Camera Shy - EJ Russell

There's a reason Dustin avoids the spotlight, and his work as the PA for celebrity talk show host Ari Dimitriou lets him stay behind the scenes, he's Camera Shy. But when Ari's reckless ego tries to tries to thrust Dustin into the limelight, Dustin exacts revenge by proposing a reality show based on their whirlwind upcoming (fake) wedding. Will Ari realize how important Dustin is to him before the clock ticks down to their planned on screen break-up to be filmed before the fake I Do's?

From the blurb:

Never assume…

…that your uber competent personal assistant will get it when you announce your (fake) engagement to him during a live on-air interview with your archnemesis.

Never waver…

…from your plan to punish your arrogant celebrity boss for his presumption by turning your (fake) wedding into a reality competition for event planners.

Never admit…

…that the feelings blossoming between the two of you through seven (fake) engagement celebrations, six (fake) bachelor parties, five (fake) wedding party luncheons, and four (fake) rehearsal dinners are about as (real) you can get.

Camera Shy is a boss/employee, fake-engagement, right-in-front-of-your-nose romantic comedy featuring a former child model-turned-PA who is so done with cameras, a cocky LGBTQ activist/talk show host who does not lose, more scarves than midwinter in Boston, and banter. So. Much. Banter.

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Boss/employee. Fake fiance/marriage. Slow burn. 

Being the personal assistant of a celebrity talk show host, Dustin is happy to live out of the camera’s light and he has no problem managing Ari’s life. But when Ari announces on camera that he and Dustin are secretly engaged (a big lie) in order to win an argument, Dustin decides that his arrogant boss needs to be taught a lesson and proposes a reality show based on their upcoming wedding. 

During the weeks of filming the lead up to their wedding, Ari and Dustin must negotiate the huge change in their relationship, and Ari starts to realize that he cannot live without Dustin. 

Ari is cocky and self-centered so it take a while to warm up to him given he doesn’t really know Dustin that well at all, a clear juxtaposition to Dustin’s years-long low level crush on Ari where Dustin knows that underneath all of Ari’s antics he is a caring and dedicated crusader for LGBTQ+ issues. 

Ari does decide to be better at appreciating Dustin and along the way realizes he has feelings as well, however, more communication and sharing may have made the relationship feel more romantic. 

Overall an entertaining read with comedy and supportive secondary characters with some sweet heartfelt declarations for Ari and Dustin.

Rating: 4 Stars

Sheena's Review:

Camera Shy was a first from this author for me, and I really enjoyed it. It's a relatively light-hearted rom-com with a fake engagement, boss/employee dynamic. When we first meet Ari, he's not a sympathetic character at all, he's so self-absorbed and selfish it's hard to have any sympathy for him at all, and I had a sense that Dustin was just far too good for him. I loved Dustin though, although I did wish he would stand up for himself a bit more at times.

I loved getting to know Dustin and his story though, and I really felt for him when I discovered his story about his parents, his previous life as a child star and his disagreeable ex. The story starts with a bang, then builds slowly as Ari comes round to the idea of him and Dustin perhaps making a go of things. It's so lovely to see Ari change and grow as the book goes on and it's a really good character arc. The supporting cast are great too, I liked them all.

It's relatively low angst, low heat (fade to black) but overall it's fun, light and a lovely HEA.

Rating: 4 Stars

Camera Shy is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, and to read with Kindle Unlimited Subscription.