Read Stand-In Star by Rachael Johns Online


As an anthropologist, Holly McCartney is more comfortable in a museum than shopping on Rodeo Drive. She isn’t prepared for the media frenzy on her arrival in L.A. to accept a posthumous acting award for her late sister….or for her sister’s gorgeous friend Nate Devlin to come to her rescue. Though he resents her for some reason, she can’t fight their irresistible chemistry—As an anthropologist, Holly McCartney is more comfortable in a museum than shopping on Rodeo Drive. She isn’t prepared for the media frenzy on her arrival in L.A. to accept a posthumous acting award for her late sister….or for her sister’s gorgeous friend Nate Devlin to come to her rescue. Though he resents her for some reason, she can’t fight their irresistible chemistry—especially when the paparazzi force her to stay at his mansion.Photographer Nate only agrees to help Holly survive Hollywood for her sister’s sake, but she soon gets under his skin in a way no other woman has. The more time he spends with her, the more his attraction grows and he finds himself opening up to her in ways he never expected. But will ghosts of the past stand in the way of their perfect Hollywood ending?...

Title : Stand-In Star
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781426894909
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 250 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stand-In Star Reviews

  • Kim
    2020-01-19 18:54

    This contemporary romance starts with an interesting story line. A cultural anthropologist from Australia travels to Hollywood to accept her dead sister's Academy Award. They had been estranged due to a past betrayal. Her sister's friend Nate reluctantly ends up coming to her rescue with the paparazzi and takes her into his home and helps her deal with Hollywood. Nate is not sure what to make of Holly at first. He is prejudiced against her for preconceived notions about how she treated her sister. He has all kinds of deep seated issues dealing with his past that make affects his ability to have relationships. He worked his way out of his past and became a professional success, but feels he does not have much to offer anyone personally. He cannot deal with his responses to Holly.She'd thrown his off course in less than a week. How could one man be so dangerously sexy and so irritatingly rude at the same time?Holly is trying to come to terms with issues related to her sister's betrayal and her own insecurities of feeling not good enough. She is out of her element in Hollywood and totally naive at how to deal with the attention and Press. She is attracted to Nate, but he just makes her feel more insecure as he fights his own attraction to her. "Damn, Holly, you make my head hurt.""Trust me, the feeling is entirely mutual."Nate and Holly are so gun shy that they really do not know how to interact with each other. They have chemistry, but fight it. He is hot and cold. She is confused, scared, and does not think he would ever be interested in her. She'd lost her sister without realizing how much she loved her and now she'd found the man of her dreams,only he didn't want to be anybody's Prince Charming. He didn't think he was good enough.She was worthy of more than his love--she was worthy of the world. He wished more than anything that he could love her back; but he didn't think he knew how. I found myself waiting for them to connect both physically and emotionally. And when they connect it is fireworks! I really wanted this couple to work out. I loved seeing how both Holly and Nate changed after spending time together. And how they realized truths about themselves in the process. It was a sweet read and I really loved the ending. This author's writing style was easy to read and flowed well. I liked that you got both character's POVs especially since they had such inner monologues going on while trying to sort out their feelings and issues. Thanks to Carina Press and netgalley for the chance to read and review this book before the release date of January 7, 2013

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2020-01-14 17:57

    I am being generous and giving this book 3 stars. This book was a totally middle of the road read for me. I didn't dislike it by any means. It was sweet and cute, but there was no UMPH to it. There was no humor or quirkiness to set this book apart from all the thousands of other romances out there. I hate to say it, but it was a bit bland. It didn't hold my attention. Nothing put me off from this book but I wasn't compelled to pick it up as I was reading it. The book is about a girl, Holly, who agrees to accept an Oscar on behalf of her dead sister (Daisy), a famous actress. Her sister's "friend" Nate, takes Holly under his wing and... dah dah dah... romance ensues. There are "misunderstandings" and "miscommunications" galore. I'm sure some people will really enjoy this one. It isn't poorly written and maybe a year ago I would have liked this one a bit more as well. But now a romance book needs more of that special something to keep my attention. This one didn't have it. **This was a read-to-review book from Net Galley**

  • Kari
    2020-01-19 19:55

    With a premise inherently painful, but a hot and overall fun playout, Stand-In Star is as sweet as it is intense. With an immediate dislike between Nate and Holly, yet a just as instant lust as well, these two fly off the pages from the start. While a few aspects of the plot didn’t mesh quite right with me, I still enjoyed this one and definitely couldn’t wait to see how everything played out.Holly is a bit of a mess, torn up over the death of her sister, complicated by their three years of silence. While she clings tightly to her anger at her sister over a past betrayal, she isn’t so tight fisted with it that she can’t accept other takes on the situation. With an overall sense of sorrow at the entire thing riding with her, there is something vulnerable about Holly even while she holds her chin high. She certainly has her breaking moments, yet she is a solid character with a lot going for her. Though Nate certainly flusters her, she can easily hold her own against him and doesn’t back down even when he tests her.Nate is more damaged than messy, still hung up, in a way, on things in his past even after breaking out of them. With a big heart, despite his dislike of Holly, and plenty of guilt and sorrow of his own about Daisy’s death, he is that right mix of cocky, sexy, jerky outside with the softness inside. The kind of guy who has friends with benefits, rather than outright one night stands, and definitely doesn’t do committed relationships, something about Holly catches him off guard. Watching these two get close, without realizing it, and watching them try to fight the chemistry that was present from their first meeting, made for a great story with plenty of moments to make you grin.This book takes place over a week, though so much happens within that week it felt like it was longer as I was reading. Though Holly and Nate fall fast and hard, given their situations, and the things that happen, it didn’t at all feel forced for them to feel that way. While in some ways, this one didn’t totally go to the emotional depths I prefer, it still toed that line, and had far more than sexiness to it. Not to mention, there are few things better than watching two people fall for each other when they start out wanting to tear each other’s throats out, and this one plays on that beautifully.

  • Chanpreet
    2020-01-11 22:46

    I fought through tiredness and falling asleep to finish this book. I'll write a better review in the morning! Morning has come and gone, and I'm still thinking about this book! Holly McCartney has entered the crazy world of LA to attend the Academy Awards to represent her deceased and estranged sister Daisy, who just happens to be nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. Holly is overwhelmed by the paparazzi who meet her at arrivals. She's saved by Nate Devlin, a close friend of Daisy's, who's already prejudged her. Holly's instantly attracted and not knowing anyone else accepts his offer of help. But how can she depend on him when she knows he dislikes her? And knowing that why, oh why, can she not stop thinking about how much she'd like to lick him all over?Wow. This book packed a lotta punch. You've got sweet and geeky-sexy Holly and just straight out help-me-I'm-melting he's so hot, Nate. The chemistry between them is amazing. And even though they want each other so bad, Nate's preconceived notions about Holly keep them apart. Holly wants him but knows it'd only be temporary and she's not too keen on enlightening Nate as to why his judgement of her being the one at fault for the estrangement between the sisters is wrong. It was great reading to see them butt heads, but I really wanted to shake Nate and tell Holly to tell him already. I've got to say though, missing out on an hour or two's worth of sleep was totally worth it.

  • Darcy Daniel
    2020-01-21 22:44

    I really enjoyed this romance. This is the first Rachael Johns novel I’ve read, and I’ll certainly be reading her others. It was easy to relate to Holly who has to travel from Australia to LA to attend the Academy Awards and possibly accept an Oscar on her deceased sister’s behalf (a famous Hollywood star). The backstory of Holly’s sister betraying Holly in the worst possible way makes for a great internal battle that Holly needs to overcome by the time the Awards arrive.Nate is sexy as hell, and has his own internal struggles to overcome, which gives him a nicely fleshed out character.Together Holly and Nate combust in some pretty steamy sex scenes – which are tastefully written and appropriate to the story.An enjoyable read all round, with no complaints from me. Looking forward to reading more from the author.

  • Laura
    2020-01-15 19:42

    This was a really cute rom-com. Holly McCartney is heading to LA from Australia to sit for her sister who has passed away at the Academy Awards. Her sister is up for Best Supporting Actress. What she doesn't expect to find her knight in shining armor, Nate Devlin, former Paparazzo Prince. This was a cute and fun read. Holly and Nate were great together, even when they didn't want to admit in the short week they knew each other that there was definitely something between the two.

  • Bree T
    2020-01-24 19:52

    Holly McCartney is an anthropologist in Australia, far removed from the bright lights and red carpets of Hollywood. Her late sister Daisy was a famous actress and posthumously is up for one of the most prestigious acting awards that there is. Holly and her parents haven’t spoken to Daisy for some years after an incident at Holly’s wedding and to avoid upsetting her parents, Holly finds herself agreeing to travel to America and attend the award ceremony on behalf of the family and accept the award that Daisy is tipped to receive.What she doesn’t count on is the paparazzi. They lay seige to her the moment she arrives at the airport and it’s only the intervention of Nate Devlin, a friend of Daisy’s that saves Holly. He takes her to the hostel she has booked in to only to find more cameras flashing there. On a whim, Nate takes Holly to his home, one of the few places she will be protected from the journos all looking for a pic and a story.Nate isn’t sure why he’s so keen to help Holly – after all he’s heard the story of how Holly and her family cut Daisy dead a few years ago and how much she regretted the estrangement. But one look at Holly, who is so different than all the girls he is used to in LA and it seems like Nate can’t help himself. He finds himself offering her a place to stay and introducing her to his sister, a clothes designer so that she can find an appropriate dress for the awards ceremony. Through Nate’s sister, Holly also finds her hair, tanning and make up taken care of, which is helpful as she has no connections in the country and no idea what she’s doing. She needs all the help she can get!What neither Nate nor Holly counted on was the chemistry between them. Holly has been hurt before and Nate is her sister’s former lover – she doesn’t want to get involved. Plus she’s only in the country for a short amount of time and she’s not the sort for a casual type of fling. Nate has his own issues surrounding commitment and has always made sure the girls he’s tangled with have known the rules – it’s fun only, no long-term. But both of them are going to challenge the other in many ways as they share secrets and passion. Is there anyway that they can get a perfect happy ever after just like in the movies?This story is kind of like the ultimate fairy tale. Holly arrives in America and is pretty much besieged by paparazzi, all clamouring to get the gossip on her as she is the sister of famous and beloved Hollywood actress, Daisy McCartney, recently deceased in a tragic manner. She is rescued from this scenario by a handsome stranger named Nate Devlin, former paparazzi himself turned portrait and landscape photographer. When circumstances force Holly to stay with Nate during her time in LA, sparks fly. In more ways than one.Holly has always been the lesser-admired sister, the one that was overshadowed. Despite the fact that she’s different to all the women he’s used to, or perhaps because of it, Nate is wildly attracted to Holly, even though he wants to resent her because of what he has learned of Holly through his association with Daisy. The attraction between them is definitely complicated by the relationships that both of them had with the late Daisy – Holly was betrayed by her in a pretty bad way, one of the worst ways in which a sister can betray another. Nate doesn’t know the full story of what happened to cause the estrangement between Daisy and Holly, just that there was one and that Holly had no interest in repairing it.Despite his initial antagonism towards Holly, it doesn’t take long for her to crack through the protective shell surrounding Nate. All throughout his life he’s only cultivated very casual relationships, ones where the women know the score and not to expect anymore than friendship and a mutually beneficial roll in the hay. With Holly however, he finds himself confessing things to her, including the truth of his painful childhood and adolescence and the hard work behind his now-privileged lifestyle. In a short time they connect in ways that are real and serious even though Nate doesn’t actually want to recognise that.I enjoyed this book so much! Holly is such an everyday sort of girl that it’s very easy to put yourself in her place and imagine how she must feel, travelling to a new country under such circumstances and being harassed from the time she arrives. I’d be super grateful for someone like Nate to come and rescue me too! Nate had his moments where he needed a wake up call but as far as heroes go, he was pretty dreamy – handsome, successful, sweet (the way in which he cares about his sister and his family is lovely) but with a touch of vulnerability that leaves him ripe for someone like Holly to soothe. Holly is down to earth and practical, not prone to dramatics and she’s able to help Nate see things the way they really are, not in the guilt-tinged way that he has previously.Stand-In Star is a read that delivers on so many levels – it’s funny and sweet but also serious, giving a well-written insight into the dysfunctional family relationships of these characters. Both of them have their issues and things they both need to address and work through before they can really give themselves to each other and that process is so fun to read. Definitely a book that most people will want to get through in one sitting.

  • Laura Chapman
    2019-12-29 20:57

    A cultural anthropologist makes a unique study of people -- particularly a hunky photographer -- when she spends a week in Hollywood during award show season in Rachael Johns' Stand-In Star.Holly McCartney leaves her home in Australia to spend a week in Los Angeles to potentially accept an Oscar on behalf of her deceased and long-estranged sister, Daisy. Carrying the guilt from never making peace, and still hurting from the betrayal that caused the rift, only loyalty to her parents can take her halfway around the world to face these demons. When paparazzi descend Nate Devlin, an ex-paparazzo and friend to Daisy, swoops in to the rescue.Nate was given a skewed version of the conflict between the sisters, which means he carries animosity for the beautiful woman now in his charge. Warring with the growing attraction for this woman, he also wants to confront her about what he perceives as unfair treatment of his old friend. Sparks fly when both are forced to face elements of their past and their physical and emotional connection.As an award show junky -- I would call them my Super Bowl, but as a fan of football, the Super Bowl is my Super Bowl -- this book instantly appealed to me. Throw in an Auzzie traveling to Tinsletown to represent her deceased sibling at the Academy Awards, and I was reminded of the buzz surrounding the late Heath Ledger during his award wins, and I was intrigued.The sizzle in this story was strong. There is instant attraction between the leading characters mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism each has toward the other. This mixture created great sexual tension for the reader to wonder "will they, won't they." This is a romance, though, so of course they do, and the pay-off was worth the wait.Holly is a likeable character, who proves to be more forgiving and kind than I would have been in her situation. Based on the details behind her sister's betrayal, I understood why she had been hesitant to have her sister in her life. No matter what caused Daisy to do what she did, there is no valid reason for anyone to do that to someone they care about, at that time and in that way without expecting a bad reaction. Especially not to a sister. (I hope I'm speaking cryptically enough not to give away what happened, but also clear enough not to leave you wondering.)Still, Holly proves what a nice person she is, not only by ultimately forgiving her sister and speaking well of her, but in the way she treats everyone from Nate's housekeeper to his sister. You just knew this poor girl was going to have her heart broken again at some point.Nate was a little tougher for me. Even though he seems to possess a relatively good heart, this was initially negated by his immediate judgement of a situation he only knew one side about and his preoccupation with getting Holy into bed. After learning more about his past and the circumstances that brought him to his present, he earns back some of those good points he lost earlier on. Still, I think he got off the hook a little too easily. I'm a fan of making men grovel and pay.Though a romance novel at its core, the story also gives the characters valuable lessons beyond finding love. Holly learns to never take a day for granted and the importance of forgiving if not forgetting. Nate learns that while history may contribute to your future, it does not have to define it.A fast-paced book, with enough elements of surprise to keep it from being predictable, this was a quick and fun read. With plenty to offer fans of love stories and the glamor of Hollywood, Stand-In Star is a solid story to pick-up as award show season begins.Rating: 4 of 5I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. It was originally published at

  • A. Bookzilla.
    2020-01-15 19:45

    I loved the opening scene of this book! Holly, a cultural anthropologist from Australia lands in LA where she is instantly overwhelmed by the paparazzi because of her famous, estranged, now late sister, Daisy. Nate comes to her rescue, although grudgingly so, because he feels he owes it to his friend (with benefits), Daisy, despite his dislike of the woman who caused Daisy so much heartbreak because she wouldn't speak to her sister for three years.For those looking for instant connection, you won't find it here. Oh, there's some sizzling chemistry between the two and you can tell they'd be so good together, but they both have issues with the other - him thinking she's the wicked sister of the woman he cared about, and her put off by the clear hostility he's sending her way. It's a love/hate relationship in every sense of that term.Holly could never get over her sister's betrayal and never tried to mend their relationship. The betrayal also left her self-confidence in shreds and you can see that in how adamant she is that there's no way Nate would pick her over Hollywood starlets. What she does have is incredible intelligence and I enjoyed her curious nature.Thanks to Nate, she learns that everything she thought about her sister was wrong, and the guilt that she feels for not making things right between them really got to me. Nothing should come between sisters like that.Nate is a complex character. Everything he has in his life he worked hard for, going from a poor kid with an alcoholic, abusive father to a famous portrait photographer. He is also incredibly closed off emotionally, even with his own family. He takes care of them, and they mean the world to him, but it's obvious he's uncomfortable being around his sister (she's the only one we really see) because he still feels like he failed them somehow.I really wanted these two to work through their issues and this giant misunderstanding because they both knew the different side of the story. You can tell family is extremely important to Nate, and on the other side you have Holly who flat-out refused to acknowledge her sister after everything that happened. And then you have the issue of Nate and Daisy's relationship, making Holly feel just as much of a traitor as she thought her sister was for feeling attracted to him.Despite this, they still form a close relationship, slowly opening up to each other, and once the pieces fall into their places and there's nothing left holding them back, their mutual attraction just explodes.Yep, there are a couple of graphic sex scenes in this (and they are hot), so beware clean-romance readers.The writing is great, the descriptions of LA painted a great picture and you feel like you're right in the scene. The way they subtly fall in love without even realizing what's going on felt very realistic, and I already said there's great chemistry between these two characters. I loved the supporting characters, as well - Bec and Linc, whose love for each other was wonderful to read about, and Stella, the barely-there best friend whose presence is all over the book even if you only meet her once. And of course, Daisy, I mourned her along with Holly because it sounded like she really was a good sister despite the things she did.I loved this sweet story by Rachael Johns, the two people learning to trust and overcome their prejudice in order to find the love neither of them expected. I definitely recommend this book.

  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    2020-01-17 15:55

    Slick's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews4 StarsStand-In Star by Rachel Johns is a fun and exciting look at the Hollywood "star" scene from an industry outsider. I enjoyed this book very much despite a hero that at times was really hard to like and a heroine that made me a little crazy. The plot however was quite unlike anything I've read before and the ending was pretty damn great. Most of all I've "discovered" another new to me author that makes me want to snatch up her entire back list for my reading pleasure.Holly McCartney is an anthropologist who has traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Academy Awards. Her late sister is nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar and at her parent's insistence, she's made the trip. She hasn't spoken to her sister after a huge falling out, but she's decided it's time to make peace with it all and so she finds herself in L.A. and completely overwhelmed.Nate Devlin can't believe he's gone to rescue his friend's (and occasional bed buddy) sister but he arrives and sees her overwhelmed with the media attention and decides he'll do it for Daisy. He doesn't think much of Holly who hadn't spoken to her sister in quite some time and he wants to find out why she can make the trip now that Daisy is gone. He's convinced she wants the fame and attention but once he meets Holly he realizes nothing is further from the truth.This story from start to finish is about two people who make so many wrong assumptions about the other it's a wonder they ever got together. At times I was infuriated with them but in honesty it just made the story that much better. Holly is very naive and has no clue how to handle being in the limelight. Nate on the other hand grew up being a part of the paparazzi and while he's grateful what that job provided him, he doesn't want to see Holly hurt by them. These two are both very attracted to each other but they really do have a love/hate relationship and it's entertaining to watch them work through their difficulties and overcome the assumptions they've made about one another. I really loved watching Nate who had long ago decided that love, marriage, and family wasn't in the cards for him figure out why he seemed to naturally spill his guts to Holly and why being with her feels so different. I also got a little thrill when he finally realizes why Holly hadn't spoken to Daisy in a long time and how bad he felt for the way he was treating Holly over it. It was fun to watch Holly learn to navigate being in the spotlight and I don't think she would have managed near as well without Nate or his sister, Bec. I felt a little sorry for Holly because she really didn't have a lot of relationship experience and she wasn't very worldly so being caught up in her sister's life was a real eye opener for her in many ways. I do love that through it all she was able to make peace with her late sister.I very much enjoyed Stand-In Star and I will be checking out this author's other offerings soon. What's not to like about a book that has a fresh plot, characters you love despite their flaws, and is set is sunny, crazy L.A? Not much, so enjoy!Review copy provided for an honest review.

  • Lauren K
    2019-12-31 19:44

    3.5 starsStand-In Star is a contemporary romance story, a little different to the rural romances I’ve read by Rachael Johns in the past. In her latest release with Carina Press, Holly McCartney leaves behind Australia for L.A where she intends to accept an acting award for her sister who died six months prior.A cultural anthropologist and estranged from her sister Daisy for three years, Holly has avoided all things glam and fame, determined not to remain in her older sister’s shadow. But the moment she steps off the plane at LAX, she realises that remaining under the radar is going to be a lot more difficult than she thought. Until handsome photographer and ex-lover of Daisy, Nate Devlin arrives and rescues her from the paparazzi. Once a pap now a glamour photographer, Nate has made has made his mark in Hollywood along with a reputation for meaningless flings.With just one week in LA, Holly intends to make the most of her time abroad but without Nate’s help she won’t be able to see any of the sights without the paparazzi snapping her every move. The chemistry between them is instant but conflicted. Holly has no intention of being Nate’s second choice, not that she believes she’s attractive to him anyway. And for Nate, he is loyal to his best friend, Daisy who was devastated by the falling out with her sister.As their attraction grows, Nate and Holly act on their impulses and agree on a no-strings-attached fling. Without intending to, the couple become emotionally intimate in conjunction with their bedtime shenanigans and inevitably risk their hearts.Stand-In Star is a fun, light-hearted romantic comedy by Australian author, Rachael Johns. I enjoyed the prospect of a naive Australian woman arriving in the big smoke and being saved by a hunky yank. I also thought the way in which the author explored Holly and Daisy’s relationship, without presenting Daisy as some heartless floozy. There was a depth to her that Holly discovered and was finally able to find peace in the passing of her sister and the difficulties in the past they shared. Though I feel the characterisation is much stronger in Johns’ rural novels, I accept that this story has a different purpose. It’s solely focussed on the relationship development between Nate and Holly while they discover something new about themselves in the process. There were times when I would’ve preferred to be shown rather than told about the depths of their personality, but it’s a lot to ask in a novella-length story.What I did love about Stand-In Star (and didn’t expect) was to observe the conservative and self-conscious Holly find a confidence within herself both as a woman and in her sexual curiosity. Nate was a loveable hero; loyal with an underlying vulnerability that endeared to Holly. The ending was romantic and suitably set back in Australia. I don’t doubt Stand-In Star will appeal to both Australian readers and those abroad. An enjoyable, quick and pleasant read.

  • Christi Snow
    2020-01-26 20:04

    My Review:*ahem* Holy erotic photoshoots...whoa! Holly and her movie star sister, Daisy, haven't spoken in years...not since Daisy slept with Holly's husband on their wedding day. Six months ago, Daisy died suddenly in an automobile accident, but she's up for the Academy Award for best supporting actress. Holly is in LA from Australia to stand up for her sister at the awards ceremony. Nate and Daisy were friends with benefits, but more friends. He knew that Daisy and Holly were estranged, but not the reason behind it. All he knew was that his friend Daisy hated the estrangement and was incredibly hurt by it, so when Holly comes to town, Nate is fully ready to hate her.When Holly gets to town, she is immediately overwhelmed by the paparazzi and Nate comes to her rescue several times, before he decides to take her under his wing and into the protection of his home. He quickly begins to discover that Holly is nothing like he expected and is incredibly drawn to her, much to his dismay.There's a lot of latent emotions to this book. Holly is dealing with the guilt of having her sister die before she forgave her. She also thinks that Nate and Daisy had a more serious relationship than they truly did so there are all kinds of skeavy feelings to do with that too since she's now feeling a good deal of lust for him too. Then there's Nate. He knows he should hate Holly for the pain that she put his friend through, but as he gets to know her, he can't hold on to that anger. Nate also had a hard childhood with makes it difficult to connect with other people. Holly is quickly breaking through those barriers.In the midst of all this is the hoopla to the build-up to the Academy Awards. Nate's sister, an up and coming designer, is making Holly's dress and takes her under her fashionable wing. Add that to the constant of the paparazzi and Holly having to deal with interviews about Daisy. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I loved the added story that Nate is a photographer who has a paparazzi background. His art plays creates an interesting effect to the story. And seriously, when he plays with his photography with Holly...seriously, WOW! Everything about that scene is HOT, HOT, HOT! The tumultuous history between Holly and Daisy is so hard for her. I liked that Nate was able to shed some light on that for her so that she can heal from Daisy's betrayal. I liked Nate's sister and her husband and how they appear throughout the story to add so much more to the story.From what I understand, this is the start to a new series and I can't wait to see where Rachael takes it from here. This was a GREAT start!I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  • Emily (Kindles & Wine Book Blog)
    2020-01-29 18:47

    Review and author interview posted on Kindles & WineRachael Johns’s Stand-In Star gives us a fun glimpse of the whole Hollywood lifestyle, but from a perspective that I could appreciate – that of an outsider. (I know – you are all shocked that I don’t frequent awards shows, but it is true!) We see the Hollywood glamour from the point of view of Holly McCartney, an Australian anthropologist who comes to Hollywood to accept an award for her deceased sister, Daisy. We learn that Holly and Daisy had serious issues and had not spoken in years.Daisy’s friend Nate Devlin is suspicious of why Holly would come to town now—after Daisy is dead—and questions her motives. He does not know why they had been estranged and thinks Holly deserted her sister. Despite not wanting to like her, Nate can’t seem to help himself from showing up to “save” Holly and explain Hollywood peculiarities to her. Whether it be helping her avoid the paparazzi or securing her an awards show dress, we can see Nate falling for Holly, and vice versa.While the plot of Stand-In Star centers around the death of Holly’s sister, and Nate has a pretty heavy backstory as well, it did not read as sad or tragic. It honestly came across to me as a fairly lighthearted romance with tons of sizzle and chemistry between Holly and Nate. Some of the sizzle is captured when Nate, a celebrity photographer, takes nude photos of Holly. I know, pretty Hollywood, right?While I enjoyed the story as a whole, there were a few times I was begging Holly to just come clean to Nate about why she and Daisy had been estranged. I don’t want to say the pacing was slow, but once you know why they did not get along, you quickly want them to put it to rest and get together! In addition, Nate’s backstory could have produced its own stand-alone book. There were tons of details and references to his past, and some of it did not really help this story (for example, one sister was mentioned a lot, but did not do anything in this book). Maybe some of this will flesh out in future stories, as I learned in my interview with the author that this book is the first in a series.Bottom LineStand-In Star was a well-written romance with tons of Hollywood glamour and chemistry. While there was a lot going on that did not seem important to the main storyline, it keeps you guessing and wondering all the way until the very end.Rating: B-Review copy courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review

  • Stephanie Collins
    2020-01-13 20:50

    This was a story of love and forgiveness which makes you wonder how well you really know those you love.Holly has been guilted in to attending the Oscars by her parents. You see her estranged sister was nominated for one after her sudden death and they would like a family member there to accept in her memory if she wins. When you find out why Holly was estranged from her your heart breaks but when you find out the truth as to why her sister made that horrible decision it is just made that much sadder. I mean I cannot condone what her sister did but at the same time there is a part of me that understood the sheer need that caused it. I don't know if I could have forgiven that big of a betrayal but in a twisted way I felt for both of them for the time and love that ended up lost. Holly is not comfortable in the limelight but finds herself drawn to and falling for our hero. She truly sees him and not the wealth/fame he has. They both have a ton of issues to work thru but even in just a week you can sense that there is something true and strong there.Nate is a troubled man. He was the on/off again lover of Holly's sister but they never truly loved one another. It was more a deep friendship that occasionally allowed for a moment of sex to satisfy their needs. He doesn't know the whole story of why the sisters were estranged but believes at first that it is all Holly's fault. He treats her with scorn but at the same time finds himself extremely interested in her to the point where he lets his true self peek through. When he has these talks with her we learn how screwed up his childhood was and this causes him to think he isn't capable or worthy of a real committed relationship. He keeps pushing Holly until the horrible truth comes out and he realizes that she is truly the wronged party in everything which causes him to finally let the walls down. Of course it wouldn't be a romance without stupidity but the ending left me very happy and hopeful that we can see the two of them in a few years time… I'm hoping that they both get the true happiness and devotion neither of them got from their parents when they were younger.This was a sweet story and I think most will enjoy it although the whole fall in love in 7 days thing does try the limits of belief but in this case I happily went along for the ride. Special thanks to and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

  • Lady Allison
    2020-01-24 17:00

    This review & others also found on Red Hot BooksCultural anthropologist, Holly McCartney, is flying into LA from Sydney, Australia in order to attend the Academy Awards in her sister Daisy's stead. The popular actress died in a car accident and is up for Best Supporting Actress. However, Holly is the opposite of prepared for the amount of paparazzi attention (damn you, Lady Gaga, for making me think of your song every time I see that word!) She is close to completely freaking out the moment she steps off the plane - only to be saved by a dangerously handsome man that claims to be Daisy's friend, Nate Devlin. Nate just wanted a look at the sister who abandoned his friend and only showed up when she was nominated for an award, so he was fully prepared to hate her. However, the minute he saw her, even though he actively disliked her, he also couldn't help but be drawn to her... and ended up saving her. For Daisy's sake of course. After convincing her to not only take a ride from him, but to stay at his house for her safety, they're stuck with their awkwardly growing desires and a complete misunderstanding about the drama of the sisters' divide. The tension was written very well in this story, both emotional as well as sexual. Even though the whole timeline was under two weeks, the author took good care of her characters, sharing what needed to be shared at exactly the right time, not revealing the truth until the story called for it. In such a short time, Holly went through such a roller coaster of emotions, it was almost hard to read. Self doubt, guilt, anger, grief, joy, love, determination - but it also made her more human and more relatable. I also really enjoyed Nate's sister, Bec and her adoring boyfriend, because I love when the couple in question has a solid couple they can use (consciously or subconsciously) as an example. Even though I'm not a fan of fast timetables nor of the Hollywood stereotypes, this story was well written, emotionally fulfilling, and an absolute blast to read. I will definitely be on the look out for more books by Ms. Johns! Grade: B+*ARC Provided by Carina Press via NetGalley

  • Christine
    2020-01-17 22:38

    This one is a big UGH for me. Holly McCartney flies to Hollywood to accept an acting award for her deceased sister. Her sister’s old friend, the handsome Nate Devlin, rescues her from the paparazzi and drives her back to his home. Nate has some assumptions about Holly since her deceased sister and she did not talk for 3 years. Nate thinks that Holly only came to accept the award to experience the Hollywood glamour. While, Holly does not know why Nate is helping her, yet giving her the cold shoulder. Let me start by saying this was a very nice and sweet story. My problem, I don’t like when the misunderstanding in the story drags to almost majority of the book. Especially in books that involve characters not in high school or college. I expect that in a Young Adult books, not in 18+ Adult Contemporary Romance novels. Nate was friends with Holly’s sister and the misunderstanding that occur as to why the sisters did not talk for 3 years, got on my nerves and ruined the story for me. Additionally, I felt some scenes were not executed properly. By the time anything happened, I lost interest. I liked Holly and I liked Nate. I just would have liked the story to move along. Additionally, there was just a little too much inner dialogue. - Did I skim? Yes. I skimmed some of the inner dialogue which I found a little mundane at times. - Did I feel connected to the characters? No.- Do I recommend? I hate to say it, but I would not recommend this one. I love a cat and mouse drama in a novel, but this one took too long. I need more than one story line to get me through a 250 page book.

  • Desere
    2020-01-02 19:49

    This was one awesome romance! I fell in love with the plot,the characters the setting of glitz and glamour and that is not even to mention the family secrets hiding in the closet!Holly needs to collect her deceased sister's Academy Award but once there she is as lost as a fish on dry land. She is not Hollywood material and definitely no fan of the paparazzi.Enter sexy as sin Nate with his oh me oh my smouldering looks ready to save her. But both has some secrets and this causes a battle of wills, a uphill of endless twists and turns and takes romance meets Hollywood to a whole new level.Both characters were beautifully written by the very talented author Rachael Johns. The chemistry between Holly and Nate is strong, powerful, demanding but both fight it for their own reasons,which I might add once revealed by the author just made the book more awesome!I loved the setting of Hollywood being incorporated with the glitz, the glam and the havoc the press can release on people's lives. I simply adored how the author pulled back layer after layer of each character bringing forth the truth, the hidden feelings and the ultimate attraction to a feverish boiling point so scorching hot that the only words left to describe it ," this is the kind of attraction that sets of fireworks and leaves you seeing stars".The dialogue was fun at times but also emotional enough to give me a insight into the feelings the author was trying to convey to me as reader. The ending was unbelievably perfect and as to not spoil it all,I will only say this ...... don't you dare miss this one!Awesome work Rachael bring us more!5/5 star review

  • Paris
    2020-01-18 21:47

    Sometimes contemporary romances feel rushed. Sometimes they have that insta-love that I hate so much because it makes everything feel forced. With Stand-In Star, Rachael Johns does a great job of making a quick timeframe (1 week) not seem so quick. The relationship between Nathan and Holly is played out perfectly, in fact I almost wished things had progressed a little faster and I never say that. I also loved that although Nate was prejudiced against Holly due to her estranged relationship with her deceased sister and he was a jerk to Holly, they didn’t act extremely aggressive towards each other. Sometimes the love/hate thing gets taken too far and people are just mean and it seems like the couple rarely moves past it. In this book, it was the opposite; they moved past it and both learned a little about Daisy (Holly’s sister) that they didn’t know before. It softened Holly to her sister and it softened Nate towards Holly.I enjoyed Stand-In Star so much that I’m hoping to read more from the author soon. It was great watching the characters develop and the setting was perfect and not too clichéd. Johns writing style is great as well and there was never a moment that I was bored and wishing things would move along...well except for the relationship, but that’s only cause the sexual tension between Nate and Holly was so fierce. ARC Provided by Netgalley

  • Fiona Marsden
    2020-01-17 15:37

    This is an enjoyable romance set in glitzy Hollywood. What do you get when you put an Aussi girl who thinks she's pretty ordinary with a famous celebrity photographer and former member of the Paparazzi. Holly lived in the shadow of her glamorous actress sister Daisy all her life. Until one rash action by Daisy broke them apart forever.Now Holly has to stand in for her dead sister at the Oscars. It's a chance for Holly to taste the life Daisy chose and one last opportunity to reach some kind of closure.Nate Devlin was Daisy's friend, and a little more. He resents Holly, blaming her for the estrangement that caused his friend so much grief. Neither of them expected the connection that grew between them. With only a week until Holly has to return to her life in Australia, nothing could ever come of a holiday romance. Even if Holly could get over the fact he was her sister's ex. and if Nate could believe in commitment.The sparks these two strike off each other right from the first are appealing, but it's the deeper interactions, the way they can talk that changes things. I really enjoyed watching the development of the relationship with the hero and heroine. In spite of the glitzy Hollywood background, the interactions came across as very real. A great read and a lovely romance.

  • Katie_la_geek
    2020-01-09 17:00

    For this review and more visit my blogStand in Star is one of those books that is ‘nice’ but never breaks into anything extraordinary. It didn’t excite me but didn’t bore me, I liked the characters but didn’t love them and I thought the story line was alright but not amazing. It was adequate but I couldn’t help but think that there was just something missing throughout.Both Holly and Nate are likeable but I am not too sure I bought the romance between them. There were issues that held be back, mainly the speed of the romance. They fell in lust, love fell apart and got back together again in the space of a week, at the end of that week they are willing to change their lives for each other. I am a romantic but this was too quick even for me. Then there is the issue of Holly’s recently deceased sister who was also Nate’s lover. His jumping from one sister to another was also a little too quick for me. It is these issues that held me back from the romantic side of the story, and I found I couldn’t connect as much as I wanted to.Stand in Star is an enjoyable and short read but it lacked elements that make it memorable.The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review

  • Hsiau Wei
    2020-01-28 15:40

    This book tell the story of Holly who arrived in L.A from Australia to receive an award on behalf of her sister who has passed away recently found herself in a media circus who has been waiting for her arrival and the arrival of Nate Devlin to her rescue. Nate, who is a friend of Daisy, wonder for the reason for him in rescuing her when she has been heartless to Daisy when she was still alive, cutting all connections with her. From the airport, to the hostel where Holly has booked for the duration she is staying, the paparazzi seems to want her pound of flesh and Nate being himself, could not leave her facing all that alone, offers her a place to stay. Nate, who due to his childhood past has promised himself that he will never be committed to another person and who has erased the “love” from his life dictionary found himself attracted to her and the attraction seems to be mutual between them.I like the way Nate came to Holly’s rescue and the way their response to each other. It took me a while to know the reason for the two sisters’ actual reason for their estrangement and for Nate in disliking her in the first place. I like the way the author’s writing as the story flow easily and it is easy to read. Overall, this book is a sweet read for me

  • Marg
    2020-01-25 15:46

    Holly McCartney arrives in Hollywood in order to attend a big Hollywood award ceremony on behalf of her dead sister Daisy. What she expects is that she will wander into LA International Airport, catch a shuttle to a hostel, find a dress, attend the Oscars, possibly pick up the award on her sister's behalf and then go home again.Unfortunately, the media are intrigued by the story of the dead movie star and her family who have been estranged for years and so she is mobbed at the airport by the paparazzi. She is glad to be rescued by her sister's friend Nate Devlin, a photographer who unfortunately seems to have a less than stellar opinion of her, despite the fact that they have never met before.Nate is a photographer now, but he is more than familiar with the ways of the Hollywood paparazzi. While he intended to only save her from the jackals at the airport, it is clear that once they arrive at the hostel that Holly is not going to be able to stay there, so he offers her his home to stay in and his protection.To read more head to

  • Kimberly
    2020-01-23 16:44

    Review featured on www.books-n-kisses.comI enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. There were a couple of oddities but I was able to bypass those and enjoy the book. The author is from Australia so there is some language differences. The other thing was there was a little much of the whole “he/she could never love me for me”, etc that got a little tiring but it was still a very enjoyable book.I enjoyed Nate very much. Holly was a little insecure but I think we were supposed to believe it was because of her being from Australia and the fact that she is the kid sister of a star. But that being said I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed everything. This is an adorable beach read.If you enjoy romance books you will really enjoy this one.... Did I say enjoy enough? Oops!Disclaimer:I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily
    2019-12-31 22:49

    Despite her misgivings, Holly McCartney agreed to fly to Hollywood an accept her sisters Academy Award posthumously if she wins. Holly had been estranged from her sister when she died suddenly, but knowing that it was time to move on she heads to Hollywood. Not expecting to meet any of her sisters friends, she is surprised when photographer Nate Devlin shows up to give her a ride.Nate is trying his best not to pass judgement on Holly, but he knows that Daisy had been trying to contact her before her death and was ignored. What he finds with Holly is a completely different woman than who he thought she was, nor did he plan to find out what caused the estrangement which only brings him closer to Holly. He can’t deny the attraction, but Nate is not a man to commit and Holly has commitment written all over her.Full review on Single Titles

  • Michelle
    2020-01-15 20:40

    Stand In Star is a contemporary romance that takes Aussie girl Holly out of her comfort zone as a cultural anthropologist in Sydney and sets her down smack bang in the middle of paparazzi central, where she isn’t even sure that she’s what they’ve come for.Holly is the estranged younger sister of Hollywood starlet Daisy McCartney, recently deceased and now up for a prestigious posthumous award. Holly’s parents convince her that regardless of the family rift separating Daisy from them over the past years Holly should still fly to Hollywood and

  • Wendy
    2020-01-18 19:42

    "Stand-In Star" was a very enjoyable Contemporary Romance. Holly McCartney leaves Australia for L.A. to accept a posthumous Academy Award for her late sister. Upon arriving in L.A. she is overwhelmed by the media frenzy until her sister's friend Nate Devlin comes to her rescue. Protecting Holly from the paparazzi Nate insists she stay with him for the week she is there.Both have secrets and this causes them to fight the chemistry that is quickly intensifying between them. How long before they act on their impulses?Their back and forth banter is quite funny and the ending is superb. This story was adorable, intense and fun to read!

  • SaraHarlequinJunkie
    2020-01-20 17:39

    Reviewed at HarlequinJunkie.comrating 4.5 StarsStand - In Star by Rachael Johns is a sparkling, glamorous, romantic journey that is sure to make you swoon!Holly McCartney has flown all the way from Sydney, Australia to Hollywood, California to accept an Academy Award on the behalf of her sister who recently passed away. Upon her arrival at the airport she is greeted by an unexpected media circus. A man, claiming to be her sister’s friend swoop’s in to save her from the paparazzi. Feeling she has no choice but to accept his help she agrees to leave with him. Read More

  • Jenny Schwartz
    2019-12-30 20:59

    "Stand-In Star" starts with the sort of intensity needed for a story set in Hollywood (squee! Hollywood -- great setting). There's a damsel in distress and a mysterious hero in rusty armour. And then it gets even better, and hotter!It's tough not to include spoilers because the emotional issues are real and powerful, and handled effectively. I want to talk about the layers of Nate and Holly that are revealed, and how absorbing their separate and together journeys are. But you'll have to read the book to get that :)Rachael Johns has a clear, effortless style of storytelling that brings you into the heart of her characters' conflicted hopes, dreams and fears.

  • Nina
    2020-01-22 18:57

    ARC from NetGalleyReview in IndonesianAt least I didn't roll my eyes or grunting and cursing throughout the book. Not at all. I love every page of it and I like Nate and Holly.There's nothing really disturbing, but the fact about Holly's relationship with Daisy. Holly and Nate both could be so stubborn but sweet too.

  • E
    2020-01-05 19:50

    When Holly arrives in LA, she is put into a place where she has no idea how to fit into or how to deal with all the papparazzi waiting for her to screw up. That's where Nate swoops in and becomes her hero. Except he kinda hates her.Extended review: