Reviewed By Tori
Favorite Quote: “In a town built on playing the odds, I hope I hadn’t bet everything on a long shot.”
After landing a coveted TV role, Grace Sheridan is back in the tabloids when the producers ask her to lose 15 pounds. Grace takes to the internet to get her fans to weigh in on her weight and Hollywood’s skewed thoughts on body image. Grace finds herself needing Jack more than ever by her side but his own issues has him pushing her away.
Jack Hamilton finds being voted Sexiest Man Alive has his fans and the paparazzi hounding him into insanity. He’s also struggling with not being able to claim Grace as his own in front of the world. Taking his Hollywood bad boy image to the extreme, Jack begins to spiral out of control indulging in destructive behavior that has Grace and his friends worried. Grace tries to give him the space he needs, but when his drama begins to threaten Grace and her own career, she takes a firm stand and gives Jack an ultimatum to shape up. Can Jack pull it together or will their relationship end up on the cutting room floor.
Clayton brings more love, laughter and emotional upheaval to “George” and “Sweet Nuts” in her final installment of the Redhead series. This zany smoking-hot romance will keep readers in stitches as two strong, well-defined protagonists struggle to navigate their relationship while fame, jealousy and snarky bloggers attack from all sides. Fast pacing, witty dialogue and a cast of well-meaning friends provide the script for an Oscar-worthy story about a couple whose journey has delighted readers since the beginning.
The Redhead Plays Her Hand is definitely the most emotional and serious of the series. Ms. Clayton digs deep into Grace and Jack to show us how they are dealing with their relationship and careers that are exploding in separate directions. The focus in here is more on Jack. His insecurities rear their ugly heads as he tries to adjust to his exploding fame and having to hide his relationship with Grace. His normally perfect constitution is heavily shaken and he has a hard time digging himself out of the hole he’s sinking into. Luckily for him, the love of his life is a strong, pragmatic, kick arse woman who loves him enough to give him a helping hand out of that hole.
Clayton does a fantastic job of addressing the toll fame can take on an individual and a couple. Well written in a conversation writing style, the story ebbs and flows gracefully with no uncomfortable stalling or lagging. You are immediately dragged back into Grace and Jack’s lives as if you never left. It’s interesting to finally see Jack’s imperfections. The first two books focused on Grace’s insecurities about her career, age, and Jack’s fame. Jack has always been the steady one who would stand by Grace’s side when she took a ride on the crazy train. He was her anchor. Now, Grace gets to return the favor as Jack books his own ride on the crazy train.
Humor and romance remains a strong element in this installment. It’s original appeal has only increased with each new book. I adore Grace and Jack. They have such amazing chemistry. The love that flows between them scorches the pages. These two are soul mates who are destined to be together and you believe that with all your heart. We not only see the steamy (oh so steamy hot) sexual side of their relationship but also the romantic and it adds a sense of realism to the storyline. Their lives aren’t perfect but if they can jump this hurdle, they may just be home free. That is, if their jobs and Jack doesn’t tear them apart. I enjoyed how Ms. Clayton doesn’t sugar coat their relationship. It’s not easy peasy and she allows us to experience the good and the bad concerning their lives. I also liked Clayton’s views on what stars of today go through in Hollywood. Between paparazzi, tabloid stories, and their employers, it doesn’t surprise me that some go off the rails. Trust and communication are major factors and we see what happens when there is a lack of both.
The secondary cast of characters are a delight per usual, each well developed to the point of being able to hold their own without over powering our protagonists. Some have been with Grace and Jack since the beginning. They enhance and showcase Grace and Jack perfectly. Grace’s bff, Holly, who also happens to be Jack’s agent, is a hoot with her witty commentary and snappy comebacks. She and Grace are like a well established vaudeville routine at times. She only wants what’s best for Grace and Jack and tries really hard to be what they both need her to be. But she is also one of Hollywood’s best agents so sometimes her decisions reflect what the job needs rather than what the person needs. Nick, Holly and Grace’s gay friend, also adds much humor as he tries to be there for both his favorite people, hitting on Jack and giving Grace a shoulder to cry on. There is a secondary romance that hits all the high notes and I was thrilled to see this particular development.
Though this particular story hits a little harder in the heart, Clayton makes the ending an exciting whimsical journey filled with love, laughter, and some much needed emotional growing. The Redhead Plays Her Hand is a hilarious and engaging romantic contemporary that will have you howling with laughter and fist pumping with joy as you watch our favorite Hollywood couple navigate their way through the pitfalls of fame, fortune, and TMZ. While I’m sad this series has ending, I’m thrilled Ms. Clayton allowed me to share it with her.
Alice Clayton has more than proven her ability to hold her own in the romantic genre. If you like your contemporaries sexy, funny, and made of pure fun then run, don’t walk, and get The Redhead series. Then get ready for a wild riotous laughter filled read about Hollywood, cougars, and poo heads.