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Starling

(Love in Los Ángeles #1)

by
3.67  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Hollywood's newest star, 21-year-old J. Alex Cook never wanted to be famous, he just wanted to get out of Indiana. When he hooks up with Paul, a writer on a hit TV show, Alex is thrown into a web of relationships involving friends, lovers, and everything in between.

Forced to figure out what it means to live -- and love -- in the public eye, Alex's quest to find his own
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Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Avian30 (first published September 10th 2014)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  122 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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blub
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm too lazy to summarize the story but the blurb for the book pretty much covers what goes on for a majority of the book. The names being thrown around at the start of the book was very confusing until readers could get a grasp on who was who and what their role in the book was.

The story in general was interesting for the most part and partly frustrating. The way Paul and Alex meet and get to know each other was alluring. Seeing them enter
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namericanwordcat
3.5 Stars

We get a hard earn Happily for Now in this romance about two heroes who have a great deal of emotionial unrepressing to do.

It is a compelling read as the heroes struggle with fame and ambitions and creativity and inexperience in many aspects of their lives.

The age gap is handled with depth. There is a separation which off putting while reading a romance as the heroes get together with other people, it reads true to character and the story.

The writing... in some ways it is great but in
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C.A. Young
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't quite self-identify as a romance reader. I mean, I do read it (obviously), but I don't tend to think of it as a staple, no matter how much of it is actually in my reading diet.

That said, I've been looking forward to Starling since Racheline first mentioned it to me. I love backstage stories. I love books with complicated relationships in them. And, in particular, I love stories in which identities are allowed to be complex and fluid.

Starling basically nails all of these things and more.
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Skye Kilaen
A complex, messy, often emotionally wrenching queer celebrity romance series that's so far beyond what the phrase "celebrity romance" brings to mind that I'm almost not sure that's the right term for it. It starts with Starling, in which Alex Cook, 21, is plucked out of the crew on a hit television series and given a starring role. Alex is a deeply private person, scarred from growing up gay and poor in a small, unfriendly Midwestern town, so his life in the media spotlight turns out to be just ...more
Jilrene
I received a free copy of this book via the Goodreads Don't buy My Love program in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 dull stars

To start out, the blurb for this book hits on all points. No need to restate a summary of the story. I picked this book because the blurb sounded like a new adventure. I havent read any books set in the behind the scenes of a television show. This appeared to have a different look at how the magic happens.

Unfortunately, I couldnt connect well with the characters. I
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Lara
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review]

4.5 stars

Sometimes there are books I have a lot of expectations about but ultimately fail them, other times instead there are books that surprise me in the most positive way..."Starling" definitely belong to the second category!

I really liked this story: it felt -while set in a world known for its half-truths and lies and obviously very distant to my own- so realistic and down to heart. As it was pointed out by another reviewer,
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Jewel
Apr 06, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Free at ARe today and tomorrow (06 Apr 2016 - 07 Apr 2016)
Shannon Brown
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been dipping into more romance novels lately, especially the ones which fall outside the traditional Harlequin mold, because I've been given great recs by smart ladies who love them. The result is that I have a lot more positive feelings about the genre than I might once have.

I loved Starling. I thought it was a smart, funny and compelling book about grown-ups at different points in that continuum, trying to figure out their lives and reconcile their pasts and presents. I came to love
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Ali
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, own
**I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Probably 3.5 stars...

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this one. There were a lot of good points. I really liked Alex - for the most part. I liked Paul, more than I thought I would originally. Liam was a treat I did not expect... I liked that the characters were real, but that being said, I also, really didn't like that about the story.

First thing that struck me when I started reading this was that the
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Maggie Simms
4 wonderful stars

A book about a cinderfella turns famous actor who will then be in the middle of a love triangle with two Hollywood hunks?



I admit, it started off slow for me. There are lots of mussing going on and I almost put it down for future reading but it somehow kept me going. I am glad I did because it then got really good.

If you are into Melrose Place, 90210 type of stories with messy relationships and people in the same group of friends/coworkers dating each other and exes that
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Veronica of V's Reads
I received a copy of this book via Goodreads' Don't Buy My Love program in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars for this contemporary M/M romance.

Alex is a 20 y/o production assistant on a network drama when he gets called in to be an extra and suddenly lands a recurrent role. This poses all sorts of issues for Alex because he is intensely private and loathes then new scrutiny he is under--particularly related to hie "relationship" with his co-worker and on-screen love interest Liam.

While
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Aimee
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free for an honest review.

I really liked this book. Alex is struggling with sudden, unwanted fame. He prefers to be alone or take people in small doses, so his celebrity is very overwhelming, but also leaves him feeling lonely. He begins a relationship with Paul, a writer on the show. Paul is 10 years older than Alex, but not really more successful in love. Alex also has a lot of interaction with fellow actor Liam. As we follow these men through their story, we are given
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E.M. Lynley
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, dbml
I received a free copy of this book via the Goodreads Don't buy My Love program in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to love this book, but it did not live up to the blurb or my expectations, and Im disappointed by that fact.

No need to rehash the plot, since so many others have done so already.

Ill start off with what I liked, and that was the TV production aspects. Im a huge fan of behind-the-scenes of TV and films so this one hit the spot with all the insider details. I hadnt
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Tsubaki
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
-

The setup for this story was quite different from anything else I've come across so yay for that. Essentially, we have two very different characters not just in personality, but roles as well. Alex was a star and Paul was a writer working on the same project in Hollywood.

I admit I didn't particularly like Alex at first, but he grew on me. He started off as a production assistant and wound up landing a role in the hit show he
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Jude Sierra
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of the best romances I've read in a very long time. I'm obviously a huge fan of the genre, and I love all of it, but one of the things I loved most about this book is how fresh it felt; it was romance but with a different tone.

I appreciate complex characters, and Alex and Paul (as well as Liam and Victor) were complex. They weren't perfect -- they have baggage and issues and it *shows*. I wasn't just rooting for Alex and Paul's romance -- halfway through the book what I was
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Hanah
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, friends, lgbtq
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only each of the characters, but also the setting, which comes completely alive in the hands of its authors. We spend so much time, as a society, gawking over celebrities and speculating about their love lives, but we rarely stop to think about how all of that attention affects them.

The reality of it is, the attention affects them in many different ways. One of the best things about this book is the way each character has a different relationship with their
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Mary
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book via the Goodreads Don't buy My Love program in exchange for an honest review.

I believe I am in the minority. I could not get into this book. I usually can devour a book in 1-2 days. This book seemed like forever. The blub seemed exciting and different: behind the scenes of a hot TV show. However the book fell flat. The first couple of chapters I was engaged and I wanted to read more about Paul & Alex; then, the different POV"s and the verb usage made this
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TPay
Feb 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rpf, p2p
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie ~ Queer Books Unbound
This was not what I expected.

The second book is about the same characters it seems, so it makes sense that the story of the first book is what it is. (Sorry, I'm trying to be vague and non-spoilery)
So knowing that I'd probably go into this with different expectations. But I didn't know that when I started the book and therefore I don't know.. I'm a bit disappointed? This one was way less love story than it was a story about self discovery. Definitely not a bad story, just unexpected and not
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M. Arbon
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This felt like a fresh and new way of telling a well-established story about sudden fame. I loved it, and will be reading the rest of the series.
SA
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: found-ebook, 2018
Well this situation is...messy.
Misty Fritz
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Los Angeles has always been a mystery to me. Ive never been, and my primary insight into how it works has been from whatever glimpses I get by following celebrities on Twitter or reading posts by a few Tumblr people who are familiar with LA and can fill in some of the blanks.

One of those people is Starling co-author Racheline Maltese, who often can provide context and tidbits about life in LA, and the film/television industry, to help me grasp the bigger picture around the events transpiring in
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Michael Engard
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I am not a reader of romance novels. On the rare occasion that I pick one up, I usually know what I'm in for. That's why it's so refreshing and encouraging to see a title like Starling making a stab at raising the level of literary quality and depth of substance in its genre.

The authors have painted a small Whedonesque universe with a carrying capacity well beyond this first installment. Their playful, informal style disguises the thoughtful treatment that each of their
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Carly
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While STARLING is a romance, I wouldn't call it a love story; but that's not a bad thing, because what I would call it is a life story.

Alex left his small southern hometown in a cloud of dust to find his dreams in Los Angeles. What he found instead was unexpected stardom that he wasn't looking for, didn't want, and was emotionally unprepared for.

Before being discovered by his fans, Alex was discovered by Paul. Drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful younger man, Paul quickly falls into his own
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amy
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it! Complex characters with real flaws. In addition to the rocky-road to romance, the glimpse behind the scenes of the TV industry and all the crap that stars have to put up with nowadays is fascinating. The authors put you into the mind of the newly-christened celebrity and his reaction to everything that is thrown his way. He doesn't respond in the healthiest of ways, but with very human reactions. I appreciate the writing style; it's what I came to expect after reading other works by ...more
Michelle Osgood
I enjoyed this book. I didn't love it as much as I wanted to--I had a lot of trouble identifying with the characters, though from the bits and pieces we learned about them I knew I'd want to follow their stories. I found Alex especially frustrating because as a young adult who had grown up on the internet and as an active participant in fandom (who met his roommate and best friend because of fandom) I struggled to sympathize with his distaste for fame once he got it. It felt like he should have ...more
Rebecca
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
You know what's nice about gay romance novels? There isn't necessarily a lot of the baggage that come with straight ones. It's possible to have someone hook up with a person other than their One True Love and still have it be ok. I think one of the things I most appreciated about this book is the fact that the characters get together with other people while on a break, and it's not reprehensible behavior on anyone's part. It's possible to be attracted to or even love a person and have it not be ...more
Becca
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What makes a great romance novel besides the requisite happily ever after? It needs a compelling, well-told story and characters you can fall in love with. Starling has all of the above in spades! Alex and Paul are complicated and flawed in ways that make them so, so interesting and appealing. Its both painful and joyful to watch their story unfold, and it leaves me wanting more, more, more! (Thankfully, there are more books to come!)

Starling gives a window into the world of fame where suddenly
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Angel Pedroza
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a different story I am still processing it. As I was reading 'Starling' I kept hearing Scott Matthew's cover of the Whitney Houston song 'I Want To Dance With Somebody' with all that song's longing for love and connection with someone. And, I felt Paul and Alex's longing, want and need for love which are all emotions we have experienced over and over again. Some of us more successful at finding it than others. I am glad the authors gave Alex and Paul a chance to find their dance. ...more
Clare
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find it hard to believe that only one person has pointed out that this is thinly veiled Glee/CrissColfer RPF. I did not know this going in to reading it, though I did know that at least one of the authors is in the Glee fandom. But I didn't know that she/they wrote Glee RPF. But I figured it out quickly. I'm really surprised that this was recommended to me by people who are staunchly anti-tinhatter when so much of this is storyline is based on blind gossip about real life people.

That aside,
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Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She owns several pieces of paper from distinguished universities, including a Masters degree in International Affairs from American University, which qualify her to have lengthy and passionate discussions about the microeconomics of Tunisia. She also engages in lengthy and passionate discussions about military history. She likes ...more

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