Continuing with The Alphabet Challenge Variation (read 18 books where the title/author name begins with the letter A, then B, C, etc. through R).
Letter “A” for Acting on Impulse
For letter “A,” I decided to read Mia Sosa’s, Acting on Impulse, published in 2017. Sosa is a new author to me and I have to say, I’m looking forward to picking up another of her stories in the future.
Acting on Impulse begins on an airplane, making its way from Philadelphia to Aruba. Our heroine, Tori Alvarez, is a Philly fitness trainer who – on impulse – decides to take a short vacation after a public break-up with a boyfriend who is a former Olympian and a city councilman. To say the least, having any future relationship in the public eye is not for her. Our hero, unfortunately, is in the public eye, in a much bigger way than boyfriend #1. Carter Stone is a romantic comedy, sit-com actor who recently lost a lot of weight for a “serious” role and is hiding out in Philly trying to get his health back, maintain a low profile, and prepare for a press junket. Carter’s decision to take a time-out in Aruba also involved escaping recent unwanted publicity, after a doctor who had been monitoring his health sold the photos to a tabloid causing Carter to go ballistic. Tori and Carter “meet” on the plane and later in Aruba. Because he’s using his real name (Carter Williamson) and looks a bit like an emaciated drug addict, she doesn’t recognize him and he, enjoying the company of a woman who isn’t into him for his fame, delays relaying the truth. Of course, that bites him on the butt as Tori eventually realizes he’s been lying. Back in Philadelphia, Tori wants to have nothing to do with Carter, but Carter uses his need to get back into peak physical condition to pursue Tori as a trainer via her two bosses who own the gym she works from and are thrilled to have a celebrity as a client. Thus begins Tori and Carter’s burgeoning relationship.
This story is about two people who have been burned in the past and are not as confident in their own skin as one might expect. Tori, who is also dealing with some estrangement from her Puerto Rican roots and her family’s reluctance to compromise their ways in order to move forward, is gun shy over a relationship that might swallow her whole and be more about PR than honest feelings. Carter – although seemingly more assured about Tori’s genuineness – is also skittish, since he’s been used in the past. Also, he’s dealing with a crisis of confidence in his work, as he’d like to take on more serious roles and get the respect he thinks he doesn’t have, but is having difficulty getting critical acceptance. So, this story does a good job of presenting these two as fully realized characters who don’t waste too much time doubting each other. The unlikely coincidences in the beginning of the story – him being in Philly and them both going to Aruba – are fortunately left behind. I also was surprised that the Philly entertainment media wasn’t as intrusive as I would’ve expected. But, I did love that the story was set in Philly – my hometown (or close enough) – and appreciated the diversity that being in a big city provided, from Tori’s Puerto Rican family to her African American boss. It was refreshing. I would give this story a B+.
The Alphabet Challenge Variation – 5 down, 13 to go (R, D, L, J, A …)