Saturday, November 9, 2019

Unscripted by J.R. Gray Instagram Tour

Movie star 101: A smile hides all pain.

Quellcrist King has been playing a part his entire life. The more famous he becomes, the more he hides. The only person he ever let see the real him rose with him from nothing to the very top.

They were the king and queen of Hollywood— and then she wanted a divorce. The only way to survive his depression is to bury himself in work. If he can be a character, maybe he won’t have to remember himself. A gay role can’t be any different than playing a straight one, can it?

But instead of finding solace in the character, he finds it in his costar. Hale becomes his best friend, his lifeline, the light in his darkness. Quell is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about himself while filming intimate scenes with Hale that feel more real than anything ever has before.

He’s lived his entire life following the script. What would life be like unscripted?

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Book 1
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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I was hooked into this story from page one. I couldn't get enough of Quell and Hale's chemistry. The buildup and angst were at an all-time high and kept me flying through the pages to find out if they were going to get the ending they deserved.

Quellcrist is a Hollywood name everyone knows. After reading a heavy m/m book series, Quell knows he can make it come to life on screen, he has to. He buys the script and makes a pitch to one of his friends to help produce it. He's going through a divorce that no one knows about, he's agreed to keep it secret until his wife's current movie comes out and this project is complete. It's a secret that going to affect him more than he thought possible.

Hale is a no name actor paying his bills by doing commercials and small parts in television shows. When he comes in to read for a secondary character, he's immediately noticed and asked to read with Quell for the lead. He's perfect for the role and starstruck by how gorgeous Quell is in person. The chemistry between the two is obvious as soon as they read together, it's exactly what they are looking for. Being extremely attracted to his co-star won't be a problem, especially during those very naked sex scenes. right?

The way that J.R. Gray wrote this story, I was so invested in the characters, hell even the movie they were producing. He definitely brought this story to life for me. I finished it in one sitting and was sad coming to that last page. A definite must read!!

Oh wow! I loved everything about this book. It’s a steamy, angsty read that made me feel just about everything for Quell and Hale. This is a fabulous Hollywood romance that offers all sorts of behind the scenes excitement but it is also a very personal story about an unlikely friendship that slowly turns into something beautiful.

I’m not sure whether it’s Hale, the outsider and Hollywood newcomer who I loved most or Quell, the established star whose fame has come at the expense of privacy and genuine relationships. Both men are beautifully written and wonderfully human. The author uses a few m/m romance tropes that usually annoy me, but I found Quell’s questions about his sexuality believable and I was even able to understand his reasons for keeping a relationship private. I had more sympathy for Hale at times, but I loved both men. The heat in this story is a painful slow burn but the explosive chemistry between Quell and Hale is well worth the wait.

Sadly, I do feel that this story falls down a little bit at the very end. Without spoilers, this was the least emotive part of the whole story – and it should have been the most exciting. However, I really loved the book and I can overlook the slightly disappointing last few chapters.

J.R. Gray is a new author for me, and I enjoyed this so much that I quickly downloaded everything I could find by the author on Kindle Unlimited. Sadly, I didn’t find anything of the same quality. So, either J.R. Gray is an author whose writing has really improved in a relatively short time or they’ve found a new editor. Either way, I’m already excited to see what J.R. Gray does next because this is a fabulous read.

I really liked this book. I have never ready anything by this author before, so I am eager to read more. This book really hit home for me, my brother recently went through a divorce and I finally saw how much he was manipulated and wasn't himself for years because of his wife, just like Quell was because of his wife. I loved the slow burn between Hale and Quell and usually that drives me nuts, but it worked in this story. There wasn't a lot of sex – which also drives me nuts – but again, it worked for this story. Hale and Quell just worked together. It was a great story and I highly recommend it.

I really enjoyed this book – it has so many layers of interest to it, so many questions which it addresses, and such a lovely, slow burn, deep and intense romance at its core.

Quell is the big movie star, perfect marriage, always at his wife's side... until she decides she's had enough of following him around, and that though he needs to support her public events for the next 18 months, they should quietly divorce. This it would seem is partly because she is fed up of dealing with his mental health issues and wants to have fun, and partly because she has gained enough from his fame to not need to bother any more. Either way, it leaves him vulnerable and alone.

Hale is one audition away from having to go back to working in a bar to keep eating. The bit parts he has had have not been frequent enough, but then at another audition he is pulled out of the crowd and given the biggest opportunity of his life. Taking the lead opposite Quell as the pirate in a TV series is big – and yet wonderfully, Hale is far more excited about working with Quell, and confused by his feelings for the straight, married actor, than thinking about his career.

I loved the whole behind the scenes adventures that we are party to in this book – utterly engrossed in the detail, the honesty of the cold days, the constant hard work, the unremitting nature of the job when the light has to be caught, the moment has to be perfect. Both the director and producer add much to these moments, but also act as great friends and buffers to the two men as they play their roles and consider the feelings that they are developing for each other.

I don't want to say more, as you need to read it for yourself to get the full picture, but I will say, even if one of them seemingly does wrong, give them the benefit of the doubt. Gray makes it clear that we ought to, and it is definitely worth the patience.

I have added J.R. Gray to my ‘authors to keep an eye on’ list, as this was a really well written and engaging book, thank you.

Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.

J.R. Gray is Gender Queer and prefers He/Him/His pronouns.

Connect with J.R. Gray

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Gray Pack Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Unscripted (Unscripted #1) by J.R. Gray to read and review for this tour.

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