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Top Customer Reviews
This book was a bit confusing to me. For the majority of the time, it was a mostly sex, not even enough romance to justify calling it a romance novel, just sex. Then, toward the end the romance creeps in, and you start feeling the vibe, and them WHAM you are sideswiped by overt violence. It is was so, in a word, Hollywood.
I liked the character of Vivien a lot, most of the time, but there were times, usually when the writing became sexually graphic, that I felt she seemed, well, out of character. It made for a very bipolar effect for me. I loved the idea of her casting men of various ages to scope out the goods. The whole "cougar" phenomenon is still pretty hot right now, so the fact that she was checking out younger men was actually pretty believable.
I was certainly more interested in what happened in Vivien's office than in her personal life. I loved the various characters around the office, and in some ways I saw them as more her family than her real family was, something many working professionals experience. The twist at the end made me see how important that office family really was to her.
I am not one for sexually gratuitous novels, so in a lot of ways, this book was not a good fit for me, but for those readers who just cannot get enough heat, this book is sure to singe your fingertips.
I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the author.
I found this book to be very in your face and Hollywood-y, which I think was the purpose. Vivien was an over-the-top woman on a mission. I found her reaction to her husband's betrayal a little sad and pathetic. Instead of moving on with her life in a productive and mature manner, she turns to revenge and sleaze. But it was quite humourous to read.
The character of Gavin, Vivien's son, was a bit confusing to me. I couldn't really get a grasp on what age he was. Apparently he was 13, but at various times in the book, he seemed much older, or much younger. It seemed that has the story progressed, he went from acting 16 or 17 backwards to 10 or 11. But I don't have much experience with teenaged boys, so maybe his behaviour makes sense. I'm sure growing up in Hollywood makes a big difference as well.
Overall, I found the book entertaining, albeit a tad too direct for me. I have reached an age where I prefer my romance novels sweet and subtle. But that it just a personal opinion. I know plenty of readers would appreciate the "bodice ripper" qualities.
The ins and outs of Vivien Slate's work life are the best things about the novel, followed closely by the amount of effort Rowe puts into making Vivien a very complicated but ultimately redeemable character. Unlike the two-dimensional cardboard cutouts one often finds in many mainstream, female-led narratives, Vivien is a mess of true-to-life neuroses and contradictions, and Rowe allows her many instances in which she makes some very bad decisions. You know, like a *real person.* Some readers may hate her, but even at her worst, I found her relatable. That's a tough trick to pull off.
I appreciate the novel's resistance to settling into any one particular genre, going from dark satire to relationship drama to ensemble piece to sex comedy etc. etc. etc., but every so often, the tone threatens to jump off the rails. It never quite does that, and the balancing act has a very unique style to it, but some of the emotions get lost in the process, especially for many of the side characters who get lost in the shuffle.
But Vivien, at the center, is a great keystone that holds together some of the novel's lesser elements. Paired with Rowe's extremely knowledgeable insight into the film industry, the novel works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't like this book. I didn't like the main character, Vivian. She was so self-absorbed, vain and shallow, I didn't feel drawn to her at all. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Katarina Ortmann
I found Vivian to be a woman that would do what it took to get what she wants and at times it was funny to read on as it all unfolded before her. Read morePublished 22 months ago by The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Vivian is a villain. She deserved everything coming to her. There were too many characters to keep up with. Writing choppy. Characters egotistical. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kelly
Evil Hollywood is one of my favorite topics. Vivien owns a not exactly A-list casting agency in the Valley, while pushing her teen son in his own acting career. Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by Ennie
When I first started reading this, it seemed that the main character would be Nathan, but then chapter one begins with a woman named Vivien Slate, a casting director for movies,... Read morePublished on April 23, 2011 by Sandra's Book Reviews
I loved this peek into the world of movie casting! In my younger (naive) days, I wanted to be a casting director myself. Read morePublished on March 27, 2011 by JP
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