He has it all: wealth, fame, an Academy award under his belt and women who throw themselves at his feet. But something’s missing from Landon Price’s life. He despises the lack of privacy and craves normalcy. Add to that a bone-deep exhaustion Landon decides he needs a break. Disappearing sounds heavenly. Under a pseudonym he travels to paradise, Lanai, Hawaii, to refuel his depleted energy tanks. He writes his story, about the death of his twin brother, about his grief.
A little Maltese dog leads him to Zara. He is attracted at first sight. In order to stay anonymous he feeds her lies. Being with Zara makes him realize him even more how shallow his life has become and how much he takes his privileged life for granted.
Zara and Landon start spending time and the more they do the bigger becomes Landon’s desire to open up about himself, to tell her the truth about himself. When he starts with telling her about his brother it isn’t only cathartic but also deepens their connection. They share a deep grief about the loss of a sibling. But how will Zara, this beautiful, shy and sheltered young woman, react when she learns who he really is?
The first 20% I really liked where this was going. I was looking forward to getting some angst. The hero was very likable, sweet and funny and a bit of a horndog which provided some comic relief. Unfortunately the story fell apart for me when Landon tried to get to know the heroine better. It started to drag to a point where I got a bit frustrated. What added to it was that Zara was shy, guarded and sheltered and I missed the feistiness and fire we were promised. I was waiting for her to show some kind of liveliness but to me she felt too bland. A dog called Marshmallow provided some hilarious moments. . Landon insisted on calling him Spike, because, you know…Marshmallow. Spike was super cute.
I would have loved to learn more about the heroes struggle to come to terms with his brother’s death. The premise of the superstar actor trying to find himself again was so good unfortunately the execution didn’t work for me. It was too slow for me to enjoy it completely. The saving grace was the good writing and the sweet hero and the little Maltese. Since they worked for me I’ll gladly try something else from A.M. Madden.