Review: The Redhead Plays her Hand (Redhead Series #3) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Redhead Plays her Hand
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 12/17/13
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #3

Overview

IT’S GETTING HOT (AND HEAVY) IN HOLLYWOOD!

Grace Sheridan is flying high. With scorching passion from her gorgeous Brit superstar Jack Hamilton plus the lead role in a new television dramedy, she could just pinch herself. Then a demand from her show’s directors to drop fifteen pounds brings her back down to earth with a thump. Forced to subsist on air, cucumbers, and boot camp, Grace wonders if the body that brings the newly crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” to his knees is just too booty-licious for Hollywood. Jack, meanwhile, seems overly enamored of the celebrity lifestyle. Forbidden by his publicity-conscious manager to reveal his relationship with Grace, he’s hitting the industry party scene way too hard.

As Grace’s bod incites fiery debate about the message of “thin is in,” Jack’s jealous fans are downing the hate-erade, viciously slamming her curves. Grace longs for Jack’s support, but he’s showing up late and disheveled to her most important moments. With tempers between them flaring, Hollywood’s most talked-about redhead might have more to lose than a few stubborn pounds. She and Jack were clearly made for each other—but will the day ever come when they can walk the red carpet together, hand in hand?

My Thoughts

If we thought that the story here was getting good so far, seeing the complexities of two people who have a star on the rise, while also trying to make a relationship work, well that’s nothing compared to what we get to see in this third and final installment of the series.

While we know that Grace’s broadway show wasn’t picked up, we know that it’s becoming a TV series and she’s due to star in it.  What that means though is that there’s a completely different standard that she needs to live up to – that means that first things first, she’s being told that she needs to lose weight.  This of course brings one of the plot lines to a head.  the idea of what the right body shape is both in Hollywood and in America – and it’s opens up conversations both good and bad.  Totally relevant right now actually given that all we hear about these days is body positivity.  Anyhow, we see some less than good habits beginning for her while she’s trying to be smart about how she loses weight.

Then there’s Jack – the guy who’s got it all.  His movie was a huge success and now everyone wants a piece of him.  The fame we see is starting to get to his head a bit and he’s not able to cope with all the attention as well as we’d hope – especially with Grace around.  Enter of course Adam – a young actor who was in Jack’s place a few years ago but who’s star has faded since he parties too much and is a bad boy with ‘hard to work with’ reputation to go along with.  Being teamed up together for a new project shows how quickly things can go from good to bad.

The path of this story is one that takes our favorite characters in completely different directions.  They find that keeping their relationship a secret is too hard and the fact that there’s so much pulling each one of them in a direction of their own also presents a challenge.

We see heart break, we see new relationships form, and we see that life is not at all what we thought it was going to be even six months ago.  The good thing that we have here though is the way that Ms Clayton writes this.  We go from the amazing banter that we’ve always relied on between Grace and Jack to a mature relationship that’s forced to look at life through a different lens and wonder if there’s something good still there or if it’s all jokes.  On top of that though, there’s still so much amazingly strong chemistry that we have no choice but fan ourselves and feel the need for a shower.

I love how we get this story resolved – all with a surprise relationship, a baby and well – lots of folks playing different roles than we previously imagined.  I’m kind of bummed that we have no more of this story to glom onto, although i guess all things must come to an end.  I hope you guys check this one out though – enjoy!

Review: The Redhead Revealed (Redhead Series #2) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Redhead Revealed
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 11/5/13
Length:   32- Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #2

Overview

LONG-DISTANCE LOVE JUST GOT HOTTER!

Life is sweet. Grace Sheridan has just won her dream role in a new off-Broadway play, and the talented hunk flooding her phone with scintillating texts and scandalous photos is Jack Hamilton, the twenty-four-year-old “it” Brit whose Hollywood career is about to climax faster than . . . you know. So what if their steamy relationship is bicoastal and under wraps, or that L.A. fangirls are grabbing Jack’s ass?

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and the libido hotter, but their few weekend visits feel more more like fast food than the five-course dinner they crave. And then—the creator of Grace’s new show is the man who broke her heart back in college, and he seems to have written the play just to make amends with his leading lady.

As rumors spread that Jack and his lovely, leggy ex-girlfriend have gotten back together, Grace starts to wonder about her own feelings. Can lust alone keep our favorite, feisty duo together, or will Grace find herself back in safer, more familiar arms?

My Thoughts

This is such a sweet story and to see where we go in this second installment is a compelling and intriguing space.  We know that things are off to a great start with Grace and Jack, yet we know that their lives are about to take them on a path that’s so far from one another that it’s going to be incredibly hard.

Where we left off, Grace has just moved to New York to start working on an off Broadway show,  ironically being directed by a man from her past where there are unsettled bits and pieces – they never got their closure and we see that there’s something going on there now – even 20 years in the future.  There’s also the fact that Jack’s movie is about to come out and there’s so much press and attention being paid to him that you know there’s going to be jealousy and hurt feelings.

That’s exactly what happens.  While they talk to each other as much as they can, they can’t manage to see each other in person, and that’s putting strain on things.  Jack is being photographed more and more, and often there’s a woman named Marcia on his arm – a girl that he dated in the past and a woman that the press wants to link him to once again.  Holly, both of their agent is in the camp of ‘let them believe that Marcia is the girlfriend’ so that there’s more buzz generated to raise Jack’s star, and while it’s a valid point, it’s hard on both of them.

Then there’s Michael and Grace – there is something between them and we’re not yet sure what.  I think that it’s clear that Michael wants to be with Grace, and while Grace is so in love with Jack, there’s something growing there that’s clearly more than friendship.  The question really becomes who will make a move and what will be the implications to the Grace/Jack story.

Just when we think that things are going well, there’s an implosion, and their world come crashing down.  It’s perhaps too much for them to handle since Grace is in a different place in her life than Jack and perhaps wants to make sure that he’s not sacrificing for her.  We really don’t know if they’re going to be able to make it work, especially when there are so many other people in the mix.

Where we are left off at the end of this second book is a place where there are still so many questions.  Will Jack and Grace make it?  Will they ever be able to live in the same place since we know that Jack still considers London home, and what will all the people around them add to the mess?

Add to that some really steamy scenes – all written in the same fun and hot way that Ms Clayton always does it.  There’s so much sexual chemistry between these two to make the scenening hot, but there’s so much fun banter and humor in it that keeps it real and entertaining.  So…on that note, onto the next book.  Enjoy!

Review: The Unidentified Redhead (Redhead Series #1) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Unidentified Redhead
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 10/15/13
Length:   289 Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #1

Overview

Grace Sheridan is back. Ten years after discovering that looks and talent are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles, she’s wriggling into a pair of badass jeans and ready to show the film industry that there’s way more to her than just a head of gorgeous red curls. And Hollywood’s newest Brit super-hunk Jack Hamilton certainly sees a lot to like. Grace is trying to restrain herself from jumping a man who is nearly a decade her junior, but Jack is making it clear that he personally has zero problems with that idea.

While Grace and Jack are still swapping innuendo-loaded quips and text sex though, the paparazzi have caught up with them, headlining the “unidentified redhead” who’s been photographed trysting at a restaurant with the heartthrob of the year. Now Grace is in stuck in a double bind. She’s head over heels in lust with Jack, but there’s her own career to think of as well. A sizzling romance with the newest “it” boy may garner her industry attention . . . but is it the kind of attention she’s always dreamed of?

My Thoughts

so i clearly should have read this series before i read the Hudson Valley series but such is life right?  In the other series, we met Grace and saw what her life has become, and now we get to see how it all started.  which maybe isn’t such a bad order to do things.

In this first installment of the series, we see the beginning of the career for Grace Sheriden, the Unidentified Redhead herself.  She’s always known that she’s wanted to be an actress and when she tried her hand at it 10 years ago, she failed, and after some soul searching and life lessons, she’s come back to LA in the hopes of making it again.  She’s putting down roots in town, living with her best friend and new agent Holly and starting to get back into the auditioning circuit.  It’s at a party one night that Holly is hosting that her life changes forever.

and in walks Jack Hamilton – the new ‘IT’ actor in Hollywood with a new movie slated to come out shortly that’s going to be the move of the year.  He’s about to hit it really big, and yet we find that he and Grace gravitate towards one another – something that shocks her to the core.

Their banter is something that’s to entertaining to read – it keeps things light when you know that there’s such a high chance that it’ll get deep fast, and when you want to see things continue on a path that’s unlikely, the banter keeps on in line.  The chemistry that we see from the onset here with them is so strong – yet they take their time with really getting to know each other first.  Probably something that’s unlikely in Hollywood but who knows.

Alice Clayton gives us yet again another great start to a romance that’s going to go somewhere amazing.  She’s given us these characters who are both at the beginning of something great professionally and figuring out how to make it work and if it can work long term is always the question.  It gets more complicated as Jake starts to do even more press for the movie which takes over his time and we see Grace land her first major gig on broadway – therefore taking her across the country to NYC.

Throw in a guy who’s come back from college who seems to make everyone uncomfortable – Jake especially and we’re left at a point in the story of whether this new relationship can last even with the strong feelings between them.  Fame, other people and distance really make it hard and we’ll have to keep reading i guess to see how it breaks and or not and what will happen.  Enjoy!