Review: Selfie (Bluewater Bay #13) by Amy Lane

One year ago, actor Connor Montgomery lost the love of his life to a drunk driver. But what’s worse for Connor is what he still has: a lifetime of secrets born of hiding his relationship from the glare of Hollywood. Unable to let go of the world he and Vinnie shared, Connor films a drunken YouTube confession on the anniversary of Vinnie’s death.

Thankfully, the video was silent—a familiar state for Connor—so his secret is still safe. He needs a fresh start, and a new role on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing might be just that.

The move to Bluewater Bay may also mean a second chance in the form of his studio-assigned assistant. Noah Dakers sees through Connor’s facades more quickly than Connor could imagine. Noah’s quiet strength and sarcastic companionship offers Connor a chance at love that Hollywood’s closet has never allowed. But to accept it, Connor must let Vinnie go and learn to live again.

On the anniversary of his lover’s death, closeted actor Connor Montgomery posts a video online, and narrowly avoids telling the world the truth about him and his “best friend”, deceased actor Vinnie Walker. The close call forces him to re-evaluate the half-life he’s been living. Wanting a new start, his agent gets him a spot on one of TV’s hit shows.

When he arrives in Washington, Connor meets his new studio-assigned assistant, Noah Dakers. Noah is everything Connor isn’t - confident, happy, loved by his family, and out and proud. Noah sees through Connor’s facade early on, and the two slowly begin the process of healing Connor.

I loved being back in the small town of Bluewater Bay. Revisiting different places and catching up with some of the town’s memorable residents was a treat. Small town romances are my weakness, and this fictional town in the Pacific Northwest makes my inner sap very happy.

At the beginning of ‘Selfie’, Connor is a pretty pitiful character. He lives as a recluse, shutting himself off from the world and drinking away the pain of his lover’s death. Being in his head was heartbreaking. We get a front-row seat to what it’s like to lose one’s second half. But from the moment that Connor meets Noah, there’s a crack in that darkness, just a sliver of light.

From Noah’s point of view, Connor is clearly not well, and not the best actor he can be. As a fan and employee, Noah wants to help Connor. But as the two become friends, Noah realizes that what Connor truly needs is someone to love him, someone to call his own.

The two slowly begin putting Connor back together, but deep down, in his heart and his head, he is still a mess. Lane does a great job of showing how bereavement can be all-encompassing, affecting a person’s physical and mental health in a way that makes it impossible to even think about being happy and whole.

I loved reading the scenes early on where Connor and Noah spent their time just talking and exploring Bluewater Bay. It made their fall into love so much more believable. And when they do take those steps towards an actual relationship, it was sweet and realistic.

Connor learns to love again, while Noah learns that Connor’s continuing love for Vinnie doesn’t mean that Connor loves him any less. I alternated between smiling and sniffling, which is what I’d expect from this author.

As much as I enjoyed the romance between Noah and Connor, there is one thing that gave me pause. There are a couple of scenes that were racially insensitive and inappropriate. I don’t believe those scenes were meant to deliberately hurt, but I think when writing about characters from different backgrounds, especially those from historically marginalized backgrounds, it’s important for authors to be aware of the words they use. I’m glad that Riptide Publishing acknowledged this in a professional and positive manner, and will make appropriate edits to the book.

Overall, ‘Selfie’ is an Amy Lane classic. It’s heartbreaking, yet very romantic. I’d recommend for readers who like angst with their MM.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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