Samantha Cassidy has it all. She’s an Emmy award-winning actress starring in a wildly successful television series. She’s got great friends, including her best friend and manager Jade and co-star Emma, who are her pillars of support. Between her expanding list of roles, girls’ night outs with Jade and Emma, and working on her fixer-upper in West Hollywood, Sam stays busy. Not busy enough, she’s realized, to ignore the emptiness she feels growing without love in her life. Sam has been in the closet since her career began to take off over half a decade ago. Coming out of the closet now could jeopardize her entire career, and she’s got her eye on an Oscar. Rising to the top of her career, falling in love, and staying in the closet could be too much to juggle, but Sam has to know: is it possible to have it all?
Alex Novato turns heads everywhere she goes. Her sexy swagger keeps a seemingly endless line of women waiting to be next to fall into her bed. Alex has cultivated her life to be exactly the way she wants it: strictly casual. Currently she helps run the family landscaping business. She’s great at it, but she’s hoping to make her break as a published writer soon. While Alex waits for her manuscript to take off, she indulges her sister by writing a piece of fanfic about their favorite actress, Samantha Cassidy.
Alex had no idea that Sam would read the piece, and she certainly didn’t anticipate what would follow.
Sam and Alex have an instant attraction to one another. They’re looking for different things, but in one nutty series of events after another, they manage to grow closer. Is it possible for the queen of one-night stands and a woman in search of love to find something that satisfies them both?
Samantha is quite the surprise. Despite being an illustrious actress she is delightfully endearing. It would have been easy for her to be a diva or a princess, but she’s quite the opposite. She’s down to earth and completely adorable. She can be clumsy at times and tends to say all the wrong things, but she’s got the best intentions. Seriously, it’s impossible not to adore her, she’s that cute.
Her sincerity is probably why her friends are so into helping her. When sweet Sam wants to find love, her best friends try to convince her to look for no-strings sex instead. Sam goes along with the idea, until she meets Alex..
Alex Novato is a is a one-night kind of woman. Everywhere she goes women seem to lose it around her, falling apart at the sight of her tanned, toned body and killer smile. Alex is the epitome of confident. In fact, confident doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word for her self-assured bravado. Strong and sexy, nothing seems to unnerve her, even meeting a famous television star.
Jade and Emma, Sam’s best friends, are indispensable. They highlight Sam’s personality and are key to some of the most hilarious parts of the book. Alex’s sister, Lenna, and her wife Sophia are also crucial when it comes to Alex’s development. Alex was difficult to read in the beginning, with only short glimpses of her motives and emotions here and there. Without Lenna and Sophia, it’s unlikely that Alex would have been as well rounded of a character. The supporting characters in #CassiNova deserve a standing ovation.
The Writing Style
#CassiNova is such a fun read. I pictured this title making its way into my beach bag for a fun, upbeat read in the sunshine.
The language is trendy and at times edgy, giving the book a youthful, modern Hollywood vibe. The slow burn romance is tempered with humor that keeps the pace until the romance peaks. Keeping with great timing, there are also well written genuine and sincere moments. Alex’s arc is perfectly timed and gives great depth to the story. Matthews does a great job with timing, and the grammar and editing are spot on.
My Favourite Parts
My favorite parts of this book are undoubtedly the hilarious schemes hatched by Sam and her friends. There are a few situations that had me laughing out loud so much I had to stop because I couldn’t see the pages!
I also loved that Alex is a pet Mom – who doesn’t love a big fluffy rescue dog?
Totally personal preference here, but there’s a lot of focus on rock hard abs and perfect bodies being the ideal and only desirable ones. For someone who’d prefer more body-positivity, it’s a bit much.
Be aware that there are some mentions of death, widowhood, and cancer, if those are things you’d rather not read about.
Excerpt from #CassiNova by Lori G. Matthews
“What’s bothering you?”
“I don’t know. Ever since the episode aired, it’s stirred stuff up, like I’m betraying everyone by hiding in the closet. And I think about how much I miss being with a woman. You know how long it’s been since I kissed a girl?”
“Who are you? Katy Perry?”
“I’m serious! It’s been since college. Maggie, remember? That’s six or seven years ago. I’ve been feeling lonely lately.” Sam gazed into the distance. “I think I…I just wanna fall in love again.”
“You know what I think? I think you think too much.” Jade stood and grabbed some dishes to take inside.
“I miss being with a woman!” Sam picked up the rest of the dishes and followed Jade into the house. She was out to family and close friends, but to the rest of the world she was Samantha Cassidy, heterosexual Hollywood starlet. And she hated it.
Jade stopped in the dining room and turned to Sam. “Hey, who’s that on the mantel?”
Sam glanced at the gold statuette sitting on the shelf. “Mr. Emmy.”
“Exactly. And why is there an empty spot next to him?”
“Because he needs a friend.”
Jade continued to the kitchen. “Exactly. He needs Mr. Oscar. Whose childhood dream is it to win an Oscar?”
“Exactly. See how agreeable you can be.” Jade loaded the dishwasher. “The chances of you getting Oscar-worthy scripts are a lot slimmer if you’re an out lesbian in Hollywood. I mean, it’s not impossible, but tougher.” Jade put a hand on each of Sam’s shoulders. “So listen. You lay low. You win an Oscar, and in your acceptance speech, you flip them all the bird and tell them you would like to thank your lover, Susie so-and-so.”
“But there’s not a Susie so-and-so to thank. I don’t even have discreet affairs. I want a fucking girlfriend!”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781642471656
- Publisher: Bella Books
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