Book Review: To The Moon And Back by Melissa Brayden

Release Date: March 1, 2020
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Grounded from the gulp.

Lauren is a stage manager at an esteemed Minneapolis theater, The McAllister. Her much needed vacation is thwarted when she is asked to cancel and run interference for a troubled starlet who just signed on as a lead for the upcoming production.

Carly is a starlet that is not quite as troubled as the tabloids would have you believe. But perception is reality in the world of gossip rags. Her agent convinces her to take a role in a theater production in order to help re-build her reputation.

This was the most satisfying romance. The way Brayden writes chemistry is off the charts. Who knew there could be so much sexual tension in just a simple billiard lesson? Then she gives us some early on conflict because Carly is a spoiled Hollywood actress that is inconsiderate of everyone’s time and Lauren isn’t having any of it. What I loved the most was how Brayden wrote the character of Carly. The magnetism and charm despite her faults. The desire to be good when all that seems to result is bad. She became completely smitten with Laruen and it was extremely endearing to witness on page. It was easy to see how Lauren could fall for Carly when all her common sense told her otherwise.

The book was entirely predictable. But sometimes you just need a solid love story that you can count on. I didn’t care in the least that I knew what was coming. I just enjoyed experiencing everything unfold.

There is nothing like reading Brayden dialogue. I look forward to that before starting any of her books. She is the absolute best at writing it. She did not disappoint. And dare I say I might have enjoyed the dynamic between these two main characters more than in any of Brayden’s previous books? OK, I said it. I loved Lauren and Carly.

There was formulaic 80% drama. It made me cry until the end.

The only critique I have is that the pacing was slow in a couple of spots with lengthy exposition. Full pages without dialogue. Namely, the very beginning which made it hard for me to get into initially. Then again toward the end.

I recommend this to anyone who loves to read about romance, enemies to lovers, intense chemistry, fantastic dialogue, cute banter, communication, theater, Hollywood, dreams come true, character growth, Brayden’s ‘non sequitur’ calling card, and emotive hair.

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