Sunday 8 June 2014

Overexposed by Noelle Adams

Book Cover: Overexposed by Noelle Adams
This book starts five years back with barista/wannabe actress Leah on a dream holiday in the south of France with her friend, Cassie, Cassie’s boyfriend – Hollywood star Kevin Grayson, and Leah’s boyfriend Joey. It’s pretty obvious that Leah has feelings for Kevin and that her relationship with Joey is fizzling out. We come back to the present and find out something has gone badly wrong for Leah. She’s still good friends with Cassie but it’s clear that sometime after the holiday Leah got involved romantically with Kevin and he used her pretty badly. A sex tape scandal involving Leah and Kevin led to his waning career progressing from teen star to a successful serious actor, while Leah was branded as an attention seeker who was responsible for the tapes being leaked.  But Leah is entirely innocent of this.

When the scandal broke Kevin cut off all contact and Leah was left to pick up the pieces of her life with a ruined reputation. Her hopes of an acting career were completely scuppered. Still, all publicity is good publicity and Leah had enough nous to salvage what she could of the situation, making some money which she invested successfully in the coffee house she had been hoping she could leave behind her. Now she is the owner of the business. She fronts up to rude comments from frat boys and sleazy men coming on to her in the humiliating knowledge that they’ve all seen her naked and having sex on the internet. She hasn’t had a boyfriend since the incident, as understandably she is going to have a hard time trusting.

‘She’d made more money from it than she could have ever hoped to make as an actress, since she probably never would have been a big star. But she would give it all back in an instant if it meant her life and reputation wouldn’t have been trashed four and a half years ago.’

Do you hate Kevin yet? I certainly did by this point! Now Leah’s business manager wants to set up a publicity stunt involving her and Kevin going on a ‘secret’ romantic holiday. Although Leah doesn’t want to see Kevin again she’s about to branch out the business to open a restaurant in addition to the coffee shop and the extra publicity would serve her well.

But then we switch to Kevin’s point of view and we see there is another side to it. He has agreed to do this for some closure, because four and a half years ago when the tapes appeared online he felt completely betrayed by the only woman he had ever loved.

‘He’d been launched into his career.
And he’d give it all up in an instant if it meant his heart hadn’t been trampled into the mud four and a half years ago.’

I usually enjoy Noelle Adams’ books, and this one was no exception. I felt so bad for Leah, the betrayal of being let down, the humiliation of having your most intimate moments exposed and all the mudslinging and character assassination that followed. Afterwards I felt sorry for Kevin too as although he hadn’t had the reputational damage that Leah had lived through the heartbreak was just as real.

Since it’s dual point of view we know that Kevin is telling the truth when he tells Leah that he isn’t responsible for the tapes going online, but she has no idea, and after being so badly let down in the past, it would take a huge leap of faith on her part to allow her to take the risk of trusting him again. She’s not sure she can go back to being the girl that she was, before she had the barriers to hide behind.

There is one thing which I thought was a bit odd; once they accept that neither one of them leaked the tapes they don't really moderate their behaviour or speculate over who it could have been although Kevin sets somebody to investigate. If somebody did something so life-changing to me there's no way I could drop it until I found out who it was.

This author’s works vary, with some containing no sex scenes but this book has quite a lot of sex scenes, and some crude language too, so if you don’t like those then perhaps this is one you should avoid, but if you don’t mind those things and are looking for a spicy sunlounger read then maybe give this one a go!


  1. Ha Ha Ceri I see that I am not the only one who had their June reading plan high jacked! I really liked this book especially because it jumped from view point and from past to present. The scene when they are eating Chinese and she is questioning him about liking someone, so sweet that he was trying to make himself worthy, the irony! I agree though more questioning needed to be done and I knew from the start who it was! I found Kevin to be exceptionally sweet, I think it was his vulnerability, good light read.

    1. Well technically I began it in May, so June's reading plan is still on track! I've read 2 of my planned reads for June so far, but not blogged them yet. I'm looking forward to reading Haunting Mr Darcy, as soon as I get it I'm going to dive right in!

      Well, back to Overexposed. I enjoyed it too, I really liked the fact that the misunderstanding wasn't dragged out. I agree with you that it was easy to guess who the culprit must have been, I'm a little surprised they didn't discuss it. The Chinese food scene was so lovely, but Kevin in general was lovely wasn't he, like you say, vulnerable. It made me feel bad for them that they'd both been treated so badly, as they were both sweet. I felt so bad for Leah, I can't imagine having to live with that level of humiliation, having it thrown in your face all the time, awful.


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