Skip to main content

Review of "Exposure: A Love Story" by Tracy Ewens

Title: Exposure: A Love Story
Author: Tracy Ewens
Publisher: Tracy Ewens
Series: Love Story #8
Price: $11.00 (Paperback) $3.99 (e-book)
Rating⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

From the Publisher

If only life were as simple as smiling for the camera.
After years of braving the Arctic’s frigid temperatures or endless hours tracking the Spirit Bear to capture the perfect shot for National Geographic, Meg Jeffries decides to move back to the city—San Francisco. She wants a life with more stability. The kind that lets her see her family more than once a year and comes with owning a toaster or a full-sized tube of toothpaste. But creating her new “normal” is not without its obstacles. Meg is confident and successful behind a camera. A little extra publicity can’t change that… until it does. 
Westin Drake is famous for fast cars and box office sales. Yet he’s a terrible driver and secretly hopes his fifteen minutes is almost up. West moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco, looking for some substance and time near his family. But now that the buzz of his next film, Full Throttle – Floor It, is hitting maximum fervor, West keeps everyone at arm’s length so he can protect the people he loves… until he can’t. 
 When the public mistakes a simple kiss on the cheek for a budding romance, Meg and West are caught in a media frenzy. Somewhere amid the backseat getaways and plastered smiles, Meg discovers the man behind the glossy photographs, and West wonders how he’ll ever let her go once the cameras stop rolling. Love is never simple, especially when the world’s watching. How much are two people willing to expose for a chance at a true happily ever after?

The Review

On the surface, there is nothing really wrong with Exposure.  The writing is fine.  The characters are fine.  The romance is fine.  If you want anything better than fine, well this isn't the book for you.  There is nothing new or innovative about the plot, which honestly felt forced.  Meg and West meet and he kisses her on the cheek -- in no world is a chaste kiss on the cheek something that gets the tongues wagging.  Not in the present-day, anyway.  Maybe if this book was supposed to take place in the 1950's, this would have been believable, but it didn't and it wasn't.  The fact that this is the catalyst for the whole book is ridiculous.  

I also had an issue with the pacing, which was a bit all over the place.  The first 2/3 of the book takes place over a series of months, encompassing three media events in which West and Meg pretended to be a couple, but the last 1/3 takes place over a few days/weeks.  This would have been alright had the relationship developed evenly over that time period, but it didn't.  For the most part, the romance was all in the final third.

It also bugs me that West was very obviously supposed to be a caricature of Vin Diesel and his Full Throttle movie series is the fictional equivalent of the Fast and the Furious franchise.  Personally, I hate it when authors do this because it makes me think of the real person, and it always makes me wonder if that is the point.  This type of thing feels like lazy writing -- as if the author is relying on the readers' feeling for the real person that the character represents to create feelings for their character.

There were a few things about Exposure that I liked, the biggest of which was the way both Meg and West struggled with the normal, everyday things that all adults have to go through.  For Meg, she was trying to figure out how to go back to living in one place instead of traveling from place to place, looking for the next great picture.  Buying a toaster is a big thing for her.  Her entire story arc is basically an ode to "adulting".

I also enjoyed the romance, once it actually showed up, and how Ms. Ewens used San Francisco and its cultural history as a backdrop.  In fact, my favorite scene involved West dragging Meg out of bed at 4 in the morning to take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I am not a bridge person and I hated my own experience walking across that bridge when I was a kid, but I enjoyed their fog-filled adventure.

Another part of this was the fact that West lived in the Fairmont Hotel, which is you know your San Francisco history is kind of iconic.  (The original hotel was built in 1906 and was supposed to open right around the time of the earthquake.  Unfortunately, things didn't work out for the original structure and it had to be rebuilt -- by Julia Morgan, the first female architect in the US!). Then, of course there was the fact that West's room was nicknamed The Tony Bennett Room and Meg constantly referred to the bed as The Tony Bennett Bed.  This was a little odd for me, considering my grandfather actually knew Tony Bennett (they served together in WWII), but it was also sweet.

Finally, the relationship between West and Towner, an employee at the hotel (I'm not quite sure what her job actually was), was awesome.  West needed someone who was going to tell him what he needed to hear instead of what they wanted him to do or what they thought he wanted to hear.  Their relationship was very maternal and you could tell that she wanted what was best for him.

While Exposure is not going to be one of my favorite books nor will I ever re-read it, it was enough to make me look into Ms. Ewens's backlist.  Hopefully, one of her other books will be more my speed.


Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.

The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2

If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF

From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…

Review of "The Thing About Love" by Julie James

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
ISBN: 0425273776
Publisher: Berkley
Series: FBI/US Attorney Book #7
Price: $10.99 (paperback) $8.99 (e-book) $15.74 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2

From The Publisher
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.
After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other. 
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't g…