Review for Stand-In Star by Rachael Johns

Stand-In Star by Rachael Johns

TITLE: Stand-In Star
AUTHOR: Rachael Johns
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
PUBLISHER: Carina Press
PAGES: 250 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley / Purchased from Audible
RATING: 4 bows

Holly McCartney has never wanted fame or the media’s attention. That was always more of her sister, Daisy’s mission in life. But when Daisy dies unexpectedly, Holly travels to Tinsel Town to attend the Academy Awards to accept an award Daisy may win. From the moment she arrives in Hollywood, things go far away from what’s she’s planned. She is ambushed at the airport and then rescued by a handsome stranger. Nate Devlin is that handsome stranger. Daisy was his best friend and he is determined to confront Holly on why she never visited or kept in contact with Daisy before her death. But the more he pushes, the more he discovers that things may not be what he assumes and the more difficulty he has fighting his attraction to her. Can they figure out the past together or will Holly forever resent her sister for her wrongdoings?

Holly is a very understandable character in many ways. She is very different from her sister, both in looks and personality. They are like night and day, with Daisy getting the better looks and the desire for the limelight and Holly getting the curves and the penchant for research. She’s so far from comfortable with the paparazzi terrorizing her that it’s not funny. I’d be in a similar frame of mind, dying to get back home and into a good book and away from the crazies with cameras. You can’t help but sympathize with her plight, not only over her sisters death, but of the resentment she harbors against her. Daisy was obviously the golden child and her parents favor and then she gets one thing all her own, and Daisy has to take that too. She just wants to pay her respects and get back to Australia as soon as the planes can get her there, but Nate Devlin is making that taste impossible. He keeps treating her like she is the bad guy in this scenario and as curious as she is to why, she doesn’t really want to know. She also doesn’t want to be attracted to him. He’s constantly being as ass.

As for Nate himself, I really liked him. Sure, he’s a jerk to Holly in the beginning, but that doesn’t last long and he has good reason for it. He’s total devotion to his family is admirable. Not many people would rise to that challenge like he did. Also, once he gets over his issues, he is quite charming. He’s determination to get Holly through this event, as well as his determination to show her how gorgeous she is was swoon-worthy. We need more guys like that.

One thing I loved about this is the fact that Holly isn’t a stick. Though her actual size is never disclosed, it’s made clear she has curves and is entirely self-conscious of her looks. She doesn’t feel attractive, at all. I think it’s a feeling we can all relate to. I also just enjoyed the basic story line. I like romance, especially ones where the characters have misconceptions about each other. I love those confrontation scenes where they learn the truth and are stunned by it. This is no exception. When Nate and Holly finally have it out, I was in heaven. They both learn how wrong they are.

I only had a few issues with it. The first being the sex thing. I realize this is a romance novel and it’s a fantasy and that’s great, but listening to Holly go on and on about how each orgasm was better than the last had me rolling my eyes. Yeah, we get it, Nate is very skilled. Can we move on? My other issue was Holly forgiving Daisy’s past digressions. This may be just me being biased because I am not the forgive and forget type, but I just can’t understand how she can forgive Daisy. What Daisy did was horrible and, for me, the reasons she gives doesn’t excuse her actions. Period. Some lines cannot be crossed and some things cannot be undone.

Beyond that, this was a highly entertaining romance. When I listen to audiobooks, I usually just listen for half and hour or so per day during my lunch break. By that method, it usually takes about a month to get through a decent audiobook because they are all so long. That is not the case with this one. I binged on it. I started listening Thursday during lunch, listened more on Friday, and then spent a great deal of Saturday trying to complete it. So it’s good enough that I completely disregard my normal audiobook reading habits. It’s sweet, it’s sassy, and it’s completely heart-felt. It’s all you can really ask for in a contemporary romance.

****Thank you to Carina Press for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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