Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Ava Wilder’s How to Fake It in Hollywood has some pretty big problems for me from a romance-reading perspective but the chemistry & connection between leads & the author’s writing style kept me reading even as I was feeling unsettled by the state of their relationship itself.
The biggest issue for me is that lead Ethan Atkins is an alcoholic who doesn’t seek professional help until 90+% of the book. Of course his alcoholism has had a big effect on his relationship with fellow actor Grey Brooks, who has her own issues & behaviors to work through (& in my opinion, also could have benefited from therapy).
So much of their relationship is complicated/damaged/threatened by alcoholism & their own unique issues associated with it & I would have loved to have seen the characters do the necessary work earlier in the book, & on page. When the reconciliation comes I’m supposed to take on faith that things will be different & better without seeing them do the work.
I have doubts about the couple moving forward, particularly because Grey’s own heavy drinking isn’t addressed & how that might affect Ethan’s own sobriety.
But in terms of what I liked, the writing style is easy, the convos between leads (when Ethan feels up to it) are flirty & also sweet, & the portrayal of friendship feels sincere & real.
This could have been a great romance for me, I think—there’s potential there—but it doesn’t work for me to have such a crippling issue not handled until the closing pages & without having the benefit of “seeing” it for myself.
3.5 ⭐️. Release date: 06/14.
Give me that HEA, please.
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