Oscar Season by Mary McNamara

Not All That Glitters Is Gold


I’ve actually bought this book much earlier but I never found time to read it. So, now I’ll try to read 2 books every month, at least.


Meet Mary McNamara (Source: www.latimes.com)



Anyway, I Googled for Mary McNamara and I found some of these info:

  • Mary McNamara is a television critic for Los Angeles Times 
  • A Pulitzer Price finalist for criticism in 2013 and 2014, she has won various awards for criticism and feature writing
  • She is the author of the Hollywood mysteries ‘Oscar Season‘ and ‘The Starlet
  • She lives in La Crescenta with her husband, three children, two dogs and a hamster
(Source: www.latimes.com)

The cover of ‘Oscar Season’ (Source: Internet)

Summary

It’s the season of glitz, glamour and glad-handing – but what’s really going on behind the façade?

The Pinnacle is the place to stay during the Oscars, and this year the pre-Awards crises have reached fever pitch: a very recognizable body is found in the hotel pool; Hollywood’s most famous leading man is secretly holed up in the Presidential Suite; and the larger-than-life producer of the Oscars will stop at nothing for higher ratings. 

The Academy Awards, the most prestigious
Hollywood events (Source: Internet)
A consummate professional, the hotel’s PR manager manager Juliette Greyson must do a careful dance to rescue the Pinnacle’s reputation while somehow sparing himself and her famous clientèle in the process. But first Juliette must figure out what is real and what is staged. Who is lying and who is acting? And when does murder stop being murder – and start becoming damn good publicity?

(Source: Back Cover of Oscar Season)


Jessica Chastain seems like my perfect Juliette Greyson (Source: Internet)
After watching ‘Lying to be Perfect’, I think Poppy Montgomery
 is awesome! (Source: www.esquire.com)


This novel is about Juliette Greyson, the PR Manager of The Pinnacle who is now working extra hard to go through another Oscar Season. It is later revealed that Juliette’s ex-husband, Josh divorced her for a British actress Anna while filming a movie written by Josh. 

Weeks before the Oscar Season, a famous actor, Michael O’Connor secretly checked in with his nurse, Rory. It turns out that Michael is undergoing treatment for cancer and does not want the world to know it. In fact he has his body double fly to Morocco to fool the fans. 


I’m so obsessed with Pierce Brosnan, he is my Michael O’Connor
(Source: Internet)
Robert Redford is equally good too (Source: Internet)


Another actor, David Fulbright is later found dead in the Pinnacle’s swimming pool, giving Juliette the shock of her life. Just as she is trying to pull herself together, Juliette later finds out that it was just a gimmick to boost the Oscar ratings. Then, David feels bad about it and tries without success to apologize until he manages to break into her house much later.

At the same time, Juliette is later shaken up when Josh was murdered. During that time of ordeal, somehow Juliette ends up sleeping with Michael and follows him to an event. While away from the Pinnacle, somebody attacks Michael. 

And how much, much later the murderer is revealed and honestly, I was shocked! 

You see, not all that glitters is gold.

So, for those who think they might have read everything thrilling in chick-lit, guess again!


Miss Paris’s Notes

This is my first time reading a novel by Mary McNamara and I liked the way she writes with such details. And since she writes for LA Times, I can imagine how she puts passion and experience in her writing. 

Honestly, I’m impressed with foreign writers who can write with ease and such details. I am so envious, especially those very good writers who can just spin words and turn them into a beautiful story. In fact, the stories are so beautiful, upon reading them, I can envision everything. 

So, Mary McNamara, you inspire me to write better! 

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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The Proposal by Tasmina Perry

A Story of Lost Love


I first read Tasmina Perry’s novel ‘Guilty Pleasures‘ and I fell in love with her writing. Since I changed job about two years ago, I didn’t have much time to read. Well, I wouldn’t really call it the New Year’s resolution or anything, but I’d really love to push myself to read more books this year onwards. 

So, I’d love to share the first book I’ve finished. It was ‘The Proposal’ by Tasmina Perry

WARNING! 
DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE A FIRST-HAND READING PLEASURE!


The book I recently fell in love with (Source: Internet)



Here’s an excerpt from the back cover:

‘1958. At eighteen, Georgia Hamilton is sent to London for the Débutante Season. Independent, and with secret dreams to be a writer, she has no wish to join the other debs competing for a husband. But when tragedy strikes, her fate appears to have been sealed.

2012. Hurrying to meet her lover, Amy Carell hopes tonight will change her destiny. And it does – but not in the way she imagined. Desolate and desperate to get out of London, she accepts a position as companion to get a mysterious stranger, bound for Manhattan – little knowing she is about to unlock a love story that has waited fifty years to be told. And a heart waiting to come back to life…’

Does that get you a little excited? Well, for the ladies definitely, for the boys perhaps not, haha.

The Prologue starts with an introduction of Georgia Hamilton going to advertise something, which is later revealed to a companion to fly to New York with her. Along came Amy Carell, a New Yorker who lives in London for two years and has just been humiliated by her boyfriend’s family for being a dancer. So, Amy takes this opportunity to return to New York as well to get over Daniel.


Thanks to the Notebook, I only have Gena Rowland
in my mind to be Georgia Hamilton (Source: Internet)



During their trip to New York, Georgia and Amy share their stories of love and what love has done for them in the past. Amy sees Georgia’s prim and proper nature as an example that she must follow to fit into Daniel’s world, as Daniel has been groomed to become a diplomat and will be posted to Washington soon. Amy also wants Georgia to teach her how to become a lady. I love the way Georgia shares her knowledge in lifestyle to Amy, kinda reminds me of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when Hector Elizondo showed her dinner table etiquette. 


Dianna Agron seems like the perfect Amy Carell for me (Source: Internet)


 To me, the most interesting part of the story was Georgia’s story during her Débutante Season in 1958, the last year of debs. She has always wanted to be a writer and has lived in Paris for a while. She only returns when her mother, Estella who is an artist plans to send her to London for Débutante Season. 

Bella Thorne seems like a beautiful redhead to play
Georgia Hamilton in her younger years (Source: Internet)

Fine, if you insist she must be British, how
about Dakota Blue Richards? (Source: Internet)

Or Ella Purnell, look at those eyes! (Source: Internet)



Although at first Georgia refuses to be a deb, but since her Uncle Peter has agreed to sponsor her and supported with her aristocratic Aunt Sybil’s connections, she goes through it. Besides, her cousin, Clarissa has been a débutante herself in the previous season so she offers to lend her dresses to Georgia. 


Tamsin Egerton is British, she can play Clarissa (Source: Internet)

Chloe Grace Moretz has what it takes to
portray Clarissa too (Source: Internet)



During her deb events, she meets Sally Daly from Birmingham, a fellow debutante who sets her focus on marrying one of the most eligible bachelors of Britain, or what they nicknamed ‘Deb’s Delights‘. Georgia starts to bond to Sally and are always together ever since. 

Then, she hears the débutantes whispering about Edward Carlyle, someone the girls nicknamed VSITPQ – very safe in taxis, probably queer as they think he is a snob as his family owns a bank. At first, Georgia is not attracted to Edward, but after an incident with Harry Bowen turns sour, she is left towalk in the rain. Coincidentally, Edward rescues her and they become friends. 


Josh Bowman is the perfect Edward Carlyle, simply gorgeous! (Source: Internet)
Oooh, Henry Cavill is superhot too! (Source: Internet)



Georgia’s early experiences during Débutante Season don’t seem to be quite pleasant. With her Aunt Sybil keeps pushing her to marry Frederick McDonald, whom Georgia finds a very pleasant companion but not quite her type of guy as he is a few inches shorter than her. Other than that, she also finds out that some of the débutantes have been spreading rumours about her mother, somewhat insinuating that Estella also provides other services other than painting among the high society clients. 


Either Cate Blanchett … (Source: Internet)

or Kristin Scott Thomas would be perfect for Aunt Sybil (Source: Internet)


A tragedy causes Georgia to rethink her role in Débutante Season. With the fire burning down her house and everything her mother owns, they know they have to marry rich in order to survive. More than ever, Georgia has to work harder to dress and impress at all social events she attends. 

During a sleep-over hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fortescue for their daughter, Judy at their estate; Sally has her first sexual encounter. Not wanting to be part of it, Georgia decides to return to her home in London. Unfortunately she has left her purse and money along the way and has to get help. Somehow the first person she thinks about was Edward. Although she can’t find him when she visits his college, coincidentally they bump into each other in the street. 

By helping Georgia again, they strike a friendship. During the time they spend together, they get to know each other and Georgia learns that Edward is brilliant as he is handsome. He convinces her to get a job to support herself and apply for university, which she does. But things turn a little sour for Georgia when she is told of Edward’s beautiful girlfriend, Annabel. Working at a cafe, she meets Andre, the pastry chef who becomes her good friend and later, Sally visits with an Italian count named Gianni, announcing that they are in love.


Amanda Seyfried is my kind of Sally, naive but really sweet (Source: Internet)


Meanwhile, still chasing after her dream to become a writer, Uncle Peter introduces Georgia to a published writer, Ian Dashwood who later tries to rape Georgia in his apartment after he pretends to be interested in her manuscript. Georgia manages to escape. 


Is Kate Beckinsale the better Estella? (Source: Internet)

Or Nicole Kidman? Well, both are hot mamas! (Source: Internet)

At the same time, Estella sells all of her paintings from the Ribbons exhibition which earn her the money throw a birthday party for Georgia as she has planned. At the party, Frederick and Andre surprise her with a big cake. Edward comes with his brother, Christopher. Later, Sally’s parents come looking for Sally who is not even present at her best friend’s party. Georgia later finds a letter from Sally saying that she’s eloping with Gianni and moving to Italy.


Ed Westwick could pass for a hot Italian boy,
don’t you think? (Source: Internet)


Edward discovers that Gianni is a fake and informs Georgia about it. They rush to Scotland to stop Sally from making a big mistake. It turns out that Sally knows about Gianni’s background and she still wants to marry him. Sally also confesses that she is pregnant from her previous rendezvous yet Gianni still wants to marry her because he truly loves her. 

After going through all the chaotic events, finally Georgia and Edward confess that they have fallen in love with one another. On Christopher’s 21st birthday celebration, Edward proposes to Georgia and later they make love. Upon returning to the party, suddenly Clarissa comes into the hall and claims that Edward has raped her. Despite his denials, the others decide that Edward is guilty since there is evidence that Clarissa has had sex earlier. Since there is no DNA testing during this period of time, only Georgia is left to believe of Edward’s innocence. 

To avoid scandal, the Carlyles ship him to Singapore while appointing Christopher as their new heir to the family business. Meanwhile, nine months later Edward dies of typhoid fever as he doesn’t respond to treatment, leaving Georgia heartbroken. 

Fast forward to present time, Amy who feels a certain bond with Georgia; having celebrated Christmas with Amy and her family, meets Georgia’s nephew, Will (Clarissa’s brother’s son) and asks about Georgia’s past. When Will only knows that Georgia has had a falling out with their family, Amy convinces him that Clarissa is guilty of accusing Edward to rape, since now Clarissa has married Christopher some time later after the event. 


Max Irons can be scruffy and gorgeous as the same time (Source: Internet)

Ian Somerhalder is another good choice to play Will (Source: Internet)


Meanwhile, after returning from New York, Amy and Daniel reunite only for Amy to discover later that he has been cheating on her for months with someone who he deems more suitable and will get his family’s approval. So, Amy dumps Daniel for good as follows Will to a New Year party organized by Christoper and Clarissa. 


Now there’s a pretty Brit to play Daniel (Source: Internet)


Amy confronts Clarissa about the accusation she made towards Edward about 50 years ago. Although she doesn’t admit it, but Amy is convinced that Clarissa is lying. Some time later Christopher pays Georgia a visit and finally the truth is out. 

The truth is, Edward never raped Clarissa. When the medical examiner did a check-up on her, she was actually having sex with Christopher before, hence the result. It turned out that Clarissa was eyeing on Edward from the previous Débutante Season, but Edward was not interested. So, when he showed interests towards Georgia, Clarissa, driven by jealousy started her evil plot. She began to seduce Christopher since Georgia’s birthday party but forced him to remain silent. Before his 21st birthday party, Clarissa pushed him to be more aggressive in protecting his right as one of the Carlyle sons. Fueled with anger and hatred, Christopher agreed to overthrow Edward. Only they didn’t expect it to get as far as Edward being sent off to Singapore where he later died. 

Later, Christopher gives Georgia set of keys which she recognized as Edward’s cherry red Aston Martin. In the back of the car, she finds one of her mother’s paintings from the Ribbons exhibition. So, it was Edward who bought all her mother’s paintings so that Georgia and Estella could have a better life and pay for her to have the Débutante dance. So, Georgia starts the car and plans to drive to meet Sally and Gianni who are still happily married. It is also revealed that her friends, Frederick and Andre are also still together. Ahaa, yes, apparently they are gay which was revealed during Georgia’s birthday party. 


Could this be the Aston Martin Edward
was driving in the 50s? (Source: www.astonmartin.com)




Miss Paris’s Notes

  • I have started reading chick literature or chick-lit for as long as I can remember, and since Tasmina Perry touched my heart and soul since ‘Guilty Pleasures‘, so her books have become another must-haves other than Jane Green’s novels.
  • The débutante culture is not something very familiar in this part of the world, although I believe, in the past, there had been something of a similar nature. If you read local folk lores and legends, there are several mentions on how the privilege people often paraded their daughters off to attract the royal family. 
  • The details on the débutante season were extremely well-written, I could almost imagine how each party was organized. In fact, having watched some older movies featuring Western Royalty, one can simply put a face to each character and dress him or her accordingly. Besides, wasn’t the 50s that had one of the best fashion trends ever? Think vintage and exclusive!
  • This novel was full of surprises, I was hooked from the minute I lied down to start reading without the laptop switched on. When I thought Georgia was going to quit débutante season, a tragedy hit her. When I thought Clarissa was going to protect Georgia from Aunt Sybil, she betrayed her by accusing Edward of rape. When I thought that Daniel was going to fight for Amy, he cheated on her. When I thought, Georgia and Edward would be reunited, he died! What? What? What? How could live be so unfair??? So now, with this full review on the book, haha, it may not be a surprise to you anymore. Heck, go and read it!
  • I realized I was in tears at the revelation of Edward’s death and how Georgia only knew about it after his funeral. Then, I cried a lot more when Christopher came to confess to Georgia what really happened and after he handed her the keys to Edward’s Aston Martin
  • And I couldn’t stop comparing it to The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, except The Notebook had a happy ending. So, let’s start reading something else before I give another go with The Proposal and cry again.
The Proposal by Tasmina Perry,
a Miss Paris-certified must-read (Source: Internet)

About Tasmina Perry

Tasmina Perry is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of nine novels. She left a career in law to enter the world of women’s magazine publishing, and went on to become an award-winning writer and contributor to titles such as Elle, Glamour and Marie Claire.

In 2004, she launched her own travel and fashion magazine, Jaunt, and was editing InStyle magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries. 

Tasmina lives with her husband and son in London, where she is at work on her next novel. 

For more about Tasmina Perry, visit her website at www.tasminaperry.com, find her on Facebook at /officialtasminaperry or on Twitter @tasminaperry. 

Other titles by Tasmina Perry:

Daddy’s Girls
Gold Diggers
Guilty Pleasures
Original Sin
Kiss Heaven Goodbye
Private Lives
Perfect Strangers
Deep Blue Sea
The Proposal

(Source: The Proposal by Tasmina Perry)

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris



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