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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Laguna Nights kept my curousity going wondering what would happen next between Josh and Madison. The book reminded me of the reality TV show Laguna Beach. It made me wonder how those who were on that reality show felt or had to deal with similar situations that the characters had. Although, the book Laguna Nights doesn't take place during their high school time on the reality TV show. The book takes place 15 years after the show had taken place.
Kaira Rouda did an excellent job making the characters come to life with their personalities, behaviors, and what challenges they face throughout the story, especially the main characters.
I loved that Madison wasn't a push over. She stood her ground and tried to keep the life she built after the reality TV show stable, especially since she left her hometown before to get away, but her mother's illness brought her back. I wish Madison would have fought harder against those filming Josh's new travel show. Although she did not want to do the show, she gave in far too easily, in my opinion. It was clear that Madison struggled with whether or not she should trust Josh again, since is the first time he was back in her life after the senior year disaster.
I had moments where I wanted to shake some sense into Josh or strangle him. He seemed like he cared more about fame and fortune more than he care for his own family and his so-called "first love." If he truly loved her, why did he agree to that scene knowing how badly it would hurt Madison? Beyond the fact that he was young and dumb at the time, only thinking about ratings, fame, and becoming an actor. I was glad to see some of his behavior had changed. I wish I could have seen him grow more. I wish we could have read the conversation Josh had with his father and seen how his relationship with his family grew after many years of not speaking.
There were parts in the beginning that had me confused. Mainly, it was due to wondering who some of the characters who who got mentioned. Madison's boyfriend she had before Josh showed back up didn't have the best introduction. His name got mentioned, but it didn't say much of who he was or why his name came up.
The ending surprised me. I had not seen the twist to Josh's travel show going that way. I was very pleased with how the ending turned out.
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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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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