Red Carpet Redemption
Aside from a weak third-act breakup, Red Carpet Redemption is a nice story about two people who have to get over themselves to find true love.
Dane Stewart, playboy actor, is looking for an image change. While watching a news report about bone marrow screenings, he hears the sad tale of six-year-old Jayden Turner, who’s in need of a bone marrow transplant to help cure his leukemia. Dane is also captivated by the sad eyes of Jayden’s single mother, Iris, and at the behest of his agent, Dane goes in for a bone marrow screening. To him it’s a win-win; Dane gets to possibly donate to someone in need, and look like a nice guy in the media.
He doesn’t expect that the test will reveal that he shares genetic markers with Jayden – leading to the revelation that he’s the boy’s biological father, conceived through artificial insemination. Iris and Dane had embarked on a tentative relationship after meeting just before the revelation, and the realization – along with Iris’ insecurities and Dane’s stubbornness – throw up sudden roadblocks.
Red Carpet Redemption has a lot of good points to it; a nice romance, some unique conflicts and a sense of urgency.
Iris has scars – literal ones, from a car accident during her irresponsible youth that left her with burn marks all over her body – and is not about to let some stranger near her ailing son. But during the course of the story, she opens up, and Dane learns to be less of a glib, Hollywood-driven playboy.
Their romance is nice and patient and sweet, and it simmers along nicely until a final twist that yanks apart our hero and heroine in the last act. I’m not one for characters who loathe themselves so thoroughly that they’ll sacrifice their own happiness just because they can’t get out of the way of their own self-hatred.
Jayden is generally an okay kid, and I liked the various other Stewarts who lace themselves through the plot, who are acerbic and funny in turns. The conflict between simple, ordinary life and Hollywood superstardom has been explored a lot in romance, and while the observations made here have been made frequently, it’s still fun to watch Iris and Dane try to dodge the paparazzi.
But that third-act breakup tugs the book right out of DIK territory. It’s just too easy, and while it’s believable for Iris…well, I won’t reveal it. But Red Carpet Redemption is worth a look see for its’ charming, Hollywood fairy tale plot line.