Montlake: Amazon. Apr. 2021. 334p. ISBN 9781542026031. pap. $12.95. F
After yet another drinking and drugging binge, troubled twentysomething actress Chase London is basically forced into rehab and therapy in order to have a chance at working again. A former child actor, she must deal with an overbearing manager/mother, tons of temptation, and childhood trauma that causes her to relapse repeatedly. Enter life coach Olivia Han, whose program makes participants learn how to do adult things (like go grocery shopping!) while receiving therapy to help them deal with addiction. But Olivia has her own difficult past to deal with too. Together, she and Chase form a bond and become involved with unlikely love interests along the way.
VERDICT Talley’s latest (after The Wedding War) could have easily been a whimsical romance novel with some cautionary Hollywood tabloid fodder plot points, but the difficult topics (and possible triggers) of addiction, child abuse, rape, and suicide instead make it a more serious look at two women who need to heal in order to try to make peace with their pasts and move forward with their lives. For fans of women’s fiction with a little romance thrown in to break up the serious plotlines.
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