Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I’ve been “starstruck” by an amazing storyteller named L.A. Witt. The author put together the best and longest slow burn- ust story I’ve ever read, and when the two MCs did finally come together, they exploded in a supernova!
Levi Pritchard, aging (late 30’s), former Hollywood superstar, is known best for his role as Chad Eastwick—an action hero role he despised because it completely stifled his creativity and smothered his acting ability. He also despised the whole Hollywood scene, especially the press vultures who refused to let him live his own life—a gay man deeply closeted who only wanted to be allowed to love his partner Dylan, but instead had to deny him to the world, bringing about their eventual breakup. He’s also the victim of two alcoholic parents who, though now in recovery, are still critical of his life and would never accept him as gay so he can’t find the courage to out himself and force the expected estrangement. In short, Levi is a deeply closeted, frustrated man who is running away from the career he loves and running to the family he hates, rather than being true to himself. When he’s offered a chance for a small role in Wolf’s Landing, the successful show that’s been filming in his town, Bluewater Bay, he’s considering it for two reasons. The first is that his good friend, Anna Maxwell, is the highly esteemed director and the second is Carter Samuels, a young actor who caught Levi’s eye when he first came on the Hollywood scene a few years before.
Carter Samuels is thrilled when he learns that Levi Pritchard, his idol and the man on whom he’s had a secret crush for years, is going to be joining the cast of Wolf’s Landing. In fact, Levi is the reason Carter became an actor. He first fell in love with Levi and Levi’s talent when he was exposed to several indie films in which Levi starred in his early career. Even once he was typecast as Chad Eastwick, Carter saw through the constraints that role placed on Levi to the talent hidden below the surface. Now, to have a chance to work with him, whether it’s for this first “walk on” role, or whether the role becomes ongoing, Carter has all he can do to contain himself.
When the two meet, there’s a definite sexual chemistry, though neither wants to acknowledge it. A chance private encounter brings them together in a kiss that neither can ignore. They do acknowledge that the kiss happened and that it was good, but they make a conscious decision to avoid the entrapments of a relationship. They’ve found that they have a lot in common, including a love of obscure indie films, and want to focus on their friendship because they each accept that Levi is firmly in the closet and not interested in coming out. Spoiler alert: