Damage Control by Jae is the second book in her Hollywood Series. I love this book so much that not only will I not shut up about it on Twitter, but it even made my list of the top 10 lesbian books of 2015.
Grace Durand is the romcom queen with the perfect marriage to her action movie star husband Nick. Except the world doesn’t know that she and Nick are divorcing, and with a new movie set to release soon with Grace’s first dramatic role, there couldn’t be a worse time for the tabloids to say she’s having a lesbian affair with her best friend, Jill.
Grace’s mother and manager hires publicist Lauren Pearce to convince America that Grace couldn’t be straighter, not knowing that Lauren herself is an out lesbian. But Lauren is professional, conscientious, and incredibly good at the job, and quickly proves she’s the right person to keep Grace’s image exactly what it needs to be. Lauren knows never to mix business and pleasure, but the more she gets to know Grace, the more she realizes she’s not a spoiled princess, and can’t seem to stop their growing friendship. And those feelings of attraction? Not a problem since Grace is totally straight, right?
Grace is kind and thoughtful, exactly the opposite of Lauren’s typical experience with stars of her caliber. She’s also a people pleaser, but I love the choices she makes for herself later in the book. Her journey from thinking she’s straight to where she ends up with Lauren is handled well and is relatable.
Lauren doesn’t have as much of an arc as Grace, but she does find her priorities shift as her relationship with Grace moves from strictly professional to friends to more. I liked that she was described as looking like a regular person and not like the beautiful celebrities she represents.
Possibly even more than Grace and Lauren, though, I adored Jill. So much so that as soon as I finished reading the book the first time I tweeted at Jae to ask if Jill would get her own book, and you can imagine my delight when she said yes. If you haven’t read Just Physical yet, you must. Read our Just Physical review to see why it also made the top 10 lesbian books of 2015 list.
We also briefly see Amanda (and even more briefly, Michelle) from Departure From the Script, the first book in the Hollywood Series. You don’t need to read that before Damage Control, but it’s also excellent.
The Writing Style
It’s a romance by Jae, so it’s very well written. The pacing is excellent and the relationship development believable.
If you haven’t read anything by Jae, Damage Control is a great place to start. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good lesbian romance. And if you love it as much as I do, be sure to also read the follow-up short story Dress-tease.
Excerpt from Damage Control by Jae
“What was that?” Grace asked with an amused grin.
Lauren watched the flight attendant’s retreating back. “Nothing. After I had to suffer through Russ’s lines, his flirting was just getting on my nerves.”
“Flirting? He wasn’t flirting. He was just being friendly.”
Was she serious? Judging from Grace’s expression, she really meant what she said. Lauren started laughing. “Oh my God!”
“You’re not just missing a functioning gaydar; you also have no flirtdar whatsoever.”
“You!” Grace reached across the armrest and pinched Lauren’s leg.
Lauren rubbed the affected body part. The pinch had barely hurt, but now her leg tingled from Grace’s casual touch. “Ouch. Hey, careful. You wouldn’t want headlines about Grace Durand being kicked off the airplane for abusing her publicist, would you?”
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