I made the mistake of underestimating how much I was going to enjoy this, and ended up reading WAY too late into the night because of that. I absolutely loved it! This slow-burning, subtle romance is deeper and richer than I anticipated, with a somewhat somber tone that just works for the story. It’s as much about Hollywood and family dynamics as it is about romance – but the romance is definitely the star. I adored the hero, a man who does nothing but prove himself to be a fantastic guy throughout, despite his past behavior. And the chemistry? Is the kind that every film director WISHES their actors had. The writing style makes this feel like a movie come to life, and I could envision every scene. So don’t start this before bed, or you might end up having a sleepless night – like me!
The story follows Sloane, an actress whose personal and professional lives both seem to be crumbling. Her character just got killed off an under-appreciated TV show, her ex just wrote an album describing her every fault, and she’s just taken a producer job that feels a lot like pity. Every member of Sloane’s family has some kind of role in the movie that she’ll be working on, and the starring role probably should’ve been hers. But they hired the one man Sloane despises – a former co-star who almost made her leave the business. When Sloane worked with Joseph five years ago, she saw the darker side of Hollywood, and it’s not an experience that she’d like to revisit. But as the two start spending more time together, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s not that guy anymore. And Sloane might just like the man he is now a little too much.
This book is going to work best for those who love a slow burn (closed door) romance, a mysterious hero, and an insight into the intricacies of Hollywood. I loved all three aspects equally, so that made this one captivating read. We only get Sloane’s perspective, and I wouldn’t call her the most reliable narrator, so the story gets more layered and nuanced as it goes on. Even without Joseph’s side of the story, his vulnerability and sweet side shone through. I loved his personal growth (recovered alcoholic), and their chemistry was magnetic. We also get some fascinating peeks at Hollywood, which made this feel so authentic. There was probably a little too much focus on family dynamics for me, but that’s mostly because I wanted as much Sloane and Joseph as I could get. Those two had me completely hooked, and I devoured this in one sitting. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this Hollywood romance.
Acting like she’s in love with her handsome nightmare of a co-star–in a movie directed and produced by her complicated Hollywood royalty family–is Sloane’s job. But what happens when the lines between script and reality get blurred?
Out-of-work actress Sloane Ford is in desperate need of something to do after losing her steady TV gig. When her famous family ropes her into working as a producer on their World War II-era romance, they neglect to mention that the film will be headlined by Joseph Donovan, her least favorite former co-star of all time. The roguish actor made her life a living hell the last time they worked together, using his movie star good looks and Irish charm to cover for his erratic professional behavior. On their new film set, he promises he’s different now, but Sloane is far from convinced.
As filming gets underway, it becomes clear that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. When the lead actress is abruptly fired, Sloane agrees to step in and take over the role, and she starts to remember why she fell in love with acting in the first place. On camera, she and Joseph share an electric chemistry. Off camera, they’ve been honing their characters and, much to Sloane’s surprise, growing closer. But playing the role of a woman in love with Joseph Donovan is a dangerous business, and the more time they spend together, the less Sloane can tell what’s real between them, and what’s just for show.
“Real, raw, and immensely tender, Love Scenes is a book about second chances: in love, in work, in family. Bridget Morrissey writes with the kind of effortless warmth and complexity that elevates characters to real people you know and love, with quirks and flaws you understand.”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read
“Love Scenes is pure joy from start to finish. With Hollywood antics, a simmering slow-burn romance, and a tremendous amount of humor and heart, this book makes even its most famous characters feel like friends. A love letter to the messy, wild, wonderful families who make us who we are.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author ofThe Ex Talk
“Love Scenes is an enemies to lovers story set against a Hollywood backdrop, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the messy love of a complicated blended family. It’s the ugly parts of Hollywood, not just the glitz and glamor. It’s a heroine fighting to be her own person despite what the gossip sites and a songwriting ex-boyfriend says. It’s an earnest, swoonworthy hero doing his best to be a good man, despite his past. Bridget Morrissey has a voice that leaps off the page and invites you to join her for a page-turning good time. Good luck putting this one down!”—Jen DeLuca, author ofWell Played
“A fascinating peek at the on-set lives of movie stars. Nuanced characterization and an endearing ensemble cast make this one a must-read!”—Michelle Hazen, author of Breathe the Sky
“Morrissey is at her best when she allows Sloane’s musings to shed light on the caprices of the entertainment industry. Even as Sloane’s bond with Joseph develops with charming ease, her evolving relationships with a diverse array of relatives illuminate the many peculiarities inherent to understanding, accepting, and loving family. A compelling and unique riff on the potential of second chances in love.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author:
Bridget Morrissey lives in Los Angeles, California, but hails from Oak Forest, Illinois. When she’s not writing, she can be found coaching gymnastics or headlining concerts in her living room. This is her adult debut.
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