Everyone needs a safe space.
For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage before a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.
She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?
Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.
Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?
4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: New Adult
Elizabeth was a successful child star who has nothing left now and is trying to transition to an adult actress at 19. She struggles with having no money, having no family or friends, and feeling worthless. She connects to one person, the womanizing personal trainer at the gym she religiously attends. Through Devon she feels that she has found a safe space. But Devon has secrets he does not want Lizzy to uncover and keeps her at arm’s length. Lizzy finds her life spiraling out of control and does not know where to turn.
I loved this book. Seriously, I had no expectations and was not really sure what I was getting myself involved in, but I really liked this story. Don’t get me wrong, this was a hard book to read at times because Lizzy really has had it rough. I guess this would be classified as NA, but it felt more like Lizzy was learning more about herself and her life than just a romance. The love interest was in the entire book, but more as a background figure who played a small role here and there, the romance coming to a head like the last fourth of the story. I was completely wrapped up in this book and found myself thinking about it when I was not reading. I felt haunted by the horrors of her life, even though she is considered a rich and famous Hollywood princess.
I found myself wanting to hug Lizzy. Repeatedly. She may not have met the formal description of child abuse, but she was certainly abused. Her mother saw her as an asset and emancipated her at 16 not really wanting contact anymore, she never attended formal school and missed out on normal social interactions, she had breast augmentation at 14 to help her career, her handlers made poor choices about her finances leaving her with nothing, and her only good memories deal with visiting dying children in hospitals. Someone get me a tissue. The author did such a fantastic job of characterization that I felt all this sadness, despair and heartbreak right along with her. At every instance Lizzy feels rejection, be it professionally or personally. And when she finally put herself out there, she did not get much of anything back. I rooted hard for Lizzy, and yes she may have something special by the end of the story, but she really had to work for it. Sometimes I would forget that she is only 19 years old, that she completely missed little quirks about life since she never had a chance at normal. Her relationship with Devon takes the cake for being complicated. She grew up in lavishness and fame and Devon was from a poor family, yet they have so much in common. I knew there was something fishy about him but could not put my finger on it, so I was just as shocked as Lizzy when she found out who he was. His story is just as terrible as Lizzy’s, the two are so damaged they could fix each other in ways others could not. I just wanted to yell at him to grab her and never let her go, but alas I was ignored.
I was so involved in this story, more so than any other book I have read in a while. I will gladly read more from this author and I desperately need to get my hands on book 1 in this series since I guess this is number 4 (it read as a complete story with new characters so it didn’t really matter). I loved this book and can’t wait to devour more from this author.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.