This book was a mixed bag for me.
Here's what worked well:
- In Private Eye, Mark was quite the douchebag. Rather than trying to explain away his crap attitude in Private Eye to make him more likable in his own book, Mark admits his shortcomings and decides to make a change. The change does not come easy for him, however, and he still slips into his insecure behaviors from time to time. Although this was frustrating, it also made the transformation more believable.
- Zane, Mark's love interest, is a great character. Although he is the hottest movie star in Hollywood, his very confident public persona belies a man who is a bit shy and awkward in real life relationships. This juxtaposition worked better here than I have seen elsewhere. He is just also a really good guy. Definitely a keeper.
- Mark's family was a great supporting cast.
Here's what was mediocre:
- I have seen the motif of the MC going on vacation to somewhere tropical (or perhaps, Vegas) to get away from his/her lovelife problems for a while only to fall in love while there a few too many times recently. More in het romances but it is still a bit of an overused theme.
- The normal guy/girl falling in love with the movie (or rock) star theme was pretty standard issue here as well. Paparazzi issues, Mark struggling with the fact that a Hollywood A-Lister could love someone as unexciting as him, etc.
- I found myself skimming between the scenes where Mark and Zane were together. There was too much other stuff. I wanted more of the relationship and less of movie sets, contract negotiations, etc.
Here's what didn't work for me at all:
- Too much time was spent setting us up for what must be the next book (or the one after) about Christian and Kevin. Christian and Kevin's relationship was more or less irrelevant to this book. If the author wanted to cast a hook to get me to read the next book, it could have been done in the epilogue.
- How stupid was Mark to even hang out with Christian? Even if the guy needed a friend, he was trouble and posed a known risk to Mark's relationship with Zane. I wanted to kick Mark. Hard. Often.
All said, I plan to read the next book in this series and hope for the best.