Sexiest Man Alive
Movie star romances are a guilty pleasure of mine. As much as I love realistic stories, when a celebrity is thrown in the mix, I’ll pick up the book. However, Holquist goes one better by managing to combine the fantasy with identifiable, real characters in Sexiest Man Alive.
Jasmine Burns is not just quiet or reserved, she’s terminally, painfully shy. Not with everyone, though – just men. Particularly attractive men. Following an embarrassing incident as a teen, she suffers from an irrational fear of conversation with good-looking guys, leading her to hide during parties and refuse jobs. But when she gets the chance to interview for a position as an assistant costume designer to an attractive, successful man for an off-Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet, she convinces herself to go on the interview. Despite the fact that she flees without uttering a word to the designer, she gets the job.
Her duties? Help the top-secret star of the show, Josh Toby, People magazine’s most recent Sexiest Man Alive. Who her psychic deadbeat sister recently informed her was her One True Love.
Josh is not your typical movie star. We first meet him as he leaves a $50,000 tip to a diner owner who faces impossible medical costs. He’s sick of people thinking he’s just a dumb actor, and wants to conquer his stage fright and prove his acting skills by performing incognito in a stage production of Shakespeare. When he meets his costume designer’s assistant, he’s intrigued by her — she isn’t at all like most costume designers, and her shyness interests him.
But then Jasmine finds another Josh Toby — a quiet, reserved librarian. He’s nothing like the movie star Josh. He’s just like Jasmine. She has to determine who is her One True Love, while overcoming her fears and taking over the costumes of the production.
Both of the author’s characters are wonderful. Jasmine is utterly easy to relate to since even the most confident of us have felt that flash of panic and shyness. She’s a driven, intelligent costume designer who is struggling with a phobia. Josh is swoon worthy – he’s sexy, intelligent, and caring and has the strength to face his own imperfections, as hard as it may be.
Some of the side characters were a bit more stereotypical and cookie-cutter than Jasmine and Josh and, while they have some appeal, it’s very little in comparison to the protagonists. However, as the book is largely centered around the heroine and hero, it isn’t overly distracting nor does it detract from the book as a whole.
I really enjoyed Sexiest Man Alive. Its subject matter isn’t exactly heavy, but it is lovely all the same.