AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT by Tamara Carlisle

AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT

KIRKUS REVIEW

An unlikely couple braves the ups and downs of love in this modern-day fairy-tale romance set in Hollywood and London.

Out on the town one night with friends, Shannon, a young law school student, meets a handsome British expat in what she assumes is an everyday flirtation. Quickly, though, their romance sweeps Shannon off her busy feet, as Will wines and dines her with extravagant dates, welcoming her into his lavish LA lifestyle. The only flaw Shannon can see is that Will and his friends are quick to dismiss her interest in what they do for a living. The truth is revealed when Shannon flips through a tabloid magazine and sees her new boyfriend in its pages: a famous actor with a famous actress girlfriend. A teen heartthrob and blockbuster success, Will works hard to convince Shannon that the gossip rags manufactured the romance between him and his co-star. Meanwhile, Shannon realizes that the co-worker she’s always been attracted to, John, is also in love with her. Jewelry from Tiffany’s, a magical holiday in London and a hasty-yet-heartfelt engagement keep Shannon true to Will. There’s trouble in paradise, though, when the paparazzi’s stalking of the hot couple jeopardizes Shannon’s job, and Will makes a drastic choice to protect her. In the dark days that follow, Shannon takes advantage of John’s romantic interest. Will true love win? Shannon and Will’s speedy romance will keep readers turning the pages, while Shannon’s occasional bouts of worry over their relationship—its fast pace; an engagement after five months; the unlikely pairing of her, a newly minted lawyer, and him, a jet-setting actor—temper the fantasy with reality. The two lovebirds are surrounded by a friendly cast, but characters are largely underdeveloped. Will’s two best mates and their girlfriends are interchangeable, popping up only when needed to celebrate or console Shannon. The novel dips into soap-opera territory, especially in the final chapters, as the author races to wrap up all of her characters’ lives, which results in some over-the-top actions, such as a relationship proposal moments after a divorce is finalized. Nonetheless, Shannon’s fairy-tale life provides a delightful fantasy; Anglophiles in particular will enjoy the numerous scenes across London and the English countryside.

An exciting, fast-paced love story, more closely related to romance novels than character-driven chick lit.

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2012
Page count: 481pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2013




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