She wasn’t meant for movie stars, Hollywood, or happy endings. And then she met him.
Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?
Hollywood Ever After by Sasha Summers draws a reader in on many different levels. First and foremost is the satisfyingly sweet yet sexy romance between an older woman/younger man. Claire's just gotten out of an abusive marriage which has left her with self-esteem issues, amongst other scars. She can't understand why the extremely hot and sexy young actor Josh would want her but he totally wins her (and us readers) over with his heartfelt compliments and unquestionable support. Their relationship evolves realistically and seamlessly incorporates the demands of motherhood upon their fledging relationship. Josh time and time again proves he's in it for the long haul and his scenes with the children were heartwarming to see.
Amongst the sweetness were some very weighty issues. Claire is a survivor of physical and verbal abuse courtesy of her ex-husband Daniel who makes unnervingly sporadic appearances throughout the story to try to exert control over her. These scenes were extremely tense and it showed a new strength in her character that she didn't give into his demands. Her dealings with him were empowering and make her a character you can look up to.
Ms. Summers conveyed the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and all its trappings in a realistic manner as well as the serenity of London. The scenery took on a life of its own and I felt like a part of the action. The business side of Hollywood with all its positives and negatives was well done and was another issue this new couple had to cope with and was handled in a mature way.
Josh and Claire were great on their own but were amazing together. The sexual chemistry was there from the first moment they collided and intensified to some very steamy sexual encounters. The addition of the children brought out a tender side to Josh and helped Claire see how good of a man he was. The children were likable and enhanced the storyline greatly. There were other secondary characters equally entertaining and their appearances added to the sense of family Josh and Claire were trying to create.
This was a story that stays with you long after the final page is turned. The characters and emotions were realistic and gutwrenching and I was rooting for a HEA every moment. Josh and Claire were a wonderful couple with wonderful children who deserved happiness and Ms. Summers set them on a richly rewarding path to an immensely satisfying conclusion.
My rating for this is an A.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.