Title: DEAR DWAYNE, WITH LOVE
Author: Eliza Gordon
Pub. Date: January 23, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Wannabe actress Dani Steele’s résumé resembles a cautionary tale on how not to be famous. She’s pushing thirty and stuck in a dead-end insurance job, and her relationship status is holding at uncommitted. With unbearably perfect sisters and a mother who won’t let her forget it, Dani has two go-tos for consolation: maple scones and a blog in which she pours her heart out to her celebrity idol. He’s the man her father never was, no boyfriend will ever be—and not so impossible a dream as one might think. When Dani learns that he’s planning a fund-raising event where the winning amateur athlete gets a walk-on in his new film, she decides to trade pastries and self-doubt for running shoes and a sexy British trainer with adorable knees.
But when Dani’s plot takes an unexpected twist, she realizes that her happy ending might have to be improvised—and that proving herself to her idol isn’t half as important as proving something to herself.
This is a work of fiction. While Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is a real person, events relating to him in the book are a product of the author’s imagination. Mr. Johnson is not affiliated with this book, and has not endorsed it or participated in any manner in connection with this book.
Rating: 4 Stars
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the few actors that, in my opinion, can make a bad or poorly thought film better than ever expected. Going off with that idea, I thought that the idea of a main character writing a blog to him and trying to get a role in his film would be a lot of fun.
Danielle, the main character and narrator of the book, was a relatable and humorous character. Her struggles with finding acting roles as she gets older, familial expectations, and co-workers/bosses made for laugh out loud moments and some thoughtful ones. There’s the question of what to do when your dream seems to be fading, rallying behind your ideals and defending them to those who profess to have your best interests at heart and yet their ideas are vastly different than yours.
I liked the portions of the books that had mock script pages illustrating conversations between Danielle and The Rock. While I could almost here him saying these lines, they were really more Danielle talking to herself and working things out as opposed to real conversations. She may have doubts at times, but these script pages showed her pushing through.
There was more than a little talk about Danielle’s weight, from the clerk at Dick’s Sporting Goods when she’s buying workout clothes to her boyfriend Trevor and his past and present comments that are belittling. A lot of it brought up emotions in Danielle that she suppressed and other times she let it go. These moments didn’t make up a lot of the novel, but there was enough that I was uncomfortable.
I’ll say this, the author certainly made a good villain in that I hated Trevor’s guts even before some of his more disgusting behavior. Every moment he was on the page, my stomach felt uneasy and I was glade to be rid of him when his scene was over. He was a jerk turned up to 11 at least. I wish that Danielle had been able to get rid of him sooner because she seemed to understand that he wasn’t a good person, certainly not for her to be in a relationship with, and yet she held herself back.
There were some times when I felt that the humor was a bit stale: jokes about the only curls Danielle knows are lifting a bearclaw to her mouth, that sort of thing. Lines like that felt tired and detracted from the book. I wasn’t particularly happy with the pacing, either, hence the lower rating. Things slogged for awhile in the middle, making for a frustrating reading experience. The ending was a happy one, but I could’ve done with getting to the point faster.
All in all, Dear Dwayne, With Love has a cute premise, a sometimes funny main character, exuberant & overbearing family members, and an attractive love interest that make a palatable book.
About Eliza Gordon
Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.
In real life, she’s an editor, mom, wife, and bibliophile and proud parent of one very spoiled tuxedo cat. Eliza writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After; Jennifer Sommersby, her other self, writes YA and is repped by Daniel Lazar at Writers House.
Giveaway Details: International
1 winner will receive a DEAR DWAYNE, WITH LOVE Prize Pack including a finished copy of the book and swag! INT., ends on February 13th at Midnight EST!
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2/9/2018- BookHounds– Interview
I received a copy of this book as part of Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.