Have you ever read a book that you enjoyed at the time, but also knew that you’d forget about it in a few days? That’s where I’m at with this one. Reiss’ skilled writing keeps this from being a lackluster read, but it’s not her best work. I did love this tone from her though; it’s different from her usual – lighter and a slower burn with less focus on the steam. That definitely worked for me, and I’d love to see more in this style. There’s all sorts of potential in the storyline – I was entertained from start to finish – but nothing that made me invested in seeing this couple find their happy ever after. It could’ve benefited from a hero who felt like he cared just a bit more.
The story follows Kayla, a woman making a cross-country move. She’s leaving her old life behind and gets a new phone number, but that comes with its own set of complications. When Kayla starts receiving calls for someone else, she meets Justin. He’s a musician with a bad reputation, and Justin needs Kayla to pass along his messages. As these two get to know each other better, Kayla sees behind the public persona to the guy behind the image. While Justin may come off as entitled and aloof, there’s something about Kayla that keeps him interested. But there’s a reason Kayla left her old life behind, and it may not stay in the past.
I think there’s a lot of good here, as well as a few things that could’ve been developed further. Dealing with some heavy subjects (including drug use, adultery, and the Me Too movement), there was the potential to have this be a powerful read. While those topics are explored to a certain point, the book remains mostly light and easy. I did love the slower burn and light tone, which was unexpected from the author but not unwelcome. However, Justin’s personality makes it difficult to understand how he’s feeling most of the time, so I sometimes thought he didn’t have a lot invested in the relationship. That’s probably the biggest issue here; there was nothing major that irritated me about the plot, but not all that much that made me care deeply either. I liked it, but I definitely didn’t love it. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this Hollywood romance.
Release date: July 7th
A twist of fate proves wildly explosive in New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss’s smart and sexy Hollywood romance about the cost of running from your past to get to your dreams.
Cutting all ties, Kayla Montgomery drives cross-country to Los Angeles. New start. New life. And an unexpected new job: assistant to Justin Beckett.
The Justin Beckett.
The boy band rebel with the cocky attitude and dreamy bed head who casts a spell over his fans and tests the patience of his handlers.
Now at the peak of Mount Adulthood, he has to build a clean-cut, movie star image. It’s in his contract. No partying. No attitude. No groupies.
To tie it together, he needs a normal girl.
Suddenly, Kayla’s swept up in Justin’s glamorous world, and his arms. But the most dizzying thing is Justin himself. Sweet, generous, reliable, and as eager to shed his past as Kayla is hers.
Those ties she thought she’d cut? They’ve followed her across the country with her secrets in tow, and they’re about to test Kayla’s courage, Justin’s loyalty, and a love that wasn’t part of the deal.