Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber

There is no rehearsal for true love.

When A-list film actor Ryan Christensen ducked into her pub to escape his screaming fans, never in a million years did Taryn Mitchell think her life was about to change forever. But now, eight months later, after a whirlwind romance, Taryn wakes up in Ryan’s Hollywood hotel room to find a diamond to die for on her left ring finger – and her face splashed across the cover of every gossip magazine.

Ryan’s very public proposal is catnip to the tabloids, his management team is worried, and Taryn must figure out how a small town girl like her fits into his glittering world. What does it take to make a relationship work amidst telephoto lenses, daily on-set temptations, and jealous fans who will stop at nothing to keep you from walking down the aisle with the man of your dreams?

With no script to follow and no chance for a dress rehearsal, Taryn and Ryan will be forced to take the plunge and risk everything to make their love last.

review

“Ryan Christensen was the best thing that had ever happened to me. His love was like an invisible blanket that I had the privilege of wearing every day. But if our relationship was going to survive the test of time, I had to start handling things differently.”

In this stunning sequel to Love Unscripted, our beloved characters – Taryn and Ryan – are ‘soldiering through’ their happily-ever-after. Ryan’s life is as crazy as ever and the “fandemonium” around him is only getting worse. Taryn has put her old life on hold to follow him around the world and support his career, their relationship being stronger than ever. She is finding her comfort zone in this book, her confidence growing in both them as a couple as well as in herself. She is actively participating in Ryan’s professional life, forever supportive of him as an actor and as her partner.

“There are concessions to be made when involved with someone as famous as Ryan. The choice comes down to either dealing with the public attention or passing up true love for anonymity.”

While I felt that the first book was Taryn’s journey, this for me was the story of their relationship, its growth and its strengthening. Ryan’s love for Taryn is unrelenting, constant, comforting, inspiring – “You’re my heart, Taryn. My heart”. They are each other’s biggest fans and their encouragement of one another is touching to say the least. I personally felt there was nothing the storyline could have thrown at them that would have even shaken them as a unit. Their connection is palpable and while its intensity seems to only skyrocket as time passes, their bond is genuine and solid. Their attraction is not only physical, these are two people who truly like each other, faults and all. They are determined to make their relationship work and are unwilling to even consider ‘exit scenarios’.

Their biggest hurdle remains Ryan’s stardom and general lack of privacy, but they never stop fighting for one another, never leave anything to chance and they constantly reassure each other of their commitment to their happily-ever-after. Ryan never takes Taryn’s love or presence in his life for granted. He never gives her any reasons to doubt him or feel jealous, he treats her like a precious gift, persistently baring his soul and his heart to her.

“I know being in a relationship with me comes with an entire set of stressors that normal people never have to deal with. But you cut that away and I’m still me. I’m just a man.”

The pace of this book was again slow and steady but undoubtedly gripping. I could not put this book down from the moment I started reading it. Ms Reber’s writing style is unique – it flows seamlessly, never distracting the reader from the story itself and it is quite elegant in its delivery. Even the hot lovin’ scenes are elegantly executed, never crass or overly graphic, and frequently laced with humour. They are simple but they are breath-taking. Heart palpitations included.

This book is a very realistic portrayal of what it means to be a worldwide celebrity and what the real price of that status really is. Love is hard work in the best of cases, but when the whole world is watching every step or misstep you make, spontaneity becomes a prized possession between two people. When the most private and cherished moments between two lovers often become media circuses, one treats even simple everyday acts of affection as something to be fiercely protected.

Trust Ms Reber to make you smile, laugh, make your heart melt or twist in agony, trust her to make you cheer for the characters, become invested in their happily-ever-after, even do the odd fist-pump at times. You’ll be left satisfied and possibly even bursting at the seams from positivity.

4halfstars

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Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs – to have love in his heart and privacy in his life.

Taryn Mitchell, the story’s protagonist, is a realist. She’s been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn’t buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they’re kept at a distance.

Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.

Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn’s peace and Ryan’s high-profile insanity live together in harmony?

review

“There were no cameras, no directors, no witnesses – just Ryan and I and our raw, unscripted emotions.”

This is first and foremost a delightfully delicious love story between two characters whose amiability just pops off the pages. It is also a fictional illustration of the ugly and everything-but-glamorous side of being a celebrity, the less flashy aspect of constantly being in the limelight and the horror of being an object of mass adoration and hysteria. It explores the concept of privacy, something that most of us take for granted in our everyday lives, and it shows us that not everything is quite as picture-perfect in Tinseltown. The main character could be any one of today’s current ‘heartthrobs’, any one of the well-known faces splashed across the covers of gossip magazines. This story is an epitome of how obsessed we have become with celebrities, how invested we have become in their private lives and affairs, and how questionable what we think we know about them really is. Ryan and Taryn’s love story shows us the effect of our obsession on their lives and it makes us question the true price of celebrityhood.

Ryan Christensen is a huge movie star, a fictional R-Patz of sorts, with a fan base to match. Everything he does is open to public scrutiny, he is followed wherever he goes, his every step photographed and twisted by the media, he is surrounded by adoring fans whenever he steps outside, everyone wanting a piece of him. But as much as he loves his job, Ryan hates his stardom. He hates not having any privacy and he hates the lies that are written about his personal life. But what he hates the most is not being to trust anyone new that comes into his life, never knowing whether they would eventually betray him and sell him out to the media. Ryan also suffers from panic attacks – his fans’ frenzied love declarations and complete disregard for his personal space literally terrorize him.

“Ryan Christensen was a drug that everyone seemed hopelessly addicted to.”

Taryn is exactly what Ryan has been looking for – someone who has never even seen any of his movies, a ‘non-fan’. They meet by accident and they immediately fall head over heels with each other. Taryn offers Ryan a safe haven to be who he really is, to let his guard down and to enjoy the simple things in life again, everything that he has been craving for ever since he became a movie star. But for Taryn being with Ryan means sacrificing her privacy and having her every move scrutinised by the media and Ryan’s adoring fans, not to mention being relentlessly stalked by the paparazzi. It is a huge price to pay in the name of love and one that makes Taryn uncertain about wanting to pursue a relationship with Ryan in the first place. His highly publicised past romantic escapades also add to Taryn’s general reservations about being in his life, feeding and amplifying her insecurities and fears of being cheated on or discarded for someone else again.

“We came from two different worlds that weren’t meant to exist together.”

Taryn is a compelling heroine. She is one of us, an ordinary woman with an ordinary job and with ‘normal’ friends in her life. She doesn’t fall in love with ‘Ryan Christensen the movie star’, she falls in love with the Ryan who plays poker with her friends and loves going fishing, with the Ryan who makes her feel adored and talks about her to his mum. But her struggle in this story is real and convincing. She hasn’t had much luck in love prior to meeting Ryan and she is afraid of loving again. Loving Ryan proves to be surprisingly easy for her and that scares her even more. This relationship would have been a challenging one for Taryn even had it not been with a celebrity, Ryan’s stardom only exacerbating her trust issues and making her doubt herself even more.

“He’s not just another guy who has the potential to rip your heart out and hand it to you while it’s still beating. He would be capable of much more damage than that.”

This book is Taryn’s story, a young woman coming to grips with a new life she never imagined having, and finding strength in the midst of unthinkable madness. She gives herself completely in their relationship but her journey to that point is one that she makes after carefully considering what she would be losing in the end. She is not impulsive or reckless in her decision to become part of Ryan’s life and this made me admire her even more. There were moments where her indecisiveness made me restless and slightly frustrated but I also felt that it set a pace for the book that ultimately made her journey even more believable. Taryn is independent, brave, selfless. She doesn’t want or need Ryan for his wealth or to take care of her, she only wants his heart and loyalty to her. She is a realist and a dreamer at the same time, she loves him with all her heart but she is forever aware that it takes a lot more than physical love to keep people together. Ryan “resurrects” her ability to hope in love’s possibilities.

“I didn’t need anyone to take care of me, but I did want someone to love me enough to try. … I didn’t want someone who would have to force himself to love me or for me to pretend that I loved him back. I had always hoped that love would be mutually instinctual and natural – as easy as breathing.”

Love Unscripted is a modern fairy tale, an epic love story between two ‘soul-mates’ caught in the sharp claws of celebrity machinery. It is a love-against-all-odds kind of romance but it is one that only inspires hope in the reader. This is a story about trusting your heart to take a chance on love and risking everything for the right person.

“If you never take chances, then of course you won’t get hurt. But that’s what life is all about … Living through the good and bad, and – with any luck – having battle scars that heal.”

4halfstars

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