Publisher: Extra Fancy Books
Date of publication: October 18th, 2016
Series: Happy Endings Book Club
Hidden Hollywood—Book 1
Inviting Trouble—Book 2
So Revealing—Book 3
Formal Arrangement—Book 4
Bad Boy Done Wrong—Book 5
Mess with Me—Book 6
Resisting Fate—Book 7
Chance of Romance—Book 8
Wicked Flirt—Book 9
An Inconvenient Plan—Book 10
A Happy Endings Wedding—Book 11
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | Better World Books
Format Read: eBook
Purchase From: Amazon as Free eBook (currently free on Amazon, B&N and Kobo)
Trigger Warning: Very Mild Violence
A new standalone series from USA Today bestselling author Kylie Gilmore about the irresistibly sexy Campbell brothers (and a tomboy sister) who find love with the help of the matchmaking leader of the Happy Endings Book Club. Get your happy ending!
She’s on top…
When superstar actress Claire Jordan researched her role for the Fierce Trilogy movies, she never expected the bond she feels with the author and her romance book club aka The Happy Endings Book Club. Soon Claire finds herself confessing her secret longing for a regular guy—no more egocentric wealthy players—and the book club is all too ready to help. In disguise as a regular girl, she’s all set for a date with book-club-approved Josh Campbell.
He’s on top…
Billionaire tech CEO Jake Campbell is weary of gold-digging women, especially the glamorous superficial types. So when his identical twin Josh calls in a favor asking Jake to step in as him on a date, Jake figures one of Josh’s cute girl-next-door types might be just what he needs. One night of passion with the sweet girl-next-door leaves Jake wanting more, except she seems to have vanished.
Sometimes a Happy Ending is just the beginning.
Claire Jordan went by a lot of names—hottest actress under thirty, sexiest woman alive, Duck Lips (that was her brother)–buy she’d yet to be called, um, slut.HIdden Hollywood by Kylie Gilmore
Beginning of Book Impressions:
I was excited to read Hidden Hollywood for several reasons. First, I love contemporary romance. Second, the blurb for the book had me wanting to read it. And, the last reason, I needed a book that I didn’t have to concentrate on. The last couple of books I have read had complicated plotlines and characters. So, I needed a book that would refresh my brain.
What also attracted me to the book was the cover. I thought it was sweet and straightforward. I also figured that the book would reflect that. Let’s say that it did, and it didn’t.
Hidden Hollywood starts with Claire Jordan, America’s hottest actress, meeting with her book club. Claire is producing and starring in a movie based on the book written by one of the book club (which is why she got invited). At this point, I liked Claire. She was funny and sweet. She was also kind of desperate. She refused to date within Hollywood’s A list, and because of that, she hasn’t dated in a year. Add that the books she is making a movie out of having a cult following, and people believe that she and the leading man have a thing. Madison and Hailey come up with a great plan. Hailey has a single man friend, Madison’s brother, who will take Claire out on a date. All Claire has to do is show up in disguise and enjoy herself. Sounds so simple, right. Yeah.
Then the book introduces Jake Campbell, the billionaire owner of a tech company. He is disillusioned with dating women because, drumroll please, all they want is either his money or sperm (yup, I just said that!!). I should mention that Jake is the brother of the man going on the blind date with Claire. His identical twin brother. His brother, Josh, wants Jake to do a twin switch with him. Jake goes on the blind date with Claire and Josh goes on a friend date with Hailey (Hailey is blackmailing Josh into escorting her to weddings but that is another story). As I read that, I thought: “Well, this could go well.”
Surprisingly it did. Jake and Claire hit it off. Claire was in disguise the entire time. I was surprised by that because they went paddleboarding. I mean, what if she fell off and got wet? Her cover would have been blown. Honestly, I was waiting for that to happen, but it didn’t. I enjoyed seeing Jake and Claire interact in those scenes. They were themselves and not the people that they had to become.
After Jake and Claire had sex, everything started to fall apart (in my eyes). Claire booked it, and Jake was left feeling used. He tried to find Claire, but because she used a fake name, he had no luck. Both Hailey and Madison were not talking either. On the other hand, Claire felt awful for leaving Jake but thought she had no other choice.
I wasn’t happy with how the middle of the book started. Claire and Jake find out that they both lied to each other. After that, it was like the characters had a personality shift. It was bewildering to read. Claire was this lovely, shy person in the first half of the book. To see her morph into someone self-centered and egocentric messed with my head. I felt the same way about Jake. It took me most of the book’s middle to get used to the “new” Claire and Jake.
I did like that the rest of Jake’s family (biological and otherwise) were introduced. I could see the other ten books in the series being written when Jake talked about his brothers and friends. I got very excited to read the other books.
Jake and Claire’s relationship was rocky during this part of the book. Mainly because neither of them was willing to bend. I eye-rolled a lot during this part of the book. I also kept muttering, “Gonna lose him/her if you keep acting this way.“
I did like seeing how a movie set was run. The addition of Blake as Claire’s evil co-star was perfect. He tried his best to undermine the movie’s production and acted like a man-child whenever he was in the picture. The only time he crossed the line was when he tried to bum rush, Claire. Thankfully, her bodyguard did his job.
The romance between Claire and Jake did seem nonexistent. I do think it was because they had to sneak around to go on dates. That took some of the oomph out of the romance for me.
End of Book Impressions:
The end of Hidden Hollywood seemed rushed. I say that because everything happened so fast. My head was spinning, and I had to go back and reread specific passages to make sure that I got everything right in my head.
Claire turned into a red carpet fairy godmother. Seriously, she did. She invited the book club to the premiere of her movie and handed dresses and shoes over to them. I giggled while reading those scenes. They were also super sweet, but they made me laugh. Why? Because no woman would give up a pair of shoes that are worth $3k. Just saying.
I wasn’t thrilled with how Claire and Jake’s relationship went from casual to serious within a few chapters. That just screamed Instalove to me. Plus, the way they went about saying “I love you” irked me. There was no passion. It was like, “Oh, BTW, I love you.” and they went on with their lives. I don’t know why it irked me, but it did.
The end of Hidden Hollywood was cute. I loved how the author wrapped up Claire and Jake’s love story. I’m not sure who the next book is going to be about. Either it is Hailey or Madi. Either way, I am sure it is going to be a cute story.
My Overall Thoughts on Hidden Hollywood:
I went back and forth with Hidden Hollywood. I loved the romance and thought the writing was excellent. Several humorous scenes made me laugh. At the same time, Jake was “meh,” and Claire rubbed me the wrong way. But, I was able to overlook those two things and enjoy the story. What I also liked is that the book didn’t go into graphic detail with the sex. There was detail, but nothing that would make someone uncomfortable.
I would recommend Hidden Hollywood for anyone over 21. There is sex, very mild violence, and some mild language.