Author: Mia Fox
When you’re an entertainment publicist, there’s no better cure for a broken heart than to Alert the Media. April and Ryan Monahan are the perfect Hollywood couple…or so it seems. He’s a handsome actor; she’s his high-powered publicist. However, her job becomes more demanding when Ryan announces he is gay and April’s boss insists she maintain Ryan’s status as a Hollywood heartthrob. As she picks up the pieces of her destroyed marriage, April is determined to compete with Ryan for power, publicity, and true love. To save her sanity, her corner office, and her two dogs from becoming caught up in an ugly custody battle, April constructs a plan to use her media savvy skills to her advantage.
The first novel in the Hollywood Hotties series, Alert the Media is a fun story with some humor mixed it to give it a fun twist. This is my first read for this author and I enjoyed her overall style. This book was originally published in 2013 and was republished the new edition in 2020. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this novel and it proved to be the promising start to an interesting series.
April is an established successful Hollywood publicist. Her number one client, an up and coming Hollywood star, is also her husband Ryan, a client turned romantic partner. Unfortunately, Ryan has a bombshell to drop on April. He is gay and, obviously, no longer wishes to continue his marriage to April. However, he still wishes for her to continue their professional relationship as his publicist! Due to Ryan’s public image as a romantic heartthrob, he also needs to maintain that he is straight. Naturally, April is very apprehensive, as she is in denial that the bombshells that Ryan dropped on her are real! She is torn between separating her life from Ryan’s, but is well aware that he is needed for the PR Company she works for.
The insight into the world of celebrities was enjoyable as you see what some publicists most likely go through with their clients. I have no idea how real any of these scenarios (campaign ads featuring celebrities, public relationships, etc.) are with our celebrities, but I cannot imagine that they are completely fictional. It was entertaining to read what publicists do in order to make their clients happy. The story goes through April’s journey to try to balance her personal life with her professional one while dealing with Ryan, who is a demanding client. Unfortunately, I could not connect to April. Even though she was outgoing and good at her job, I just did not relate to her personality. Her imagination was fun to read as she goes through humorous scenarios in her head with almost every interaction she has. I am not a huge fan of this type of writing as I do not need to read word for word what is going on in your head, especially as she would end up getting lost in thought and would need to be brought back to focusing on a conversation by the person she was talking to.
Ryan had no redeemable qualities and it was difficult to tell if we were meant to sympathize with him overall, even though there are events where the author did try. I rarely truly dislike a character as I can usually find some good in them or some tiny quality I like, but I could not do it for this character. It did not matter how much he attempted to grow and realize any hurt that he caused April, as he just was not a good character (based solely on his personality and actions and not on the actual writing by the author). When he announced to April that he was gay and was divorcing her, it was difficult to understand why April would want to win him back. I understand the shock April must feel, but based on the personality Ryan portrayed, it was difficult to see how April was with him in the first place or why others would want to be with him, unless we count his good looks only.
There are some interesting and amusing secondary characters. Bebe, April’s assistant, and Josh, one of April’s bosses, were all over the place, but they did provide some entertaining background to the story. April’s other boss, Bruce, had potential, but he just did not quite get there for me as he only seemed to be there to hit on April. April’s vet for her two dogs, Dr. Bret Emerson, started okay, but I did not enjoy him at all. The guy April hits when she gets in an accident had tons of potential, but I feel like he was thrown in just to help move parts of the story along, but you feel like you are missing pieces of his story and his connection to April. Her sister, Melissa, was a fun addition as she had an over the top personality that gave some levity to April’s life. She was very outgoing, but it was great to have her featured for most of the story as she was a welcome secondary character.
Overall, this novel was entertaining as it does not take itself too seriously and gives a fun glimpse into the world of celebrities and the people who work hard to maintain their images. It had a lot of potential, but I feel like it was unbalanced. There is a lot of time spent on detailed conversations and, I feel, not enough on expanding certain events. There are characters that get many pages dedicated to them that I feel could have been reduced and others that I felt deserved more. Every reader is different, though, so they might feel that the novel is fine as is. I would recommend for others to read it to form their own opinions, as this is the type of novel that one person may love and another may dislike. It has tons of potential and if I come across the next novel in the series, I would most likely try it.
**I give a special thank you to author and publisher for the review copy to read. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**