Gail Welles has been trying to make it in Hollywood for three years, waitressing at a diner to make ends meet while showing up for any audition her agent can get her. When she trips and throws a meal all over herself and a customer, she doesn’t know that customer is Selena Ryan, head of an independent film production company.
Having seen actors use every sleazy trick in the book to make contact with her, Selena Ryan is suspicious when she learns the waitress who covered her in chicken and mayonnaise is also an aspiring actress. It doesn’t help that she’s still stinging after a lousy break up with her ex, popular film star Jennifer Lamont, who’s currently trying to rekindle contact.
When Gail shows up to audition for a supporting role in the new film she’s putting together, Selena has no idea she’s the same woman who threw food at her. It isn’t long before they strike up a friendship and Selena starts to wonder if maybe, just maybe some actresses really can be as genuine as they seem.
Of the two leads (and all the characters, really), Gail is the most likeable and relatable. She’s kind yet smart, and isn’t afraid to show backbone when she needs to. I particularly like that Gail isn’t leading lady gorgeous, and instead is a character actress with an interesting face. I don’t think I’ve read that in a celebrity romance before, so it was a refreshing take on the theme.
Selena is cynical and weary, and for good reason. She has an edge that’s gotten her to her current successful position, but is also scrupulously ethical. She has the bigger arc of the two leads, and I love where she is by the end of the book.
The Writing Style
Much like Roller Coaster, Stepping Stone doesn’t follow a typical romance structure and doesn’t rely on the usual conventions. And yet, despite that, it’s an entirely satisfying romance by the end.
The character work is the strongest element in Stepping Stone. I also enjoyed the interactions between characters, both lead and supporting.
I would have enjoyed seeing more of Gail and Selena’s relationship development on the page. However, I’m still very happy with where they ended up and I’m so glad there’s an epilogue.
I enjoyed Stepping Stone. If you like celebrity romances but want to try something a little different, be sure to pick this one up.
Excerpt from Stepping Stone by Karin Kallmaker
She shivered and studied the view.
Gail nodded and next thing she knew, Lena had slipped an arm around her and the shivers stopped. She wasn’t cold at all. She couldn’t breathe, in fact. The top of Lena’s head nestled against her ear and it would take only the slightest effort to lean in for a kiss. There was starlight dancing in Lena’s eyes and Gail adored the way Lena was looking at her. Part of her hadn’t a clue who Lena saw, but she wanted to be the woman who put warmth in those eyes.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781594931604
- Publisher: Bella Books
Karin Kallmaker Online
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.