I'll admit upfront that I haven't read author Alessandra Torre's work before because I knew she wrote books that were dark and with angst and those really aren't my glass of tea. So when a few friends mentioned this book to me and how much they loved it and the fact that it was a contemporary romance and much lighter than her normal fare, I knew I wanted to read it. I had heard some awesome things about this author, but I waited until the she wrote the right book for me to read and I am so glad I did. From the first line of the introduction until the final line of the epilogue I was hooked, honestly I could not put this book down. Read it in one sitting and it's not a short book but I didn't want to stop; I was immersed, I had the Georgia sweat rolling down my neck, the eyes of judgmental town folk following me around and whispering not so nice things behind my back while smiling to my face, felt the confusion and lust wafting off the hero and heroine and drowning in the gallons of sweet tea the cast drank throughout.
Without a doubt Hollywood Dirt is a great romance, but this book is so much more that that; it is two people whose lives are worlds apart yet they have similar experiences, a common ground and an attraction so real that that line between love and hate is blurred until it is unrecognizable. Words really can't describe how much I loved this book, but I did and I fully recommend that you grab it and read it for yourself because if you don't you are missing out on one of the best books of 2015.
There is nothing I love more than a spirited, out spoken (but in the nicest way) and a bit crazy heroine and Summer Jenkins it that and so much more. While she completely understands what a good Southern woman should be she doesn't exactly agree with it and she can pull out her manners and she will for the right people. She also doesn't hesitate to put people she considers rude and demeaning in their place. From her first meeting with a "Hollywood type" I knew Summer was going to be a character I would love to know and would be honored to call friend.
In my gut I felt for Cole Masten because no one deserves the raw deal he was dealt by his lowlife wife and I use the term loosely (wife, not lowlife). And bless his heart for not completely understanding the Southern way and for being so out of his element the minute he set foot in Quincy, Georgia but he deserved every bit of venom Summer spewed his way and honestly, I loved that he realized from the start that there was something special about her and the fact that in his heart he knew she spoke the truth about his lifestyle and his character.
When Hollywood comes a knocking on the small town of Quincy life gets really interesting very quickly. I loved that Summer saw it as an opportunity to make some money and move away from the town and the scandal her almost marriage had caused three years ago. Despite being a small town girl Summer was smart, knew her worth and made damn sure she cashed in on it. While at times I thought Cole was trying to take advantage, it became evident that he was really trying to push her, to get her to react and get her to engage with him in any manner and it probably says something about me that I thought that was kind of sweet on his part. Together these two were explosive; the attraction and lust poured off of them and anyone around them could see it even when they tried to pretend it wasn't there. I liked that their relationship wasn't easy for either one of them, that they both suffered a bit and they both were confused about their feelings. That made it seem real and made me believe that what they ended up with was something very real.
I enjoyed watching Cole change throughout this story and I especially loved when he figured out how much he enjoyed the changes he saw in himself, but what I loved more is that Summer really didn't change. Sure she grew a bit, tempered her actions and words some but underneath it all Summer was one hundred percent Southern woman with a side of sass and she was definitely not afraid to let her crazy show.
While Hollywood Dirt might be a bit of an unconventional love story it felt honest and real and most of all it featured characters who weren't afraid to show their emotions and yell, scream, claw and fight their way through everything and while some might think that wasn't effective, the truth is this couple communicated they just did it in a way that meant something to them and underneath all of that "hate" there was something much deeper bubbling just below the surface. A colorful and amazing cast of characters, a full and well written plot and a vibrant and exciting romance made this book completely entertaining and one I want to scream from the rooftops that everyone must read!