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The Great Pretenders

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Roxanne Granville is used to getting what she wants--even if she has to break the rules. But after a falling-out with her grandfather, a powerful movie mogul, she has to face life on her own for the first time....

Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. She struggles to be ta
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Berkley Books
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  30 reviews


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roxanne Granville transforms from spoiled little rich girl and finds a way of her own! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Great Pretenders is the story of Roxanne Granville, daughter and granddaughter of 1950s Hollywood royalty. Roxanne has the world on a silver platter until she falls out with her grandfather. Now she’s paying her own bills.

Roxanne becomes an agent for screenwriters, something quite different for women of that era. She helps a blacklisted writer sell a script, and suddenly, her agency is in high dem
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Berit☀️✨
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
an elegantly told exquisite tale of Old Hollywood and the girl who turned it on its head!

Laura Kalpakian stole my heart with this brilliant book! Have you ever finished a Book and thought, I need more and I need it now! That was me with this book. I was so invested in the story and these characters, I was seriously crushed when it was over. Kalpakian completely transported me to 1950s Old Hollywood with her riveting words.

Roxanne is Hollywood royalty, growing up on the back lots of her grandf
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Tammy
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction set in old Hollywood and couldn't wait to read The Great Pretenders. Roxanne Granville is Hollywood royalty and born with a silver spoon. In 1950's Hollywood, the "red scare" is snowballing and many are blacklisted. Roxanne starts her own writers agency and soon finds herself making decisions that could be career ending. Not to mention that she falls for a black reporter which was taboo then. Laura Kapakian's research and attention to detail shines through! I loved this ...more
Renee Rosen
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to come! In the meantime, keep this one on your radar!
Basic B's Guide
Apr 14, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
At 115 pages I’m throwing in the towel. I’m not interested in the storyline and the protagonist is a privileged brat. I’m too impatient right now. Such a shame because I adore the cover and anything Hollywood centered.
Miranda Reads
Apr 02, 2019 is currently reading it
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Casey
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-won
I love period pieces that transport us to another time, and this book does just that. There’s romance, conflict, taboo, and familial bonds. This book will have you rooting for a character then disappointed with them and back many times over. An easy read, not too heavy, but definitely not short on good story.

*I received this book as an ARC from the publisher.*
Viviane Crystal
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roxanne Granville is a spoiled, rich granddaughter of a theatre and movie powerhouse. Her mother dies in the very beginning of the story and her resentment of her grandfather’s lover is beyond words. She can’t understand how Denise could replace Julia because Roxanne really has no idea what a love affair with commitment is and how it could change. Therefore, she announces she will have nothing to do with him until he drops Denise. His response is laughable, a fairy tale in the land of the rich!

S
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Kelley
ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

This novel covers so much within it's pages; this author had to have done so much research! In these pages Roxanne Granville deals with the "Red Scare" and the House on UnAmerican Activity, blatant racism and the Montgomery Bus Strike, fighting off men who want something in return for allowing her to work. Roxanne's grandfather is head of the Empire Movie Studio and has fired several writers for being Communists or sympathizers. Roxanne knows that this
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Yvonne
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roxanne Granville was born into the Hollywood world. Her grandparents ran Empire Pictures and she was the darling around the studio. Now in her twenties, Roxanne is ready to begin a career of her own, which isn’t easy for women in the 1950’s. She quickly learns that men refuse to take her seriously and only see her as a sex object.

She is determined to begin a career as a Hollywood agent. She takes on some daring scripts that people would find controversial. Not to mention that she becomes involv
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Chase Waskey
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Life is short and love is long. Love is demanding and rewarding and aggravating, sometimes angering, but it is never finished or over, or done with, not even in death.”

In the 1950s, Roxanne Granville is the granddaughter of Hollywood executive, Leon Granville. Roxanne spent her childhood playing on the studio sets of Empire Pictures, her Hollywood “royalty” has even been known to get her out of trouble a time or two, she is no stranger to the elaborate studio parties that are thrown and has se
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MicheleReader
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed The Great Pretenders. This book takes place in the mid to late 1950s when Hollywood was at a turning point. The movie studios were still hanging on to their power with the country in the middle of the Red Scare with actors and writers blacklisted for being Communists and not cooperating with the House on UnAmerican Activity. Television was becoming a threat to the movie business. The Civil Rights Movement was coming into its own after the tragic murder of Emmett Till and the ...more
MicheleReader
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed The Great Pretenders. This book takes place in the mid to late 1950s when Hollywood was at a turning point. The movie studios were still hanging on to their power with the country in the middle of the Red Scare with actors and writers blacklisted for being Communists and not cooperating with the House on UnAmerican Activity. Television was becoming a threat to the movie business. The Civil Rights Movement was coming into its own after the tragic murder of Emmett Till and the ...more
MomIsReading
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a lovely story! Historical fiction fans of the 50’s and early motion pictures should enjoy this. Roxanne is one gutsy young woman. I enjoyed how she stood her ground and wanted more for herself in an era when women were traditionally just wives and mothers. Granted she came from privilege so she had advantages that most do not, it was still nicely done.

Realistically told romance between her and Terrence in a time where interracial relationships were just not done. What the cost was to even
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Kathleen Gray
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
1950s Hollywood was filled with psychic peril. Roxanne, raised in privilege and then out on her own, finds a soft point in the system when she sympathizes with writers banned as a result of the Red Scare. Repackaging their scripts is a good business for her - and for them. Terence Dexter is entirely alien to her universe but she can't help herself. There's two good stories here- one is about Roxanne and the writers and the other is the love story. You will find yourself rooting for both of them. ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite things about this novel is the cover, it is fantastic. The Great Pretenders is set in Hollywood during the McCarthy era and the blacklists. Kalpakian captures the sentiment quite well in her dialogue and settings. Roxanne is finding her way in the murky world of cinema, but she commits one cardinal sin for that era of the 1950s: she falls in love with an African-American. The author accurately depicts the difficulties the couple had and how they were perceived and treated by o ...more
Andrea Gabriel
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Raised on caviar and fancy French boarding schools, Roxanne Granville puts considerable value in living her life with "Panache" - both a way of being in the world, and a cologne custom-made for her family of Hollywood royalty. She immediately surprises with both her choices and independence of character. TGP takes us on occasional joy rides through the lives of the Hollywood elite in the 50's, but its real territory is the abuses of the Blacklist Era, the civil rights movement, and the lives upe ...more
Dan
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the story of one woman’s struggle to overcome so much in 1950’s Hollywood. Coming from a rich Hollywood family, she is estranged from her grandfather (a movie mogul) and works for a talent agency. Having had enough of being molested, she starts her own agency and begins to represent writers who were blacklisted. On top of that, she falls in love with a black reporter.

I enjoy reading period pieces and I feel that I was there experiencing what life was like then. I really enjoyed the descr
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Rachelle
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
The Great Pretenders... Tired of living under her grandfather's Hollywood legacy, Roxanne becomes an independent agent for screenwriters; she sells scripts to male operated movie studios, pretending they were written by better known authors, which falsifies her credibility. Name dropping famous actors, starlets, and producers was distracting. Female leadership, sexism, and racism were themes discussed. Nothing worthwhile or exciting occurred during events and conversations.
Krenner1
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Between 3 and 4, in my opinion. Historical fiction about the McCarthy era in Hollywood. A daring woman agent, a biracial romance and the flame of Communism that burned so many talents during the 50s gave this book substance, beyond its breezy read.
Sandy Korom
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great writing and interesting time period
Vicki Gollnisch
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
Received an ARC and I must say it was truly delighting. I loved the detail and time travel to a an era that I never experienced. Detailed, Engaging and a page turner. You won’t be disappointed.
Callie Rose Witcher
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed!
Jenny Brown
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nice job
Natalie  Johnson
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm about 50 pages into this book and I to say that I absolutely love it! The main character reminds me a bit of Rose from Downton Abby which is a good thing, and the writing is warm and lovely and I cant wait to see where the story goes! Ill add one more star if the rest of the book impresses me as much as the first part has.

Update: It did :)
Stephanie
rated it did not like it
Apr 03, 2019
Sercalunna Pautasso
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm two minds about this book as I appreciated the biracial couple and how it describes Hollywood during the McCarthyism.
On the other side the heroine grated on my nerves and there were too many characters and name dropping.
I don't know if I liked it or not.
I received this book via Netgalley in Exchange for a honest review
Rebecca
rated it did not like it
Apr 19, 2019
Michaela
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2019
Sharlene
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction set in the 50s in Hollywood, that shows how hard it was for women and people of color to get ahead. Interesting characters and story line. A very good read.
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