Posted in Romance

Dirt (#2) – India Lee

17887311Synopsis

Five months ago, Amanda Nathan was a dumped, scorned, and tragically bored moderator for the Internet’s largest gossip community “HDU,” spending her small town days and nights hiding her pitiable life from catty neighbors. Then, she became an overnight sensation after negotiating a contract to stage a romance with Hollywood’s favorite womanizer, going from moderating the pages of HDU to gracing them daily.

Now, there are no contracts involved in Amanda’s life — she’s on top of the world with not only a job on the TV writing staff of Leadoff but a Hollywood publicist, a pumped up wardrobe, and a real-life, contract-free boyfriend in the former womanizer, Liam Brody.

But how long will the good times last in an industry known for the worst kinds of drama? Amanda’s high fashion closet isn’t exactly free of skeletons considering her past with actress Casey Mulreed, creator of Leadoff’s rival TV show, Legacy — a prodigy and darling so loved by America that her recently outed addiction can’t keep her from the very top of the industry, where she has every last intention to stay. And of course, keeping that crown requires butting heads with Amanda — to say the least.

Good thing this time, the small town girl from Merit, Missouri is just a tad more prepared to handle that signature Hollywood scandal…

4 / 5 stars

My review of HDU HERE

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My Review

Can I start by saying how much I LOVED HDU? So when I found out there was a sequel about Liam and Amanda, I was super excited! And it just so happened that I was scouting amazon one morning and luck came my way as Dirt had been released that day! HELL YES!

If you have yet to read the treat that is HDU, then if you are a fan of gossip sites, NYC, film stars, bitchy friends with a slice of fake lovers on the side then definitely grab HDU then read more about Liam and Amanda in Dirt. You will not be disappointed at all. Check out my HDU review first before reading this as this is a continuation of the first book. I have to say, it did take me a while to get into Dirt but once I did, I loved it!

So we all know what happened at the end of HDU, oh yes we do…well those who have read it do. So yes, this will probably contain spoilers so you have been warned. Read at your own risk 😉

At the end of HDU, Liam turns up at Amanda’s place and it’s definitely clear to see that this fake relationship has turned into something real, that he wants Amanda and now is the time for they to finally be together after all the shit they have gone through and being apart for a while. Although together, they are still getting to know each other despite the fact they both love one another. HDU was pretty full on with the contact so yes, it is believable to love each other despite not really know too much about each other. Amanda should know more about Liam, since she used to bitch about him online yet Liam hides a lot of his private life from the tabloids, so there really is a lot to divulge to Amanda.

Now together, things are starting to look up. Amanda has Liam, a new job working on a TV show and her best friend Ian back, after his stint in rehab. She’s happy but of course, there is always people who will put her down and that comes in the form of Connor (Liam’s BFF) and Casey – Amanda’s former BFF in the Hollywood world. Casey is causing trouble for Amanda and just as she and Liam are happy, shit hits the fan and Amanda and Liam have to pretend they have split up after just getting together. What are Liam and Amanda going to do?

Liam has definitely grown a hell of a lot since HDU. He’s in love, he will do anything for Amanda, treat her like the only girl in the world and he HATES it when they are forced to pretend split up whilst he focuses on filming and promoting his new movie as the drama has caused chaos to his movie. But he can’t stay away, he needs to be with Amanda and will find ways to sneak around and see her. Liam is whipped, like seriously and I kind of like that.

He’s protective of Amanda and will do anything for her, as you can tell in one certain scene which involves a paparazzi. Liam is more absence in this book, but no less important. He’s only away because of his movie but he would rather be with Amanda. Towards the end, when everything comes out about what Amanda has been up to, he still wants her but she thinks he’s better off without her. But dear god, what he gives up and does proves just how in deep he is with her. He would follow her to the end of the earth if it meant he had her forever.

Amanda goes through a lot in Dirt. She’s got a job that she seems to hardly go to, she’s being manipulated and blackmailed by Casey, she and Liam have ‘split’ up and she’s being stalked. That’s enough to give you a heart attack, but she tries to take it in her stride, trying to get one up on Casey. I found myself wishing she would talk more smack and pull some punches at Casey. Who cares if she leaked everything from her inbox, she should have told Liam what was happening and not trying to deal with it on her own. Thank god she told Ian though, those two are awesome together and I’m glad they tore Casey a new one, that bitch deserved everything that was thrown her way.

I was quite proud of her telling Liam that they are better off apart, even if she didn’t want to leave him. She had caused she much shit that she really needed to sort herself out, but hunky Liam isn’t one to just leave something. I’m glad he went after her and I’m glad of how it needed, even if it did end with both of them together jobless LOL.

Dirt is a great sequel to HDU. Jam-packed full of drama, love, secrets and of course, the famous gossip sites that documented every step.  It’s still witty, funny, bitchy and gossipy, but it has spunk, from all the characters and that is what makes this sequel a great one.

So if you have yet to experience the wonders of Liam Brody, get right to it!

Posted in Mancandy Monday

MANCANDY MONDAY – The place where the hot guys go!

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Every Monday, Blame It On The Book Lovers will be discussing their favourite book boyfriend of that week in a meme called MANCANDY MONDAY!

We all love book boyfriends, so Man Candy Monday is all about sharing the love…and the hot guys around by letting everyone know the book boyfriend you have been swooning over this last week, and why!

Once you’ve posted your mancandy on your own blog, come back and post the link. We all want to know WHO your mancandy is this week and swoon right along with you.

This week The Book Lovers is featuring Liam Brody from the HDU/Dirt books by India Lee

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My Liam is Matt Lanter

In HDU, Liam is kind of a playboy, and is slated by Amanda on the gossip site HDU. After really wanting a part in a big movie, he tracks down Amanda by email, and gives her a proposition to help him leave behind the womanizer image and give him the one-women image, whilst helping Amanda leave behind her crappy life and hometown and start again.

Liam is saracastic, he can banter with Amanda but underneath it all, hes a cutie. He didnt stray once from the ‘fake relationship’ and you could actually see him grow – he began to appreciate Amanda and their fakeness and he was becoming a new man, leaving his past behind him. The more time they spent together, it was clear to see feelings were changing for both of them. He truly cared about her and only wanted the best for her, that’s why when the contract ended, he let her go, even though it obviously pained him to do so. It proved that something had changed in both of them and it was real between them now, it just couldn’t happen…not yet anyway.

That all happened in HDU (and as my review for Dirt is scheduled for Saturday, i’ll say a little about Liam next)

So you need to read HDU to know what happens in the end, but yes, it is a HEA. Liam and Amanda have stopped the fakeness and are the real deal. You can see how happy they are together now, how in love they are and how sweet they are. Liam is patient with Amanda and will do anything for her. When it comes to a big scene, Amanda decides that Liam is better off without her, and goes back home but EEEEEEE the love Liam has for her, omg, seriously, you will fall in love with him so much. Because he is the most amazing character i have read in while and hes changed so much and grown so much over the two books. He even does something so big that you will clearly see that Amanda is the end game for him. (and no, its not proposing).

So yes, Liam Brody, the sexy Hollywood star, is my Mancandy Monday this week.

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Come and share your MANCANDY in the comments below for all of us to perve on 😉

Posted in Romance, YA

HDU (Part 1) – India Lee

16096260Synopsis

Amanda Nathan just lost everything – her first real boyfriend to her lifelong best friend, her half of their shared apartment in St. Louis and her first post-grad job as a receptionist. Forced back under her parents’ roof in Merit, Missouri, the gossipy town she’d spent her life trying to escape, Amanda has but one saving grace – being an anonymous moderator on HDU, the Internet’s largest celebrity gossip community. Unemployed and alone, Amanda relishes in the one thing she has control over – Hollywood gossip. Now, her idea of fun is getting lost in the glamorous lives of others and posting nasty rumors about her former bestie’s favorite actor, Liam Brody, a playboy notorious for dumping his model girlfriends on a monthly basis.

So who would’ve thought that Liam Brody would be Amanda’s answer to escaping Merit? When the controversial womanizer needs an image boost to land a new role, he turns to none other than HDU for some good press. As it turns out, Liam is as eager to shed his playboy image as Amanda is desperate to move out of Merit. The solution to both problems? Fake a romance in which Hollywood’s biggest playboy falls for an unknown, sweet and shockingly plain Jane.

With the help of Ian, a fellow HDU moderator and self-developed expert on stardom, Amanda packs her bags for her new life in New York, where the overnight fame and glamour of being a celebrity girlfriend awaits. But Amanda soon discovers that their little ploy is a lot more emotionally complicated than she imagined. And while she finds that life works a thousand times better in her Hollywood circle, so does manipulation.

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My Review

22 year old Amanda is back living with her parents after her childhood best friend and roommate did the one thing that no best friend should ever do – steal your boyfriend. With no job, no boyfriend and a gossiping town who completely adores her best friend Megan, she finds solace in her ‘job’ moderating the celebrity blog HDU and spouting how much she dislikes Hollywood’s heartthrob Liam Brody due to his womanizing ways.

But one day she receives an email from Liam who needs a favour from her. He really wants a part in a film that seems close to his heart but Amanda’s hate posts about him using and dumping models will have the opposite affect and so – as it was her sarcastic idea – Liam asks her to be the ‘normal’ girl to date for publicity and this kick-starts something in Amanda who agrees, seeing as she needs to get away from her small Missouri town and New York is just the key.

Thus, this starts the beginning of their ‘relationship’ and with Amanda being quite literally thrown to the wolves, the both of them are slowly seemingly becoming more but as everything unravels and drama comes a-knocking, what will happen to the couple who were pretending?

I love reading books like this – the normal girl who dates the big Hollywood star but with a twist. I loved Tina Reber’s Love series and I’ve already fallen in love with book 1 of HDU! I’m now impatiently awaiting book two to find out the next part of Amanda and Liam’s story and how they are going to deal with everything from  malicious ‘friends’ to the celeb blogosphere. I must admit, I am prone to lurking about Celebrity sites to get my fix about their lives – Perez Hilton being one of them, and I think that was part of what also attracted me to this book. Romance, Hollywood, normal girls and blogs – yes please!

Amanda has literally lost everything. He best friend stole her boyfriend, kicked her out of their flat, she hasn’t a job and moving back with your parents is every young adult’s nightmare (I should know). Her town is a gossip site and she’s been holed up in her room away from the attention of why she is back. The only ‘friend’ she has is her fellow blogger ‘FilmFreak’ whom have been speaking for years but have never met…until know when they both talk about how depressing their lives are.

Showing Ian aka FilmFreak the video Liam sent her, he persuades her to be the girlfriend thus throwing both of them into the public eye and making them ‘famous for being famous.’ Enter Liam coming to her hometown, being shown off to her family and friends then flying her and Ian back to New York with him to begin their journey as a ‘couple.’

Amanda is witty, sarcastic, and a bit naive but she is incredibly loyal to those she loves, standing up for what she believes is right especially being thrown into the public with no idea how to react – she did exceptionally well. But she really did deserve to have a bit of luck come her way after a disastrous couple of months, and I was happy that despite having no idea what she wanted in life, she got Liam and a perfect job along the way.

I fell in love with Liam from the word go / when he emailed Amanda. His sarcasm shone through on his email and I was highly amused by what he said to her that after that I was hooked and waiting to read more emails from him. Needing a normal girl to boost his publicity, Amanda seems the perfect choice and although he’s very head strong and the first meeting seems very uncomfortable between them, they did actually fall into the whole relationship with ease, with friendly banter, kisses, hold handing and slowly changing their perceptions of each other. I just loved watching the relationship change at every corner.

Liam proved that he wasn’t a womanizer, that he just liked woman but he stayed faithful to Amanda throughout their contracted time and over the time, you could see that he had grown and was becoming a changed man thanks to having Amanda in his life. He could be jealous at times when they were out, especially when fellow actor and heartthrob Dylan was around, whom I did like but I wish he stayed away from Amanda (Even though he had been her crush for years). He truly cared about her and only wanted the best for her, that’s why when the contract ended, he let her go, even though it obviously pained him to do so. It proved that something had changed in both of them and it was real between them now, it just couldn’t happen…no yet anyway.

I loved the banter between Liam and Amanda. From the first email right up until the end of the book you could see how much they grew together and although it was all ‘pretend’ it started to certainly not feel that way – for both of them down the line. Although they both started off on the wrong foot with each other, which is why the banter had me laughing so hard, they eventually began to know each other and the more time they spent together, it was like they truly were a couple, especially the way they would act in public with each other, for all to see.

I was disheartened when the contract ran its course. I wanted them to renew it, but I knew what Liam was doing. He wanted Amanda to spread her wings and be everything she should be in the Big Apple, just everything turned to pot in her life after he left to film to movie. I was sat wishing that she didn’t let him leave and that he would come back before the book finished – which I am super happy he did, because that ending was perfect and left us ready for the next chapter in their lives.

There were a few scenes that I adored but I have to say the one that I loved the most was when they were in the restaurant, slightly tipsy and the waitress was trying to get Liam’s attention and Amanda was telling him he could look as she wouldn’t be going away until he did and he said he didn’t want to look and you could really see that those two just had eyes for each other and their feelings were starting to change. I LOVED THAT PART!!

The secondary characters were refreshing and their storylines kept me hooked as well. It seems to be hard to find great friends in the Hollywood world and Casey was no exception. Liam tells Amanda that she’s bad news, but Amanda – who had no female friends – wants to believe differently. I liked their relationship at the start but then Casey started to become the person Liam warned Amanda about. I can’t wait to see what happens with these two in the next book!

Ian was a great friend but his life took a turn for the worst throughout most of the book. I felt so sorry for him that he was spiralling down, and fast. As much as everyone was telling Amanda to not help him, she’s too loyal and I’m just glad she got to him before he really did do something stupid and made him get the help is needed. I can’t wait to see how he is in book two and if he’s straightened his life out.

And finally Megan. She was just an attention seeker who was so very jealous of Amanda and her life. What she did and continued to do to Amanda was disgraceful and I was so happy and glad that Amanda stood up to her in the end because that bitch deserved a slap – although she didn’t receive one.

HDU is the first book I have read by India Lee and her writing style certainly drew me in, so much so, I could not put the book down. The plot flowed; the writing was witty and brought a burst of life to the story. I especially loved all the blog posts and articles throughout the book.

The only thing I will say is that I wish there was more Liam and Amanda because scenes with those two were so funny and cute to read and vision them both together. I hope there are more in the second installment.

I definitely recommend this book if you love celebrity blogs, Hollywood heartthrobs pretending to date normal girls, perceptions of others being changed, drama and romance. I, for one, loved this book and will definitely be re-reading it very soon.