Welcome to a stop on the Picture Perfect tour hosted by CLP Blog Tours! I was excited to take part in this tour because I had heard so many great things about author Lucie Simone's work. Confession: I've had a copy of her novel Hollywood Ending on my shelf for awhile and I just haven't gotten around to reading it. After reading, and loving!, Picture Perfect I can't wait to read more from Lucie!
Here's the synopsis of Lucie's latest novel:
For Lauren Tate, a high-powered TV producer, sex, lies, and scandal make for a great movie-of-the-week, but when she becomes the target of a smear campaign, even the most salacious of Hollywood’s tales can’t compare to her real life drama. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband leading the effort to sully her reputation, and her former assistant threatening to snatch her hard-earned position at Timeless Television out of her hands, Lauren’s perfectly planned life quickly begins to unravel at the seams.
Clawing her way back to the top of the TV food chain is no easy task, especially in an industry where backstabbing is a sport and gossip is a full time business. But Lauren learns just how cut-throat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart is missing in action. Can she salvage her career, her reputation, and her love life? Or will Hollywood be the death of her?By the time I started the book it had been awhile since I had read the synopsis so I couldn't remember a thing about what this novel was about. I was expecting your typical chick lit but what I got was so much more! I loved the mystery aspect to this book. Lauren has to try to clear her name in a murder investigation and it is heartbreaking, tense, and even a little amusing. Lucie does a great job of pushing the limit when it comes to Lauren channelling her inner Nancy Drew. There's a great scene when Lauren and her best friend, Justine, visit the scene of the crime looking for some evidence. If it wasn't so well written it would have been more hokey than entertaining. The mystery part of the novel had tons of twists and turns and Lucie kept me guessing for the entire story. The final outcome was a surprise for me and that was so much better than knowing "whodunit" right from the start.
Lauren is a fabulous character. She thinks she has her life completely sorted out when, suddenly, everything goes to hell. Some women would fall apart. In a way, Lauren does. But she also realizes that she can't fall to pieces if she wants to get past everything. She showed amazing strength while also showing her vulnerable side. I thought it was interesting that Lucie made mention on a few occasions that Lauren uses food, sweets in particular, as a crutch when she's stressed. It was just enough to make me, as the reader, realize that she had little issues and insecurities just like everyone else but it wasn't so much that it took over the rest of the story. I would love to read more about Lauren and find out what happened with her after Picture Perfect ended.
There was a fun and supportive cast of characters surrounding Lauren as well. I loved Justine. I think she and Lauren complimented each other exactly like best friends should. Jack, the new Hollywood It Boy Lauren hooks up with, kept me guessing and I alternated between wondering if he was hiding something or if he was too good to be true. Both Justine and Jack stood by Lauren - in very different ways - as she went through the hardest time of her life.
I started this book on an hour train ride. I was so engrossed in the novel that the trip (both there and back) just flew by. In fact, I almost wished it was longer so I could keep reading! Picture Perfect is well written, sweet, and humorous - even when dealing with a Hollywood murder. I wholeheartedly recommend Lucie Simone's latest novel to all readers, whether you normally read chick lit or not.
Make sure you check back on Sunday when Lucie stops by with a lovely guest post!
Happy reading :)