Title – Hollywood Dirt
Author – Alessandra Torre
Publication Date – September 7, 2015
Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there’s a new bad boy in town.
Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.
We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.
From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.
Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract..
Hollywood Dirt is described as an actor romance, but I honestly felt like there was so much more to it. Alessandra Torre certainly has a way with making her characters stand out, and delivering exactly what readers want in a plot line without being repetitive of what is already out there. I was incredibly captivated by this story, which led to a very easy understanding of the characters’ feelings and motivations.
“I was engaged once. Three years ago. I thought I was in love.”
While Summer embodied so much of the stereotypical Southern woman, many of her own personality traits went against those same conventional images. She was strong-headed, independent, and certainly not afraid to voice her own opinion. Nobody could force Summer to do something she didn’t want to, but she could easily charm you to think it was your own idea. When I initially encountered Cole, I developed a soft spot for him because of the situation he was put in. After some time, I started to become very torn. There were moments I wanted to feel sorry for him, others I wanted to slap him, and then there were a few moments where I could see underneath the mask he portrayed to the world. Together, these two personified the saying “opposites attract”. Their sexual tension oozed through the pages, and their heat sent those same pages up in flame.
“But love shouldn’t hurt, shouldn’t dig through your chest, carve out your heart, and serve it like a meal.”
There was something about Hollywood Dirt that just worked. In so many romances that involve a careers, i.e. acting, there isn’t enough of that present so it feels more like a setting than a piece of the story. However, Torre did a great job of really including scenes and making it an integral part of the story. Watching the Southern culture come to life was also quite interesting for this city girl – especially when it was Summer teaching Cole. I did sort of feel like the ending crept up on us, so I would have liked to see a bit more of the aftermath of the film being created. However, the character transformations and the romance was so on point and perfect.
“Or maybe it only hurts when it’s real. Maybe when breakups didn’t hurt – that was when you knew the love was false.”
Overall, I was super impressed with Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre. There was no giant plot twist that people have come to expect from her, but there was still that Torre signature. There were a couple surprises that made me, as a longtime fan, smile and giggle. It was a relatively light-hearted read that I enjoyed getting lost in over the course of a weekend. Once again, Torre delivers strong with Hollywood Dirt and left me wanting more and more!
When the door to the production trailer burst open, it brought with it a wave of heat and beauty. Cole looked up from the storyboards and locked eyes with Summer, who blew across the room at him like a tornado on tilt.
“There’s no love story between Ida and Royce.” Summer snapped, throwing down the script, pages fluttering down between them. In the small trailer, conversations stalled and he could feel the attention turn their way. “I’ve read the book. Three times!”
It was good to know that someone had read the damn book. Cole glanced down at her temper tantrum of a mess and back up, raising his eyebrows mildly. “It’s a movie,” he said, turning back to the storyboards. “The writers are adding some excitement. It’s normal. You’d know that if you were in this business.” The dig was unnecessary but he couldn’t help it. This woman turned him into the devil.
“I read the first script. The one you sent over with my contract. Ida and Royce hated each other. Why would Royce…” she snatched up a page from the ground and read out a line. “pushes Ida against the file cabinet and kisses her passionately.” She balled up the page and threw it down to the ground and he could see, in her eyes, the panic. Panic. An unexpected reaction.
“We’ll use that,” Don made the dangerous move of stepping in, putting a soft hand on her shoulder. “You don’t understand. The passion from their hatred will make it hotter.”
“No.” Summer said, her face hard, her eyes on Cole. “It doesn’t make it hotter. It makes it stupid.”
“Aww… come on, Summer.” Cole chided, stepping closer, his hand reaching out to pull at her wrist. She fought him, yanking it back and the moment of their bodies meeting didn’t happen. He leaned down and whispered, right against her ear, the smell of her apple-scented lotion enough to make him want to empty out the production trailer right that moment. “Sure it does.”
She jerked back and twisted away. “If he kisses me on camera I’m going to lose it.” She shot at Don, pointing an accusatory finger in Cole’s direction.
“I know you will,” Cole laughed, crossing his arms to fight from reaching out. “You’ll fall apart under my mouth, baby.”
Summer screamed in response, her hands thrown up in frustration, and spun to leave, her script left behind, the slam of the exit door loud in the full production trailer.
“That went well,” Cole mused. He linked his hands and rested them on his head, rolling his shoulders back. Panic. She’d had panic in her eyes. Fuck.
“What do you expect?” Don said. “You threw this on her without warning. I told you we should have met with her this morning, gone over the changes to prepare her. But no – you just wanted to dump it on her via call sheets and sides.”
“Dump it on her? I was People’s Sexiest Man last year. She’s not mentally adjusting to a war camp for God’s sake. How hard is it to kiss me?”
“It’s actually three kisses,” a dark-haired PA to his left pointed out. “And a grope.”
He gave her a hard look and she withered a little.
“I’ll go talk to her,” Don said. “Eileen, you shoot #4 and I’ll talk to Summer. I want to try to get #14 shot at eleven so let’s get our asses in gear and get this done.”
“I’ll talk to her.” Cole stepped in. “You shoot #4 and I’ll talk to her.”
“No,” Don snapped. “With my luck you two would make up and any authenticity to the scene would disappear. Just stay away from her and be ready at eleven.”
Cole chewed on his cheek, then nodded. “Fine.” Don was right. He should stay away from her. Far. Far away.
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Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of ten novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, co-hosted Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.
You can learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or Facebook.