Ever wondered what it's like to be a Hollywood sitcom writer? In this second book of Janice Thompsonâ€˜s Backstage Pass series we meet Athena Pappas, head writer of the wildly popular Stars Collide sitcom. What she can't figure out is why, when the show has won major awards, the manager has hired a new writer for the team. Doesn't the current team's record stand for itself? When Athena learns that the new writer is a famous Vegas comedian, Stephen Cosse, she begins to fear for her job.
Stephen has been a single dad for several years and is looking for stability for his young daughter. The Pappas family, owners of Hollywood's hottest Greek restaurant, show him what a real Greek extended family is like. The cousins pull his daughter into their circle and Stephen himself is drawn to Athena, who is not only the Pappas' youngest daughter but his boss.
Janice Thompson's books are always filled with humor. One of the things I enjoyed the most in Hello, Hollywood, as a writer myself, was Stephen's determination to learn about writing sitcoms (as opposed to solo routines). During the novel he takes a course on the Hero's Journey and keeps Athena informed as to which stage of the classic storyline their relationship is currently at. I got quite a few laughs out of this!
Diving into Hello, Hollywood!, the second installment of the Backstage Pass series, I found that I liked this book even better than the first. Athena Pappas, the talented screenplay writer, was introduced in the first book and the focus of this book. Simultaneously attracted to and threatened by her new co-writer Stephen, she's not sure what to think. Her big Greek family is convinced they are made for each other, but it will take more to overcome past hurts than a handsome face.
I thought the book started off a tad slow, but once I got into it, it was a great read! In reading "part two," I think I figured out what bugged me in the first book. It seemed like every character, struggle, and situation was a complete extreme. The more I read, though, the more I realized that the extremes were what made the book so funny! Think of your favorite TV sitcom, and you'll see what I mean.
I loved Athena and Stephen. Athena's family added a new dimension to the story as well. Plus, it was nice to catch up with Kat and Scott from Stars Collide. Hello, Hollywood! is another funny, romantic story from Janice Thompson. I think the whole series makes a great summer readâ€”or anytime read. [4 stars]
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. I was not asked to review it. All opinions expressed are my own.
Girls, I have another recommendation for you! You've got to read this book. It has not only romance, but humor as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and found myself laughing out loud in certain parts.
28-year-old Athena Pappas is the main writer in one of the most popular television sitcom shows, Stars Collide. Athena is able to be funny, but when the show hires another man, Stephen Cosse, to help write on the show, her job starts to feel a little unsafe. You see, Stephen is a Vegas comedian....who might be slightly funnier than Athena because it comes a bit more naturally to him than it does to her. Considering that these two are always focused on the little details, what will happen when these two start to feel attraction towards each other? Just how far will they go to "script" our their love life?! You can start to imagine how this might go!
This is a book that is definitely worth reading. I'm going to have to go and check out her first book in the series now.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Janice Thompson combines her personal experience as a screen writer and her talent for writing romantic comedies to create Hello, Hollywood!, a fun and sweet story of two Hollywood sitcom writers falling in love. I love how Janice infuses her stories with cultural elements, this time Athena, her close family and even a crazy dog called Zeus, hail from Greece, which adds interest and depth to the tale. The screen writing elements are interesting although the many references to the Dick Van Dyke show fell flat for me as I didn't ever watch it. Strong families ties, single parenthood, addiction and job security issues are all part of what makes this story more than just a funny story. Athena and Stephen's romantic relationship kicks off a little too quickly for my liking but true to form, Janice provides an upbeat and engaging story and her readers will adore.
This story made me smile from the halfway point to the end. It was a bit slow in building for me even with the dreamy Adonis (AKA Stephen) introduced in the beginning. What really touched my heart was Stephen's story and his love for his daughter. Her desire for a family was downright heart-warming. And the chemistry between Athena and Stephen was...wow. Their first kiss was a real heart-stopper...or make that a pulse-pounder. I loved how she was so into the moment, but then would drift into scripting. That was pretty funny.
The author has a knack for heart-warming romance and sizzling attraction that never leaves the sweet zone. While the kisses are delectable, they are always tastefully done. This just gels the authors consistent style with the tender way she writes her romances. There are always issues, but they never overwhelm the story. Thompson is one of the few authors whose sweet romances can actually get my heart revving. Every time. Yep.
As I said, a bit of a slow start, but definitely worth the read. Stick with it and you'll get to the memorable stuff. I enjoyed the slapstick humor and the crazy dog stuff, but what really worked for me in the story was the deep and abiding theme of people needing each other and children needing stability and families to thrive. Well done!