Madison Alcott was back in her hometown, caring for her sick mom and working long hours at the best resort in Laguna Beach. She never imagined she'd return to the place where she became famous on the hit reality TV show Laguna Nights, and the place where she was humiliated on national television. Fortunately, the past had stayed tucked away until her old high school boyfriend appeared in the lobby.
Josh Welsh was a superstar by age eighteen, the bad boy break-out star of Laguna Nights. Since then, his star had lost its shine and he barely was holding onto his Hollywood status. When he was asked to host a new reality travel show, he jumped at the chance. The only problem was the first episode was shooting in Laguna Beach. Of all the reasons Josh didn't want to return home, he hadn't even imagined the worst scenario: running into Madison "Holly" Alcott.
Josh's connection to Madison was still as strong as her anger at his betrayal. When the new reality series forces them together, they must face Laguna Nights past and present, and navigate a journey where nothing is as it seems.
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I was never a fan of reality TV shows because frankly, I can’t understand what's so entertaining about persons airing their personal lives for all the world to see. Laguna Nights was a vivid reminder of the reason why I dislike those shows. This does not mean that the story was not good. In fact, I enjoyed the story, however, it did not change the way I feel about reality TV.
Laguna Nights is a second chance romance about a love that burned alive even after fifteen years of separation. Madison Alcott and Josh Welsh were a couple in high school. These two were considered an unlikely couple as Josh was from a well to do family while Madison was raised by her mom who struggled to make ends meet. This however did not prevent them from falling hopelessly in love with each other. Madison was everything to Josh and vice versa. Unfortunately, events from the reality TV series that they both starred in would rip these two apart. Madison was deeply hurt and as a result, after her graduation, she migrated to Europe to start over. However, she was forced to return to Laguna Beach to take care of her ailing mother.
Josh has also moved away to fulfil his desire to become a world famous actor. However, he was not able to achieve the fame and recognition he had when he was on Laguna Beach. In a last ditch effort to save his career, he agreed to take part in another reality TV series which saw him returning to the very place that he had vowed never to return. On his return Josh found himself drawn to Maddison. He knew then without a doubt that, even after fifteen years of separation due to hurt and misunderstanding, his heart still belonged to her. He was determined to do everything humanly possible to win her back.
The story is told in the third person POV, but from alternate perspectives. The story moves smoothly between past and present. This made things clearer as readers will be able to understand what really took place fifteen years ago. It also shows how Maddison is able to let go of the past and forgive Josh for what she considered was the ultimate betrayal. How ironic that the very thing that tore them apart would be what brought them back together.
At first I didn’t like Josh. He came off as self-important and conceited. At times it would appear that he valued fame and fortune over his family and Maddison. Nevertheless, when the truth came out close to what went on, it was easy to see why things worked the direction they acted. Not that I agree with how it all went down, but I do understand. It was evident that Maddison still had trust issues where Josh was concerned which was understandable. Josh would have to prove that he was worthy of her love and trust once again.
The story was well written and the characters were well developed. I loved the interaction between the characters. The plot was entertaining, engaging and the descriptions were vivid. The story addressed issues such as jealousy, deception, heartache, self-esteem and back stabbing. These are issues that most readers can identify with. The love scenes were tastefully written. (If you are the type of reader that needs to have steamy sex scenes in your romance, then this book may not be for you).
Overall, this was a good story and I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series.
Kaira Rouda is an Amazon #1 bestselling, multiple award-winning author of three women's fiction novels including HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY. Kaira's work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.
Tule Publishing Group's Southern Born imprint is publishing her new contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; LINES IN THE SAND, Book 2; and THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3. Four more books in the series will be out in 2015.
Her nonfiction title, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, continues to inspire women internationally.
She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel.
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