Title: Miss Hollywood
Author: Marie Garner
Series: The Misses Trilogy #3
Release Date: December 15, 2016
Clare Martin has spent the last ten years in the spotlight, becoming Hollywood’s It Girl. On the surface her life looks perfect, but in reality she’s faltering. And the last person she expects to provide any relief is her best friend’s brother, the man who’s been tying her in knots for months.
Alexander Richards has paid the price for every single mistake he’s made. He makes no excuses for what he’s done, and wants nothing more than to find some peace. But that may be impossible since he has to help the woman who’s been driving him crazy since he moved to California.
Thrown together in the middle of nowhere, there’s no way to deny the attraction that burns within them. But how can they build a future if they can’t address their own insecurities? And what happens when secrets and lies from the past threaten to pull them apart?
Marie Garner brings The Misses Trilogy full circle with Clare’s sweet story in Miss Hollywood. The consummate professional of the group, Clare finds herself outside of her comfort zone as the only remaining single member of The Misses. The resulting mess of events provides Clare with the opportunity to get away from the spotlight with Alex, Brea’s brother, in tow. Their undeniable chemistry and the hint of a developing deeper connection had me rooting for the adorable pair instantly. Not only did the “best friend’s brother” element add intrigue to the story, but it also reinforced the fragility of Clare and Alex’s burgeoning relationship. The push and pull between these two was absolutely electric and I found myself easily addicted to their entertaining banter, delightful flirtations, and moments of emotional honesty.
“What if this is just a caught in the moment thing that runs away from us? I don’t want to leave casualties in the wake of you and I exploring our feelings.”
One of the things I love most about this series is the way in which Marie Garner takes these seemingly picture perfect women and breaks them down into relatable, lovable human beings. Clare was certainly no exception and I quickly found myself connecting with the stunning actress in unexpected ways. Her need to break out of the box Hollywood had placed her in and a secret longing for the kind of relationship her friends had found opened up this character to a slew of genuine emotions. I felt for Clare, understood her and on some level, even saw pieces of myself in her. For being such a seemingly unobtainable character, Marie Garner expertly brought Clare down to earth, ensuring my need to see her story through. As we got to know Clare away from the bright lights, she proved to be a fun, feisty and forgiving heroine that was impossible not to love.
“Someone got careless, and you can’t get careless with what you want to hold onto. Whether it’s your business, a woman or your life, you have to make sure you take care of the things that are important or they disappear.”
I was so glad we got to see more of Alex in this book. After everything he had been through in Brea’s book, I was curious as to what would become of the former addict and deeply supportive brother. I was thrilled to see that beneath all of the pain and heartache he carried with him, Alex was every bit the strong, loyal and loving man I’d always imagined him to be. I loved unraveling his many layers as his relationship with Clare progressed. Marie Garner did a fantastic job utilizing their developing feelings to not only expose his fears and insecurities but allow the reader to connect with even the most broken parts of this character. As I experienced Alex’s evolution over the course of the story and he learned to let go of the past and move forward I found my investment in Alex’s happily ever after growing alongside him.
“He loathes Hollywood and only comes around when his sister forces him. And I live in the lights. We both know that’s where I shine.”
As with the rest of the series, Miss Hollywood takes a look at love in and out of the limelight. Clare ventures to her hometown where her Hollywood lifestyle collides with her small-town upbringing in a mess of family drama and secrets. Not only did I enjoy getting to see Clare and Alex away from the chaos of L.A., but seeing them fighting together to help her family back on their feet gave me a whole new appreciation for them as a couple. Add in the colorful cast of secondary characters and this story was entertaining and full of heart. With plenty of Brea, Lance, Raquel, and Clayton to fill out the story, Marie Garner effortlessly captures the tone of family that this series so beautifully embraces. Marie Garner has grown a lot since this series first started. Her writing is more polished, her prose more lyrical, and her imagery more vibrant than ever before. She brought Clare and Alex’s story to life with a well-practiced ease that left me excited to see what she has in store for her readers next!
He leaned down, because surely she would put a stop to this. She didn’t. Not when he’d been getting bolder and she’d been responding in kind. It started with a look, and then a couple of random touches, but they had been moving in this direction for the last couple months. They’d danced around each other, and even though he’d never touch her, it didn’t mean he couldn’t have a taste. Just one taste. Baiting. Testing. Reeling her in like he used to hook bass in South Carolina. “When are you going to get off your high horse and come mingle with this mortal?”
“Hmm…,” she puckered her lips before moving out of his grasp. “As much as I’d love to, this princess has already kissed enough toads to last her two lifetimes. Besides, you’re all about the chase and I’m not interested in the game.” His mouth watered at the thought of actually giving chase with Clare as his prize. He knew a little of the toads she was referring to, but he was nothing like Jason. He may have done time, yes, but he wasn’t an asshole. One bad decision at the end of a string of bad decisions he vowed never to make again.
“You know, we aren’t all like that douchebag. Most guys actually respect women. And when are you going to give me a chance? You’ve been hinting at it for months.” Her lips quirked at the mention of Jason being a douchebag but she moved closer when he mentioned their flirtation. He hooked his fingers into her belt loops, pulling her closer and rubbing his nose against hers. She closed her eyes, inhaling deeply, before shaking her head and took a step back.
She ran her finger down his chest. “I’m not painting men with broad strokes. This is about me. Some girls can’t risk it all for a guy. And we aren’t doing this. Much as you or I may want to.”
“Who said you needed to risk anything? No risk in a little fun.”
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Don’t miss the rest of the Misses Trilogy:
Miss Congeniality (Misses Trilogy #1)
Read our Review HERE
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Miss Man-Eater (Misses Trilogy #2)
Marie Garner is a North Carolina girl who grew up in piedmont and attended college in the mountains of Cullowhee, NC. She graduated with a degree in Social Studies education, and spent several years spreading her love of history and political science to young minds.
Her nose was stuck in a book since she was little, and she spent years writing down all the crazy ideas floating in her head. She has published the first two books in her trilogy, The Misses Trilogy, with Miss Hollywood slated for release in Fall 2016. Her writing explores the complexities of relationships, something she’s all too familiar with as part of a large, crazy family.
When she’s not locked in her writing cave she can be found cheering on the Washington Redskins or watching The Walking Dead, and thinks there’s nothing sweeter than a cold Diet Coke.