Fans of the m/m genre rejoice as the talented Daisy Harris is here with her latest tale of opposites attracting, Far From Hollywood. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of this complicated romance, along with my impressions of it, and then add it to your bookshelf. To celebrate this book make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 2 eBooks of choice from ARe Books Imprints too!
Pretending to be someone else is easy. The hard part is keeping it real.
Sheriff Jack Francis finds the last thing he would expect in the small town of Pookataw Valley, Idaho—a gorgeous yet troubled movie star on a bender. Though Jack is intrigued, he can’t afford to draw attention to his sexuality and risk a scandal.
Former teen idol Blake Tyler thinks hiding in Pookataw Valley is perfect—it’s isolated, beautiful, and comes with a sexy sheriff eager to share Blake’s bed. When Hollywood arrives in Pookataw Valley to film a reality show, Blake embraces the chance for a comeback, but Jack struggles to know what is real and what is faked for the camera.
If Jack wants to date America’s Sweetheart, he’ll have to make his private life public. Is he ready to share the spotlight?
Blake shivered in the April wind, rubbing his arms and wishing the sequins on his G-string weren’t chafing his ass. With quick and frozen fingers, he picked at his wedgie. Barefoot, he hopped from foot to foot on the fake wood porch where he was hiding from the party. Vail Village surrounded him and the Western facades were faded in the moonlight, but with a warm glow coming through their windows. If he didn’t get inside the party soon he’d get hypothermia, and any hope he had of avoiding a media frenzy would disappear.
He could imagine the headline—“Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Teen Scene star, Blake Tyler, raced to the hospital…after an orgy at elite Vail hotel.”
Of course, the party raging just on the other side of the sliding door wasn’t an orgy at all. The invite had said, “Dress like a porn star,” but while most of the B-list guests milling around with cocktails in their hands wore leisure suits or puffy jackets over shorts or bikinis, Blake had been an idiot. Trying to get attention, or maybe convince a director that he no longer was the seventeen-year old heartthrob from Teen Scene, Blake wore nothing but pink underwear and nipple tassels—a mistake on his part. On his nearly-thirty-year-old body, the sequins looked ridiculous.
Anyway, Blake should have known there’d be at least one gossip blogger at the party waiting to strike like a snake. Since Blake’s contract for the Teen Scene franchise included a morality clause which prohibited scandalous behavior and revealing his true sexuality, one picture of Blake in a sparkly G-string would be enough to ruin his whole career.
He peeked through the window, where the shades were parted just enough for Blake to see a prominent blogger stalking the room like a hyena. He wore a pair of aviator sunglasses and a crooked sneer.
Fuck. Blake couldn’t go back inside.
Glancing around at his options, he spotted a trellis not far from the porch. Though he might scrape his hands, Blake could probably climb down. Maybe the exercise would warm him, too.
Next to the lone lawn chair sat a plastic crate, and Blake opened it. Inside there was a pink Snuggie. He rolled his eyes. Perfect. I’ll match. Blake draped it around his shoulders and tied the sleeves around his neck.
Then, like a travesty of a superhero, Blake clambered onto the porch’s railing and stretched to reach the trellis nearby. It was close, but not close enough. Blake said a prayer and launched.
His fingers scraped wood, but with panted breaths he managed to get a hold of the trellis. Unfortunately, his Snuggie flapped in the wind and there wasn’t anything Blake could do about it.
Below in Vail Village, people were milling around in the streets, but Blake tried not to peer down. They probably couldn’t spot him in the dark. Instead, he focused on putting his toes into the prickly holes in the trellis and feeding his body lower, hand over hand. He told himself he was imagining the shouts and gasps he heard from below. After all, he could barely focus on anything besides the sound of his breath and his slow progression downward.
When a siren broke through the night, Blake couldn’t deny that someone must have reported they’d seen him. Hurrying, he shuffled lower, ignoring the splinters in his hands and the cuts on his feet. It wasn’t until an authoritative voice called through a loudspeaker, “We’re coming to help you, sir, stay where you are,” that Blake twisted and looked behind him.
A dozen cell phones were raised, their flashes sparkling like snowfall in the night. Above the other voices, Blake heard a squeal of, “Oh my God, it’s Blake Tyler!”
And then his arms went weak, and he fell.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As a fan of the m/m genre Ms. Harris has crafted many satisfying stories and while this one isn't her best it still has a nice bit of charm with a diverse cast of characters to bring small town living alive. In this tale of opposites attracting the emotional angst runs high as one man is outed in an incident caught on video while the other is fighting to stay in the closet. Together, will these two find HEA or will they let the outside world rule their future?
In an attempt to keep his sexuality secret young actor Blake only succeeded in making it even more public. While waiting for the gossip to die down, and to figure out how to ressurect his career, he's hiding out far from Hollywood and licking his wounds in a self-destructive way that engendered a bit of sympathy. Meeting the town's sheriff though changes his life irrevocably as he's forced into seeing himself in a whole new light, a light that he might like a whole lot better than what Hollywood sees. Working with the town's youth theater is the first step in salvaging his career but also puts him in contact with a colorful and memorable cast of secondary characters that brought out a down to earth side to Blake. Between sensual moments with Jack and his enjoyable interactions with the teen actors Blake is left wondering what will truly make him happy, but with his strong-willed agent desperate to gain him fame again, the sweet and sensual burgeoning relationship with the sheriff might be over before it starts.
Jack has been keeping a very big secret, not only from the denizens of the town he's sworn to protect but from his family as well. He has his reasons for doing so as his sister is in a bitter custody battle with her stalker ex-husband and he doesn't want her custodial rights jeopardized. Meeting the emotionally bruised actor Blake though puts his secret in jeopardy as the attraction between them is instantaneous. He understands Blake's pain and wants to help him but staying in the closet is a necessity that adds strain to a relationship just starting out. While I can understand Jack's fears, especially in small town America, it still left me frustrated. I also appreciated his seeing the real Blake behind the glitz and glamour that was the impetus to Blake's finally discovering what he really wanted out of life.
There's a lot going on in this story with many characters coming and going that distracts a bit from the sweet and sensual relationship blossoming between Blake and Jack. Their feelings about their sexuality sometimes became a bit too angsty and left me frustrated while still cheering them on as I liked both of them. While the storyline involving Jack's sister was suspenseful it felt out of place amongst the charming, sweet, and sensual tone Ms. Harris set early on. Overall though this was a quick read that fans of the m/m genre will find entertaining.
My rating for this is a B-
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Daisy Harris was born into the psychedelic wonder that was the 70s and has had an interesting life so far. She's been to Catholic school and Ramones concerts; danced to MC Hammer and Lady Gaga; and been a hair's breadth from shipwreck twice. (Three times, if you count sea kayaks!)
As far as Daisy's concerned, the best things in life happen by accident. Though she's gotten better at planning over the years, she still writes, lives and plays by the seat of her pants. Her books are a happy mix of romantic comedies and coming of age stories, more often than not, inspired by the great films of the 1980s.
Daisy lives in Seattle in a house full of dogs and children. When she's not writing gay romance, she can be found experimenting with new ways to cook kale. Every once in a while, she goes out to pay homage to the party gods of her youth—and maybe to find a little trouble.
a Rafflecopter giveaway