This is my review of Michelle Gamble Risley’s book, “California Girl Chronicles”. You might remember Michelle…she’s the publisher of 3L Publishing, who wrote some posts on her blog about Eric and Sookie, and we shared them on here…? She loves the way Eric uses his hands…but then again, don’t we all? Plus, she was courageous enough to have me (of all people) on her radio talk show. Go figure, especially since I sucked, IMO!
Now, before I get into this…I should warn you that this book has nothing to do with vampires or Eric and Sookie, and normally, I write books reviews of this kind on Goodreads or on my personal blog. So, if you’re wondering why I’m posting it on here…I’ll tell you.
- I promised Michelle I would post it on here, and I like to think I keep my promises.
- She is a HUGE Eric and Sookie lover, and we support fellow Eric and Sookie lovers in all of their dreams and ambitions.
- This one is probably the most important…she wants to turn this book (which is the first book in a series) into a television show. She’s already had some serious meetings with important people in Hollywood, and there is already an increased amount of interest. One well-known writer (sorry, can’t mention him by name just yet) wants to write for this show, if it does indeed get picked up. But this is all in talks right now. Nothing is final yet, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed…
- The person who inspired Kale (the main male character/lover), is none other than Alexander Skarsgard. In fact, after True Blood ends, she hopes he will play this role on her television show. That is, IF “California Girl” gets picked up as a television series. And IF Alex is willing to take the job. Those are pretty big “if’s”…so we’ll have to wait and see.
- We figured the more people who read this review, the better. I don’t get the same amount of traffic on my personal blog as we do on here, so that’s partly why we’re posting it. Michelle is shopping around Hollywood for a producer, and needs all the exposure she can get.
The California Girl Chronicles – follows the life and career of Brea Harper. A typical California girl full of dreams and aspirations. She has it all…the looks…the brains…the fake tan (because she doesn’t want to get skin cancer, naturally). Brea is a writer, and dreams of writing a screenplay for a movie or television show. She gets laid off from her job in her home in Northern California, and moves to glitzy Hollywood – in pursuit of her wildly, ambitious dreams, and because she has nothing better to do with her time.
Along the way…she meets three good-looking men. Lance, a college colleague, who is her ‘friend with benefits’. He is the one who pushes her to move to Hollywood with him, and take a chance on life. Drew, an aspiring rock star, who steals her heart, but also treats her like crap. He follows Brea to Hollywood in pursuit of his own dreams, but also as a way to keep tabs on Brea. And lastly, Kale (as I mentioned above) he is the one who was inspired by Alexander Skarsgard. Kale has charm, good looks, and amazing charisma…not to mention he’s a big Hollywood movie producer. Kale bursts onto the scene, introducing Brea to the Hollywood lifestyle. He inspires her to actually sit down and write, which is something she has procrastinated about for a long time.
In order to pay her bills, Brea temporarily gets a job in a bikini shop. She has brains, but sometimes forgets to use them, especially when it comes to men. But don’t worry, she doesn’t hang out with guys all the time…she has a couple of close girlfriends too. Denise, her friend from back home who has also moved to Hollywood, and Maya (Kale’s maid), both give her the feminine support all women need.
This story takes you on Brea’s journey of self-discovery, maturity and understanding; spoken from Brea’s point of view. She is sweet, loving and caring. She knows what she wants professionally even while romantically she is confused by who she really wants. You’ll either love her or you’ll hate her, but Brea is what all of us are…only human. We all make mistakes. We all want our dreams to come true. We all want to find true love. Most of all, we all want to find happiness.
In many ways, Brea reminds me of Sookie Stackhouse. Yes, I said it! LOL She’s beautiful, strong, smart, hilariously witty, fights for who or what she believes in. She has a lot of men chasing after her because they find her highly desirable – even if it it’s not good for them or for Brea. Oh, and did I mention…they are both blondes?
I wouldn’t say this book is for everybody…but if you like HBO’s Sex In The City and Entourage, you’ll probably like this too. In fact, that’s what Brea calls her screenplay in the book, “Sex In The City Meets Entourage.” Kale is Brea’s Mr. Big, but he’s only in it for a short time. Michelle assures me that we haven’t finishing reading about Kale. (She better keep her word!)
After reading this, I would love to see Alexander Skarsgard play the role of Kale. While he isn’t in this book until halfway through…the way she leaves us hanging at the end, makes me think that this is ‘only the beginning’ of Brea and Kale’s relationship. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Note to Alex (if he happens to read this): Please Alex, take on this role after True Blood ends…pretty please? I think Kale is as multi-layered as Eric Northman and Charlie Venner are as characters. I think you would enjoy playing a big, Hollywood hot-shot.
Michelle’s writing style reminded me of author, Jackie Collins (Lucky, Lovers & Gamblers, Hollywood Wives, etc.) and author Linda Howard (Prey, Death Angel, To Die For; among others), both are authors I’ve read in the past. She’s smart, witty, and writes about strong characters. I really got the sense that Brea is someone she knows very well, herself perhaps?
If you like down and dirty sex…it has that. If you like strong women…it has that too. If you like a witty sense of humor and positive outlook on life…you will enjoy reading about Brea.
California Girls is a very fast read. Not too long…not too short, but it does end with a nasty cliffhanger! GAH! I hate cliffhangers! Not to worry though…the first chapter of the next book is included, so you won’t be thinking…waiting sucks! (And we know something about that, don’t we?) I read this book in something like 8 hours. (Yes, I timed it.) I couldn’t put the book down!
In closing…I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, only because she left us hanging and because there were times when I wanted to shake Brea for making stupid mistakes. I admit it, there were times when Brea wasn’t very likeable to me. But by the end of the book, all I wanted to see was Brea realizing her mistakes, trying her best to fix them and to move forward. What that means for the rest of the series is anyone’s guess, but I’m dying to find out!
Thanks for reading my review!