Washed Up Former Child Star Ryan Lee by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Less a romance, more a story of addiction and trying to find a way out of it. Sheena read Washed Up Former Child Star Ryan Lee and shares their review.

From the blurb:

Ryan Lee is a hot mess.

In another lifetime, Ryan had it all. He was a child star in one of the biggest sitcoms on the planet. Now he’s an adult, unemployed, and a poster child for bad decisions. Okay, so he hasn’t robbed a
convenience store yet, but only because he’s always either too high or too hungover. When the opportunity to film a reunion show comes up, Ryan jumps at the chance. He needs the money, but more than that, it might be what he needs to drag his career—and himself—out of the gutter.

Except seeing his former onscreen family again means seeing Chase Ellis–the guy who destroyed Ryan’s career by leaving the show, and the first boy Ryan ever kissed. Back when Ryan believed in fairytales, he thought he was in love with Chase, and the reunion brings all those old feelings racing back. But it drags up old secrets too. Ryan’s about to learn that, when it comes to Hollywood, the only happy endings are the ones that take place on screen.

Then again, maybe it isn’t a happy ending Ryan needs. Maybe it’s a new beginning.

Washed Up Former Child Star Ryan Lee is a standalone contemporary m/m second chance romance.

Sheena's Review:

In a Toyota Corolla, which was the worst part."

Ryan Lee is a mess when we meet him, stuck in a downward spiral, with no good ending in sight for him.  He's beyond frustrating at times, I was so torn between wanting to give him a hug or a smack on the ear for being so silly.  That's the nature of addiction though, even though he knows it's all wrong, he can't help himself but do it anyway.  The first half of the book is a very tough read, things are very dark for Ryan with seemingly no way out.  His relationship with his best friend Kristen is at best enabling, and at worst completely destructive.  

This is less a romance story and more the story of Ryan's spiral and crash, yet ultimately it's hopeful.  It's tough at times, but I always felt Ryan would come out of it eventually, he just had to want do it for himself.  I loved the story, and how it was written with the headlines showing Ryan's state of mind.  Chase had his own demons to conquer, and I kind of admired his courage to at least attempt to face them head on.  I loved Ryan and Chase together, and loved that they both realise they had a lot of things to come to terms with alone before building something together.  


It's ultimately a hopeful story, though.  It's not all bleak, there is some humour to be had here and hope, too.  There's a real sense of better things to come for both Ryan and Chase, and while it's not really a HEA, it's more HFN but I like to think they worked through it and did get that HEA, hard won.  I really enjoyed this, and it kept me turning the pages.

Rating: 4 Stars

Washed Up Former Child Star Ryan Lee is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.