled brat when she’s in college. An aspiring Hollywood actress, she has a majorly inflated ego, and responds to Henry’s genuine interest with this: “What? Did he just ask me — hot, twenty, in the prime of my beauty, size zero with perfect heart-shaped face and Angelina Jolie lips — to go out with him?” Okay, so maybe she’s the golden girl of Harvard, and maybe she off to kill it in Hollywood, but this just came off as rude and self-inflated to me.

Which thankfully, gets better. After spending seven years in LA, she falls on hard times and returns to NYC to live with her brother and sister-in-law while she figures out her life. “I’m twenty-eight. Unemployed. Mooching off my brother, with no job in sight. In simple words, my life’s a wreck.” Ji-ae, her sister-in-law, helps her land a job as a housekeeper and childcare for…you guessed it: Henry! He’s still pretty nerdy, but has filled out and has since built a successful company.

I really liked Max and Henry together. Max is a little unprepared for taking care of his nephew, Lucien, and ends up having a slew of well-meaning mishaps. Henry provides stability and structure, balancing out her personality well. He helps her get through the hard things that made her leave LA, and she slowly starts to trust him and have some faith in her abilities.

At times I felt like the plot dragged on a bit, and there wasn’t much character development besides Max and Henry. There were also a couple typos throughout, but none of these things detracted from the story that much. Overall, I thought that this was a nice lighthearted read, with some good plot twists.

 

**ARC generously provided by author for honest review.