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review 2020-04-19 20:09
An engaging and easy read for those who love a bit of scandal.
Hollywood's Dark History. Silver Screen Scandals - Matt MacNabb

I thank Rosie Croft from Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review. This is the second book I’ve read by MacNabb (I read and reviewed A Secret History of Brands: The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love a while back and enjoyed it, and I looked forward to this book, as it’s on a topic I’ve always been interested in.

I found this book well suited to the circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment (I’m writing this review in the middle of our confinement due to COVID-19, in case somebody comes across it at some point in the future and wonders what I was talking about). It’s written in an straightforward and easy-to-reads style; it deals with a topic that a lot of people find interesting (not only the lives of film stars and directors in general but their scandals, in particular); it contains an introduction and thirteen distinct chapters, each one dedicated to a different star, so it does not require sustained attention, and it can be dipped into according to the interest or the mood of the reader. The book also includes beautiful black and white pictures (some that I’d never seen before) and a bibliography (with books, websites, articles, and even documentaries). Although many of the stars won’t be familiar to the younger generation (there is a heavy focus on actors, actresses, and directors from early Hollywood), I don’t think that will make the book less attractive. The author manages to bring to life an era in the history of cinema that many people know more through the movies and documentaries than through the actual films of the period, but I am sure many readers will be inspired to do more research and try to find more information about the protagonists and the time.

Personally, I had heard about quite a few of the people mentioned, and in some cases I had read or watched documentaries that contained more detailed information than that available in this volume, but others were new to me. As for others, I knew the people involved (Errol Flynn was one of my father’s favourite actors, and I’ve watched and enjoyed many of his movies in glorious technicolour), but I didn’t know much about the scandals they became entangled in. I don’t think this is a book I’d recommend to experts in Hollywood (especially old Hollywood) personalities, as they are bound to know everything contained in it and more, but it’s a good entry book for people interested in the topic but not very knowledgeable, or for somebody looking for a good read and happy to find out more about a historical period and a period in the history of cinema that helped create the cult of stars, and also about the role of the press in building them up or destroying them that we’re so familiar with to this day.

The chapters, that don’t follow a strict chronological order, are dedicated to: Evelyn Nesbitt, Thelma Todd, Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, Errol Flynn, Lana Turner, William Desmond Taylor, Joan Crawford, Barbara LaMarr, Mabel Normand, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, and Clara Bow. Some are more familiar than others, but overall, they provide an interesting array and sample of some of the events and scandals that have plagued Hollywood from the beginning. It’s impossible not to notice that many of the subjects of the book (not all, but a significant proportion) had suffered pretty traumatic childhoods, being brought up in pretty desperate circumstances, and sometimes subject to terrible abuse. It’s sad to think that after all their efforts to make a better living for themselves, some ended up either the perpetrators (alleged in most cases) or victims of violence, abuse, or crime in later life, and very few managed to lead a happy life. Although the book does not delve into the gore or the extremely salacious details, it does include enough information to make it not suitable for young children.

This is a book I’d recommend to people who enjoy reading about Old Hollywood, scandals, and stars, but haven’t read extensively on it, and also to people looking for a source of information about the era that is easy to read and entertaining, but offers an interesting insight into what life was like for the big stars of the era (and what falling from grace was like). An engaging and easy read and a good entry level for people looking for an introduction to the beginning of film star culture.

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review 2020-04-01 15:02
Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only tell at Happy Hour
Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell at Happy Hour - Ross Mathews
 

I Picked Up This Book Because: How could I not, especially when he was narrating.

The Story:

Mr Mathews is such a kind sweet soul and he’s so funny. I would love to be his friend and be invited to every happy hour and dinner party. And you know I downloaded the pdf and will be partaking in a few of his cocktails and rossipies.

The Random Thoughts:

I am ashamed at how long it took me to listen to this. This shutdown has me spending almost no time in my car.

4 Stars
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review 2020-03-19 09:01
Blog Tour w/Review - Changing Roles

 

CHANGING ROLES

by Melanie Moreland

Release Date: March 12, 2020    

 

View Excerpts on Book+Main:

 

Rescue Needed: https://bookandmainbites.com/story/43094

Not Alot of Blood in that Head: https://bookandmainbites.com/story/43810

It hit me like a ton of bricks: https://bookandmainbites.com/story/43902    

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card on Melanie’s Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/512254118848084/posts/3489100557830077  

 

 

 

AVAILABLE NOW!! Exclusively on Amazon starting March 16th

 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/38ESenq

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2STifIZ

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2SYESvu

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ChangingRoles

 

Available for a Limited Time on Apple, Nook, Kobo!

 

Kobo: https://books2read.com/ChangingRole

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/NookChangeRoles

Apple Books: http://bit.ly/ChangeRoles  

 

 

  Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GRChangeRole  

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

Lights! Camera! Clueless!

 

Liam Wright is Hollywood’s golden boy and at the top of the A-list.

 

But what he doesn’t know about life… Well, it could fill his very large Hollywood mansion. Thankfully, he’s got Shelby Carter in his world to keep him—and his house—camera-ready. Part confidante, part master chef, Shelby is his best friend and the only one who knows the real Liam.

 

Pampered, pretty, and often puzzled, Liam and his antics keep her on her toes, and there is never a dull moment living with him.

 

Until one day, Liam sees her as more…and he wants her to see him for the man he can be. The man he wants to be.

 

For her.

 

Is Liam up for the part?

 

Read an excerpt of Changing Roles on Book+Main  

 

 

Excerpt:

 

I filled the sink beside her with warm water, planning on soaking her feet and then bandaging them.

 

“The dress,” she whispered.

 

I groaned. I didn’t care about the bloody dress. But I knew she did.

 

“Take it off, then.”

 

“Right here?”

 

“Shelby, I’ve seen you in a bathing suit. I think I can handle your underwear.”

 

“Um—” Chuckling, I shrugged out of my jacket and unbuttoned my shirt, yanking it off, leaving me in my undershirt.

 

“You can put this on.” I wrapped my arm around her. “Come on, I’ll help you.”

 

Gently, I set her on the floor, my eyes following her hand as she pulled down the hidden zipper on her dress. The deep-red gown pooled at her feet, and I swallowed when I saw what was hiding underneath the satin.

 

Her bathing suit, I could handle. This, I wasn’t sure about. Red. Lacy. Strapless. A bustier.   My gaze drifted downward. Tiny scraps of fabric tied at her hips in the same shade of red, leaving a tantalizing strip of soft flesh between the bustier and her underwear. A strip I wanted to lick. And the underwear…tiny straps with bows that led to… I shut my eyes as the room became far too small and far too hot. All the blood in my body was now pooled in one place. My hard, aching cock.

 

Which was at that very moment trying to punch its way out of my pants to get to that red lace. Bugger. Shit. Damn. I gulped in air. Tried to think of anything else. Puppies. Worms. Everett in his underwear. Anything but the warm, red-lace-wearing woman in front of me. Who was in pain and needed me to look after her. Not lift her back onto the counter and fuck her until she screamed my name. At least once. Three or four times, preferably. Her voice broke through my thoughts.

 

“Liam?”

 

I blinked at her and handed her my shirt. I needed to rein myself in. “Put this on, Shelby, please.”

 

With downcast eyes, she did as I asked. I realized she thought I wanted her to cover up for a different reason than I needed her to cover up. I cupped her cheek.

 

“Hey.”

 

Her hesitant gaze met mine.

 

I covered her mouth with my lips, yanking her close. I pulled her hips against mine so she knew how she was affecting me. Her eyes flew open, meeting mine that were already staring at her—trying to convey a hard message.

 

I smiled against her lips. “Just for now, Beaker. Or your feet won’t be the only thing that’s sore.”

 

I set her back on the counter, keeping my eyes averted. She hissed in pain as I placed her feet in the warm water. I grimaced in understanding. “Sorry. Now, where can I find bandages?”

 

“My bathroom has a first aid kit. Left cupboard by the vanity.”

 

“Okay, stay here.”

 

“Where else am I gonna go?”

 

I hesitated. “I’m not gonna have to touch…other things to get to the kit thing, am I?”

 

She smirked. “Other things, Liam?”

 

I rubbed the back of my neck. “Um…your girl…things, Shelby?”

 

“No, you’re quite safe.” She winked. “Just make sure you open the left cupboard. Not the right.”

 

“Right.”

 

“No, left.”

 

“Bloody hell, don’t confuse me! I don’t have a lot of blood in that particular head right now!”

 

Her amusement followed me down the hall. It was music to my ears.  

 

 

 

Changing RolesChanging Roles by Melanie Moreland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Liam is a celebrity among the players in Hollywood. He is known as Pampered, pretty, and often puzzled. Until he had Shelby as an assistant he had trust issues as well. Now he had people around him that he feels comfortable with. And maybe something more......

Shelby has already had a past with a man out of control. She is looking to heal, not find someone new. Being close to her brother & working for Liam is a decent life. Even if it has its lonely moments.

This book was a sweet and sexy play on a slow burn. I like the characters in their own right. This was a premise that I love. I like when best friends can be more. I loved that the MC's in this were basically best friends and have that trust and cozy way they rely on one another. Lots of little surprises throughout the book, but I found them a delight.


***This copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

  

 

 

About the Author:

 

NYT/WSJ/USAT bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them. While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip. Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She's learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.  

 

Connect w/Melanie:

 

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MMAuthorFacebook

Melanie’s Minions (FB reader group) http://bit.ly/MMReaderGroupFB

Newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/melaniemoreland

Website: http://bit.ly/MMorelandWebsite

Twitter: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTwitter

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ql5R95

Instagram: http://bit.ly/MMorelandIG

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/MMorelandBB

YouTube: http://bit.ly/MMorelandYouTube

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/MMorelandPin

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/MMorelandGR

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTumblr

Book + Main: http://bit.ly/MMorelandBM

United By Romance Goodreads Group: http://bit.ly/UBRGoodreads        

 

 

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review 2020-03-17 05:00
Stunning
Changing Roles - Melanie Moreland

Liam is a celebrity among the players in Hollywood.  He is known as Pampered, pretty, and often puzzled.  Until he had Shelby as an assistant he had trust issues as well.  Now he had people around him that he feels comfortable with.  And maybe something more......

 

Shelby has already had a past with a man out of control.  She is looking to heal, not find someone new.  Being close to her brother & working for Liam is a decent life.  Even if it has its lonely moments.

 

This book was a sweet and sexy play on a slow burn.  I like the characters in their own right.  This was a premise that I love.  I like when best friends can be more.  I loved that the MC's in this were basically best friends and have that trust and cozy way they rely on one another.  Lots of little surprises throughout the book, but I found them a delight.  I give this read a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2020-03-05 13:01
Excerpt Reveal - Changing Roles

 

CHANGING ROLES

by Melanie Moreland

 

Release Date: March 12, 2020  

 

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GRChangeRole  

 

PREORDER:

 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/38ESenq

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2STifIZ

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2SYESvu

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ChangingRoles

Kobo: https://books2read.com/ChangingRole

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/NookChangeRoles

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ChangeRoles  

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

Lights! Camera! Clueless!

 

Liam Wright is Hollywood’s golden boy and at the top of the A-list.

 

But what he doesn’t know about life… Well, it could fill his very large Hollywood mansion. Thankfully, he’s got Shelby Carter in his world to keep him—and his house—camera-ready. Part confidante, part master chef, Shelby is his best friend and the only one who knows the real Liam.

 

Pampered, pretty, and often puzzled, Liam and his antics keep her on her toes, and there is never a dull moment living with him.

 

Until one day, Liam sees her as more…and he wants her to see him for the man he can be. The man he wants to be.

 

For her.

 

Is Liam up for the part?

 

Read an excerpt of Changing Roles on Book+Main

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

I took another deep draw of whiskey, enjoying the burn in my throat as I frowned.

 

Shelby.

 

She did so many thoughtful things. She took care of me. She was my friend. My best friend. I looked around the comfortable room. She had made this house into a home for me. She made my life easier. Better. I couldn’t imagine my world without her. Simply the thought of it made my chest hurt the way it did earlier in the music store. She was special.

 

My eyes were drawn to the picture again. Home…heart… I sat up, suddenly knowing why the thought of her out on a date with Douglas was so upsetting. Why the thought of her dating anyone made me crazy. I knew now why I hadn’t been on a date since she had come into my life. Why I loved being with her all the time.

 

There was a reason I couldn’t imagine my life without her. Why everything I did revolved around her, and why her opinion and thoughts meant more than anyone else’s. The reason I knew her moods by the music she played. Because I knew her—all of her. Her footsteps and the cadence of her voice. She was the reason I missed home so much while I was away. It wasn’t this place I was longing for—it was her. They were one and the same: My heart—My home. My Beaker. My best friend.

 

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in love with Shelby. Completely and totally in love with her. I sat back, stunned, the empty glass leaving my fingers and hitting the rug with a dull thud.

 

Holy shit.

 

She was gonna kill me.

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

NYT/WSJ/USAT bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them. While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

 

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She's learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.  

 

Connect w/Melanie:

 

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MMAuthorFacebook

Melanie’s Minions (FB reader group) http://bit.ly/MMReaderGroupFB

Newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/melaniemoreland

Website: http://bit.ly/MMorelandWebsite

Twitter: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTwitter

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ql5R95

Instagram: http://bit.ly/MMorelandIG

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/MMorelandBB

YouTube: http://bit.ly/MMorelandYouTube

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/MMorelandPin

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/MMorelandGR

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTumblr

Book + Main: http://bit.ly/MMorelandBM

United By Romance Goodreads Group: http://bit.ly/UBRGoodreads        

 

 

 

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