Thursday, June 17, 2021

ARC Review: Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

Love Scenes

Bridget Morrissey
Publication: Berkley (June 22, 2021)

Description: Acting like she's in love with her handsome nightmare of a co-star--in a movie directed and produced by her complicated Hollywood royalty family--is Sloane's job. But what happens when the lines between script and reality get blurred?

Out-of-work actress Sloane Ford is in desperate need of something to do after losing her steady TV gig. When her famous family ropes her into working as a producer on their World War II-era romance, they neglect to mention that the film will be headlined by Joseph Donovan, her least favorite former co-star of all time. The roguish actor made her life a living hell the last time they worked together, using his movie star good looks and Irish charm to cover for his erratic professional behavior. On their new film set, he promises he's different now, but Sloane is far from convinced.

As filming gets underway, it becomes clear that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. When the lead actress is abruptly fired, Sloane agrees to step in and take over the role, and she starts to remember why she fell in love with acting in the first place. On camera, she and Joseph share an electric chemistry. Off camera, they've been honing their characters and, much to Sloane's surprise, growing closer. But playing the role of a woman in love with Joseph Donovan is a dangerous business, and the more time they spend together, the less Sloane can tell what's real between them, and what's just for show.

My Thoughts: This romance was an entertaining story about enemies turned to friends and lovers. Sloane Ford is one of a famous Hollywood family. Her parents are both actors though her mother has turned to producing in recent years. Both have remarried which has extended the family by her parents' current and former spouses. Her sister is a budding director. Her brother is a composer. Sloane, herself, is a working actress. However, she was just written off the television series she'd been starring in for three years and her ex-boyfriend has just dropped an album that contains songs about her which don't paint her in a positive light.

Her family is involved in making a movie which is a romance set during World War II. She had been asked to take the starring role but turned it down because of her TV series. Of course, she would have turned it down anyway because Joseph Donovan has been hired to star in the drama. She and Donovan made a movie a few years earlier that almost made Sloane give up acting. Donovan was a major pain during the whole production and Sloane would be glad never to work with him again.

But Joseph Donovan has changed. He's having some trouble working with the actress who is his co-star and her mother, the producer, has tasked Sloane with helping him learn his lines and improve his acting. At first, she's not willing to forgive him despite the changes he has made in his life. They gradually get closer together though Sloane is the one who drags her feet and is not ready to trust him again.

When the actress who is playing the lead is fired, Sloane is drafted to take over the role. Despite all of her acting experience, lines get blurred between the romance they are filming and the one that is building in real life. It doesn't help that Sloane also has to deal with her family who all want the best for her and are sure what that is even without consulting Sloane.

I loved the family dynamics and the strong relationships within the large blended family. I liked that the romance grew naturally and realistically. I really liked both Sloane and Joseph as characters.

Favorite Quote:
There's a persistent ache in my chest I've come to know well. Anxiety, my most unwelcome friend. It usually comes with no obvious explanation, a powerful trickster who likes to surprise me when life seems good, staying as long as it pleases, leaving without fanfare but with the lingering promise that it will return when I least expect it. This time, it's different. The correlation is obvious.

This goddamn movie. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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