Monday, 19 August 2013

The Road to Her by K. E. Payne

Title: The Road to Her
Author: K. E. Payne
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Released: July 16th 2013
Pages: 247 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

Sparks fly when twenty-year-old Holly Croft, star of the UK soap Portobello Road, meets Elise Manford, the actress who’s going to play her on-screen love interest in the soap’s first ever lesbian storyline.

Enigmatic Elise’s super-confident attitude and unwelcome advice drives Holly to distraction at first, but as fans go wild over the storyline, and the pair start to spend more and more time together, Holly begins to see another side to her costar. Liking what she sees, Holly slowly finds herself falling in love, but can she ignore her growing attraction to Elise when the lines between fact and fiction begin to blur?

I've seen a few other novels by Payne about, but I've always been hesitant to pick them up. Why? Not because of the genre, that's for sure - I love books that tackle difficult and quite controversial topics, which all of hers do do. However, the reviews I have skimmed over have never been too good. Despite this, The Road to Her caught my eye, and I couldn't help but try it. It actually left me pleasantly surprised.

Holly Croft is a star of the soap opera Portobello Road, and has been for the last eight years of her life. However, the directors and writers believe that her character, Jasmine, deserves some time in the limelight, so they create a new storyline for her: Jasmine will be a lesbian. Enter Elise, the actress cast to play Jasmine's on-screen love interest. But it isn't just Jasmine who is developing an attraction to the new girl - Holly begins to find that she can't get Elise off her mind, and soon falls in love - but can she convince Elise to give it a go?

Love love loved both of the characters of Holly and Elise. I did at times feel that Elise character-slid, constantly changing between being very clingy and very cold towards Holly. However, the chemistry between the two was undeniably strong, so I'll let the character problem go. On a whole, Holly was an enjoyable narrative to read from, and I felt like I could connect with her easily, something key with books dealing with this topic.

The storyline was pretty good. Not always as gripping as I first thought it'd be - I mean, I can't be the only person who has wondered what it would be like to star in a television show, right? I wanted to get a feel of what life on set was like, and I think that fell a bit short. A lot of the scenes between Jasmine and Casey - Elise's character - were only mentioned, and I feel like that was a key part to miss out. I was also disappointed that for most of the book it was that familiar teen angst of she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not-she-loves-me, with the plot just revolving around Holly chasing Elise. After a while, it did get a bit tedious.

However, although this book was set on a television set, I think a main focus of the story was about coming to terms with your sexuality. Although she wasn't the main character, Elise's journey towards accepting that she did like women was eye-opening, and something I think a lot of people can learn from for a variety of reasons.

Despite provoking some serious eye-rolls and the writing being quite mediocre, I liked The Road to Her a lot. It was a quick, easy read, and it did leave you with positive fuzzies at the end! If you like the LGBT genre or are just curious and want to know more, than give this book a try.
Rating: 4/5

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