As an anthropologist, Holly McCartney is more comfortable in a museum than shopping on Rodeo Drive. She isn’t prepared for the media frenzy on her arrival in L.A. to accept a posthumous acting award for her late sister…or for her sister’s gorgeous friend Nate Devlin to come to her rescue. Though he resents her for some reason, she can’t fight their irresistible chemistry—especially when the paparazzi force her to stay at his mansion.
Photographer Nate only agrees to help Holly survive Hollywood for her sister’s sake, but she soon gets under his skin in a way no other woman has. The more time he spends with her, the more his attraction grows and he finds himself opening up to her in ways he never expected. But will ghosts of the past stand in the way of their perfect Hollywood ending?
I am a fan of Rachael Johns through her other work (in particular, Jilted) and I was looking forward to this book. While I enjoyed Stand-In Star, I’ve got to admit that it didn’t quite deliver what I was expecting.
Most of the story was good. I liked that Holly was willing to put aside, albeit temporarily, the issues she had with her late sister, Daisy, to be there in her place on what could prove to be a big night. However, it was the relationship between Nate and Holly that frustrated me a little. He assumed the absolute worst of her without having met her, yet continued to rescue her as if she was his best friend. Then within a week, he’s decided to fly half way around the world to spend his life with her. I’m sure that this could happen in real life, but I’m generally not that keen on insta-love storylines.
From what I have read, Stand-In Star is the first in a series. It will be interesting to see who the following stories are about, as I couldn’t see any obvious characters for sequels.
By no means did I dislike this book – it was perfectly good. However, of late, I have been on a great run with books and there have been others that I have enjoyed more.
My rating: 3 out of 5
Release Date: 7 January 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.