Read: September 2012
Published: Originally self-published. Re-released September 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Category: Adult Contemporary Romance (This is not YA!)
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? (from Goodreads).
Love Unscripted is a fun, indulgent romance for anyone who’s dreamed about falling in love with an actor. Let’s face it, almost every woman has had that fantasy at some point in her life. I know I have. When I was younger (think late elementary/early middle school) I went through a big Star Wars/Indiana Jones - aka Harrison Ford - phase. I remember having vivid daydreams in which the actor who played Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill -though I'm pretty sure I always called him Luke in my head - was my older brother and Harrison Ford was my boyfriend. Of course, I didn't think about the fact that he's almost 40 years older than me (I freaked when I found this out!). With that in mind, what I really loved about Love Unscripted is how real it felt. It is clear that Tina Reber thought a lot about what it would be like for a regular person to date an actor – the good, bad and ugly (cliché, but I'm indulging, remember).
A-list actor Ryan Christianson stumbles into Tayrn Mitchell’s bar trying to escape a mob of screaming fans. He’s shooting a movie on location in her small Rhode Island town, and she’s not that impressed with the chaos his arrival has brought her community. But she can’t help feeling bad for the hot celebrity when she gets a small glimpse at the realities of his life. Although he comes across as confident on screen, it’s clear that he’s overwhelmed by all the fan attention. Taryn helps sneak him out of her building and away from the crowd, and thinks she’ll never see him again. But Ryan can’t seem to get Taryn out of his head, and soon she can’t resist him either.
I really appreciated the slow building of Taryn and Ryan’s romance in the beginning. Although their attraction is obvious, they take time to get to know each other. I could really relate to Taryn, because she had many of the exact same hesitations that I would have had going into a relationship with a famous actor. Especially that she was looking for a relationship and not just a few moments of fun with him. Don’t worry, their relationship doesn’t move slowly forever, and it’s pretty spicy once it gets going!
Love Unscripted did ramble in places and there was lots of drama. Pretty much everything you can imagine going wrong when dating a celebrity happens in this book - stalker fans, bad publicity, jealousy, rumors of cheating, the list goes on. But overall, it seemed fairly realistic to what life could be like dating an actor, or at least what I’d imagine would be realistic. I like to indulge in indulgent reads, and the sometimes-meandering storyline did not bother me. But I realize that this type of a book is not for everyone (remember the word of the day is indulgent).
The only part of this book that really got on my nerves was the requisite last 25% of almost every romance, when the drama kicks up and there are misunderstandings. As usual, the story would have resolved much faster if the couple was communicating better. But I’ve come to expect that in a contemporary romance.
Despite the drama, I’m rooting for Ryan and Taryn to make it (in my fantasy they do). Overall Love Unscripted was a really fun story, and I loved watching Taryn fulfill one of my childhood day dreams – getting a hot actor to fall in love with her.
Love triangle factor: Mild (When I wrote this review, I totally forgot about the fact that there is a second person who crops up -though I NEVER saw him as a true contender, so I forgot about him pretty quickly. He is an annoying entity though. Sorry for an inaccurate rating the first time)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cliffhanger Scale: Low. But there is a sequel Love Unrehearsed, which is also available now.