Author: Sharon Moore
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Okay, Shamron Moore’s chic lit Hollywood Strip will probably never win a Pulitzer Prize for literature but I have to admit that it did keep me entertained without overtaxing my brain.
The yarn is simple and quite familiar involving a young woman, Callie Lambert who leaves her unexciting life in Michigan as a dental assistant to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress in Hollywood.
In the opening chapters we find Callie trying out and eventually being rejected for a modeling role with a well-known men’s magazine Coquette. The magazine mixes celebrity interviews, self-help, and fashion tips for the modern man. And what really makes it titillating is its monthly multipage layout of a young woman in various states of undress exposing her breasts and butt.
Callie’s confidant and good friend, Tyler, who is gay and is a make-up-artist, comes to her rescue consoling her and telling her you can’t predict what these magazines are looking for. Her friend from Michigan, Candice, who is also a budding actress and model likewise cheers her up assuring her that something else is bound to come along and invites her to attend her boyfriend Lar’s party.
It is at the party where Callie meets actor/producer Amir Yavari and through him Jeremy Granger who is about to produce a music video with an up-and-coming musician, Evan Marquardt. Jeremy needs a hot brunette to act in the video and offers her the role. Callie accepts the offer and has no idea that it will pull her into a series of events that will turn her life and career around where her days of not being able to book a gig are behind her. However, as Callie learns, success comes at a price, particularly your loss of privacy.
To add some icing on the cake, Evan turns out to be quite a sexy hunk with “bedroom eyes” and it doesn’t take too long when the couple enjoy debauchery-filled nights with multiple rounds of sexual passion.
After appearing in the music video, Callie auditions for the part of a bisexual college girl, Layla in a low-budget horror adult movie entitled Nympho Cheerleaders Attack! Callie gets the part and assures the director that she has no problem appearing nude in sex scenes. The co-actress in the movie playing the character of Kiki is the beautiful Gabrielle (Gabby) Manx, whom Callie originally met at a convention gig where the two were modeling. In addition to acting together in this B movie, the two women begin a lasting and close friendship that unfortunately will have unforeseen consequences for one of them.
In the meantime, Callie’s good friend from Michigan, Candice moves in with her when she breaks up with her boyfriend and she turns out to be out-of-control with a great deal of baggage.
Hot women, murder, sex, money, adult movies, drugs, slimy directors and actors, control freaks, jealousy, phony lifestyles and promiscuous behavior are all laid out by Moore in a lively, crisp prose style depicting the artificiality of the Hollywood scene where people will walk over dead bodies to get what they want. And Moore must know a thing or two about the lousy and smutty side of Hollywood as she has appeared in numerous commercials, television shows and feature films which no doubt came in handy when developing her characters and plot.
In the end, Hollywood Strip is an impressive well-paced debut in the adult chic lit genre that portrays the complexity of emotions as well as the harshness of fact. I look forward to hearing more from this author.
Check Out Norm’s Interview With Shamron Moore