ARC review: Media Darling by Fiona Riley

Xposted from my book review blog

Media Darling by Fiona Riley can be purchased here


published 11/13/18


I received an arc of Media Darling from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Media Darling is a f/f queer romance between a star and a celebrity reporter.

Haley is a would-be screenwriter who works at the Sun to make her bills. When she is asked to fill in at a media event for another reporter, she’s determined to get something done. When she can’t get Emerson’s attention on a red carpet, she lets out a piercing whistle, which unfortunately silences everyone around her, which gives a paparazzi the opportunity to yell an embarrassing question about Emerson and Rachel.

Emerson is a star under siege when her ex-girlfriend Rachel (who was kicked off the movie they were working on together) accuses Emerson of smearing her reputation and that it was all Emerson’s fault. After the red carpet incident with the paparazzi, Emerson tells her assistant that she never wants Hayley near her again.

Later that night, when Hayley gets between the same cruel intentioned paparazzi and Emerson, Emerson decides to investigate Haley. What she learns makes her decide that Hayley is the right person to tell her side of the story, including the explosive secret Emerson is terrified that Rachel will weaponize. As they spend more time together, sparks fly. But when their relationship is outed (pun intended), they need to decide if what they have is real, or just Hollywood magic.

Riley is a strong writer. Each of the women have a distinct voice. This is especially important in f/f or m/m or multi-partner couples because pronouns, which serve as shorthand in m/f romance can often make things blurrier. Despite seemingly oppositional occupations (in fact, their first encounter leads to a horrible paparazzi encounter for Emerson) Riley lays the groundwork for why these characters could work. The sex scenes sizzle.

The only thing that took it from a 5* to a 4.5* is that the real villain is so obvious that it’s surprising that it takes any effort to figure it out. But even with that, I didn’t mind the ride to see how the characters figured it out, and how they’d react. The writing is strong enough, though, that I think that it could’ve been masked a little better.

Check out Media Darling when it drops next week, or pre-order today!


I also write a book blog

One of the reasons I post so rarely here is that I have a lot of other hats I wear.  I try to keep this blog specific to those things that might interest people interested in the erotica author side of my personality.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 10.57.00 PMI write Expat Bostonians, which is about my day to day life as an expat and larger discussions around identity, assimilation into a culture not my own, and raising third culture kids.  This has been my biggest writing project of the past four years–had I not focused on this, I’d probably be on my third or fourth novel by now.  But I love it, and it also serves my friends back home (and others) as a window into my life here.

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A month or so ago I began Be Quiet!  Mommy’s Reading… because I have spent so much effort on reviewing books on goodreads that it felt like a valuable use of my time.  It’s since turned into a really good stress reliever, especially my snarking nostalgia feature (every Monday) where I rip apart books I read as a kid, like The Baby-Sitters Club.  I’m also talking about other book related stuff (Divergent book v movie, When is a spoiler is a spoiler), doing book reviews, and my kids and I are teaming up for children’s book reviews.

If either of these sound interesting to you, please go and follow them.  Expat Bostonians also has a facebook page where I post not only links to the blog, but articles of interest and random posts about what have you.  (Worth noting, so does Delilah Night--which sees far more action than this blog).