Published by Indie on May 16th 2016
Review Copy Provided By: Author
AMZ US AMZ UK B&N AMZ AU
Damon Atwood was Hollywood’s golden boy. Having won an Oscar at the tender age of thirteen, he had the life many could only dream about. But his success came at a price, and after a short but fruitful film career, he chose to live a life of obscurity on a remote Scottish island. Almost a decade later he’s finally ready to make his return, starting with a lead role in a musical on London’s West End.
As a choreographer’s assistant, Rose Taylor has always faded into the background. She watches shows come to life from the side lines, but has never craved the attention of stardom. When rumours begin circulating of Damon’s involvement in her latest gig, she doesn’t predict how she will be thrust into the limelight, nor how the mysterious and strangely introverted man will need her to teach him how to be a star again.
Rose knows that show crushes don’t last. Actors fall for each other during the intensity of a production, often losing themselves in their roles. These kinds of affairs burn bright and then they fade. The question is, should Rose let herself shine with Damon, or guard her heart from being broken after the final curtain call?
I was provided a review copy; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
❝If I couldn’t have Rose, I was condemning myself to a life of halves, and I wanted to live a whole one.❞
If you want to read a thoroughly entertaining, feel-good book, then you need to pick up Showmance, by L. H. Cosway. With this book, Cosway brings us her trademark flawed characters, along with a sassy, strong heroine. Showmance is a surefire winner!
Damon has been a recluse for years, running from the very things that brought him his fortune; people, fans, attention. Going from a relatively sheltered life, he was thrust into the fast road and limelight and into the hands of his father when his mother died. Finally finding emancipation at the age of 16 and soon to follow, his grandmother and Scotland, Damon escapes acting and finds solace in hard work and quiet living. It isn’t until the death of his grandmother that he returns to acting (because of her urging) and leaves his solitude to embark on the noisy city life of London’s West End. Where he meets Rose.
Rose, our sassy, talented assistant choreographer for this new production Moulin Rouge, is coming off a broken heart and has sworn to no more romantic trysts with actors. But then there’s Damon. And he’s so alluring in his guardedness. “I’ve never known someone to be so enlightened yet completely uncertain of who they are at the same time.” And his charms prove more than Rose can resist.
❝ You captivate me. My heart stuttered. The clear, undeniable honesty in his words had me trembling.❞
❝Do I capitvate you? he asked, a vulnerability in his eyes like he honestly had no clue how I felt for him.❞
I love a strong male character who isn’t afraid to show is vulnerable side and Cosway perfectly showcased Damon’s. I ATE IT UP! I melted. I was under his spell. While his issues ran deep, I appreciated that Cosway allowed him to be vulnerable, yet strong and never weak. She allowed him to trust Rose and fall in love. This was a slow burn romance, the perfect kind, where two people get to know each other, sexual chemistry builds, and finally explodes.
And let me say, Damon has a dirty mouth and he likes to make Rose blush. But while his dirty words heat her girly parts, his sweet words melt her heart.
Don’t let this one slip by you, Showmance is out now. 5 Stars!
Fun Facts about Showmance
Fun Fact #1: When Rose tells Damon how she got to meet Gene Kelly’s wife, that was actually me! I didn’t hug her for too long or creep her out like Rose, but she did mention that Gene used to have a thing for women who wear glasses. I like to imagine this means I could’ve been his wife if I were born a few decades earlier 😀
Fun Fact #2: There are some “easter eggs” sprinkled throughout the book, which I mostly included just to amuse myself. For example, in the show Damon plays the lead role of Christian, while Alicia plays Satine. So the names sort of have interconnected meanings. Damon (as in demon) as opposed to Christian. Alicia reminds me of angel, and her character’s name is Satine (as in Satan/Lucifer the fallen angel).
Fun Fact #3: Another easter egg of sorts. There are some parallels in the story that mirror some aspects of Moulin Rouge. For instance, Julian is a real life male escort while the musical tells the story of a fictional courtesan as played by Alicia.
Fun Fact #4: When Rose tells Damon about Gene Kelly sneakily making Cyd Charisse’s skirt shorter during the filming of Singin’ in the Rain, this was an anecdote his wife told when I went to see her give a talk about the film. I’ve searched high and low but cannot find any mention of this story online, so perhaps it only exists as a word of mouth tale. Well, now it will live on in Showmance.
Fun Fact #5: When Julian tells Alicia about the French demi-monde, this actually comes from research I did during my post-grad thesis, which focused on depictions of courtesans in 18th & 19th century French literature. For years I’ve wanted to use this research in writing a novel about a real life sex worker, but set in modern times, and it’s finally going to happen when I write Julian’s story next year.
After a moment I leaned in, my shoulder brushing hers as I spoke low, “And what book would you have me narrate?”
She paused to consider her answer, tapping her lower lip with her middle finger. “Hmm, if only Elizabeth Gaskell had written North and South from the male point of view. You’d make a fantastic Mr Thornton.”
I effected a brooding frown. “That’s how you see me? All moody and tortured?”
She eyed me, seeming surprised that I knew who Mr Thornton was. “Maybe add shy to that list. You’ve barely spoken a word to me all week.”
I rubbed at my jaw and looked across the studio to where Iggy stood with Jacob, both men talking, their eyes on us. “Yeah, sorry about that.”
Seeming to notice my self-consciousness, she nudged me with her elbow. “Did you know you sound like Sean Bean? I could listen to him recite the phone book,” she said on a sigh. Did that mean she could listen to me recite the phone book, too? For a second her blue eyes widened, like she just realised what she’d said. I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable, so I changed the subject.
“Do you remember earlier when I was singing my part of the song for the first time?”
Rose nodded and took another gulp of water. My attention wandered to the delicate curve of her throat as she swallowed and then back up to her bright eyes. My brow furrowed. It was becoming disconcerting how closely I watched her sometimes.
“Everybody got weird for a second, just…staring at me. What was that about?”
She turned her body to look me dead in the eye. “You have no idea, have you?
“No idea of what?”
“Of how good you are. When you sing, I swear, even the straight guys in the cast get stiffys.”
I sputtered a laugh, surprised by her unexpected bluntness. “You’re lying.”
“And you’re oblivious, Damon. You’re a fantastic actor and an amazing singer. It’s hard for people not to go all googly-eyed when you perform. I guess that’s why you’re a star.” She shrugged like it was simple.
“I haven’t been a star for a very long time, and even then it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be,” I said. What I really wanted to say was, do you get a stiffy when I sing? Or, uh, the female equivalent.
Do you get wet when I sing, Rose?
The question filled my head with images. In my mind she was spread wide and naked on my bed, begging, pleading… My gaze wandered from her curious expression to her exposed shoulder. Her oversized T-shirt was hanging off again, revealing a tight tank top beneath. The rise and fall of her breathing led my attention to her breasts, which were round and full, but frustratingly hidden beneath the bagginess of the top.
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