Author: L.A. Witt
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 7 hours and 1 minute
At a Glance: Nick J. Russo’s narration was pretty close to flawless. His performance kept me completely engaged and excited to turn the audio back on the second I got into my car.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s.
Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show – exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet – no matter how attractive he finds his co-star.
Carter Samuels is the critically acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting – and made him realize he’s gay – is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.
Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need.
Review: Starstruck by L.A. Witt was the first book in Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay universe, a fact that I had forgotten until doing my homework for this review. Obviously it was on my radar once upon a time, as I added it to my Goodreads TBR shelf back in December of 2014, but somehow it took me this long to get to it. I’m so glad I finally did get to it, though, because I enjoyed it so much!! And, I’m particularly glad that I chose to enjoy it in audio format, because the narration was fantastic.
Levi Pritchard moved to Bluewater Bay to escape all the things he hated about Hollywood. Though his role as Chad Eastwick boosted his career and has afforded him a nice life, he got tired of being typecast, and being shoved in the closet by Tinsel Town execs. In Bluewater Bay, even with the growing popularity of Wolf’s Landing, the TV show that is set and filmed in the small coastal town, Levi’s life is quiet and he likes it that way. For the most part. He maybe doesn’t realize how lonely he is, or how much he truly misses acting, until Hollywood comes calling again.
Carter Samuels is more surprised than anyone when one of his idols walks on to the Wolf’s Landing set. He’d heard rumors about Levi since coming to Bluewater Bay—that he was sort of a recluse, and directed plays at the small theater in town—but, hadn’t run into him until now. He’s immediately struck by how attractive Levi is in person, and how badly he wants to get to know him. The two do strike up a friendship, and it quickly becomes obvious that the attraction is far from one-sided, and could potentially be more.
I loved these two together. Even when they were trying to pretend they could just be friends! Their bond was so natural and true and strong. From their shared love of obscure foreign films, and just movie making in general, to the adorable relationship with Levi’s Maine Coons, Link and Zelda, they made such perfect sense as a couple. The roadblock, of course, was Levi’s fear and need to stay closeted, and Carter’s conviction to remain out and true, and not be anyone’s ‘dirty little secret.’ Witt did a great job with the character development, especially Levi’s history and everything he’s been through, and with the conflict set up and resolution. I was feeling all of the frustrations from both Levi and Carter. Good stuff.
Nick J. Russo’s narration was pretty close to flawless. His performance kept me completely engaged and excited to turn the audio back on the second I got into my car. He did a wonderful job with all of the voices, including those of the supporting cast. Speaking of which…quick shout out to Anna, one of the executive producers and directors on the show, who was awesome, and such a good friend to Levi and Carter. I loved her.
The Bluewater Bay series is now eighteen books strong, and I have only read three of them, all of which I loved. And, five more of them are currently available on audio, narrated by Mr. Russo. Looks like I have a lot to keep me busy for a while! Definitely check this one out if you haven’t yet, guys!
You can buy Starstruck here: