Romance Books

A Star in My Life * Victory Storm

Just behind him there was one of the posters stuck up by fans of the actors starring in The Supremacy, the movie that was being shot in those days.
It just took a few seconds for her to match perfectly the image of the actor Marc Hailen with that one of the man being in front of her.
She opened her mouth to speak, but she was barely able to make sounds.
“Well, what now?” he went on, more and more irritated, making Berenice’s brain go haywire. This last one was reviewing all the articles and videos that she had seen about him.
“You insured your body for ten million dollars,” was the one thing she could say with a feeble voice.
“That’s right. And now, unless you want to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes, I would advise you to give me some ice and a coffee. At once.”

What’s gonna happen when you’ve just run the risk of breaking Marc Hailen’s nose, the actor known to have just insured his body for ten million dollars?
Berenice didn’t think she has ever felt the need to answer a question like that, but the adverse fate, together with the hostile quadrature and constellations, has led her to encounter one of the most handsome, famous and well-to-do men at the time!
Will Berenice be able to find a solution to hold off the pompous and arrogant nature of the star Marc Hailen, without falling in love with him?


Welcome to the Penny Romance Novel – or £0.99 Romance Novel to be more accurate. I used to read these for pure enjoyment when I was younger and now I’m dreading the break from more serious novels as I know I’ll be picking something up that will ultimately annoy me. But as breaks go, this wasn’t that bad.

At 145 pages, this short novel starts off with someone’s most dreaded thoughts:

Don’t lay me off. Don’t lay me off. Don’t lay me off. Don’t lay me off. Don’t lay me off. Don’t lay me off.

Berenice Collins is our lovely heroine (interesting name choice), who manages to escape being laid off by just a week by agreeing to organize a financial plan that could improve the fortunes of the publishing house for which she worked. Frazzled by the prospect of getting laid off, she is scared by another driver and swerves off and hits a wall. This is when she finds out she had a castaway in her car in the shape of a very handsome 25-year old looking guy.

Just behind him there was one of the posters stuck up by fans of the actors starring in The Supremacy , the movie that was being shot in those days. It just took a few seconds for her to match perfectly the image of the actor Marc Hailen with that one of the man being in front of her.

He’s acting immediately like an entitled jerk and buldozes his way into Berenice’s life – asking her to take him in until his bust nose recovers or he’ll sue her for damages. He also demands designer clothing and skin care while he stays at her place, all out of her meager budget – and worst of all, decides to throw away all the food Berenice had in her fridge while she was at work in order to avoid being fed “trashy” frozen food. The level of entitlement is astounding, but hey, this is a book created to appeal to the fat girl meets superstar fantasy.

She caught her breath from the shock: at that moment she realized to be in front of the famous movie star and former violinist Marc Hailen. The very famous Marc Hailen. At once her legs turned to jelly and her heart began to race like mad, making her brain go haywire. “Well, how do I look?” asked Marc, showing off one of his most beautiful smiles.

He is pretty much the poster boy for jerk behaviour, repeatedly crossing over personal boundaries and even going as far as reading her private journal.

“I was bored to death and yesterday it was you who told me to make myself at home.”

I was thinking – Gurl, you gotta have some self-respect and throw this man outta your home!

“Is it that you’re afraid of being cuddled because of these ones?” he chuckled and with his fingers pinched a roll of fat on her side, making her spring up in shame.

“I don’t need to be clear-sighted to know that your shyness and embarrassment come from the relationship to your own body. In the bathroom you have a drawer full of diet pills, the half of the links you saved on your computer refer to websites about diet products or to web pages about how to dress to look thinner,” revealed Marc, ignoring to have just acknowledged another violation of her privacy. “Berry, it wasn’t surely those few excess pounds to make you less beautiful. It’s a pity you’re so obsessed by them.”

So not only is he behaving like a prick, he also likes to fat-shame the girl who took him in and bought everything he wanted. If he wasn’t a “superstar” and Berenice wasn’t such a push-over, this would be a typical toxic relationship where mr. Marc with a “c” is the not-so-silent abuser. Wait, this gets worse.

“Marc, stop it! I’ve already told you. I don’t want it.” “Why not?” got angry Marc, taking possession of those lips that had intrigued him since he first had laid eyes on them. “You don’t like me,” she could say.

“ Rubbish!” he hastily answered back, continuing to torment her.

 

At this point I nearly abandoned all hope in this book. It screams of fantasy dreams and boy-meets-girl and falls in love with her despite her physical appearance and teaches her to love herself.

I continued reading just to see how much worse it would get.

At work, Sandy tried to speak to her again, but Berenice was really fed up with her negativeness, so decided that long-standing friendship had come to an end. When Sandy asked her for an explanation, she answered: “A real friend not only would have comforted me for those pounds in excess still there despite hundreds of diets we’ve followed, but she also would have incited me to smile and accept my body for what it is, telling me I’m beautiful and special anyway, instead of making me feel inadequate.”

Oh yes, the accept your body movement. Love yourself. You’re healthy if you’re overweight and you don’t have to change for anyone. At this point, if my sarcasm isn’t clear, I’ll let you know that this book is going straight to the (virtual) bin.

1/5 for starry eyed propaganda of unhealthy habits and promoting a toxic relationship.