hollywood dirt, by alessandra torre

This was a fun and relatively fast read. There was a lot of humor infused with real emotion and just the right amount of sexual tension. Alessandra Torre is quickly becoming one of my most adored authors and I could easily go on a binge devouring one book after another from her. In this case, Hollywood Dirt is being made into a movie. And while not a big budget summer release, casting has begun and you’re sure to recognize a face or two on the big screen when it’s brought to life.

Cole Masten, the hero (a term used loosely) is the epitome of an egotistical a*s. He’s Hollywood elite, with over-the-top good looks and talent for days, all slathered in charm. He’s also the male half of ‘Codia,’ being married to Nadia Smith, a Hollywood starlet in her own right. But the demise of the Cole/Nadia acronym is upon them.

After returning home one day, Cole discovers Nadia engaged in extra curricular activities with another man in their bathroom. Needless to say, Cole doesn’t take it well. After arranging a meeting between the other man’s head and shoulder with a ceramic elephant, the divorce of “Codia” ensues; along with a lot of bad behavior on Cole’s part.

Enter Summer. A down home, tell it like it is, care free southern girl. She manages to wrangle a job on Cole’s next movie as an assistant to the location scout. But what starts out as a short-term assistant gig, turns into the part of a lifetime for Summer and as it were, Cole.

The interactions between Cole and Summer are rife with will they/won’t they as well as insults and pranks galore. It makes for a well-written enjoyable story that takes a light-hearted approach to dealing with serious matters of the heart. The reader has the dual benefit of knowing what’s going on inside both Cole and Summer’s head to get a clear view of where they stand, even though they aren’t expressing it to one another. Peppered with one liners and secondary characters almost as entertaining as the primary, this is one book I hope the movie-makers do right by.

black lies, by alessandra torre

black liesI read this book a while ago. And much like the baked chimichanga’s I love, it’s better after sitting over night–or in this case, a few months. Clever, is one word that comes to mind to describe the story. I also used that word to describe Gone Girl and I hated that book. (And yes, I know I’m in the minority on that one. Don’t care.) Black Lies, however, I did not hate. Did not love. But I could appreciate it.

On the surface, Lana is a beautiful and bored socialite who takes her volunteer work very seriously. Brant is a handsome, polished, highly successful and rich business man who owns a small empire, if there is such a thing. Lee, is a rugged, sexy, broke landscaper. And Lana falls for both of them. Here’s where the trouble begins…

This is a story about a very twisted love triangle. Brant is madly in love with Lana and wants nothing more than to devote his life to her. Lana, feels the same way about Brant–oh, and Lee too… Who is also in love with Lana and comes to resent Brant and all of his money and power, as well as his feelings for Lana and hers for him.

To further complicate matters, there is a secret overshadowing this sordid tale of romance. And that’s where my challenge with the book comes in… I was fine knowing there was a secret. I was also fine with the secret not being revealed right away. What I was not ok with was the secret being referenced, all the time (it felt like every other page) throughout the majority of the book.

Torre’s story is different. It’s not BDSM. It’s not some over-the-top insanely jealous billionaire who’s out of his mind trying to control some 20-year old naive school girl. These are adults, who yes, have a lot of money–well, 2 of them do; who have careers and wants like marriage, kids, etc. And the twist to the plot is actually something I haven’t seen done before, which is why I was so hopeful for this book.

To be fair, that is really the only issue I have with the book. While it did make for a frustrating read at times, I understand Torre was building up the suspense aspect for the reader. I just wished it could’ve been written a bit differently. Overall, if you’re looking for a love story that’s off the beaten path–give this one a try. Clever…

rating:

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