30 April 2012

Book Review: The Runaway Actress by Victoria Connelly

"When the stresses of being an A-list actress get too much for her, Connie Gordon decides to escape to a tiny Scottish village. But little does she realise that whilst Lochnabrae might be quiet, it’s far from sleepy…

Beautiful, rich, famous – and seriously stressed, actress Connie Gordon is ready for a change. Deciding to accept an invitation from her fan club in Scotland, Connie kisses goodbye to her ex-boyfriends, stalkers and double-crossing agents, and prepares herself for complete relaxation.

But swapping the Hollywood Hills for the Highlands of Scotland doesn’t make for the easiest of transitions and, when she meets local playwright, Alastair McInnes, who’s sworn he’ll never become involved with another actress again, sparks fly, and the sleepy village of Lochnabrae will never be the same again."

Rating: 4/5

For some reason, I haven't gotten around to reading any of Victoria Connelly's novels before so when I received a copy of her latest book The Runaway Actress, complete with really gorgeous cover(!), I decided it was time to finally pick up one of her books and I am really glad that I did because it was an easy and light-hearted read that was well written, and very enjoyable too. It was a really good twist on a runaway story, involving a celebrity instead and it certainly allowed for some really funny story arcs to develop, especially with the somewhat obsessive Connie Gordon fan club!

The book is the story of Hollywood actress Connie Gordon, who has decided she has had enough of the high life and desperately needs to escape to somewhere with a bit of normality. She flies across the world to the small town of Lochnabrae in Scotland, the place where her mother was born. However, she doesn't realise that Lochnabrae is the home of her biggest fan club, run by the very keen Maggie. When she arrives in Lochnabrae, Connie finds a warm welcome, and soon settles in to Isla's bed and breakfast. However, she doesn't count on meeting playwright Alistair, who has a few secrets in his own past as well... will Connie be able to find the peace she wants in Lochnabrae, or is there more for her there?

I have to say that straight away, I found this book so easy to get into. I warmed to the character of Connie immediately, despite her lavish lifestyle in Hollywood, she was a very lonely and sad individual and hatt goes to show that money doesn't always equal happiness. Connie's decision to go somewhere new was good, and I was glad she made the move. Throughout the book, Connie comes more into herself as a person, and copes with the awe and love from her fan club members really well, and  I really liked her all the way through. The other characters however, I'm not so sure about! Maggie really was embarrassingly obsessed with Connie, and I could honestly feel myself cringing as I read the scenes with the two of them, it was just embarassing. Yes, she's a fan but she didn't even attempt to hide it and I found myself getting a bit annoyed with it by the end!

Alistair on the other hand was a really good character. He has a secret that he is hiding about his past which he doesn't want revelaed to the other residents of Lochnabrae, and as the book goes on, we find out what it is, and why he likes to keep himself to himself. Yes, the book is predictable regarding Alistair and how it all ends up, but I enjoyed the journey it took to get there. Lochnabrae is written as a small community of friendly people, and it was nice that there were no really horrible bits in the book, it was all very pleasant and easy to read. I loved Connelly's descriptions of the small Scottish village, the surrounding nature areas sounded beautiful, and it certainly makes you want to go and see it for yourself!

I really enjoyed this book overall, and found Victoria Connelly to be a really good story-teller and I whizzed through this book in just a couple of evenings as I really wanted to find out if Connie would get her happy-ever-after, whether it be with a man or just within herself. It's a read that had me laughing, smiling and generally in a good mood after reading it, and Connie really was a great character, willing to help out however she could, and be a friend to the people who idolised her. There were a few twists and turns along the way which kept the book fresh, and although I had guessed the ending a way into the book, it didn't spoilt my enjoyment of the read at all, and I was looking forward every night to picking it up and finding out a bit more about Connie and the residents of Lochnabrae. Definitely a book I would recommend!

You can buy The Runaway Actress as a paperback or as an eBook now.

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