Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Book Review: "How to Fake It in Hollywood" by Ava Wilder

Oh, how I loved this fake-dating romance with lots of emotional complexity!

Grey Brooks has been acting since she was 8 years old. She starred in a fairly popular teen drama for a number of seasons, but with that series ending, she’s not found much opportunity to advance her career.

While she’s not thrilled when her publicist suggests a fake relationship with a once-famous actor also looking at a comeback might get her into the public eye more, she’s definitely intrigued when she finds out who the actor is. Ethan Atkins was once at the top of his game—teen heartthrob turned Oscar winner and provocative filmmaker. But following the death of his best friend and collaborator, Ethan’s struggles with addiction destroyed his marriage and his career.

Ethan has been a recluse for several years, but if he has any hope of turning the last project he and his friend were working on into reality, he’ll need to play the Hollywood game again. So he reluctantly agrees to a fake relationship with Grey.

Their relationship quickly catches the attention of the public and definitely increases Grey’s star quality. There’s definitely chemistry between them but Ethan keeps Grey at arm’s length because he’s afraid of letting anyone near his heart again. When they finally give in to their attraction, the intensity scares them both—and then it quickly falls apart.

This is both a romance and a serious look at addiction, grief, keeping your heart protected, and finding the strength to fight for what you want. There’s definitely a few steamy scenes and some great banter—not to mention some fun supporting characters—but this was a more emotionally rich book than I expected, and I loved that.

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