Title: Stand-In Star
Author: Rachael Johns
My Rating: A-
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Holly and Nate
Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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?
*ahem* Holy erotic photoshoots...whoa!
Holly and her movie star sister, Daisy, haven't spoken in years...not since Daisy slept with Holly's husband on their wedding day. Six months ago, Daisy died suddenly in an automobile accident, but she's up for the Academy Award for best supporting actress. Holly is in LA from Australia to stand up for her sister at the awards ceremony.
Nate and Daisy were friends with benefits, but more friends. He knew that Daisy and Holly were estranged, but not the reason behind it. All he knew was that his friend Daisy hated the estrangement and was incredibly hurt by it, so when Holly comes to town, Nate is fully ready to hate her.
When Holly gets to town, she is immediately overwhelmed by the paparazzi and Nate comes to her rescue several times, before he decides to take her under his wing and into the protection of his home. He quickly begins to discover that Holly is nothing like he expected and is incredibly drawn to her, much to his dismay.
There's a lot of latent emotions to this book. Holly is dealing with the guilt of having her sister die before she forgave her. She also thinks that Nate and Daisy had a more serious relationship than they truly did so there are all kinds of skeavy feelings to do with that too since she's now feeling a good deal of lust for him too. Then there's Nate. He knows he should hate Holly for the pain that she put his friend through, but as he gets to know her, he can't hold on to that anger. Nate also had a hard childhood with makes it difficult to connect with other people. Holly is quickly breaking through those barriers.
In the midst of all this is the hoopla to the build-up to the Academy Awards. Nate's sister, an up and coming designer, is making Holly's dress and takes her under her fashionable wing. Add that to the constant of the paparazzi and Holly having to deal with interviews about Daisy.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I loved the added story that Nate is a photographer who has a paparazzi background. His art plays creates an interesting effect to the story. And seriously, when he plays with his photography with Holly...seriously, WOW! Everything about that scene is HOT, HOT, HOT!
The tumultuous history between Holly and Daisy is so hard for her. I liked that Nate was able to shed some light on that for her so that she can heal from Daisy's betrayal. I liked Nate's sister and her husband and how they appear throughout the story to add so much more to the story.
From what I understand, this is the start to a new series and I can't wait to see where Rachael takes it from here. This was a GREAT start!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.