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Friday, December 12, 2014

REVIEW: "Starstruck" by L.A. Witt

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1)
Starstruck by L.A. Witt
(Bluewater Bay #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Male/Male Romance -- Contemporary

Riptide Publishing -- Published November 3, 2014
Ebook, 275 pages
Read in November 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Small Town Setting

SUMMARY
Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi's.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf's Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn't so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn't stick, either, because he's offered a part on the show-exactly the kind of complex role he'd always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet-no matter how attractive he finds his costar.

Carter Samuels is the critically acclaimed male lead on Wolf's Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting-and made him realize he's gay-is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi's disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can't have but both desperately need.


FIRST LINE
"As Levi Pritchard sipped coffee in a window booth at the Sunrise Cafe, he tried not to notice how many of the cars parked along Main Street had California plates."

MY THOUGHTS
The Bluewater Bay series (which starts with Starstruck) is new fun collection of M/M romances surrounding the fictional town of Bluewater Bay, Washington.  This was a regular small town until a werewolf-themed TV show begins shooting there and a whole range of Hollywood personalities rolls in.  This series will consist of individual books written by different authors which can be read as stand-alones, but will all connect.

I haven't read too many books written only by L.A. Witt though I love her collaborations with Alexandr Voinov.  But, I know I will have to check out more based on my enjoyment of Starstruck.  This book features Carter Samuels, the lead actor on "Wolf's Landing", and his interactions with retired action star, Levi Pritchard, who is coaxed into a recurring role on the show.

Both characters were extremely likable.  I loved the parallels of their experiences in Hollywood with Carter being a well-respected and proud gay actor while Levi was pigeon-holed as a brainless action guy and is firmly in the closet.  They meet on the Wolf's Landing set which was adorable especially because Carter is a long-time fan of Levi's independent film work.  They quickly become friends and that friendship eventually turns to romance.

I liked the slow burn of the love story which is complicated by the fact that Levi has always hidden his sexuality from his friends, family, and fans...for understandable reasons.  And I got Carter's frustrations with the whole situation since he is falling for Levi, but does not want to be his dirty little secret.  Thankfully, the book doesn't get too melodramatic and lets the characters' personalities shine.

In addition to the main characters and the romance, I really enjoyed the setting.  While I am not a Twilight-fan, I could easily see the parallels with Forks and thought the whole town was well-written.  Hollywood-themed books are always interesting to me and I'm looking forward to seeing more.  And, of course, I want to read the Wolf's Landing books and see the TV show now!

I received a free copy of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Starstruck
2. There's Something About Ari
3. Hell on Wheels
4. Lone Wolf
5. Burnt Toast B&B (Coming in 2015)

1 comment:

  1. This seems like a really interesting story. I'm not really into M/M romances, but I am intrigued with this. Also, that guy on the cover makes me think of Jeremy Jordan who was in Newsies on broadway (and also I love him!) :)

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