As soon as I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to read Starstruck by Lesley Davis. First of all, it’s a new Lesley Davis book! Playing Passion’s Game is one of my very favourite romances (please don’t ask how many times I’ve read it) and I also loved Playing in Shadow, so you can imagine how excited I was to learn she had a new contemporary romance coming out. Also, I’m addicted to romance novels featuring actors or writers, so having an actor fall in love with a screenwriter/novelist? This book is basically my catnip.
Cassidy “C.J.” Hayes is a popular actress on the hit fantasy show The Alchemidens, where she’s known for kicking bad guys in the face on a regular basis. Off-screen she’s being hunted by a stalker who’s getting far too close for comfort, having broken into her apartment and left a gruesome message on her bed, despite the restraining order.
Aiden Darrow is a successful screenwriter and author of a heartbreaking lesbian romance series, but is also a big old sci-fi and fantasy geek at heart. Aiden can’t believe her good fortune when her favourite actress moves in next door and turns out to be even funnier and friendlier than she could have imagined, with a sexy British accent to boot.
I just wanted to hug Aiden. She’s so sweet and kind and so very earnest, but still confident despite her past.
Cassidy is highly likeable and strong despite her circumstances, which I appreciated. I also enjoyed her friendship with Mischa and her family and how they were like her home away from the UK.
Davis took a chance by showing the stalker’s perspective, and that paid off. He could have been cartoonish, but was the right balance of menacing and sad. Without explicitly saying so, the portrayal makes it likely that he has a mental illness, but that doesn’t come off as stigmatizing because it highlights how his isolation compounded his illness.
The Writing Style
Starstruck has a fun, easy style to it, despite some of the darker content.
Aiden and Cassidy’s relationship is a delight to follow and they are super hot together. Having the main conflict come from outside of the relationship works well. I was also thrilled to see Elton and Trent from Playing Passion’s Game along with Juliet and Trent’s new addition.
Occasionally, thoughts or dialogue from characters that weren’t Cassidy had words or phrases that were British rather than American. I thought it worked well when Cassidy used them, but less well with Mischa or Aiden, who were born and bred American characters.
Starstruck is a fun, sweet read and I’m looking forward to whatever Lesley Davis comes up with next. Yes, I’m a fangirl, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Excerpt from Starstruck by Lesley Davis
Cassidy didn’t want to say good-bye but saw someone waving to capture her attention. “I have to go. Thank you for coming to my rescue for the second time. And for letting me ride in that magnificent car of yours.”
“Just so you know, I’m never letting you drive it. Mischa warned me of your lousy luck with cars.”
“It’s not my fault. It just happens.”Cassidy grimaced. “Story of my life, that.”
“If you need a ride home, just call me.”
Cassidy gave her a pointed look. “Unlike some people you’ve only just met, I don’t happen to have your number. Mischa, your greatest fan, has it. I, however, do not.”
Aiden chuckled at Cassidy’s grumpy tone and the purposely pronounced pout. “Then let me fix that right this second.”She gave out her number for the second time. “You know where I am if you need me. Just whistle.” Slyly, Aiden peered down at Cassidy. “You do know how to whistle, don’t you?”
Teasingly, Cassidy raised her fingers to her lips. Horrified, Aiden stopped her.
“Lauren Bacall is resplendent on her heavenly cloud tutting at you, Ms. Hayes.” Aiden hesitated for a moment and then reached out to squeeze Cassidy’s hand. “If you want me, I’m just over the fence. Don’t forget.”
Get Startstruck from Amazon
Bits and Bobs
AISN number: B019GGBAXO
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books