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In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand.
After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.
I LOVE the premise of this novel. A saga set in Hollywood’s golden age, following the rise of a poor country boy to Hollywood stardom.
Jack Abadie’s story is an all American dream – a rags to riches tale that reads like a biography. The author has done her homework in terms of setting, dialog and Hollywood movie history and those interested in the era would approve.
Addams takes us through the events of Jack’s life in point by point form, which too often reads like a newspaper article. Regrettably, I soon discovered that this book was not what I was expecting. I never felt the thrill or dazzle of the era and any plot devices that history provides was never utilised or fully incorporated. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, continuously dragged along what was ultimately a tedious journey. The pace was too slow, draggy and the time hopping gave it a jerky feel. We get only a glimpse of the life of the very rich in the roaring twenties, prohibition, the crash of 29, movie stardom and the marketing machine that was Hollywood. But it is all skimmed over and this was a disappointment for me.
Jack’s long time love affair with Wyatt was deeply romantic and his loyalty was admirable, if not a little over the top for my taste. Yes, there is sex, lots of it, and it is kinky but never seemed to evolve into anything more than light spanking and bondage play. I found Jack to be a contrary man and never truly grasped who he was. I remained detached from him and his battles (if that’s even what they were) his luck, prosperity and victories where always a given. The author includes a whole host of characters who play important roles in influencing Jack’s future and the choices he makes, but they never became substantial enough to contribute wholly. Not even Eric who (to me) felt too conveniently contrived.
Overall, it was fine, a sweet love story. I just expected more excitement, more thrills, more dazzle. Instead I felt bogged down and curiously unaffected by Jack Abadie and his life story.
Recommended for those who want an easy, angst free love story set in the 1920’s.