Stand-In Star – Rachel Johns – 4 stars

January 13, 2013 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

Stand-In Star


The Blurb:

As an anthropologist, Holly McCartney is more comfortable in a museum than shopping on Rodeo Drive. She isn’t prepared for the media frenzy on her arrival in L.A. to accept a posthumous acting award for her late sister….or for her sister’s gorgeous friend Nate Devlin to come to her rescue. Though he resents her for some reason, she can’t fight their irresistible chemistry—especially when the paparazzi force her to stay at his mansion.

Photographer Nate only agrees to help Holly survive Hollywood for her sister’s sake, but she soon gets under his skin in a way no other woman has. The more time he spends with her, the more his attraction grows and he finds himself opening up to her in ways he never expected. But will ghosts of the past stand in the way of their perfect Hollywood ending?


My thoughts:

This was a story of love and forgiveness which makes you wonder how well you really know those you love.


Holly has been guilted in to attending the Oscars by her parents.  You see her estranged sister was nominated for one after her sudden death and they would like a family member there to accept in her memory if she wins.  When you find out why Holly was estranged from her your heart breaks but when you find out the truth as to why her sister made that horrible decision it is just made that much sadder.  I mean I cannot condone what her sister did but at the same time there is a part of me that understood the sheer need that caused it.  I don’t know if I could have forgiven that big of a betrayal but in a twisted way I felt for both of them for the time and love that ended up lost.  Holly is not comfortable in the limelight but finds herself drawn to and falling for our hero.  She truly sees him and not the wealth/fame he has.  They both have a ton of issues to work thru but even in just a week you can sense that there is something true and strong there.


Nate is a troubled man.  He was the on/off again lover of Holly’s sister but they never truly loved one another.  It was more a deep friendship that occasionally allowed for a moment of sex to satisfy their needs.  He doesn’t know the whole story of why the sisters were estranged but believes at first that it is all Holly’s fault.  He treats her with scorn but at the same time finds himself extremely interested in her to the point where he lets his true self peek through.  When he has these talks with her we learn how screwed up his childhood was and this causes him to think he isn’t capable or worthy of a real committed relationship.  He keeps pushing Holly until the horrible truth comes out and he realizes that she is truly the wronged party in everything which causes him to finally let the walls down.  Of course it wouldn’t be a romance without stupidity but the ending left me very happy and hopeful that we can see the two of them in a few years time…  I’m hoping that they both get the true happiness and devotion neither of them got from their parents when they were younger.


This was a sweet story and I think most will enjoy it although the whole fall in love in 7 days thing does try the limits of belief but in this case I happily went along for the ride.  Special thanks to and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.



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