“For the first time in my life I get it: home isn’t always a space; it can be a person.”
― Christina Lauren, Twice in a Blue Moon
Twice in a Blue Moon is a standalone novel by Christina Lauren. Christina Lauren is actually two authors: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. Their books written as Christina Lauren have become my comfort reads when I’m not sure what I want to read. I know that I will enjoy what they have written and my latest read from them didn’t disappoint.
Tate Jones never expected to fall in love on a two week vacation with her grandma in London, but in walked Sam Brandis and his grandpa Luther. Sam was her first love and her first heartbreak. Over those two weeks, Sam and Tate fell head over heels in love. They stayed up late in the garden sharing their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Tate had a life-shattering secret that she had never told anyone, but she decided to share it with Sam. Tate is the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars. She disappeared from the scene years ago, along with her mom, and there has been massive speculation for years about what happened to them both. Sam was the very frst person that she had revealed her identity to. Her trust in him soon proves to be have been a massive mistake when the life she has lived comfortably in for a decade is destroyed in front of her eyes.
Flash forward fourteen years. Tate is now an up-and-coming actress who has been handed the movie script of her dreams. If done correctly, this movie could be her big break. This movie is also the first time that Tate and her father will be acting together. Her nerves are through the roof as their relationship is not as idyllic as it is portrayed to the public. When Tate sets foot on set, the last person she expects to see is her first love, yet there Sam is, looming over everyone, but still as confident and charming as he was all those years ago. Tate feels a pull towards him, even though she has anger for him since he betrayed her. The forced proximity of being on set thrusts the two together many times. Tate’s feelings for Sam become muddled. She must decide if what he did back then could every be justified and if she is willing to move past what he did to her.
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Have you ever recognized someone on the street or in a picture online, but you just can’t place where they’re from? Alice Feeney uses that as a piece of her main character’s development in her latest novel, I Know Who You Are.
I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney is twisty thriller following an actress working to make a name for herself. Aimee Sinclair has the face of someone that most people recognize, but they can’t remember where she is from. Even Aimee has trouble keeping her past life and present life separate. You see, Aimee has a past that she has never shared with anyone and with that past comes a devastating secret that, if uncovered, would have the power to destroy the life she has carefully crafted for herself. There is just one problem: Someone knows Aimee very well. They know her past, what she did, and who she really is.
Aimee seems to have everything going for her, but bubbling just under the surface of her life, things are preparing to destroy everything. Coming home one night, Aimee finds her husband missing. She is at a loss of what to do since his cell phone and wallet are still sitting on the dining room table alongside a giant bouquet of apology flowers. While she is worried, she isn’t in a full-on panic because the night before they had gotten into a heated argument where they both exchanged words that they did not mean and he did things that she will never be able to forget.
Thinking that he will eventually come home, Aimee gets up the next morning for a run and a trip to her favorite coffee shop, only to discover her card has been denied. Calling the bank, Aimee finds out her account has been emptied, theoretically by her. This unnerves her. After reporting her husband missing, detectives show up at her door to question her. Telling them what happened, detectives begin to believe that she is hiding something. They aren’t wrong. Unwilling to divulge everything she knows, Aimee unwillingly sends the police in the wrong direction while the police work to prove that Aimee is behind her husband’s disappearance. Actions come to a head when both sides come up against a wall regarding Aimee’s husband’s disappearance. Aimee’s past has finally come back to haunt her and demands acknowledgment in such a dangerous way that has the power to destroy everything around her.
This novel takes everything that we think we know about ourselves, actors and actresses, the police, and disappearance cases and turns it all on its head. I’ll admit that I thought I had the plot twist figured out pretty early on, but the ending of this book quickly caught me off guard. Check out this book and let me know what you think in the comments below!
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Have you ever read a book where you were consistently confused about what is real and what isn’t? I felt that way all through JP Delaney’s newest book, Believe Me. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, a twist would come from out of nowhere and I would be back at square one, trying to figure out what was happening.
Believe Me by JP Delaney tells the story of a young actress desperate for money. Claire is a struggling British actress who, through a series of nasty circumstances, finds herself living in New York without a green card. Not sure what else to do and needing money and a job, Claire becomes resourceful in order to find work. Since she is an actress, Claire eventually finds employ working as a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Her job is simple: she has been hired to entrap straying husbands. She is to get close, but not too close, in order for him to proposition her, while she stays slightly aloof. The firm needs evidence of their straying, but they must not be coerced.
Claire’s newest job seems straight-forward: the client warns her to be careful and is insistent that Claire doesn’t fall for any of her husband’s tricks. Claire’s meeting with the client’s husband hadn’t gone as well as she had hoped which frustrated them all. Moving on, Claire is surprised when that wife ends up violently murdered and the cops are convinced that the husband is to blame.
The cops decide to take advantage of Claire’s lack of a green card and her prior association with the suspect. They entreat Claire to use her acting skills and her work as a decoy to hopefully lure the husband unto a confession.
This seems like an easy job to Claire. After all, she is paid to lure men into propositioning her. How hard could it be to lure a man into confessing? Claire takes on a new identity and voice that the police feel will catch the killer’s eye. The closer she gets to the target though, the more Claire wonders if she is actually the decoy or the prey. Is she the hunter or the one being hunted? The further she gets into the investigation, the more questions are raised.
The twist at the end of this novel hit me so hard that 1) I audibly gasped and drew the attention of everyone in the grocery store around me and 2) I had to rewind and listen to the ending multiple times before I fully understand what was going on. I love when books do this to me. Read this book and let me know what you think!
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The lives of classic movie actresses and actors have always piqued my interest. How they lived their lives, their scandalous affairs(if they actually had any), and what they did to become an icon are just a few of the things that I always want to know. Media coverage of both classic film stars and modern film stars seldom reveal the whole truth and as a result, fans usually have to wait until after the star’s death to learn the full truth, if that. Shelving a cart of new books one day, I stumbled upon The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The cover immediately captured my interest as the woman looked like she could have been a classic movie star. Reading the blurb proved that she was and I knew I needed to read this book.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the gripping tale of Evelyn Hugo, an adored movie icon. Evelyn’s story is heart-wrenching and pure psychological romance fiction as readers are drawn into Evelyn’s stunningly glamorous world. With her popularity blossoming in the 1950s when she made her way to Los Angeles, Evelyn dominated the Hollywood scene in her relentless and ruthless rise to the top of the movie industry. Evelyn always knew what she wanted and was not afraid to use her body or the people around her to get it. Living in the public eye was a price she paid for being famous, but Evelyn still managed to keep secrets from the public and some of her closest friends that they never would have guessed.
After her decision to leave the Hollywood and show business in general in the late 80s, Evelyn became a recluse. She was never seen out, declined to sit down for interviews, and pictures of an aging Evelyn were almost non-existent. When she reaches out and contacts an unknown magazine reporter named Monique Grant to interview her, everyone in the journalism community is shocked. Why would Evelyn choose Monique to reveal her scandalous and glamorous life? What makes her so special? Why is Evelyn choosing to do this now? Monique has her own issues. She’s not exactly the number one journalist in the world, let alone her city or even her area of expertise. She’s not even 100% happy with where she is working as her career has stalled. Monique’s personal life is just as messy. Her husband left her just five weeks prior and Monique is still reeling.
Recognizing the Evelyn Hugo interview as the potential major career boost that she desperately needs, Monique decides she will do whatever it takes to make this a success and sits down with Evelyn. It becomes clear right off the bat that Evelyn has ulterior motives and it’s left to Monique to figure those out. Quickly Monique becomes wrapped up in the story of Evelyn’s life from her entrance to Los Angeles in the 1950s and the seven husbands she had before she retired in the late 80s. As Evelyn weaves her life’s story for Monique, she discovers that Evelyn’s ruthless ambition led her to some slightly questionable, but nevertheless sustaining, friendships and a major forbidden love that had the ability to potentially ruin Evelyn’s career. Evelyn’s professional and personal lives are forever linked together. As Monique formulates Evelyn’s story, she realizes Evelyn never does anything without having a reason. Monique begins worrying why Evelyn chose her to write her story and when Evelyn’s story finally reaches the present, Monique realizes that she and Evelyn are connected in a truly tragic and life-changing way.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought that I would. Multiple storylines were at play throughout the novel and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in each one. The vivid descriptions of Evelyn’s life as she navigated the rocky waters of fame and her personal life were so well depicted that I found myself believing for a bit that she was a real person. I wanted to learn even more about Evelyn Hugo and her seven husbands. She is fascinating. Highly recommended.
Actress Drew Barrymore is anything but conventional. So it comes to no surprise that her book is unconventional as well. Instead of writing a memoir, Drew wrote a book of stories of her life; stories that she wanted to revisit and share with the world. And her stories are not placed in chronological order. One story will be about being a mother, the next one she talks about her time on the set of E.T. As Ms. Barrymore writes herself in the preface, “This is a book you can dip into and read when you want”. And it truly is. You could put Wildflower down and not read it for awhile, but come across it again and be delighted with the stories. Or, you could binge read Wildflower and learn more about Drew Barrymore. The choice is really up to you. Either way, this biography truly is a book of stories that are very fun to read.
I chose to listen to Wildflower on a recent roadtrip. Drew narrates the book herself and I loved listening to her read. My favorite part may have been when she was describing her childhood after filming E.T. Her mother decided to move to “the Valley” and Drew blames her mother for giving her the “Valley Girl” voice that she cannot seem to get rid of. This happens early in the book, so for the rest of the duration of the audiobook, I would catch myself laughing at her “Valley Girl” voice when she said certain phrases. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Drew Barrymore read (and sometimes scream and sometimes laugh) her own book.
Drew Barrymore has certainly led an interesting life. She started acting when she was a toddler and describes going on auditions as a child and meeting Steven Spielberg. Drew talks about legally separating herself from her mother when she was a teenager. She discusses being a Barrymore and her relationship with her father. She talks about travelling as a teenager. Drew discusses producing and starring in movies. And she discusses being a mother. Perhaps the sweetest story in the book is towards the end. Drew discusses meeting her husband’s parents, Arie and Coco and how she hit the “In-Law Jackpot”. She has such a good relationship with her in-laws that she asked Arie to walk her down the aisle and for Coco to walk in with her husband. It is quite clear that the theme of the book Wildflower is Drew Barrymore’s relationships with other people; her family, her friends, her co-stars, and the people that have touched her life.