Love Unscripted: Book 1 in the Love Series
by Tina Reber
Published by Atria Books
Genre: young adult; romance; chicklit
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes
A picturesque hamlet on the Rhode Island shore provides a quaint setting for this book, perhaps because you can imagine a film crew rolling into this bucolic burb and laying waste to it.
Taryn is barely out of high school and already owns a bar. She has a nice, steady existence, but one not free from heartache. Her parents are dead, and a recent relationship ended. She has a close assortment of friends and coworkers, but she has trust issues. The ex-boyfriend left her unwilling - if not entirely unable - to trust her heart to another. The last thing she has time for is a movie set, much less a popular heartthrob whom girls chase from one end of the world to another.
Famous, good looking, and the object of many a girl's (and woman's) desire, Ryan Christensen bursts through the door of Taryn's club, in desperate need to escape a horde of fans. When Taryn provides him safe refuge, they share a few drinks and some conversation. Despite every intention to be unimpressed, Taryn finds herself drawn to Ryan, and he is as drawn to her as she is to him.
Yes, this is a romance, and yes, there will be many rocky moments. In many ways, this is a familiar story: quiet, gorgeous girl who is unlucky in love lands the popular, gorgeous boy who heals her heart. Even Taryn's friends sound familiar, as if we've read their stories before in other books.
Yet you will want to read this book because it's fun, interesting, and allows the romance to slowly unfold. Nothing feels rushed between Taryn and Ryan, almost to a fault. This is a long book, with several endings. The length isn't a problem, necessarily, because it does give Tina Reber time to tell a fairy tale that nonetheless feels realistic. Romance does not come easily for these two; there are issues on both their parts. Ryan is a famous actor and the subject of paparazzi, hungry fans, and distorted tabloid stories. Taryn has only known loss, and she lives as if she expects nothing but loss to come her way.
There are a few extremely tame sex scenes, so don't read this one thinking you're in for some hot headboard rocking. The kissing is nicely told, although you might find yourself left wanting more. Yeah, I know. "More" within the context of a book this long sounds wrong, but you might want more sexy times.
This is a sweet book that allows its story to evolve steadily and realistically. If it is occasionally predictable, and if it occasionally feels too long, we can forgive it. Tina Reber tells a good story with likable characters, and in the end, that's what matters most.
Part II in the series came out earlier this year; I have not had a chance to read it yet, but I do look forward to the continuing adventures of Ryan and Taryn.