Rating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel


Kyle would love to be a somebody. He wants so desperately to matter, to be picked, to be the chosen one … but as an actor, his claim to fame is being an extra in a crowd. At least until Kyle finds out that he’s somehow married to one Biedermeier, an American director who just so happens to be in a coma at the moment. Between fuzzy memories of a stag night in Vegas and a desire to be special, Kyle hops on a plane to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a not-quite-thirty-something actor.

Kyle learns that Biedermeier is being slandered by a young actor accusing him of sexual assault — among other things. And the guy in the picture looks … familiar. Then, there’s Biedermeier’s fiance, the famous and gloriously hot Noah Winters who has Kyle’s heart beating double time. Noah, it turns out, knows more than he’s telling the press, because the accusations against Biedermeier aren’t fake. The man is known for his preference for young men, such as Noah, who he first met when Noah was 15. Noah had to earn his roles by attending various parties and dancing attendance on various men.

When looking for his stolen passport (long story), Kyle and Noah find proof that Kyle’s marriage to Biedermeier isn’t even the first one! There’s another husband out there who may know something, and — eager to escape Biedermeier’s fixer, Dupree — Kyle and Noah embark on a road trip from California to Georgia.

This story is … a romp. It’s silly, it’s over the top, and it’s cluttered with contrivances and conveniences all dancing around the open secret that is the abuse of children in Hollywood. Noah was 15 when he left Texas on a bus and headed for LA, 15 when he fell for a thirty-something director, and 15 when he started attending the parties as an offering. There he met Tyler, a young man in the same situation he was in. The two of them became friends, and perhaps lovers, and even had a plan to escape Biedermeier … but somehow Tyler ended up dead and Noah was too afraid to defy Biedermeier or his fixer. And now Noah’s trapped, and engaged, and soon to be married to the man who groomed him, abused him, and sold him.

Kyle is self absorbed and easily taken in, too willing to trust anyone and everyone because it’s the polite thing to do, even when he isn’t certain he should. It’s how he lost his passport, handing it over to Dupree, who won’t give it back; it’s how he’s encouraged to do what he’s told, again and again, even when he’d rather not. Because he doesn’t want to make a scene. Kyle just wanted to be famous, but now he just wants Noah. And maybe to go home.

My biggest problem with this book was the romance between Kyle and Noah because I just didn’t feel it. It’s obvious that Kyle’s starstruck, that just being near Noah is enough to make him fall head over heels, and with Noah paying attention to him? Why, it must be love, right? But Noah is hurt, frightened, jaded by his life with Biedermeier, and obedient to Dupree. While I can buy the friendship building between the two of them with their several day road trip, I don’t buy Noah falling in love with Kyle.

However, this is clearly a romcom, so you have the grand declarations, the big moments, and the couple ending up together and that’s how the formula goes. I just didn’t feel the chemistry between them. Kyle is pushy, Noah is skittish, and the ending is very pat, with everything wrapped up in a neat and tidy bow. The plotting is interesting, but I was left feeling like there was a lot of “suddenly this happened!” going on, with reveals upon reveals, new character after new character.

It’s not a bad book, nor is it badly written; it’s actually quite slick and very readable. The pacing is fast, and the descriptions are very visual. If you decide to give this book a try, I hope you enjoy it.