Friday, November 14, 2014

Starstruck by L.A. Witt

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1)*** 1/2

Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi's.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf's Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn't so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn't stick, either, because he's offered a part on the show-exactly the kind of complex role he'd always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet-no matter how attractive he finds his costar.

Carter Samuels is the critically acclaimed male lead on Wolf's Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting-and made him realize he's gay-is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi's disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can't have but both desperately need


I believe everyone goes through reading slumps at one time or another.  It seems to happen to me at least once a year.  But eventually a book comes along to save the day.  A book that hits the spot.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just has to be perfect for me at the time I’m reading it. 

Starstruck was that book.  I had just gone through a string of romances that just weren’t doing it for me.  It had been a little while since I had read a m/m romance so I decided to pick this one out of my TBR list.  And, boy, am I glad that I did.  This book has everything.  Beautiful scenery.  Hollywood-beautiful boys.  A CocaCola addicted main character. Steamy hot drinks.  Steamy hot bedroom scenes.  And, the Pièce de résistance, two forever boys.

Levi left Hollywood after being typecast and never being allowed to expand his skills into other film genres.  He’s been enjoying a quiet and drama-free life in Bluewater Bay, WA.  Other than helping produce and direct local theater productions, Levi pretty much keeps to himself.  And he likes it that way.  So when an old Hollywood acquaintance asks to meet with him about the hit show that has been filming in town, Levi is thoroughly annoyed.  He has successfully left Hollywood and now it seems Hollywood has decided to invade his turf.  But, as much as he would like to tell everyone to go away, he is being offered the role of a lifetime.  A role that will allow him to broaden his career and help him break free of the typecasting that he has resented for so long.  The only catch is that he has to stay in the closet.  With a star and director that are out in the open about their sexuality, the production company has decided they don’t want the hit show to be known as the “gay” show and are unwilling to add another gay actor to the cast.  This obviously bothers Levi but since he’s never been willing to come out of the closet anyway, he might be willing to go along with this so he can take advantage of a career changing opportunity.

When Carter sees his idol and Hollywood crush, Levi Pritchard, touring the set, he is absolutely giddy.   So much so that he takes a chance and visits a rehearsal at the local theater so he can introduce himself to Levi and talk about his possible casting in the show.  Unexpectedly,  Carter and Levi hit it off immediately.  They find that they both have a mutual love for indie films.  It doesn’t take long before they are spending every free moment watching movies together at Levi’s home.   

Their attraction to each other is undeniable.   But Levi is not so willing to come out of the closet and Carter is unwilling to be a secret.  The two of them struggle with being best friends when they want to add so much more to their relationship.  Until Levi can stand up for himself and until he realizes he won’t really be losing anything by being open about who he is, their friendship continues to become more tense.

Like I said, this book hit the spot.  I love stories about nice people.  And these men were NICE.  I love stories that focus on connections besides the obvious sexual attraction.   Watching these two men become best friends while pursuing mutual interests is what made me love them and cheer them on.  That’s one of the things that make me, as a reader, feel like I know the main characters.  It forces me to care for them as if they were my best friends and family.

I’ve read L.A. Witt once before (Covet Thy Neighbor – loved it!) and after reading Starstruck,  I will now be making an effort to move her previous books closer to the top of the TBR pile.   If you are looking for hot boys, romance and  just the right amount of angst  then I recommend you pick this one up very soon.


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