Book: Hollywood Dirt
Author: Alessandra Torre
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Summer Jenkins lives in Quincy, Georgia and is the town pariah. Not that anyone would ever be outwardly rude to her. This is the South, and politeness rules. However, Summer is determined to leave as soon as humanly possible. First, she needs to get enough money together in order to begin her new life, and with the arrival of a film crew in the sleepy town, an opportunity presents itself.
Cole Masten is an ultra-successful actor and all-round sex symbol. His arrival to the town of Quincy will likely cause a stir. He is in the process of a bitter divorce, having caught his wife in flagrante delicto with another man. Miserable and lonely, he’s been screwing any woman who stood still long enough. Lucky for him his lawyer has demanded he head to Quincy to get stuck into work and away from trouble. Sage advice until he sets eyes on Summer. Too bad she hates him.
The sparks fly between Cole and Summer – the pair are from very different worlds but may just have the answer to each other’s problems…
Why you should read it: Because it was written by Alessandra Torre. Because from page one you’ll be hooked. Because Cole Masten is possibly the sexiest and sweetest hero I’ve read so far this year. Because the dialogue is spot on and the descriptions of the American South are so vivid you’ll be able to taste them. Summer is an interesting character – you’ll wonder what happened to set the whole town against her, why, beyond her mother, she’s all alone in the world. It was excellent storytelling, which is the usual standard that Ms Torre sets. I don’t know how she managed to take quite a popular trope for a romance and inject her own sense of humour, sexiness and give it an original twist. I didn’t want the book to end. I grinned like a fool while reading and drank in every word.
What you might hate: That it’s a standalone and that you read it far too quickly, but just couldn’t help yourself. You even contemplated playing hooky from work so that you could stay up all night. But don’t worry, common sense prevailed…
Rating: 5/5 outstanding stars. Perfection. I enjoyed and reveled in every scene, every word and loved the little touches – like the rooster named Cocky. Read the book! It’s clear to me that Alessandra poured all her love into these characters and it shows. Thank you Ms Torre.
Hollywood Dirt is out today.
Here’s a sneak peek:
When the door to the production trailer burst open, it brought with it a wave of heat and beauty. Cole looked up from the storyboards and locked eyes with Summer, who blew across the room at him like a tornado on tilt.
“There’s no love story between Ida and Royce.” Summer snapped, throwing down the script, pages fluttering down between them. In the small trailer, conversations stalled and he could feel the attention turn their way. “I’ve read the book. Three times!”
It was good to know that someone had read the damn book. Cole glanced down at her temper tantrum of a mess and back up, raising his eyebrows mildly. “It’s a movie,” he said, turning back to the storyboards. “The writers are adding some excitement. It’s normal. You’d know that if you were in this business.” The dig was unnecessary but he couldn’t help it. This woman turned him into the devil.
“I read the first script. The one you sent over with my contract. Ida and Royce hated each other. Why would Royce…” she snatched up a page from the ground and read out a line. “pushes Ida against the file cabinet and kisses her passionately.” She balled up the page and threw it down to the ground and he could see, in her eyes, the panic. Panic. An unexpected reaction.
“We’ll use that,” Don made the dangerous move of stepping in, putting a soft hand on her shoulder. “You don’t understand. The passion from their hatred will make it hotter.”
“No.” Summer said, her face hard, her eyes on Cole. “It doesn’t make it hotter. It makes it stupid.”
“Aww… come on, Summer.” Cole chided, stepping closer, his hand reaching out to pull at her wrist. She fought him, yanking it back and the moment of their bodies meeting didn’t happen. He leaned down and whispered, right against her ear, the smell of her apple-scented lotion enough to make him want to empty out the production trailer right that moment. “Sure it does.”
She jerked back and twisted away. “If he kisses me on camera I’m going to lose it.” She shot at Don, pointing an accusatory finger in Cole’s direction.
“I know you will,” Cole laughed, crossing his arms to fight from reaching out. “You’ll fall apart under my mouth, baby.”
Summer screamed in response, her hands thrown up in frustration, and spun to leave, her script left behind, the slam of the exit door loud in the full production trailer.
“That went well,” Cole mused. He linked his hands and rested them on his head, rolling his shoulders back. Panic. She’d had panic in her eyes. Fuck.
“What do you expect?” Don said. “You threw this on her without warning. I told you we should have met with her this morning, gone over the changes to prepare her. But no – you just wanted to dump it on her via call sheets and sides.”
“Dump it on her? I was People’s Sexiest Man last year. She’s not mentally adjusting to a war camp for God’s sake. How hard is it to kiss me?”
“It’s actually three kisses,” a dark-haired PA to his left pointed out. “And a grope.”
He gave her a hard look and she withered a little.
“I’ll go talk to her,” Don said. “Eileen, you shoot #4 and I’ll talk to Summer. I want to try to get #14 shot at eleven so let’s get our asses in gear and get this done.”
“I’ll talk to her.” Cole stepped in. “You shoot #4 and I’ll talk to her.”
“No,” Don snapped. “With my luck you two would make up and any authenticity to the scene would disappear. Just stay away from her and be ready at eleven.”
Cole chewed on his cheek, then nodded. “Fine.” Don was right. He should stay away from her. Far. Far away.
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Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of ten novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, co-hosted Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.
You can learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or Facebook.
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