The Hollywood Version by Harry K. Malone

HollywoodVersion[The]LGTitle: The Hollywood Version

Author: Harry K. Malone

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (244pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Mark Lawler has always imagined the world as a movie. With his overactive imagination, he can’t help equating life and art. Currently, he’s living the dream: successful actor, beautiful wife, and he works with his best friend, television heartthrob Zach Pericles. The problem is a certain contingent of fans are convinced Mark and Zach are really in love. 

When a compromising photo of them leaks to the press, Mark’s life spins out of control. The show’s executive producer plans to kill off Mark’s character, and Mark faces unemployment and life as a single man. He turns to Ross Lockhart, an old acquaintance, to help him pick up the pieces.

Ross has to be the most frustrating man Mark’s ever known, but he’s levelheaded and wise for his years, and Mark envies the honest life he leads. Maybe Ross can teach Mark a thing or two about finding his own happily ever after.

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Review: Mark is living the highlife. He’s a popular actor; he has a beautiful wife, Alex, and the greatest best friend, Zach. But, everything begins to fall to pieces when a compromising picture of Mark and Zach leaks out. The producers of his show plan to kill him off, his wife demands a divorce and his best friend turns his back on him. Mark doesn’t know who to turn to in his time of need except Ross, an old acquaintance who is also in the business. Ross thinks Mark has lost touch with his roots. Mark immersed himself in the Hollywood life and lost some of himself. Ross begins to bring Mark back to what is real and important and Mark acknowledges a part of himself he never really noticed before.

This is an interesting story that while it holds your interest also confuses the senses as you try to make heads and tales of the main character, Mark. Mark is straight. He is very happy with his wife, Alex, and enjoys a close friendship with his co-worker, Zach. With rumors flying about his relationship with Zach among the fans that there is more between them, Mark never examines what he truly feels until he loses it all and he turns to Ross. With Ross, Mark can’t help but notice how he feels and although he has to keep things quite, he embraces a side of himself that he has largely ignored.    

This is one of those stories that I wasn’t sure how to react to. I really liked that Mark found something special with Ross and really worked at making things right, but I was also vastly disappointed in his reaction to his circumstances caused by his so-called best friend and his wife. Ross is a great character and he isn’t a fool who topples into love. He makes sure that Mark has faced his feelings and really knows what he is getting into. Ross isn’t about to be an experiment or a rebound. Mark is a bit self-centered and is very Hollywood conscious. Even when he is trying to do something nice, it’s about how it would make him look.

The writing and storyline are very good. I just found myself lost when it came to Mark. Mark was very casual about his sexuality and discovering his real feelings. I liked Ross a lot. he seemed to be the only solid character who knew what he wanted and didn’t sell himself out for the Hollywood dream. The relationship he has with Mark isn’t easy for him when he can’t be sure that Mark actually knows what he wants, especially after so much turmoil. The sexual relationship between them is great and I am glad that Ross made Mark wait.

I will recommend this to those who love Hollywood actor stories, being true to yourself, finding the real you, finding love, accepting love and a great happy ending.