Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Bart Goes to Brentwood
SERIES: The Robbie Day Duology Book 1
AUTHOR: I.M. Flippy
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 256 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 23rd, 2017
Bart Healey has been chasing his acting dream around Hollywood for eleven years and all he’s got to show for it is an eviction notice. It wouldn’t be so bad if he only had himself to worry about, but back home in Texas, there’s his sister and his mom who never have enough cash to get by. Bart’s right on the verge of giving up the ghost and moving back home when a chance encounter while delivering groceries to one of Hollywood’s biggest names changes everything.
Bart’s had a crush on former child star, former teen heart-throb, and current studio mogul, Robbie Day, since he was a kid, watching his many tragedies unfold across televisions and tabloids. Robbie Day is driven, funny, charismatic, and ravenous for friendship from his lonely mansion up in Mandeville Canyon. When Bart saves Robbie’s life during a particularly dark night of the soul, Robbie is eternally grateful. Of course, Bart has no choice but to fall in love, even against all his best instincts.
“We jizzed all over Fassbender,” Bart said.
“Probably not the first time he’s had come on his face.”
Arghh!! You have no idea how excited I am to have discovered this author who is so new she’s still shiny. I adored her first book, my review of which can be found here , but Bart Goes To Brentwood, her second published novel, is one of my favourite books this year.
What I love most about I.M. Flippy’s books is the chemistry between the two main characters. And I don’t just mean sexual chemistry, although…well, I’ll get to that. But from the first moment her characters meet there is an instant connection and every time one of them opens their mouth to talk to the other, I hold my breath in anticipation of what is going to happen next. These characters are interesting, more than that, they’re fascinating, and I have no idea how hard the author has to work to tell these stories, to invent her characters, but she makes it appear effortless. Often quippy (yes, I think quippy should be a word) dialogue can feel forced and awkward, but I never get that feeling from this book. Instead I’m pretty sure I read it from cover to cover with a dopey grin on my face and maybe a happy tear in my eye.
While Robbie, one of MCs is an A-List celebrity, and Bart is an aspiring actor, this book didn’t really have the feel of the usual movie star stories. Perhaps because the majority of the book was set behind the gates of Robbie’s private estate, but I’m not usually a fan of Hollywood stories and, obviously, I loved this one. The tone of the book was light and hopeful, but the author also touched on addiction and homophobia. While these subjects added a more serious aspect to Bart and Robbie’s tale, I wouldn’t say they added real angst to the story. It added more emotion to some scenes, but didn’t darken the overall mood.
Did I mention sex? Wow, the sex. For the first time ever…EVER…an author managed to make a foot fetish sexy. Sorry Bart! Not a fetish! But damn, that took some mad writing skills to get me to unscrew my nose and get off my judgey high horse.
I appreciated the fact that Robbie realizing he’s bisexual rather than straight was no big deal. Like he points out, there’s enough messed up shit in his life that being attracted to another man is way down the list of things to be concerned about. I also really liked what the author showed of Bart’s transgender sister and hope that her character is seen more in the second book.
So, speaking of the second book. I need it, and I need it now. Bart Goes To Brentwood doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, and it leaves the characters in a good place, but there is still so much that needs to be resolved. I absolutely can’t wait to get my grabby hands on a copy of the next story, A Day in Cleburne.