LOVE ON THE BYLINE - Xio Axelrod
A Plays and Players Novel
Blue Box Press
Wayne Jordan (B)
REVIEW: Blake Dillon dreams of being a serious journalist like her grandfather who used the job to make a difference in the world and the community in which he lived. Instead, she is forced to cover the ‘celebrity beat’, a task she disliked. When she is assigned to shadow a rising film star, she is not at all happy. Blake dislikes celebrities and the negative culture associated with them and Hollywood. When she discovers that the ‘celebrity’ is an old school mate, Bradon Cody, with whom she has a rocky history, her initiate reaction is to turn the assignment down, that is, until she realizes that Brad’s assistant is her old college crush, Oliver ‘Ollie’ Benjamin.
In LOVE ON THE BYLINE, the theme of ‘living and fulfilling your dreams’ is important. Blake is a dreamer and goes after her dreams with a determination that is admirable. Ollie, on the other hand, has committed his life to being there for Brad, and in the process denies his own desires and dreams. Eventually, with some prodding, he does accomplish that goal. Herein lies my grouse with this book. While I enjoy reading about heroes who are vulnerable, I found Ollie to be overtly so. There are a few times when this ‘vulnerability’ weakens his character and while his devotion to Brad is admirable, this aspect of his character did not work for me. Fortunately, at the end of the book, he does finally make a significant change, but only when Brad forces him to see the reality of his existence. Despite this, the rest of the characterization in the book is on point. To be honest, I found Brad is a much more interesting character. He, at first, seemed an arrogant, egotistical individual, but toward the end of the book, readers get a hint of the man he could be. I hope that Ms. Axelrod pens his story.
LOVE ON THE BYLINE is the first book I have read by Xoi Alexrod, but it definitely won’t be my last. While I did have a problem with Ollie’s characterization, Ms. Axelrod should be commended for attempting to create a hero who is vulnerable, while giving readers a solid ‘second chance at love’ story which is endearing and satisfying. I definitely recommend LOVE ON THE BYLINE to individuals who are look for a solid contemporary romance
08 October 2023 | firstname.lastname@example.org