Wednesday 20 May 2015

Review ~ Shuttergirl by CD Reiss

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars

“Months of longing, years of forgetting, and a few days of reawakening were culminating now.”

I am a sucker for second chance romances and while the first time they never really got off the ground the connection was there. The first time the romance was blossoming, the friendship developed but circumstances had other ideas. Fast forward ten years and their paths would cross again.

“She was a vortex. I’d avoided getting swallowed up in her once, and now, more than ever, I needed to avoid it again.”

 Michael Greydon was Hollywood’s Golden Boy, the son of two actors; it was in his blood, his genes. While it may not have been his first career choice it was the one he ended up with and he was damn good at it. He lived his life by what was expected. He was good, he was punctual, he never bent the rules and never exploited his fame, he was the perfect actor and everyone was vying for his talents.

Laine Cartwright was a girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, coming from a broken family and going through the foster system so many times it was like a revolving door of parents my heart physically ached for her. Laine though was made of strong stuff, she was a survivor, she had made the best of the bad hand that she had been dealt and while it was tough to get to there, she was at the top of her field. She was a paparazza, also known as “Shuttergirl.” Laine was confident, resilient, independent but she had her insecurities. She craved acceptance, craved belonging and just wanted to be loved. But when you haven’t been loved your whole life it is hard to accept that you are worthy and at times those insecurities floated to the surface.

Ten years before. Sitting in the bleachers reading her books, she thought that she had found someone, someone who could love her and someone that she could love back, but alas, fate had other ideas. Watching Michael Greydon practice his tennis had been a daily date, he made the first move, he got her talking, but then he went, he left, just like everyone else.

“And it had all started with Michael Greydon’s fingers in mine. He did have an effect on me. That son of a bitch. He let me hope. He let me think I’d be something I wasn’t.”

 An actor and a pap together was unheard of, it is taboo, the paps are the scum of the earth, never the twain shall meet, but Michael couldn’t help himself. He was enamoured with her then and he still was. He never saw the camera, he saw the woman behind the camera and one day he would have the courage to make his move. Taking the bull by the horns, today was the day.

“I didn’t want normal. I wanted real. And my God, Laine was real.”

 Michael was a good guy, but at times I just felt he needed a bit more of a backbone. Don’t get me wrong, he really changes, but at times, his own securities and the advice of others got the better of him. He let his head rule his heart; he lost her once, would he lose her again? Michael was fiercely protective and that was an endearing character trait, he really stepped up when needed and that resonated deep with me. For him the feelings he was having were a first and at times it was hard for him to compute just exactly what he was going through but I thought he had gotten the memo. He was loyal and strong and had a great circle of friends but he had his own family issues and the pressure was all on him.

 “So...You became a photographer.”
“I became your worst nightmare.”

 I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was an easy cute read that kept me page turning. While this is CD Reiss’ first foray into contemporary romance I thought she nailed it. As I have come to expect the writing was fantastic, it was fluid, captivating and poetic. So many paragraphs I highlighted just because the words were beautiful and the meaning behind them so profound. Her way with words, no matter the scenario always captivates me and brings me whole heartedly into the story.

“I OWN THIS CITY. I walk with its rhythms, run with its breath, speak its language. Los Angeles is my lover. It knows I’m a survivor. It knows what I’ve done and has found no reason to forgive me, because there has never been a sin.”

 My only niggle with regards to this story was the ending. While it was Hollywood, I personally felt it wasn’t enough and ended all too soon. As this was a standalone I would have loved an epilogue. Once I have these characters under my skin I never want to let them go and I wasn’t ready for their story to end, I just wanted that little bit more.

 “You’re Calamity Laine.”

 Once again, a great read from CD Reiss and I cannot wait to read what she pens next.


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