Title: Heart Throb
Author: Suzanne Brockman
Published: 1999, Ballantine
Category: Contemporary Romance
I somehow had the impression that all of Suzanne Brockmann's books were romantic suspense. Not sure how that happened. I ordered this one on recommendation without reading any blurbs or anything. I cracked it open because I was in the mood for a little thriller. Uh, oopsie. Maybe I should read the blurb first next time. But look at that cover! That screams romantic suspense. And the tagline: "Falling in love is risky business..." But this is just a romance. No suspense.
Jericho Beaumont is a has-been actor who is also a recovering alcoholic/substance abuser. He's been clean for 5 years and is trying to get his career back on track. He signs on to play the lead in a movie being produced by Kate O'Laughlin. This is Kate's first attempt at producing a movie and she's not about to have her project screwed up by Jericho having a relapse. So she makes him sign a contract saying that he'll submit to drug tests and constant supervision. But then Kate ends up being his babysitter during the movie shoot. Of course, how can she resist the sexiest man on the planet?
So even if it wasn't what I was expecting, I did enjoy it. I thought it an interesting story--a man whose childhood was so difficult that he took to hiding behind the characters he played. And how he comes to actually trust himself and someone else enough to really be himself. And Kate has to decide when Jericho is actually being genuine and when he's acting.
The little side romance between Jamaal and Susie was sweet, though I'm always a little skeeved out by a 15-year-old falling in love like that. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just find it a little hard to believe.
My one complaint was that it was a little overwrought in places for me. Just oh-so-emotional. Feel the pain, Jericho, feel it, become one with it and then let it out! It wasn't so bad that it really annoyed me, and I guess actors are generally expressive, emotional people, so it is appropriate. Don't mind me, I'm repressed.
I'm definitely willing to try some more Brockmann. A lot of her books are actually suspenses, right? Can someone recommend a good one? The only other of hers I've read is The BodyGuard.