It’s Only Acting – Jackson Kane

 

A great plot, I love Hollywood stories even though IMO it needs editing. This one didn’t have a lot of action in a movie set and it didn’t have a hunky movie star but it was ok, because it had a hunky bodyguard. Olivia Ward belongs to a legendary Hollywood family. Her father, Devlin Ward, comes from Hollywood royalty, and so he expects and demands a certain behavior from Olivia. The result: she’s shy, introverted, invisible in the school, but shines in the school theatre club.

Bastien is a military brat, he moved constantly, according to where his father is next stationed. So, he never makes close connections with friends because he knows he will go away and never see them again. When he arrives at school, he becomes one of the bad boys of the school, involved in drinking and whoring. Even so, he noticed Olivia from the start and watched her discreetly. When she was present in the gym, he always won in the wrestling matches, so he called her his lucky charm, and insisted that she attend all of his matches. Their relation was further strengthened by a tragedy in which Olivia helped Dax overcome his sadness.

Olivia was slowly opening up to Dax and they were becoming heavily involved until on the night of their prom, things went downhill with the intervention of her father. Dax disappears and six years later, he comes back to protect Olivia.

Olivia is now an actress, through no help from her father. She persevered and is making something of herself in this world. When she got involved with another actress and started to look for movie roles different from what her father liked, he strikes against her in the press and took control of her finances.

The situation at the start of the book was that there had been an intent against her father’s life and as a result, she was assigned a bodyguard. And the bodyguard was non other than Bastien, her high school crush who had broken her heart. And here is where things get hazy. Olivia goes to a hotel to see her father who had been attacked. In the hotel room, there is Bastien, Olivia, her father Devlin and her stepmother Trish. In that first scene we learn that Trish was Bastien’s and Olivia’s high school English teacher, she also was Bastien’s guardian, and also Olivia’s stepmother. Convoluted much? I had a hard time unravelling the plot, because the action is a little inconsistent presenting backflashes to the past, then to the present. Even with the important information given during the backflashes, a lot of information is omitted until the end. There were also things that didn’t click for me. For example, that Devlin had worked on projects with Trish and that is how they connect and later marry. How come, since Devlin took little interest in Olivia’s life except to keep strict control of her actions? Devlin at one time froze Olivia’s bank accounts, even though Olivia is twenty-three years old. That didn’t make sense to me, it even seemed illegal.

Bastien as a character was great. He never stopped loving Olivia, he only stayed away because he felt he didn’t deserve her and only came back to protect her. He has a serious self-worth problem, and truly felt that Olivia was better off without him. He was now committed to keep her safe until the attacker was apprehended. Yet, living near Olivia brought back all his strong feeling for her and made staying apart difficult.

Olivia was a difficult character. In the beginning she was tiresome in her anger and complaining. I got she was being defensive because Bastien still got to her. However, while she was so nasty and sassy with Bastien, she was a total wimp with her father. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for her because she didn’t seem to be able to stand on her feet. There was another situation in a film audition and later on during the filming, where she was being trod upon by other male professionals and she didn’t seem to be able to tell them off. I felt zero admiration for her, while I felt impressed by the depth of feelings in Bastien.

The love story was great, the general story was great, but the sex scenes were a bit too much and too frequent. I felt it took away the romance from the love story between Bastien and Olivia. Also, the start of the book was somewhat disorganized and I had a hard time figuring out the who and the why of the actions. It wasn’t until the end that things completely clicked and I had to re-read the beginning to make sense of what I had learned at the end. Again, the author is promising but needs to hone his craft a little bit. Even so, great read!

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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