Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Starstruck (Hollywood Heat 3) by Ashleigh Raine

Title: Starstruck
          (Hollywood Heat, book 3)
Author: Ashleigh Raine
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Samhain
Category: Contemporary Romance
Type: Kindle


Book Blurb:

Behind the scenes, beneath the covers... 

Hollywood Heat, Book 3

Jenna Byers approaches her first day as a background actor on Sexy M.D. with one goal in mind—impress the right people with her acting, make connections, and prove she’s a hard worker. Things go sideways when an up-close-and-personal encounter with the uber-sexy lead ends with Jenna flat on her butt, and she’s noticed for all the wrong reasons.

In all his years of acting, there’s only one thing Micah Watley hasn’t done: accidentally punch an extra in the face. Going against protocol, he hunts her down to apologize and discovers a rare phenomenon in the entertainment industry. A sweet, uncorrupted-by-Hollywood woman, whose smile grabs him by the heart—and other not-so-innocent body parts—and won’t let go.

Their attraction is instant and intense, and Micah finds himself desperate to believe the woman with the beautiful smile, hot body and naughty mind wants him, not the doors he could open for her. When the press catches on, twisting Jenna and Micah’s love story into a Hollywood scandal, they’re forced to fight for their happy ending—both on and off camera.

Warning: This book contains a hero and a heroine who don’t know a household surface they won’t get horizontal on. Sometimes vertical too. Counters, sinks, showers, sofas, washing machines, beds, walls…they’ve got all the angles covered.

Book Excerpt:

Out of the corner of her eye, Jenna saw someone rushing toward the front door. No, make that someones, plural, a while group of them. Who would need to get inside so fast? Something bright flashed in her eyes, and she blinked, sidestepping the barrage coming her way.
            “Nice dress, honey. What’s your name? Roxanne?”
            “Hey, sweetheart, show me your best side. No, the other one. The one you show Dr. Dale.”
            White spots danced in her vision, blinding her to the faces behind the taunting, condescending voices. She spun around, but she was boxed in, cameras clicking no matter which way she turned. Years ago, she’d gone to see a friend’s band perform at a small club, and she’d ended up in the center of an impromptu mosh pit. That’s what this felt like, jostled, surrounded, noise and lights and a struggle to escape.
            A camera was shoved inches from her nose, flash bright enough to send her stumbling backwards. Her ankle went left, her show went right, and she went down, butt hitting the concrete in a hail of jeering laughter and white bursts of light.
            “Get the fuck away from her,” Micah roared, and the nearest cameras turned from her to him as he barreled his way through the mob. Jenna hadn’t seen him this angry before, jaw tight, body rigid as he shoved one particularly aggressive guy aside to get to her. Just like when they first met, cameras rolling, her landing on her ass, him helping her up… Her hand disappeared into his larger one, his arm going around her protectively as she got to her feet. “You okay?”
            “Yeah, I’m fine.” Her pride hurt more than her ankle and butt, and none of those were going to keep her from a quick exit stage left.
            The crowd of photographers moved with them, their cameras still snapping and whirring like hungry beasts of prey. Micah stepped with determined purpose toward the street. The same overly aggressive paparazzo blocked their path to the car. “I heard Dr. Dale’s gonna die on Sexy M.D. You drowning your sorrows in the lady in red? Can’t blame you for that, she’s hot.”
            “Back the fuck off.” Micah raised his arm like he was going to knock the guy on his ass, but one of the valets stepped between them, shoving the man aside with his shoulder. Another valet got the passenger door of Micah’s car open.
            Safety. Escape. Jenna ducked into the Mercedes Roadster, sighing in relief as Micah closed the door behind her. Cameras continued to flash, but she refused to cower. She turned away from the passenger-side window. Her focus was Micah. Always had been. Fury lengthened his stride as he rounded the car. After he climbed inside and slammed the door, his knuckles went white on the steering wheel. “Fuck.”
            “You’re telling me.” Jenna put a hand on his leg as he drove away. “I lost the cupcakes.”

Dialogue Highlight:

            After setting a bottle of vanilla next to the bowl, he wrapped his arms around Jenna from behind and nuzzled her neck. “What cookies are you making?”
            “Chocolate chip.”
            He paused mid-nuzzle. “Not to throw a kink in your dessert kick, but I assume said cookies require chocolate chips?”
            She paused mid-stir. “Well, no chocolate chips might change the dynamic of the recipe just a bit.” Tipping her head back, she rubbed her cheek against his. “You clearly need a feminine hand around here. I never run out of chocolate. I have secret backup stashes hidden strategically around my apartment.”
            That idea, not the chocolate stash, but the feminine hand around his house – specifically her hand, attached to her body, living here with him – held a lot of appeal. “Like truffles in the medicine cabinet?” he teased.
            Of course. Right next to the condoms. And a bar of deep, dark, luscious chocolate in my sock drawer right next to my vibr-“ She cleared her throat. “Ahem. Well. Chocolate and sex. Two of my favorite things.”
            He needed to find chocolate stat, because he was damn sure going to provide her two favorite things tonight.


Okay readers. Who here has a fantasy actor/actress that you would love to get down and dirty with? Show of hand please … as I suspected. We all have at least one special celebrity that we would be more than happy to engage in nefarious deeds with. No, don’t shake your head no at me! You know you do! Yeah, exactly. Take it one step further. Who ever had, or still has an ideal fantasy involving said celebrity – your chance meeting with this celebrity – the sparks that instantly simmer between the two of you – and the happily ever after. *le sigh* I can tell you I have had a few *coughs* luscious dreams about some pretty hot celebs. *eyes glaze* … Oh! Sorry. Lost myself in a couple of those fantasies.

And who here has a thing for doctors after watching Grey’s Anatomy. Well, any doctor/hospital show. Maybe you got your fix when Chicago Hope was on. Maybe you fantasized about NPH. Hey, no judgment here. Doogie was a cutie patootie. Sweet! I just waxed poetic, like WOAH! Maybe it was ER. Maybe it was Trapper John, M.D. *snort* Okay, so that was a bit of a reach. But my point is that these types of shows have been around for quite some time. Some you have forgotten, others made an impression. For me, it was Grey’s all the way! If you don’t know who McDreamy and McSteamy are, I highly recommend you familiarize yourself. Scoot along to Netflix and get busy. Let us say that “Seriously” is one of the top used words in my house. And the smexy that happens both on duty, off duty, on call – ALL THE TIME – is yumalicious.

Now I know you are all wondering what the heck I am rambling about. Are you lost? *Pfft!* Not my readers! Y’all are crazy smart so you know where I am headed. To set you up for this story of course! Who doesn’t want to read about an actor who plays the part of Dr. Dale – McSteamy in my mind (no people, not Eric Dane today – I am much more partial to the Dane of Charmed fame. Yeah – you know what I’m talking about!) – who has an encounter with an aspiring actress playing an extra on set, which ultimately leads to a chance at that fantastical HEA actually coming true! *waves frantically* I do! I do! So I did. And I really enjoyed myself. This book is not one I would read repeatedly, but it is worth owning just for the ability to occasionally return for a quick and stimulating read.

Maybe I should actually tell you a bit about the story. Jenna (yes, yes, I do picture Lexie when I read the story) is playing an extra on Sexy M.D. when the smoking hot Micah accidentally punches her in the face. Yup. She was Starstruck – both by the hot actor and literally. LMAO! I know. I crack myself up. *clears throat*. But seriously … Micah seeks Jenna out, feeling tremendous guilt at causing her expulsion from set. And Jenna is floored by Micah’s compassion. He’s not just Sexy M.D., or the actor who plays Dr. Dale. He’s Micah the man. So Micah and Jenna start a whirlwind relationship. Along the way they hit a road block. It is Hollywood after all. It can’t be all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. Besides, aren’t romance books so much better when the characters have to recognize their own shortcomings and have to fight their way back from an epic mistake before getting that much desired HEA? EXACTLY! And both Micah and Jenna do – have to fight their way to HEA that is.

As a fan of romance, and huge fan of Grey’s, a woman who secretly reminisces occasionally about that celebrity who got away, and an avid connoisseur of smut – Starstuck fits the bill for me. The book is less than 200 pages and a lot of times this can present a problem for plotlines. Something is oftentimes missing. Heard this before, have you? Not so in this case. The story is fast-paced, with some crazy hot sex scenes, and still manages to pull off character depth. My only regret was when the story ended. ACK! However, I really loved the way everything was wrapped up in the end. A slight of hand you might say – what would you call that when applied to reading? You think one thing at first and then realize the situation is not as you first suspected. Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

My only issue with this book is the whole condom thing. Yeah, yeah, I’m all for safe sex. And given the background with Hollywood and such, using condoms is probably highly recommended. In one scene, Micah and Jenna are getting all hot and heavy and all of a sudden Micah realizes he’s entered bare. Now, I don’t have a ton of personal experience to say for sure, but I would think that once contact has been made, stopping to run off and fetch a condom is probably not going to be within the realm of possibilities any longer. I don’t mind the whole safe sex approach; is responsible of the authors to include it within the story. And I am actually glad to see it as more of a common writing practice. But too, the books are fantasy. If the characters are so taken with each other that they can’t even make it out the door, then that glimmer of acting responsibly is reaching a bit. That said, the scene was still incredibly hot.

Oh! And did I mention that Ashleigh Raine is a Samhain author? I have had wicked good luck with Samhain authors. Just sayin’. To wrap up this review, I recommend this book as a quick, entertaining read, and circumstances within the story that many of the readers can relate to in a purely “I’ve fantasized about this before” kind of way. And, of course, smutalicious satisfaction. For those of you who like a series, Starstruck is Book 3 in the Hollywood Heat series. You can pick up the digital version of Acting on Impulse (Hollywood Heat Book 1) for only $o.99 right now.

(Digital ARC provided by author for review.)

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