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Sometimes you have to go home again.
When Bryce Edwards left Minnesota for the bright lights of Hollywood ten years ago, he was determined not to look back. He’s built a solid acting career through his own hard work and talent. But when he finds himself unemployed right before Christmas, the memories he’s been ignoring start to rise up and annoy him.
Maybe it’s time to take a different approach; maybe it’s time to confront his past and not just use it as motivation for his next angsty scene. If he can make peace with what happened back then— the small-town bigots who drove him away, and his first boyfriend who refused to leave with him— maybe he’ll be free to move on to something better. He’s not sure what “something better” will look like, but he’s finally ready to get on a plane, go home, and find out.
I have to admit, stories about actors are not my favorite. I think the reality of how few relationships actually work in “Hollywood” makes me jaded about reading them in my books. I’m a strict must-have-HEA romance reader and “ever after” means forever, yo!
So, this book probably already had a strike against it before I even began. BUT, it’s Kaje Harper, whose words I eat up like a dynamite roll with eel sauce and extra wasabi (oh god, now I’m craving one!) And despite all my “but he’s an actor” complaining in my head, I found I enjoyed it.
Bryce is the actor in question and his story has a lot of layers. 1) He grew up in small-town America and faced great hostility when he came out as gay. 2) His first love Cody rejected him when the town found out and they hadn’t spoken in 10 years, leaving Bryce always wondering what coulda-been. 3) Bryce had a tragic situation take away his parents and left him financially bankrupt…which played with his head as much as it did his bank account. 4) Though not technically in the closet, as an actor in Hollywood, Bryce has never come “out” about his sexuality…and he’s not certain he’s willing to lose potential roles in order to do so. See? There’s a lot to Bryce…and I found him to be a really interesting character.
And there’s a lovely, restored B&B in small-town Minnesota…which is one of those idyllic scenes that I love.
I think what didn’t entirely work for me, personally, was Bryce’s love interest Dion. He confused me. He’s young. We find out he’s ridiculously rich. He’s a fanboy of Bryce, the actor. And something about all of those things concerned me…heck, it concerned Bryce too. And I’m not sure I was able to get past it all to connect with Dion.
Despite this, there was a lot to like in the story. The side characters of Jacques (Dion’s half-brother) and Cody (Bryce’s childhood forbidden love) made for really interesting reading. And again, I loved the parts set in Minnesota. To be honest, I could do without all the Hollywood parts, but again, that’s because I’m not really interested in that backdrop in my books.
So, there were some solid parts, mostly working through Bryce’s own struggles. And all in all, I found this entertaining.
Title: Second Act
Author: Kaje Harper
Pages: 144 pages
Release Date: January 10, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon,