Romance writer John has lost his way, his confidence, his drive, and his boyfriend. After a fan committed suicide, John cannot rebound back into life and he cannot write any more. When famous actor Parker Chase contracts John to write his biography, John jumps at the opportunity, even though it’s not romance or even a work of fiction. Haunted by nightmares that are only eased by sleeping pills, John still cannot turn down the chance to meet the handsome actor.
Parker is wealthy, good looking, and lives moment to moment. He is the exact opposite of John. John does not acclimate well to Parker’s lifestyle or friends and Parker admits he is playing some kind of game with John. John wants the story, the real story of the man behind the celebrity. But, John may just be outwitted and way over his head.
Sometimes there is a book that you just cannot connect with. The story, the characters, any of it, and all of it. This is that book for me, I was never able to get a footing with this story and I did not find the MCs or the side characters likable. When the story opens, we learn that John has read about the general view of Parker’s self-centered and narcissistic ways, which puts John on the defensive the minute he gets to Parker’s house. Sure, Parker is not the most gracious host, but John is trying so hard to prove that he is Parker’s equal that he is basically rude to the man in his own home. There is a lot of random inappropriateness on both sides. The butler does not help matters when he first gives John cryptic warnings to leave and then when John does want to leave offers cryptic messages telling him to stay.
This is not a mystery story by any means, but what exactly is going on is not supposed to be known upfront. I was waiting for the payoff, but two-thirds into the story I no longer had interest in Parker’s predatory actions, John’s nightmares, or finding out what their story was actually going to be. It was all drawn out for too long. John was there to interview Parker to write a biography and they don’t spend all that much time on the interview portion. John makes a lot of silent observations. When most of the characters’ motivations are not clear for most of the story, it is difficult to become invested in them. There is too much time of Parker and his friends’ games and not enough time for Parker and John to develop a relationship. Parker and John are physically attracted to each other, but there is no time devoted to them developing a relationship further than that.
The suicide of John’s fan figures into the story line. We get part of the story through John’s nightmares, but it never goes into depth and there are a lot of unanswered questions and areas that don’t add up because of this. John’s ex is also mentioned as a contributing factor, but that story line is not developed either.
When the reveal comes of what game Parker is playing at, it’s a story line that has been done many times in many variations. The story deals with games, lies, manipulation, and an attempt at redemption. Parker has a sudden epiphany in just a few days that is hard to believe in. The ending is then worthy of the movies that make up Parker’s life. I did not see the MCs connecting to each other, I did not connect with them and their story, and the plot was not pulled together well. This is just not the book for me all the way around.