June 13, 2014

The Hollywood Version by Harry K. Malone (review)

Title: The Hollywood Version
Author: Harry K. Malone
Release date: May 9, 2013
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Buy on: Amazon

Mark Lawler has always imagined the world as a movie. With his overactive imagination, he can’t help equating life and art. Currently, he’s living the dream: successful actor, beautiful wife, and he works with his best friend, television heartthrob Zach Pericles. The problem is a certain contingent of fans are convinced Mark and Zach are really in love.

When a compromising photo of them leaks to the press, Mark’s life spins out of control. The show’s executive producer plans to kill off Mark’s character, and Mark faces unemployment and life as a single man. He turns to Ross Lockhart, an old acquaintance, to help him pick up the pieces.

Ross has to be the most frustrating man Mark’s ever known, but he’s levelheaded and wise for his years, and Mark envies the honest life he leads. Maybe Ross can teach Mark a thing or two about finding his own happily ever after.

As some may know, I love books with characters who are celebrities, so this book was right up my alley! I got a copy from the writer to review and it did not disappoint me!

The main character is Mark Lawler (as a non-native English speaker, I wonder how to pronounce that surname, it sound so unnatural and forced when I say it!). He is an actor and plays in a TV show and there he met his best friend Zach Pericles. He also met his wife on set there; she had a guest role. He and his wife don't seem to have the greatest relationship (at least in my eyes). There is always a lot of pressure because of rumors going around that Mark and Zach are in a relationship. The crazy thing is, his wife Alex actually FUELS the rumors. She is obsessed with the media and spends a lot of time looking them up on the Internet or getting their name out there (which for me already screams ALARM BELLS).

It is not crazy people think Mark and Zach are secretly in love: they have a very tight bromance, which almost leads to a real romance. However things go bad, Mark loses Zach as a friend and his marriage falls apart. Then Ross, who went to High School with him, comes back into his life. Ross won a talent show and wants to become an actor too. They are quite different people (Mark has this obsession with appearance and how people think about him), but somehow they start to get along and help each other out.

I liked this story. Some characters have great developments. The story moves very slow, though. The first half or so of the book is mostly focused on Mark and Alex's marriage, the troubles they have and his friendship with Zach. It takes a while to get to the real M/M part of the book. I like slow burn, but there were moments where I wondered where this was going to. I also liked the Gay for You aspect of the book. Mark seems straight and has never had any feeling for a man. There are some feelings there for Zach, though it's not completely looked into and then there are feelings for Ross. So yeah, it has some great aspects and I thought it was a very good read.

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