Say Goodbye to Hollywood Book Review *Jenny Trout*
When she’s hired to adapt the blockbuster novel, Beautiful Darkness, for film, screenwriter Jessica Yates sees an opportunity she can’t pass up. The only thing standing between her and a guaranteed hit movie is the author. Lynn Baldwin’s rise from Midwestern housewife to literary superstardom has gone straight to her head, and she’s not willing to see her creation hit the screen without her total approval.
As the entire creative team struggles with the hard-to-please author, Jessica’s personal life spins out of control. When there’s more relationship drama and kinky sex off the page than on, she’s forced to reevaluate what she really wants—before Beautiful Darkness destroys her Hollywood dreams forever.
Say Goodbye to Hollywood by Jenny Trout is a Contemporary romance that has a lot of secret goodies happening in between the pages. Any romance set in Hollywood with actors, screenwriters or industry types are my favorite type of reads. This latest by Jenny has a feel to it that reminds me of Alison Sweeney’s writing, but with Jenny, Say Goodbye to Hollywood is a bit edger and more like a women’s fiction than a chick-lit or a straight up romance. There’s also a major twist here, and it’s not the LOL, oh no she didn’t shade toward the whole movie drama regarding E.L. James’ and Fifty Shades of Grey. Some may say this is a parody, but the overall plot is more about the female protagonist trying to find her place in the world and respect in her career, including the one person who gave her a start and stuck by her through thick and thin, first as a lover and then as a friend and professional counterpart. Jessica Yates is a heroine we can admire and aspire to be, especially by those readers who know what the entertainment industry is like.
Since Say Goodbye to Hollywood was published on the heels of the big hit movie- La La Land. Those who enjoyed La La Land, will like this book, but there is a word of warning with what you’re reading. This isn’t a simple tale of a screenwriter hired to write the script for a blockbuster book, exactly like the rumors and gossip surrounding E.L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey. Jessica isn’t just a talented writer who loves the atmosphere of Hollywood. Jessica was once a stripper, who upon meeting Jack, hot actor and producer, was given a chance to make her dream a reality. She isn’t thrilled at writing the screenplay for the adaptation of the erotic fan fiction best seller, Beautiful Darkness, by the author, Lynn Baldwin, fanfiction writer turned authoress who has made millions. The reason Jessica isn’t all woo-woo at writing a script for a movie that will most likely make a lot of money because of the fan base, is because Jessica knows the BDSM world all too well, which Lynn has no clue about, much like E.L. James. The major twist here, revealed in the first two chapters is that Jessica was once a dominatrix, and still does it on the side but only with one person- Jack.
There is actually one erotic type scene in this book that’s the hottest scene I’ve read this year so far. No foreplay or sex is involved, but OMG it’s smoldering almost X-rated because of how well the scene is written in terms of BDSM involving Jessica and Jack. It’s a one and done type deal to establish the relationship between these two characters. We see flashbacks of these two and how they formed a relationship that transformed into something deeper. Jack is the sexy leading man who respects Jessica immensely. For that alone he will make you swoon. Jessica is very smart and has great intuition. She is very likable. The majority of the characters here are extremely likable.
Now as for the “shade” of this book and the Lynn character and the plot about bringing her book to the big screen, it’s delicious. The shade of it all with E.L. James and everything Fifty Shades of Grey will have you cackling, especially if you’re in the know with all the rumors and drama surrounding this author, the book and the movie production. But there are moments where Jenny pushes readers to sympathize with Lynn. She has a great relationship with her husband, and she really loves her book and believes in it. But she’s also very domineering and wants things her way, or no way. She’s put in her place a few times, and the outcome of Lynn’s future in Hollywood and the movie is beyond good. Her “just desserts” is a perfect end for this almost villainous character, especially for those readers who can’t stand Fifty Shades of Grey and all it entails.
The chemistry between Jack and Jessica is established because of that humdinger of a BDSM scene, but some readers may be disappointed because these two don’t get down and dirty all over the place. The reason why is explained, and there is a buildup that spans the novel. The ending for some may be too sudden and out of left field, but the payoff was well worth the price because you believe in Jack and Jessica, and want them to have their HEA together.
I chuckled more than a few times while I read (mainly because of the whole Fifty Shades/E.L. James shading going on), but it was nicely balanced with what Jessica is going through. The secondary characters are also well rounded, especially Jessica’s best friend actress, Sherri, as well as Marion Cross, the sassy director of the Beautiful Darkness film. She really made an impression on me, and I would love to see a possible spinoff book about her. I think Jenny should write more romance type books set in Hollywood, or possible characters who work in that industry.
Say Goodbye to Hollywood hit a lot of high points for me. This is one book I would recommend any romance reader try, especially those who love Hollywood. Jenny makes sure to show a side of the movie industry that’s actually very positive, but also for the beautiful darkness shade. (Self-Published, $4.99)
Final Grade: B+