Saturday, July 13, 2019

LH Cosway - Showmance

Damon Atwood was Hollywood’s golden boy. Having won an Oscar at the tender age of thirteen, he had the life many could only dream about. But his success came at a price, and after a short but fruitful film career, he chose to live a life of obscurity on a remote Scottish island. Almost a decade later he’s finally ready to make his return, starting with a lead role in a musical on London’s West End.
As a choreographer’s assistant, Rose Taylor has always faded into the background. She watches shows come to life from the side lines, but has never craved the attention of stardom. When rumours begin circulating of Damon’s involvement in her latest gig, she doesn’t predict how she will be thrust into the limelight, nor how the mysterious and strangely introverted man will need her to teach him how to be a star again.
Rose knows that show crushes don’t last. Actors fall for each other during the intensity of a production, often losing themselves in their roles. These kinds of affairs burn bright and then they fade. The question is, should Rose let herself shine with Damon, or guard her heart from being broken after the final curtain call?

Comment: This is another title chosen to be read with my friend H. 
I had previously read another book this author wrote with Penny Reid and was not impressed. Since then, I've read a book written only by Reid and wasn't impressed either and now this one, only by Cosway, and was more to my liking. It seems things are shaping out...

In this book we have the story of Damon Atwood, a young men who has won a Oscar while even younger but who has disappeared from the movie scene to live in a propriety in the isle of Skye. Now he is back for a West End production of Moulin Rouge but his people skills aren't very updated.
To help him we have Rose Taylor, the choreographer's assistant and someone who is friendly and supportive. 
The two start a cautious friendship but the more time they spend together, the more it seems their feelings are getting stronger.
While processing inner issues and the outside forces of those who can't let go of what could be gained by being with them, can Rose and Damon put fears aside and just assume they are happy together?

What made me initially interested in this book was the premise. I was really looking for to read a story about an actor who got disillusioned with the movie industry to the point of leaving it but a new will to try making him brave enough to go to London to participate in a musical.
Of course his abandoning his career at a point it felt he wouldn't get anything wrong had more to do with his family and the money/fame pressure, rather than his own choice. I think Damon's motivations and experiences were well inserted in the plot.

This obviously happened because the author uses alternate narrators, we have Rose and Damon's POV and this helps immensely to not only be able to know some things in a much more realistic and easy way and, at the same time, it makes me feel more connected with the characters and their issues when it affects them.
If only all romance writers would think of this detail!

The romance isn't complicated. Both Rose and Damon have had not so good experiences with partners in the past and both are quite cautious now they are spending some time together. It's interesting that it can be so easy to imagine real people in this situation slowly seeing a side of someone because of close proximity and that can change how feelings evolve. I could see how their feelings might change from simple friendship to real love. I think the actual admission of this was sweet and romantic but I would have preferred a more spontaneous situation for this part.

Rose is a very intriguing heroine, very approachable and with vulnerabilities I could sometimes sympathize with. Sometimes she did act as a somewhat boring person but for most of the time, I was rooting for her.
Emotionally speaking, Damon is more complex. His experiences in the past, what he has gone through until he made adult decisions is certainly complicated. I might not seem so compared with other things but we all have our crosses to bear.

The secondary characters offer very good interactions with the protagonists. I think they've embodied interesting details and character traits. There's a sequel with a fascinating character of this book and I'm curious to see what the author chooses to make him do, I'll read his story one day.
The pace of the narrative was well achieved. It actually felt like more time had passed than what actually is described.

In the end, despite some flaws which I'd say are more personally-related than related to the actual story, this was quite an entertaining romance. I had a good time reading and with the help of my schedule, I managed to read it very quickly, which wouldn't have happened anyway if this wasn't a fluid and easy story to go through.
Grade: 8/10

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