Audio Review: Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard

love in the afternoonHero: Sean Barrett is the sexiest soap star on TV. His father — an amazing actor in his own right — is embarrassed that Sean spent ten years of his life acting for a lowbrow soap, and tries to get him to audition for Hollywood hits. Sean refuses to use his father’s connections in the industry to get ahead and purposefully avoids leaving the soap for greener pastures. He and his father do not get along. Sean sees every attempt to reconnect as an attempt to manipulate him. His father’s pull is so strong others have tried to get close to Sean in order to get close to his father, something Sean finds distasteful. His fame-seeking ex-girlfriend has left a bad taste in his mouth and he’s determined to avoid his sexy new costar at all costs… until he realizes she wasn’t hired for her pretty face but for her acting skills. Then all bets are off.

Heroine: Kayla Maxwell’s biggest career move in seven years has been to accept a contract with daytime’s most popular soap, A New Dawn. It will give her the chance to show her acting chops and perhaps prove to her manipulative ex-boyfriend – also an actor — that she’s more than a bimbo in some B-rated slashers. Things seem to be going well, because the producers are expanding her role and slotting her character as Sean’s character’s newest love interest. But when real terror comes to the set, Kayla doesn’t know what to do. A hateful fan leaving threatening notes for her to quit the show and get out of town has escalated into vandalism and hints at more. Her handsome costar wants to keep her safe and Kayla is inclined to let him.

Review: Found this treasure on Audible for free one day and snagged it. I’m glad I did. I very much enjoyed the narrator. Gia St. Claire did an excellent job and I would listen to another book read by her.

I liked how the lines of dialogue at the top of each chapter reflect the growing attraction and love the two shared as both the main characters and their on-screen personas. I would classify this romance as sweet, despite the crazy fan mystery. I thought Sean and Kayla were great together on and off the stage. I liked the behind-the-scenes-look at filming day time soap operas with new tapings each day and the two’s interactions in the evening studying their lines.

The mystery is pretty good at keeping you guessing who is behind the threats. I won’t give you the choices, but I know I kept bouncing back and forth on it for a good portion of the novel. There’s a significant portion of page time devoted to Sean’s friend, Matt, a baseball player with some serious issues involving the death of somebody (wife, child?). It’s a clear setup for the next book in the series. Perhaps with Kelly, Kayla’s sister?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Love in the Afternoon (Feeling the Heat)

Review: The Italian’s Secret Child by Catherine Spencer

Matteo De Luca is one prideful, stubborn man. He was stubborn at twenty-five and he still is at thirty-five. He’s very wealthy and comes from a blueblood Italian family but chooses not to share this with anyone, especially our heroine until after she is staring gobsmacked at his house in Tuscany.

Stephanie Leyland-Owen married Charles when Matteo broke it off with her 10 years ago and disappeared. She married Charles to protect her unborn child from her father, who is a very prejudice man. Her son, Simon Matthew Leyland-Owen, does not look like Matteo (he actually looks like Matteo’s grandmother) which is how she manages to keep Matteo from guessing the truth.

At twenty-nine, Stephanie would like to think she’s able to stand up to her father and not care about how ridiculous family dimensions are in her house. Her mother who has until midway through the novel been a doormat suddenly grows a spine and starts to talk back. Her one brother is a mimicry of their father. Her other is a nonentity, but is supposedly carefree and charming.

The novel is way to slow moving. The sex is rather pathetic, even the daring one out in the open. I didn’t really feel like the leads were connecting emotionally, let alone falling back in love. Matteo doesn’t believe Stephanie about her behavior from years ago. She never brings him to task not telling her about himself and for letting her father treat him like crap when by all rights he should be squishing her dad like a bug.

Overall it was just very meh.

Rating: 1.5 Stars

Buy: The Italian’s Secret Child

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