Book Review: Hollywood Lighting by J.V. Speyer

Hollywood Lighting

Author: J.V. Speyer
Series: Bodyguards, book 1
Publisher: Independent (April 23, 2020)
Kindle edition, 198 pages
Romance, Adult contemporary M/M romance


A rowdy superstar in danger. His resentful new guardian. It’s hate at first sight until love takes an unexpected encore.

Closeted actor Owen fears failure and betrayal. So after he’s stabbed by a crazy fan, the movie studio offers a hunky bodyguard for protection. Suspicious that the ripped security man is just a gossip-seeking plant, he pushes back at his bulging biceps, ignoring the chemistry.

Newly retired SEAL Jamal is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life. Reluctantly taking a Hollywood job for a bad boy with tight abs, he’s sure the star is simply paranoid. But when he discovers the sexy celebrity is in serious jeopardy, he doesn’t hesitate to jump into action mode.

As the peril hits closer to home, Owen finds himself falling for the handsome hero fighting for his life. And as the threats intensify, Jamal fears he might lose the man he has come to love.

Will Owen and Jamal go down in a catastrophic climax, or will they star in their own happy ending?

Hollywood Lighting is the red-hot first book in the Bodyguards M/M contemporary romance series. If you like tortured heroes, intense predicaments, and steamy affairs, then you’ll adore J. V. Speyer’s tale of LGBT passion.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Shut up, I’m not crying, you’re crying.
(Review to come soon, but obvs I really REALLY loved this book.)

OKAY, I have gathered all my feels and am finally ready to review Hollywood Lighting.
CW: Rape, gaslighting, homophobia, racism, child abuse

I did not love how Jamal was so quick to believe the worst about Owen, and then was just SO stubborn and awful about it – that was the only thing that detracted from my otherwise complete and utter obsession with this book. Not a fan of his basically victim-blaming, it was kind of gross. There’s also a part where he suddenly kisses Owen, and neither of them comments on it or bats an eye? Um, what? AND YET, despite these issues, I still couldn’t put this book down. I legit kept reading while I went to the bathroom and cooked (and almost burned, oops) dinner. J.V. Speyer’s writing is just THAT compelling.

ALL THAT ASIDE — OMG, Owen. *big sad eyes* I just want to hug him and tell him everything is going to be okay. The show he’s working on has very Supernatural vibes, but imagine Misha Collins came in as Cas for one season and then acted like a total jerkwad and tried to destroy Jensen Ackles’ reputation to make himself a bigger role on the show. I don’t really care for romantic suspense (usually) but all the drama on set and Owen fighting against basically everyone misunderstanding him and just trying to get through the day really caught me up in the story. I think I cared more about Owen and how he’d resolve his issues and where his future would land than I did about the romantic story, haha. Once Jamal FINALLY got his act together, I did appreciate the supportive way he backed Owen up.

This is the first book in the Bodyguards series, and can be read as a standalone. That being said, I finished this book and immediately started book two, Royals – it’s just that good.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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