Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: The Redhead Plays Her Hand, by Alice Clayton

Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

An impromptu dinner party ensued, and after dinner was over, we all ended up on the cushiony chairs in the backyard, Winter in Los Angeles was chilly at nighttime, at least enough that the cashmere throws I brought out were necessary. Snuggled in a large love seat, Jack played with my hair, as we laughed and chatted with our friends. Strings of white lights dotted the fig and plum trees out back, and the potted lemon trees that framed the patio threw off their fragrance into the night. I leaned into Jack's warmth, his breath heady and thick with brandy as he and Holly went back and forth about his shooting schedule. He'd be leaving in a few weeks, but this time was different from when we'd been apart in the past. This time I got to stay here, in my home that I'd worked so hard on and barely gotten to enjoy before heading off to New York. Now I was able to work where I lived, and I relished my surroundings.

This contemporary romance is very coming of age and doesn't leave much to the imagination when it comes to sexual situations. It is a far cry from sappy romances with their hints or innuendos towards what is going on in the bedroom. That said that fact that it was out there made it a little less offensive and able to move past it without feeling sucked into the wording. The book is not all romance but is sprinkled with humor and treads on some serious issues such as Hollywood's obsession with weight, the stress media places on celebrities, and how hurtful people can be from behind a computer screen.

Official Synopsis:
Grace Sheridan is flying high. With scorching passion from her gorgeous Brit superstar Jack Hamilton plus the lead role in a new television dramedy, she could just pinch herself. Then a demand from her show’s directors to drop fifteen pounds brings her back down to earth with a thump. Forced to subsist on air, cucumbers, and boot camp, Grace wonders if the body that brings the newly crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” to his knees is just too booty-licious for Hollywood. Jack, meanwhile, seems overly enamored of the celebrity lifestyle. Forbidden by his publicity-conscious manager to reveal his relationship with Grace, he’s hitting the industry party scene way too hard.

As Grace’s bod incites fiery debate about the message of “thin is in,” Jack’s jealous fans are downing the hate-erade, viciously slamming her curves. Grace longs for Jack’s support, but he’s showing up late and disheveled to her most important moments. With tempers between them flaring, Hollywood’s most talked-about redhead might have more to lose than a few stubborn pounds. She and Jack were clearly made for each other—but will the day ever come when they can walk the red carpet together, hand in hand?

I have not read any of the other books in the Redhead series so this was my first time to meet Grace and Jack. Their characters come alive in the book and you can feel the spunkiness of Grace as she tackles each new obstacle. I truly appreciate how the author approaches the subject of weight in Hollywood without making it into a huge issue of the book. The fact that Grace ends up standing up for herself, and is not ashamed of who she is, is the strongest message that can be taught. The bad boy role that Jack goes down is a little expected in stories like these but does help create a story to bring the two of them back together.

I will not provide any spoilers but my favorite part was the ending and the surprises that were revealed. It was a very easy and delightful read and made the perfect vacation book. I look forward to going back and reading the other books in the series to see how Grace and Jack got together originally and get the back story of the couple.

4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Gwendolyn Mulholland is a stay-at-home mom who loves to read, but struggles to find enough hours in the day to do so. Although her Kindle gets a lot of use, she still prefers the touch and smell of a book in her hands. She writes for Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life and Vacation Maybe.


  1. My BFF is a red head and in book club with me, I bet she would get a kick out of reading this.

  2. Sounds like something a friend would like. Will pass along title.

  3. Sounds like a great read! I'll have to download it to my kindle for my next relaxing day in the sun!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. How do you read this many books? I watch too much TV. LOL! Sounds like a fun read. I need more of these for summer.

    1. Ha, well this review was actually written by my friend Gwen, who is a guest reviewer and kindly has agreed to do some reviews for me :).

  6. That an interesting plot - fun tead

  7. Replies
    1. Good for you, Shelley! I'm glad my favorite blogging Blonde can appreciate a curvy redhead's tribulations. :)

  8. I've been a redhead (by bottle) for many years and a BBW all my life. I like the extra spark my fiery hair gives me, and I usually succeed at embracing and enhancing my curves. This book sounds right up my alley, especially with the inclusion of Hollywood's anorexic expectations and some spicy romance. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!


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