REVIEW: Hollywood Heartbreak by C.J. Duggan

In brief: Abby Taylor is an Aussie soapie star who needs a change. Why not Hollywood? But it’s a lot more difficult to be noticed here so it looks like she’ll have to get a day job…

The good: I liked that Abby had a career and it was fun to read about the auditions and lessons.

The not-so-good: Some of the L.A. Family are really sleazy…

Why I chose it: Enjoyed the other books, so bought this one.

Year: 2018

Pages: 312

Publisher: Hachette

Setting: Mainly L.A.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Hollywood Heartbreak is the fifth book in the Heart of the City series, but each book is a standalone so you can read them in any order you like. Hollywood is our next destination to read about young women (I’m not into the term new adult!) falling in love in exotic locales. This time it is Abby Taylor’s turn. She’s a little different to our previous heroines – she’s not in L.A. on a holiday, but here to develop her career further. Abby is an actress who thanks to some nasty publicity has to depart from the Aussie soap she’s worked on. Nursing a broken heart, she gets on the plane to L.A. to take the world by storm.

…Or so Abby thought. After seeing glamorous Instagram selfies, it seems like the L.A. Family (as the Aussie expats call themselves) have it made. But behind each perfect selfie is a lot of editing. Abby’s main rival from Australia has a hot boyfriend (or so she thinks). Abby’s friend and roommate has a gorgeous apartment and high-status job as a makeup artist. So why does she work shifts in the trendy Saloon Bar? Soon Abby learns that Hollywood is a lot of smoke and mirrors and that she isn’t automatically the best of the best. She too, will need to take a day job to keep things afloat financially. That’s where neighbour and owner of the Saloon Bar, Jay Davis comes in. Jay is openly sceptical of the Hollywood lifestyle but incredibly accommodating of his staff going to auditions and the like. He has Abby intrigued.

Abby and Jay’s relationship is interesting to read as it unfolds. It’s not quite an enemies-to-lovers or a friends-to-lovers story. It was somewhere in between for me. Abby manages to do a lot of embarrassing stuff in front of Jay, but he’s openly supportive of her even after mentioning his concerns with the superficial tastes of the L.A. Family. He’s the strong backbone that Abby needs to support her while she discovers her role in the movie making machine. He’s endlessly patient and mature too – a very likeable hero. I liked Abby too. I thought it was great that she already had a career and had the drive to try to rise further. I felt she was more mature than some of the heroines in the other books (maybe you need to be in Hollywood!) but she was also fun and certainly not perfect. (Especially not before auditions or on nights out!)

This is a light, fun read and I look forward to where the Heart of the City goes next (please say Tokyo)!

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