Logan Gray was a child actor and, after a visit to rehab, he’s starring in his first movie in years. Logan is always the focus of the paparazzi and he’s the guy everyone loves to hate. He’s paired in the new movie with Matt Cole, who has his first starring role, and Logan has already commented publicly on what he thinks of Matt’s lack of acting skills. All eyes are on both of them and the buzz on the movie needs a positive spin, so the two of them are encouraged to start a fake dating relationship.
Matt is attracted to Logan and he feels he can learn a lot about the craft of acting from Logan, but Logan wants no part of being Matt’s friend and can’t relate to how nice Matt is or his positive outlook. But underneath Logan’s troubled exterior are years of hurt and trauma that he has tried to ignore. Logan doesn’t want to admit that Matt makes him feel safe and Logan isn’t ready to fall in love and uncover his deepest wounds and it will be a long road for these guys to see their HEA.
This new novel from Kacen Callender offers Hollywood and fake dating and a little behind-the-scenes look at what makes it all spin. This is the first book I have read from Callender and it’s noted that this is the author’s first adult romance novel after writing YA, and Logan and Matt, while in their early 20s, did read young to me.
This book focuses a lot on Hollywood and the side of fame not seen by the fans, where deals and abuse seem to be just part of the business and most things that are public are manufactured and scripted. Matt wants to act and work on his craft, but being famous doesn’t appeal to him and he’s realizing you can’t have one without the other. Logan has been famous from a young age and is still financially dependent on his father and he’s trying to change that for a lot of reasons.
The set up puts Matt and Logan in a fake relationship for publicity and neither of them really wants to spend more time with the other at first. Logan has a lot of unprocessed trauma that stems from abuse at an early age and nobody understands him because nobody knows him. Matt gets caught up in Logan’s attitude and, when he lashes out, Matt is out of his element and too nice at first to push back. Matt, however, sees there is more to Logan and, when Logan confides in him, Matt offers the support Logan never had. Still, the road to a HEA for them is difficult and filled with hurt and loss.
The writing was mostly telling with little showing. Everything about Logan’s backstory is told and, when future events happen, those are told to us as well. There are jumps in time that are glossed over and the epilogue jumps in time many years and that is all told as well. Overall, it was too much telling with not enough showing for me. In between the chapters, there are other stories going on with a fanfic about the guys, blog posts, and a memoir that future Matt is writing and it all detracted from and interrupted the main story for me. Logan has a lot to overcome and, since we don’t see any of it happening, it dulled the payoff at the end. I liked the story this book was telling, but the execution was not for me.