Kristy' s Brain Food

My Honest Thought's and Amazing Book Reviews

Can a little town actually be “Starstruck” by L.A. Witt

on August 30, 2014

Title: Starstruck 

Author: L.A. WittSeries: Bluewater Bay #1  

Length: 252 pages

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance 

Release Date: November 3,2014

Publisher:  Riptide Publishing

Available At: Riptide ,Amazon , B&N, All Romance. Com 

 

*This book was given freely by Riptide Publishing for a fair and honest review.

 

Blurb:

Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s. 

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show—exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet—no matter how attractive he finds his co-star. 

Carter Samuels is the critically-acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting—and made him realize he’s gay—is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself. 


Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need. 

Review

This book is based in a picturesque logging town named Bluewater Bay, Washington. Dare I say it only a short drive away from the very famous town of Forks. Yes! I went there, and so did the author making little quips regarding the Twilight franchise. Why you might ask?

Well Hollywood just can’t seem to leave these small towns alone. Bluewater Bay has become the mecca for fans of a book series, that is written by the best selling author Hunter England. Just like Twilight books series, hollywood has turned into a hit television show called “Wolf’s Landing“; starring the gorgeous, out and proud Carter Sammuels.

Bluewater Bay also holds something else. The once famous actor, Levi Prichard. He was known for his role as a major action start in a multi-movie franchise. After years in the spotlight and the rumor mill that is hollywood; at the height of his career, Levi walks away from it all.

Being fed up with the whole hollywood scene, Levi retires to the sleepy town with dreams of living a normal life after becoming the one thing every actor fears: typecasted. Being thought as only being able to play muscle-bound, one dimensional characters, never getting the chance to show people his true acting abilities. Levi feels no more passion in the career he once loved.

He also wants a relief from the stress of always watching every move he makes so that his closet door can stay FIRMLY closed. Levi made a decision years ago and now at almost 40, he has no intention of opening that door. He also needed time to recover from a near fatal car accident nearly two years prior.

Only fate doesn’t seem to get the memo that Levi is done, and brings Hollywood and everything that goes with it to his sleepy little town. Levi does everything he can to not be associated with hollywood anymore. Including distancing himself from the few true friends he has.

He spends his days at home with his two manecoon cats, Link and Zelda, and at night he directs the community theatre. Never letting his name be on the marquis. He has no desire to take away from his actors who work hard in each production. He has become quite a recluse.

So when Hunter Easton’s “Wolf’s Landing” comes to town, his only prayer is he can survive and stay out of the limelight. Unfortunately for Levi, his best friend Anna, who just so happens to be the producer on the show and is the only one who knows the real Levi, know just the way to pull Levi out of retirement. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the author and the leading character are also dead set on Levi playing the formidable “Max Furhman”.

Max is the character Levi has longed to play his entire career. A character he can make come to life instead of just being the muscle. So Anna and Levi’s ex-agent Finn offer him the role and the chance of a lifetime.

Finn makes it clear the studio fears with both Easton and Sammuels being such huge roles within the show (the writer and leading man) that the show is becoming the “gay” show, and the studio wants “manly-man” Prichard to change the scenery and dispel that label. This is a huge selling point to Levi, he can maybe for once have it all. He can still keep his secret and play the role of a lifetime. But is it worth the risk, the stress? Can he really turn down his dream role, his second chance at the career he once cherished?

Carter Sammuels grew up watching Levi Prichard play the beloved action star “Chad Eastwick“, as well as Levi’s obscure first works in the indie industry. Basically Levi is the person who made Carter want to act, but most importantly he made him realize he was gay. He respects Levi as the actor he knows he can be, not who hollywood made him into.

Being in the town now for a few seasons Carter has never run into his idol. But the rumor mill is running rampant on the set of “Wolf’s Landing” that the studio is securing Levi to play “Max Forman”.

Carter couldn’t believe it, but after coming out of the make-up trailer, he ends up face to face with his idol. For him it was like the earth tilted on it’s axis. Levi was even more in person.

After doing a bit of digging, Carter finds out Levi directs at the local community playhouse. He gathers his nerves and decides to go pay Levi a visit, and try to pick his brain. One professional to another, or so he tells himself. He feels Levi is completely straight but the rumors of Levi’s ex trying to out him, even though Levi vehemently denies they were a couple. The rumor has never really gone away, and somewhere deep within Carter he can’t help but hope the rumor is true. Only once he got to the theatre, he gets so much more.

After his meeting with Finn and Anna, Levi continues on as normal, refusing to let himself look at the script. He is at war with himself about what he truly wants. His heart believes this is his moment, but his brain doesn’t know if he can deal with all that comes with coming back.

That night as he wraps up rehearsals at the playhouse he gets a surprise when he sees Carter Sammuels waiting for him. Carter is dangerous for him. He is immediately attracted to the younger actor. Knowing if he signs on to play “Max” he will eventually be co-starring with him. There is something about Carter that strikes deep within Levi and he fears his carefully constructed walls will be torn down. This all happens with just one look, can he survive working with him?

As Carter approaches  Levi he wonders what he could want and actually starts out kinda rude.  Carter takes him by surprise though and shows Levi there’s more then meets the eye.

Carter realizes Levi’s walls are up but he desperately wants to speak to the man who molded him into the actor he is today. So he goes for gold and asks Levi for coffee to speak about techniques. Levi is surprised. Seriously how much technique goes into an action role. Carter stuns him by revealing his love for the roles Levi played within the Indie genre.

Intrigued, Levi agrees. Surprisingly, despite the age difference the two men find they have much in common and begin to build a friendship from there love of obscure foreign and indie films.

Levi finally gives into his heart and agrees to play “Max“. Only Levi makes sure built into his contract he has and “out” if he feels he wants to leave the cast. Unfortunately a picture of Carter and Levi surfaces leaving a diner and the rumor mill kicks back up.

Furious at the attention the picture is getting, Finn with the studio behind him let’s Levi know the “out” in his contract works both ways. Levi is to remain the “straight manly-man” people adore. To Levi that’s  fine, he has no intention of opening his closet door.

As the weeks pass Levi and Carter spend every spare time they have together. When they’re away from each other they’re texting one another. Without either realizing it not only have they formed a deep bond of friendship but a bond of something more.

One night as Levi closes up his rehearsal at the theatre, Carter stops by. Levi pulls Carter up on stage to discuss some changes to the set and without realizing their position they are chest to chest. Both men feel the pull but Carter still doesn’t know for sure about Levi, but as fate would have it she steps in and pulls them together for a kiss that knocks both men off their axis.

Both men kinda freak and instead of continuing with their normal evening plans they call it a night and go home seperately. Both men are scared they at this point have such a deep friendship. Both are truly themselves when they are together.

As Levi, finally signs the contract and joins the cast of “Wolf’s Landing“. Both men struggle with what happened. They come together at Levi’s house to talk and have there normal movie night.

Levi finally decides it’s time to be truthful with Carter and admit he is “Bi” and the rumored ex was really his boyfriend of six months. Levi also tells Carter about his family,a and the truth behind his infamous car crash.

Carter is alittle taken back. Not in Levi’s sexuality, but the fact he could deny someone and hurt a person who meant a great deal to him. Carter also realizes even though after all this time he has fallen hard and in love with Levi, He couldn’t be back in the closet.

The two continue to spend there time together doing what they love, and Levi introducing Carter to the wonderful world of relaxing on the water fishing. Even after a relaxing day life moves forward.

Life moves forward, the two men becoming closer but knowing it can’t be more. It’s good to have a break because it’s time for Levi’s parents to visit and then Carter leaves for a convention to promote the show.

Throughout Levi’s parents visit Carter remains the supportive friend, his lifeline to get though his parental visit, but vowing to himself it’s time to move on. The parental visit goes better then Levi expects it to but he still keeps a part of himself hidden. He wonders will he ever truly be free. As soon as he drops his parents off his first thought is Carter.

Carter though he knows he loves Levi but accepts he will always be in the closest and they can only remain friends. Carter deserves better then to be someone’s secret. Fate decides to smile down on Carter in the form of a gorgeous actor named Marcus.

Marcus is not afraid to show Carter affection in public, he’s just what Carter needs. Honestly his mind doesn’t stray to Levi for a moment and he is happy. Even though they have yet to be intimate, Carter thinks he could have finally found a boyfriend.

As the convention closes and all go home Carter and Marcus continue on making plans for Marcus to meet him at the set and spend the weekend together. Carter is happy, he feels he is getting over Levi and has a hot new boyfriend to boot. Now Levi and him can truly be the best friends they are meant to be.

Unbeknownst to Carter, Anna sent out pics of everyone at the convention including several ones of Marcus ad Carter up close and personal. That is what Levi finds when he opens up an email from Anna as he sit patiently waiting for Carters call.

Showing up on set, both men were nervous. Let’s just say tapping for the day didn’t go as smoothly as it should. Carter was anxious to get the day over and have Marcus here and forget about Levi and the hurt he sees Levi trying to hide .

As Carter starts his weekend with Marcus, he should have been happy, but he just can’t stop thinking about Levi and what pain Levi was covering up. Carter knows this is for the best, Levi will never come out. With that thought, Carter dives head first to be intimate with Marcus, only he finds he can’t. He loves Levi. Needless to say Marcus isn’t very understanding and storms out. Leaving Carter to contemplate what he has done.

Levi on the other hand had mixed emotions. He was happy Carter found someone who could give him what he couldn’t, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Knowing Carter was moving on, Levi knew it wouldn’t be hard to stay within the studios threats of being “straight”.

Up to this point his role as “Max Furhman” hadn’t been confirmed,  so if Carter was moving on Levi needed to do the same. So when Anna asks for the green light to leak Levi Prichard is back as “Max Fuhman” Levi says yes. Anna reminds Levi once it is out there he probably couldn’t use his “out” clause and he better not test the studio with any more rumors. Levi knows it wont be a problem and assures his friend he understands his choice and will toe the studios line.

As the two men meet back at the set tensions run high, thankfully the scenes I call for anger so both men can work out some frustration. As a break is called Carter asks Levi if they can talk. Bottom line he misses his friend. Once alone though fires ignite and Carter kisses Levi like it’s his last day on earth.

Carter gets out Marcus didn’t work out, Levi and Carter both admit they want each other so as soon as tapping is done for the day they give into temptation and rush to Levi’s boat. The passion between the two is cosmic. The night is everything Carter could have ever dreamed it would be. But can it last or was letting their passion get the best of them ruin what they had.

Only in the morning light do the repercussions of the line they crossed truly show. Carter is so in love with Levi, but Levi makes it clear he wont leave his closet. He’s just getting a second chance at his career and his family drama just wont allow him to be what Carter needs. Harsh words were spoken on both sides and ultimatums given, leaving both men with only one answer.

Angry and hurt Carter leaves Levi feeling the weight of the world crashing down on him. On one hand he doesn’t blame Carter, he wouldn’t want to be someone’s secret, but on the other he feels Carter should understand.

Carter on the otherhand is trying to stay angry but his hurt over takes him. He feels stupid. He knew how this would end from the start but if he honest with himself he would do it all over again.

(I am going to interject my opinion here without saying what really happened.  Levi is an idiot and he got off easy. If I was Carter I would have raged, slapped and been probably petty)

Thank god others feel my feelings because once the men return to set Anna realizes right off the top what happened and pulls Levi into her office. She tears him one and sends him on his way to finish filming for the day. Thankfully the guys could use there emotions and make the scene great.

As the day wrapped Carter left needing space. Levi makes it home all the while Annas words rolling through his mind. He needed to hash this out but he wasn’t sure who would understand.  Only one man would and he had a long overdue apology needed.

Before he lost his nerve Levi called Dylan and prayed he would give him the chance to speak. It was just what the doctor ordered.  Not only were fences mended but Dylan brought forth a perspective that reached through and broke down all Levis barriers.

Without a second thought Levi did something he should have done twenty years ago he called hi parents and spoke the truth for once. Now two down one to go…..

I am going to stop there because well I want you to experience Levi and his emotions for yourself.  I am so glad I gave this L.A. Witt book a chance. It had every emotion. It made me laugh, smile, want to bitchslap a character, plus all the warm fuzzys that go along with a HEA.

I think there is actually a lesson within the story aswell. To always be yourself and to not let others dictate your life for you. If you do you are risking the chance of loosing happiness.

I am giving this book 4*

Link to buy

Riptide

<a href="Amazon ” target=”_blank”>Amazon


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