How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder (audiobook) – Narrated by Thérèse Plummer & Andrew Eiden

how to fake it in hollywood

This title may be downloaded from Audible via Amazon

Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen TV show has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again. With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme: Fake a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity, but for very different reasons.

Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, struggles with drinking, and grief over the death of his longtime creative partner and best friend, Ethan has slowly let himself fade into the background. But if he ever wants to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan needs to clean up his reputation and step back into the spotlight. A gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress might be just the ticket, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.

Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act. But after decades in a ruthless industry that requires bulletproof emotional armor to survive, are they too used to faking it to open themselves up to the real thing?

Rating: Narration – A; Content – B

If you read my reviews regularly, you’ll know that m/f contemporary romance has never been something I gravitate towards, but the occasional one does catch my eye now and then, and Ava Wilder’s début romance, How to Fake it in Hollywood, is one of those. I picked it up on a whim  because I’d read a couple of reviews that intrigued me – and, okay, also because of Andrew Eiden.

On the surface, it’s your basic bad-boy meets good-girl story with a fake-dating trope thrown in, but there’s a bit more going on beneath, especially because both leads are carrying a lot of baggage which trips them up several times along the road to their eventual HFN. Grey Brooks – whose real name is Emily – is twenty-seven and has been working in front of the camera for two decades. The successful teen drama in which she’d played the lead ended eight months earlier, and although she’s done the odd bit part here and there, she’s yet to land another decent role. Together with her best friend Kamilah, Grey is drafting a script based on a best-selling novel and they’re planning to direct (Kamilah) and star (Grey) once they can get the project greenlit. Now, though, Grey is up for a role in a major fantasy franchise, but she’s been out of the spotlight for a while and profile counts in this business, so her publicist comes up with a way to increase her chances of getting the part and getting backing for the movie further down the road.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams (audiobook) – Narrated by Andrew Eiden

isn't it bromantic

This title may be downloaded from Audible

He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance – both on and off the page.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how. She agreed to marry her childhood friend, Vladimir, and move to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka The Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more.

The Bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love – and this time they’re not operating solo, joining forces with Vlad’s senior citizen neighbours, a group of meddling widows who call themselves The Loners. But just when things finally look promising, the danger from Elena’s past life intrudes. Now the book club face their first-ever life-or-death grand gesture as they race to a happy ever after.

Rating:  Narration – A; Content – B

Isn’t it Bromantic?, the fourth book in Lyssa Kay Adams’ Bromance Book Club series is my favourite of the set so far. (I admit I missed book three, but I listened to and reviewed the first two). The series premise – a group of guys read romance novels in order to try to more fully understand and appreciate the women in their lives – is a lot of fun and provides the opportunity for some inside jokes and meta commentary about the genre. Up until this book though, I haven’t felt as though the author has quite hit her stride; while the first two instalments had some interesting and original plotlines and a couple of thoroughly likeable heroes, I found the heroines hard to like (especially Liv in Undercover Bromance) and there were some glaring plot holes that rather took me out of the stories. I’m pleased to say, however, that Isn’t It Bromantic? is a step up from those books; the hero is adorable, the heroine is more likeable and the story feels much more cohesive – at least, it does until around the ninety percent mark, when the author shoves in a last-minute suspense plot that feels a bit jarring. But by then I was sufficiently invested in the characters and their HEA to want to find out how it all played out.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams (audiobook) – Narrated by Andrew Eiden


This title is available to download from Audible

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart…even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

Rating: Narration – A; Content – B-

I had mixed feelings about The Bromance Book Club the novel that introduced readers and listeners to a group of guys who get together a few times a week to discuss the romance novels they’re reading, viewing them as a way to understand the female psyche and learn to look at things from the female perspective. It was a clever, funny marriage-in-trouble story that I mostly enjoyed, even though I did have reservations about some elements of the plot and wasn’t wild about the heroine. But I’d listen to Andrew Eiden read the phone book, so when the chance to review the follow up, Undercover Bromance, came up, I decided to take it and see if I might like it more than the first book. Again, I have mixed feelings. The narration is excellent – no surprises there. There were some aspects to the story that I liked more than the first book, and the plot feels more cohesive, perhaps because there’s no ‘story-within-a-story’ element to this one. But – and also again – the heroine – the sister of Thea from book one – bugged me. That didn’t really surprise me either, seeing as I didn’t like her very much in The Bromance Book Club, where she was obnoxious and pushy, and continually interfering in Gavin’s attempt to save his marriage.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (audiobook) – Narrated by Andrew Eiden and Maxwell Caulfield

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Gavin Scott’s marriage is trouble. The Nashville Legends baseball star has recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. His reaction to the revelation is the final straw for their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency called Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his beloved wife.

Rating: Narration – A; Content – B-

There was quite a bit of pre-publication buzz about The Bromance Book Club, and the synopsis – a guy woos his wife with the help of romance novels – sounded intriguing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that what really prompted me to pick it up for review was the name of the main narrator, whose alter-ego is a very well-known, very popular and extremely good narrator of contemporary romances.

Baseball star Gavin Scott has been happily (as far as he knows) married to Thea for three years. They dated only briefly before they married after discovering that their twin girls were on the way, and have settled into their lives as parents and partners, a life in which Gavin’s job sees him frequently away from home and oblivious to the effect his absences and the demands his profession make on Thea are having on their marriage. Things come to a head one night when Gavin learns that Thea has been faking orgasms for practically the entirety of their marriage; he takes it really badly and, furious and upset, moves into the guest room before leaving the house the next day and holing up in a hotel.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.