A BuzzFeed Best Book of June
"A heart-stirring, tear-inducing read you won’t want to put down.”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read
Acting like she's in love with her handsome nightmare of a co-star—in a movie directed and produced by her complicated Hollywood royalty family—is Sloane's job. But what happens when the lines between script and reality get blurred?
Out-of-work actress Sloane Ford is in desperate need of something to do after losing her steady TV gig. When her famous family ropes her into working as a producer on their World War II-era romance, they neglect to mention that the film will be headlined by Joseph Donovan, her least favorite former co-star of all time. The roguish actor made her life a living hell the last time they worked together, using his movie star good looks and Irish charm to cover for his erratic professional behavior. On their new film set, he promises he's different now, but Sloane is far from convinced.
As filming gets underway, it becomes clear that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. When the lead actress is abruptly fired, Sloane agrees to step in and take over the role, and she starts to remember why she fell in love with acting in the first place. On camera, she and Joseph share an electric chemistry. Off camera, they've been honing their characters and, much to Sloane's surprise, growing closer. But playing the role of a woman in love with Joseph Donovan is a dangerous business, and the more time they spend together, the less Sloane can tell what's real between them, and what's just for show.
Morrissey (When the Light Went Out) couches a lackluster Hollywood romance in a delightful family drama. Making movies is the Ford family business, so when Sloane Ford is fired from her TV police procedural show, her mother offers her a gig as consulting producer on a WWII romantic drama that's about to begin shooting. With her acting career hanging by a thread, Sloane reluctantly agrees a decision she regrets upon learning that the male lead is Joseph Donovan, a former costar of Sloane's whose drunken behavior on set left her hating him. Shooting gets off to a rocky start as Joseph seems uncharacteristically wooden. Sloane is talked into becoming his scene partner to loosen him up, and as they get to know one another anew, she realizes that a sober Joseph is someone she might actually like. When the lead actress is fired, Sloane is the obvious replacement. As filming progresses, the line between fiction and reality blurs, with longing glances that linger even after the cameras stop rolling on Sloane and Joseph's love scenes. The romance delivers the requisite wish fulfillment, but it's the on-set dynamics of the large, blended Ford family that give this story its heart. Readers won't be wowed, but there's plenty to keep the pages turning.