~ Book Review: Famous for a Living (ARC) ~

Expected publication May 16, 2023

Author: Melissa Ferguson

From Park Avenue to the Parks Department—the world’s most beloved social media star is about to get a rude awakening.

With her millions of followers, Cat Cranwell is adored around the world. But when an app partnership goes very, very wrong, Cat suddenly finds herself shunned from the community that not only fed her soul all these years but paid her bills. When Cat’s closest living relative, Uncle Terry, offers her a position on his staff at a small national park in Montana to get away from the city, Cat hesitantly accepts the opportunity.

What she doesn’t realize is that as the new social media strategist her goal is to save Kannery National Park from being absorbed into Glacier National Park by boosting the number of visitors. And at least one of her new colleagues—namely, handsome and rugged ranger Zaiah Hudson—thinks social media is the root of everything that’s wrong with the world. Written with bestselling author Melissa Ferguson’s signature wit and charm, this romantic comedy of opposites attract is full of hilarious romp and a romance that will melt readers’ hearts.

Famous for a Living is my third novel by Melissa Ferguson after enjoyed Meet Me in the Margins and The Cul-de-Sac War. I was not a huge fan of “War,” but I did enjoy “Margins”, so I looked forward to trying this novel. While there is romance in this story, it does occur later so this is not quite an actual romance novel. This tale follows social media influencer, 30-year-old, Cat Cranwell who has been one since she was around fifteen. A lot of the story focused on the commentary of social media and not only how it affects Cat as a character, but how it does affect society. While social media has been around for a while, the huge influencer culture is only about a decade or so old (there have been influencers before, but just not to the extreme extent today). The experience of Cat becoming older while other influencers around her are younger, was well-done as it highlighted her struggles.

When Cat ends up in legal trouble because of those she works with, she decides to escape to Kannery National Park in Montana where her uncle works. Here she meets ranger, Zaiah Hudson, who is not a fan of phone use. The side characters along with the main ones seemed to have some inspiration from Parks and Rec as each character seemed to draw something from tv. They were all a lot of fun, and I loved the addition of Glacier National Park as a rival for Kannery. Cat is the newcomer who is going through a lot with her life and trying to fit in with the park office staff. As this read like a women’s fiction story, I enjoyed Cat trying to find her way in the world. Since this is marketed as a romance, this was unfortunate as I can see many readers not liking the story because it didn’t meet expectations. Since the writing goes more with Cat’s journey, I think the marketing should reflect it.

The setting was amazing with the forest, although I would have loved even more with the Montana setting. A national park in Montana is a lot different than one in Florida or anywhere else, so I would have loved a little more detail, so it felt like Montana. The setting did make me really want to visit a national park, though, so it did provide a nice escape while reading. As for Cat and her journey, I liked that she went through a lot of development. The social media aspect is not quite resolved, but it did work for the story. Cat was an interesting character, and I enjoyed her relationship with Zaiah. Since the romance is not the focus, I did sometimes forget there was supposed to be a love interest, but I did believe that they went well together. Overall, this was an interesting story and I look forward to reading more from Ferguson in the future.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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