Thursday, March 10, 2016

Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce

Title: Flirting with Fame (Flirting with Fame #1)
Author: Samantha Joyce
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in her own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author--a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity--and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

I love randomly discovering books. It’s not exactly something that happens to me a lot anymore considering how plugged in to the book world I am. So I was really excited when I happened upon Samantha Joyce’s Flirting With Fame and I’m even more excited to say that I loved reading this story.

To the outside world, Elise Jameson is just the shy, deaf girl who has never really felt comfortable in her own skin. But what the outside world doesn’t know is that Elise is also Aubrey Lynch, author of the successful Viking Moon series. Even with three bestsellers under her belt, Elise has stayed out of the public eye. It’s not hard to do when you’ve given your editor the picture of a complete stranger to be put in the book as your author picture. But now that her books are being made into a TV show and that TV show is being filmed in her hometown, Elise is having a full-blown panic attack. The solution she comes to? Finding the girl in the picture she used all those years ago. Lucky for Elise, Veronica Wilde is more than happy to pretend to be her on the TV set. It doesn’t hurt that Veronica has been taking the credit for the books all along. Now Elise is playing assistant to the girl pretending to be her. And it would be great if not for the fact that she’s finally ready to come clean about who she really is. But how can she do that without destroying the few meaningful relationships she has in her life?

Not going to lie. I honestly hadn’t heard of Samantha Joyce’s Flirting With Fame until I came across the book on NetGalley. It kind of feels like that’s been a bit of a theme for books with me lately. But it’s worked out pretty well so far. Anyways. When I first read the description for Flirting With Fame, I was intrigued by the story—the idea that someone would pay someone else to be them because they were afraid to tell the truth about using a fake picture. Plus, I’m a sucker for any kind of story that goes behind the scenes of the TV or movie world. I just can’t seem to get enough of them. So really, Flirting With Fame pretty much had everything I look for in a story. And it was a fun story, but also one that went a little deeper than I initially thought it was going to go. I loved the way the story dealt with Elise’s insecurities, how it tacked the fact that the main character is deaf (which is definitely linked to her insecurities). And the romance was absolutely adorable, and even unexpected in some ways. It was just the kind of story that puts a smile on my face while I read it.

As much as I loved Elise while I was reading, there were so many times when I wanted to smack some sense into the girl. But at the same time I could understand a lot of her insecurities. If I was her, I would definitely be afraid of coming clean after so many years of hiding and basically lying about who I was to the public. And things pretty much spiralled from there. It was like she just couldn’t get herself out of the cycle of lying she found herself in. At the end of the day, all I really wanted for Elise was to be happy with herself and who she was and her life. And if that life happened to include Gavin, then that was just a total bonus. Honestly? Gavin took me by surprise. Even though I had read the synopsis it didn’t really occur to me that he would be Elise’s love interest until it was happening right in front of me. At first I kinda thought that it was going to be about Elise and Clint but in hindsight, I was totally off the mark with that one. Elise and Gavin made much more sense. Which brings me back to Gavin himself. I kind of expected him to be a bit of a jerk or at least come across that way since that seems to e the stereotype when it comes to actors in books. But Gavin was just a genuinely good guy and the more I found out about him, the more I liked him. And he and Elise together were just perfect. They were perfect for each other and I just wanted them to be happy together.

Samantha Joyce’s Flirting With Fame was a fun story that took me completely by surprise. I love discovering new books and this is one that I am happy to have discovered. And I will most definitely be checking out Samantha Joyce’s future books.

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