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Dazzled by Jane Harvey-Berrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Miles and Clare are Brits who end up in Hollywood when Miles is offered a role in the movie, Dazzled. Their friendship continues when they are separated across ‘the pond’. She is finishing university, while he pursues his acting dreams. There are some fairly stock Hollywood characters in this story, but the situations allow them to not be two-dimensional.

Miles is awkward, says the wrong things, and is, of course, hot. Clare is the curvy, insecure friend. I liked both characters. This is filled with British-isms, which was interesting. The author captured the feel of the film industry, the many games played, and some behind the scenes viewing of what Hollywood is really like. With Miles and Clare being down-to-earth, regular people, they contrast the lack of values and phoniness of Tinseltown.

I enjoyed the way their friendship slowly became a romance. After a disastrous betrayal, Miles deals with picking up the pieces, helping out an ex, and the many scandals that seem to follow him. There were some laugh-out-loud scenes, and quite a few awkward ones. There is his agent, a variety of people helping him with their heads in inappropriate places, a mean ex-girlfriend, leaked photos, and dealing with stardom.

I liked that this was a dual POV story. Hearing both sides of the story added to flow of the story. He said, she said. Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and most of all loyalty. If I were to face Hollywood and stardom, I’d want to bring my best friend along to help keep my sanity and deal with all of the bull. Clare does that and more. Her sarcasm and insecurity made her sympathetic. I liked that she was his PA and was there for him. And that she didn’t give up her dreams for his.

I was not happy with Miles as he did get caught up in the stardom and his role, which left Clare out. But that was part of his development. And by the end of the story, I was pretty impressed with how both handled everything that happened, which was a lot.

Some fun quotes:
“Um, what do Americans call safety pins?” I said. Polly rolled her eyes. “Safety pins.”

“It was an accident!” she hissed. “Falling over in the street is an accident. Falling onto someone’s d*ck seems premeditated.”

“…Mr. Oops There’s Something Important I Forgot to Tell My Girlfriend.”

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I do wish that there was an epilogue as it did seem to end a bit abruptly.I do like that Miles was acting in Lifers, one of the author’s books.

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For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. Perhaps it was growing up in a village well known for its mystery and folklore, which sparked my imagination as a child.

I enjoy writing in several different genres, and I’ve just published my first romcom, ‘Dazzled’.

All my books have a little me in them, and I’m inspired by the personal stories of those around me. It’s often from a simple discussion overheard in the train (‘Exposure’), in a café, or in the street, where ideas for characters or scenes come to me.

I fell in love with both Sam (‘The New Samurai’) and the eponymous Sebastian in ‘The Education of Sebastian’ and the sequel ‘The Education of Caroline’, and missed them desperately once I’d finished their stories. I love writing dialogue and always try to include touches of humour in the most poignant stories.

Whether you like adult romance novels, new or young adult writing, thrillers, or fantasy, I hope you’ll enjoy the journey through my stories.

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