Title: Hollywood Heartbreak
Author: C.J. Duggan
Publisher: 25 March 2018 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 320 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: women's fiction, contemporary, new adult romance
My Rating: 4 cups
Abby Taylor is heading for the hills - the Hollywood hills. All she has to do first is exorcise some old demons, namely Cassie Carmichael, the character she has been playing on Australia's number one television drama for the past three years.
Wanting to escape the fear of typecasting and malicious magazine covers, Abby is in desperate need of a change. With a new city, new friends and a sweet new condo in West Hollywood, it's time to take her career to the next level. But with disastrous auditions and countless rejections, Abby is going to need to numb the pain in the hope that her next big break comes along, and it does. She just never dreamed that it would be in the form of waiting tables and splitting tips at one of the hottest night spots on the strip.
Action-packed late nights and VIP parties are a sure distraction, but nothing distracts her quite like her new boss, the infuriating Jay Davis. Suddenly living the dream takes on a whole new meaning, but when something in Jay's past is revealed, Abby has to question, who is the greatest actor of them all?
In the land of broken dreams, all Abby can do is hope that hers is not going to be one of them.
‘Hollywood Heartbreak’ is the fifth standalone book in CJ Duggan's sassy, sexy new adult series, Heart of the City. I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these stories with the common theme of an Aussie girl overseas in a big city coming across local suave guy, it never fails to provide entertainment. Each book is unique and definitely a standalone. My reviews for the books in this series thus far, can be found HERE. Each of Duggan's stories has a different setting, but the theme of trying to start afresh and find yourself, is always a consistent. This of course makes it so relatable to many, assisted by seeing it through the eyes of a character who is always so very down to earth.
‘We really just need to surround ourselves with the right people and focus on the things that are real.’
One of the most appealing aspects about this book is, as the author herself states, “wanting to read Australian voices, no matter what city they may stand in.” So here we have Abby Taylor local Aussie TV star, trying to make it big in the States. Once again, I love how Duggan maintains everything so ‘Aussie’ about these girls but I think this one has a deeper, underlying message. Many a would-be star is often reported as making the trek overseas in an attempt to make it into the big time, and more often than not, losing out and returning home with proverbial tail between their legs. So for all the fun and laughter, I appreciated Duggan’s reflections:
‘Maybe that’s what the Hollywood sign symbolised: the ultimate, unattainable pinnacle of success, up above the smog, looking down on all the dreamers stuck here, choking.’
Another fresh insight in this instalment was the social commentary. For all the glitz and glamour, Duggan also gives us a female lead that goes in with her eyes wide open - with everything from social media to the infamous lifestyle of the rich and famous:
Abby, you know that privacy is just for people with low self-esteem –what you’re doing is social suicide.’
‘Pretending to be heroes and doctors and heartthrobs on a screen. None of it’s real! We all just take ourselves so seriously. We think that we’re something special, that our ridiculous stories of who’s dating who is somehow worthy of a three-page spread.’
Once again Duggan delivers with witty banter, burning chemistry and sexy encounters. If a quick, light and entertaining read is what you are after, then this is the book for you, as you are always guaranteed a smile. I can now tick another location off my ‘Heart of the City’ bucket list and can’t wait to see where CJ Duggan takes us next.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.
Q&A with C. J. Duggan
Before I was an author I . . . I had a really lovely garden, now – meh not so much. I have always worked full time so now I am perpetually on a book deadline weekends are sacred for writing not gardening.
Describe Hollywood Heartbreak in one sentence: An Aussie girl running from the past chases her dreams all the way to Hollywood where she meets the very charming secretive neighbour.
My favourite place to write is . . . my home office is my happy place.
When I’m not writing I . . . am spending as much time with my poor neglected friends and family. And I’m not going to lie; there is many a Netflix binge in there too.
My favourite place to curl up with a book is . . . a warm bed by lamp light.
Amazon AU site: http://amzn.to/2FN0R44
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2FB6jUo