Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Famous - Jenny Holiday

by Jenny Holiday
Published: July 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Everyone knows her face. He knows her heart.

Emerson Quinn is famous. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. Each record outsells the last. All that remains is to continue transitioning her brand from its teenage fan base to a more mature, diverse audience. So she’s under strict orders to play nice with her army of assigned co-songwriters and to knock off the serial dating that keeps landing her in the tabloids. If she follows instructions, she can look forward to an indefinite run at the top of the celebrity ecosystem. There’s only one problem with this plan: Emerson is miserable.

So she runs away, impulsively fleeing her L.A. life and heading for a small Iowa college town where a guy she once knew lives. He’s the only person in the world she can think of who might be enough of a nerd to not know about Emerson Quinn the brand. Who might be willing to provide a haven where she can lay low and write her new album by herself, on her own terms.

Art history professor Evan Winslow knows a thing or two about leaving your past behind. He’s worked hard to establish himself far from the spotlight of his infamous father. He’s up for tenure soon, which will mean job security for life. All he has to do to lock down his hard-won, blessedly quiet existence is keep his head down.

Too bad the most famous pop star in the world—who also happens to be his long-lost muse—has just shown up on his doorstep.

4 Stars

Emmy met Evan when she was a young bridesmaid, unaware of the world's realities and chasing a dream. As an adult though, her fame as Emerson Quinn means her dreams are managed by somebody else and her happiness and unhappiness is shared with everyone. She impulsively runs away to Evan Winslow, the handsome man who offered her an escape all those years ago. Evan is a quiet Art History professor who keeps to himself, his father's infamy for his crimes dashed his dreams of being an artist long ago. He doesn't want Emmy to ruin his well-crafted life, but when she crashes into it he can't help but let her in and soon his artist urges surge back to life. Together they find harmony, in living side-by side as friends, as fellow artists, but the attraction between them is hard to ignore.

Jenny Holiday delivers an easy, sweet romance with her new release, Famous. It's not your usual rock-star romance or famous girl, meets un-famous guy trope. Emmy and Evan are from different worlds and though they might have had a similar fame at some point, one left the world behind while the other rose to the top. What they do share, though, is a strong connection and a chemistry they fail to ignore. Emmy is hard to get into, she isn't as air-headed as she comes across, but she is stubborn and sometimes a bit of a ditz. Evan is handsome, hardened by life, and a fantastic hero in this novel. I think I loved his story more than I liked Emmy's, thankfully I really enjoyed them together too. Their romance is like a missed-connection, growing stronger with a small town as a backdrop and their shared love of art and hiding from the world.

I'll admit, the first 30% of the book wasn't my cup of tea, I felt like I was reading a story pulled straight from today's gossip columns. It moves slowly and Emmy is as cliche as they come, but overtime the sweet story grew on me. Emmy is your stereotypical pop star (read: Taylor Swift); her fame seems to have come easily and her life follows the same story line we are fed by the tabloids and TMZ. I am a huge TayTay fan, but I don't necessarily want to read a book based on her. What is different, though, is what happens when she steps out of the spotlight. She's no longer this wannabe book version TayTay. There is some really good character development in this book, if you can hang on through the slow stuff and some of the long stuff, like the lengthy push and pull Emmy and Evan engage in.

It was easy to see, from the very start, that Famous comes with an HEA. The journey to get though makes for a fun book and I really enjoyed how art played such an important part for both Emmy and Evan and the secondary characters. It's well written, funny, and a quick read for those that like that sort of thing.

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