(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Young Hollywood actress, Liana Marie Michael, gives up the fight until she sees the light.
Isolated on set in the United Kingdom, Lia struggles through the 5 Stages of Grief while shooting her last feature film. Cancer survivor, Oscar winner, and victim of several crimes, Lia sinks into despair as her heart fails. With supportive childhood friend Manuel Biro, and the help from Swiss billionaire-heir Pierre Lambert, Lia is ‘so done’ with acting and learns that she needs more than just a man’s love to prevail.
STARLET’S LIGHT is a touching story of Lia’s struggle with trust and commitment as she shapes the role she plays in her own life.
[Full disclosure: I received a free print copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.]
Remember how yesterday I said Starlet’s Run was better than the first book, Starlet’s Web? Well Starlet’s Light is better than both! The overall quality of writing is better, the characters are better as they mature and Carla Hanna’s message comes through loud and clear but not in an obnoxious manner.
Finally Lia sets off on her own away from Manuel for a change and she also meets Pierre. I hope I’m not spoiling too much when I say that a love triangle happens. Yes, I was inwardly cringing when I thought I knew what Carla Hanna was doing to Lia’s love life, but she had such an amazing twist on the love triangle that all was forgiven. In fact, more authors should do love triangles that way. It would certainly make for more interesting books and less one dimensional characters.
But while there is quite a bit of romance going on, Lia emerges as a character that isn’t completely dependent on the men in her life. She has her own interests, both loves and hates her career as an actress and struggles to control her life despite her failing health. Lia grew quite a bit in the first and second books in the series, but it’s really Starlet’s Light where she becomes a memorable character. She doesn’t have it easy and you can really feel her suffering, but with the help of her friends and her spirituality she makes it through to a sort of acceptance of her condition. Her realization at the end of the novel only makes you connect with her more. Lia’s far from perfect and she realizes that, making her my favourite character in the series.
As I said about the first two books, this is not a book you read for the plot. No, this is a book you read for the message as well as the characters. And believe me, the message is terrifying as we get to see even more about how horrible Hollywood is behind the scenes. I had my own terrifying realization as well while reading this: I’m fat. My dear little sister, who is described as a stick by pretty much everyone who sees her is fat. Why? Because we’re not that Hollywood size 0. Now, this didn’t make my self esteem plunge so much as make me realize how cookie-cutter the Hollywood ideal is. Seriously, Lia’s skewed view of beauty in the beginning is terrifying once it’s pointed out to you as a reader and it sends the message home better than any PSA or Dove Self-Esteem Project video.
If you haven’t started the series yet, I’d highly recommend it. Even for those of us who don’t like romance in general, the Starlet series is still a worthwhile read. If you like great main characters who actually grow throughout the series, you’ll love it. And, of course, if you’ve already read the first two books you’ll love the third installment of the series.
I give this book 5/5 stars.