What’s not to like about a book that has a fresh plot, characters you love despite their flaws, and is set is sunny, crazy L.A? Not much, so enjoy! ~ Guilty Pleasures
As an anthropologist, Holly McCartney is more comfortable in a museum than shopping on Rodeo Drive. She isn’t prepared for the media frenzy on her arrival in L.A. to accept a posthumous acting award for her late sister….or for her sister’s gorgeous friend Nate Devlin to come to her rescue. Though he resents her for some reason, she can’t fight their irresistible chemistry—especially when the paparazzi force her to stay at his mansion.
Photographer Nate only agrees to help Holly survive Hollywood for her sister’s sake, but she soon gets under his skin in a way no other woman has. The more time he spends with her, the more his attraction grows and he finds himself opening up to her in ways he never expected. But will ghosts of the past stand in the way of their perfect Hollywood ending?
Stand-In Star by Rachel Johns is a fun and exciting look at the Hollywood “star” scene from an industry outsider. I enjoyed this book very much despite a hero that at times was really hard to like and a heroine that made me a little crazy. The plot however was quite unlike anything I’ve read before and the ending was pretty damn great. Most of all I’ve “discovered” another new to me author that makes me want to snatch up her entire back list for my reading pleasure.
Holly McCartney is an anthropologist who has traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Academy Awards. Her late sister is nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar and at her parent’s insistence, she’s made the trip. She hasn’t spoken to her sister after a huge falling out, but she’s decided it’s time to make peace with it all and so she finds herself in L.A. and completely overwhelmed.
Nate Devlin can’t believe he’s gone to rescue his friend’s (and occasional bed buddy) sister but he arrives and sees her overwhelmed with the media attention and decides he’ll do it for Daisy. He doesn’t think much of Holly who hadn’t spoken to her sister in quite some time and he wants to find out why she can make the trip now that Daisy is gone. He’s convinced she wants the fame and attention but once he meets Holly he realizes nothing is further from the truth.
This story from start to finish is about two people who make so many wrong assumptions about the other it’s a wonder they ever got together. At times I was infuriated with them but in honesty it just made the story that much better. Holly is very naive and has no clue how to handle being in the limelight. Nate on the other hand grew up being a part of the paparazzi and while he’s grateful what that job provided him, he doesn’t want to see Holly hurt by them.
These two are both very attracted to each other but they really do have a love/hate relationship and it’s entertaining to watch them work through their difficulties and overcome the assumptions they’ve made about one another. I really loved watching Nate who had long ago decided that love, marriage, and family wasn’t in the cards for him figure out why he seemed to naturally spill his guts to Holly and why being with her feels so different. I also got a little thrill when he finally realizes why Holly hadn’t spoken to Daisy in a long time and how bad he felt for the way he was treating Holly over it. It was fun to watch Holly learn to navigate being in the spotlight and I don’t think she would have managed near as well without Nate or his sister, Bec. I felt a little sorry for Holly because she really didn’t have a lot of relationship experience and she wasn’t very worldly so being caught up in her sister’s life was a real eye opener for her in many ways. I do love that through it all she was able to make peace with her late sister.
I very much enjoyed Stand-In Star and I will be checking out this author’s other offerings soon. What’s not to like about a book that has a fresh plot, characters you love despite their flaws, and is set is sunny, crazy L.A? Not much, so enjoy!