In Heartthrob (Hollywood Hearts #1)by Belinda Williams, Ally Valenti has always wanted to follow her dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but circumstances in her life prevented her from ever getting the chance. Until now when her best friend and actress, Lena Lyons, convinces her to come and stay in Los Angeles for six months and design some gowns for her to wear during the awards season. She never expected to meet Jacob Swan, Lena’s handsome co-star, and soon after meeting him she finds herself enjoying spending time with him. Will she give Jacob a chance or be scared off by someone that is trying their best through various incidents — which seem aimed at her — to get her to return home?
Oops. I’d totally forgotten she was there. “Lena’s right. Sport isn’t my thing.”
“You’re her new bodyguard then?”
“No!” I knew he was making fun of me, but still took the bait.
“Well, after that, maybe Lena should offer you the job. I’m not going to mess with you.”
“I wouldn’t recommend it.” Lena said. “She can be kind of ferocious when she wants to. You should have seen her take on the mean girls at school.”
This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Williams, and I’ve got to say that it does not disappoint. Right from the beginning of this story I was hooked, as the heroine believes she doesn’t belong in Hollywood. How is she going to be able to handle designing a dress for Lena that will be on display for a lot of people to see? Will she make it big when people see her creations? However, it was the moment that Ally met Jacob that made this story a real page turner, as she made a really good first impression on him, even if it was embarrassing from her point of view.
As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories, especially that of the hero. He doesn’t get along with his family, and when they are together, it is very tense times. Furthermore, the dialogue was also intense due to the incidents done by the person trying to scare Ally away. Will they find out who is causing problems for her before it’s too late? However, there were some light-hearted moments between Ally and Jacob that I loved, especially when he teases her about what she does the moment they meet. Then there’s the secondary characters, especially Ally’s cousin, Arabella. She has total fan-girl moments when it comes to Ally meeting various actors, actresses and knowing Lena.
Ally was a wonderful heroine. She’s strong and brave for even giving herself the chance to show off her skills. She’s not confident she can pull it off, but it was good to read how determined and willing she was to make something great for Lena with lots of encouragement from her best friend. But she doesn’t just have skills when it comes to fashion, and I was absolutely charmed by how she impressed everyone with her cooking skills. The reactions from people after eating food she’s cooked had me smiling or laughing, especially when it came to a certain conversation between the main characters about whether the benefits of exercise or her cooking were better.
“Your co-star here was trying to sell me the benefits of exercise. He claimed endorphins are better than my pizza.”
Lena gave Jake a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry. I really should have warned you.”
“He still hasn’t said it.”
“Said what?” Lena asked.
“That my pizza is better than endorphins.”
While Jacob, he’s charming, confident and he’s determined to win Ally over into giving him a chance. He may be a Hollywood heartthrob, but he’s just like everyone else when the cameras aren’t rolling. Then again, paparazzi are everywhere, so it’s not as if he can completely let his guard down. Also, I liked the decision he made when it came to his career. He needed to branch out and find roles that weren’t restricting his talent to the sorts of movies he featured in. But most of all, I enjoyed how Jacob supported Ally when it came to his family. She was only doing what she felt was right, because Jacob didn’t deserve the way one of his brothers treated him.
Overall, Ms. Williams has penned a fantastic novel in this one, which encompassed a strong romance that did justice to this couple’s intense chemistry. Even though, Ally is completely anti-Hollywood when she arrives, it’s surprising how she changes her mind the more time she spends with Jacob. The way this story ended took me completely by surprise with the person causing trouble for Ally, because I did not suspect the secondary character it turned out to be. Moreover, the way Ally and Jacob reunited after things went awry between them was delightful. Ally is such a klutz and she’s lucky that Jacob is there to make sure she’s all right. At least the headlines this time around will be about Ally and not Jacob. I would recommend Heartthrob by Belinda Williams, if you’re a fan of books by Rachel Gibson, Victoria Dahl, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or Liliana Hart.
Can an average girl survive Hollywood?
Ally Valenti doesn’t belong in Hollywood. Not like her friend and actress, Lena Lyons. Lena’s convinced Ally to pursue her dreams of fashion design, starting with some gowns for the awards season.
Which Ally will get around to creating as soon as she can stop looking at Jacob Swan, Lena’s latest co-star. Not that she’s staring. Ally’s skeptical of anything celebrity and it’s not like she’d be pathetic enough to fall for a Hollywood heartthrob.
Then Ally learns there’s more to Jacob than his good-guy, all-American persona. She finds herself torn between the desire to get to know him better and her determination to stay out of the limelight.
Of course the media has other ideas—and someone doesn’t like all the attention Ally’s getting. When threats aimed at destroying her fashion career go too far, Ally’s convinced she’s living in crazy town.
The sensible thing would be to retreat home before it all ends in spectacular fashion. But will Ally be leaving more than her dreams behind if she says goodbye to Hollywood?