cover image Fame


Tilly Bagshawe. Amazon/Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-1-61218-463-0

Bagshawe (Friends and Rivals) doesn’t shy from presenting flawed characters in this clunky contemporary. Movie star Sabrina Leon, trying to resurrect her flagging career, reluctantly agrees to work with acclaimed director Dorian Rasmirez in his latest period epic, Wuthering Heights. Despite her loathing for Dorian and Letitia “Tish” Crewe, manager of the film location—an English estate owned by Sabrina’s flaky brother—Sabrina’s mood vastly improves when she sets her sights on Viorel Hudson, an up-and-coming heartthrob of British and Romanian descent. Bagshawe works hard to weave in subplots about Dorian’s crumbling marriage, Tish’s struggle to maintain the estate while raising her adopted son, and Viorel’s doomed attempts to resist both Sabrina and Tish, but all the characters are so unlikable and selfish that the reader is hard pressed to care. An interesting question of whether fame and success trump love and principles is drowned in exposition, nastiness, and a blur of bed-hopping. Agents: Alexandra Machinist and Luke Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Mar.)