Author: Tina Reber
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Adult
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 8, 2012
Recommended Reading: AGE 18+ (Detailed sexual content.)
Contains no spoilers
THE GIST: Hey everyone, Jessica & Michelle here! We thought it would be fun to join forces and write a review for a book we didn’t quite agree on. Take two Tennessee girls, give them a little Love Unscripted and the freedom to discuss their differing opinions and see what you get. This could be very interesting! Please join us as Michelle will tell you why she loves this book and Jessica will tell you why she thinks this book is just “ehh”.
SYNOPSIS: An A-List Movie Star. . . Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine a life where fans would chase him, paparazzi would stalk him, and Hollywood studios would want to own him. While filming in Seaport, Rhode Island, Ryan ducks into a neighborhood bar for a quick escape from legions of screaming fans . . . and finds much more than he expected.
A Small-Town Girl. . . Nursing a recent heartbreak, Taryn Mitchell believes men are best kept at a safe distance. But when Ryan Christensen unexpectedly bursts through the front door of her pub, she can’t help but be drawn in by his humor, charm, and undeniable good looks. At six foot two, with dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and an incredible body, Ryan has every girl in Seaport swooning. But Taryn isn’t every other girl.
A Relationship That Doesn’t Follow the Script. . . Despite her better judgment, Taryn soon finds herself falling hard for Ryan. But is their bond strong enough to survive the tabloid headlines, the relentless paparazzi, and the jealous fans who seem determined to tear them apart?
MICHELLE’S LOWDOWN: For me, this book played romance out like it should be. It was believable. Ok, so maybe not everyone meets and falls in love with a celebrity heart-throb, but we have all fantasized about it. The romance of Ryan, the swoon worthy A-list celeb, and small town pub owner Taryn didn’t happen overnight. They met by chance when he was being mobbed by women and though there was an instant attraction, they both had their insecurities and issues. Their romance developed and took time the way us normal folks usually experience it. It was refreshing.
I found myself instantly relating to Taryn. She is an insecure woman with trust issues, because she has been hurt before. She is scared of what will happen to her heart if she tries again. Who wouldn’t be? She has an ex who treated her like dirt and she is falling for a celebrity heart-throb wanted by millions. That would make any girl think twice in my opinion. Then there is Ryan; the boy who will steal your heart instantly. He is famous. He knows it. But is the most down to earth and likeable character that will make your heart skip a beat with some of his swoon-worthy quotes. Um hello – “I don’t want anyone else – just you. And no matter where I am, wherever I go, you’re the only one who is holding my heart.”
Once the two became a serious couple I couldn’t help but fall a little more in love with both characters. They were adorable together but they had some major issues to deal with. Paparazzi, screaming ladies, stalkers, I think every possible celeb issue was in this book. Overkill? Normally I might say yes, but it worked for me. I never skimmed pages or got bored. The book was a bit long but who knows, if it was shorter would I have had the same love for it? Overall, the romance was beautiful and the characters were believable and likeable. I think Tina Reber did a great job with this one.
JESSICA’S LOWDOWN: I was really excited to read this book after I heard what the concept was. Let’s be honest – people have a favorite celebrity that becomes their fantasy boy toy, boyfriend, lover, husband, dom, etc. all the time. I was ready to plunge head first into this storyline and the first couple of chapters had me engrossed. Ryan’s character is exactly how my fantasy actor would be – talented, smart, charming, hot and down to earth. The fact that Ryan misses the normal aspects of life made him even more desirable. Taryn is supposed to be this “normal”, relatable, beautiful, smart, independent woman who has had her heart-broken in her past, so she concentrates on running her bar and enjoying her “normal” every day activities. I am using the word “normal” loosely here, folks, because quite honestly, what “normal” girl do you who is told she is beautiful by strangers every single day, runs a bar, sings like an angel, can make stained glass, paints and does home repairs? Regardless, I was enjoying such a strong female lead. I thought the way Ryan and Taryn met was brilliant and I had visions in my head of what their pool game could sound and look like in real life. I applaud the author for having Taryn try to be friends first with Ryan, but it was also quite laughable because what sane woman would ever want to just be friends first with a hot guy who wants them – let alone a charming, sexy FAMOUS hot guy? Um, NO ONE!
Finally Taryn comes to her senses and gives Ryan a chance. Hooray – we are going to get some sex, people! The sex scenes are good. Not blush worthy, but good. Ryan and Taryn become that cutesy couple that makes you want to throw up. Just when I am enjoying the fact that the “normal” girl might get the story book ending, the author decides to change Taryn. She changes her in a way that made me violent. Let me make one thing clear – I am not, nor have I ever been, a violent person. I now want to punch Taryn. Not just once or twice, but every single time she opens her mouth. Taryn went from being a strong, independent, confident woman to a weak, insecure, co-dependent mess. And now I can’t stand her. I get that she was cheated on in the past and is weary of giving her heart over to Ryan, especially since he is an actor. Sure, her thoughts of “why does he want to be with me?” and “am I good enough for him?” might pop in my head once or twice if I was in her situation. But when a catch of a guy says to you the above quote that Michelle so kindly supplied to us, all that self-doubt needs to be silenced and you do everything in your power to make that relationship work. Is that what Taryn does? Nope. Instead it seems like she questions why he is with her in every single remaining paragraph. She mentally exhausted me with all of her whining and self-doubt. “SHUT UP, TARYN!” was a common expression that came out of my mouth many times while trying to finish this book.
Then the plot “thickens” with conflict that affects their relationship and doesn’t do anything to improve Taryn’s insecurities. At this point, the book has become torture and I want all of my hours back. I can’t even count the hours either because this book is ridiculously long. I felt I was reading a version of “Gone With The Wind”, except poorly edited, with too many exclamation marks and unnecessary metaphors.
Did I get my happy ending? You will just have to read it for yourself but in no way shape or form do I have any desire to read the sequel. Michelle will have to do that review solo.