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To the Moon and Back

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Lauren Prescott had dreamed of being an actress since she was cast as Wendy in her junior high production of Peter Pan. Yes, her nightgown snagged and brought the set tumbling down, but she was hooked. After years of unsuccessful auditions, performing just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, Lauren established herself as a successful stage manager at the esteemed McAllister Thea Lauren Prescott had dreamed of being an actress since she was cast as Wendy in her junior high production of Peter Pan. Yes, her nightgown snagged and brought the set tumbling down, but she was hooked. After years of unsuccessful auditions, performing just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, Lauren established herself as a successful stage manager at the esteemed McAllister Theatre. Unfortunately, the resident director has cast celebrity, Carly Daniel: headstrong, entitled, and always late. So, why is their chemistry turning her the hell on? After partying her way through her twenties and ruining a successful film career, Carly Daniel has to take whatever she can get. If schlepping it onstage will raise her star again, she’ll listen to her pesky agent. Added bonus: the uptight stage manager is a sexy distraction. When Carly’s costar is sidelined, Lauren must decide whether renewing a long-forgotten dream will jeopardize what she has percolating with Carly. Is the limelight big enough for two?


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Lauren Prescott had dreamed of being an actress since she was cast as Wendy in her junior high production of Peter Pan. Yes, her nightgown snagged and brought the set tumbling down, but she was hooked. After years of unsuccessful auditions, performing just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, Lauren established herself as a successful stage manager at the esteemed McAllister Thea Lauren Prescott had dreamed of being an actress since she was cast as Wendy in her junior high production of Peter Pan. Yes, her nightgown snagged and brought the set tumbling down, but she was hooked. After years of unsuccessful auditions, performing just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, Lauren established herself as a successful stage manager at the esteemed McAllister Theatre. Unfortunately, the resident director has cast celebrity, Carly Daniel: headstrong, entitled, and always late. So, why is their chemistry turning her the hell on? After partying her way through her twenties and ruining a successful film career, Carly Daniel has to take whatever she can get. If schlepping it onstage will raise her star again, she’ll listen to her pesky agent. Added bonus: the uptight stage manager is a sexy distraction. When Carly’s costar is sidelined, Lauren must decide whether renewing a long-forgotten dream will jeopardize what she has percolating with Carly. Is the limelight big enough for two?

30 review for To the Moon and Back

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    Not my favorite Brayden but I did really enjoy it. Life has been crazy the past few weeks so I’m a bit late reading this. I was also a little worried my heart could not handle an angsty romance right now so I did keep moving this down my to read list. Well it turns out I needn’t have worried. While there is some angsty-drama, most of the book was a chemistry filled, feel good romance. I’m a huge Hollywood romance fan. Something about a big star normally paired up with a girl next-door type alway Not my favorite Brayden but I did really enjoy it. Life has been crazy the past few weeks so I’m a bit late reading this. I was also a little worried my heart could not handle an angsty romance right now so I did keep moving this down my to read list. Well it turns out I needn’t have worried. While there is some angsty-drama, most of the book was a chemistry filled, feel good romance. I’m a huge Hollywood romance fan. Something about a big star normally paired up with a girl next-door type always works for me. I mean how could I not wish Ruby Rose would stumble into Vermont and discover me here with open arms? So I might as well enjoy reading about it happening to somebody else. In the case of this book, I loved the twist of Hollywood meets the theater. Brayden is awesome about writing about the arts. Her knowledge always shines and I feel like I’m right there with a front row seat. You can’t talk about one of Brayden’s books without talking about the romance. I mean Brayden is the Queen of lesfic romance and the chemistry she gave these characters were once again off the charts. Every little look, touch, inner thought and flirty dialogue, just kept building and building until the characters were ready to combust. And instead of having them just jump into bed instantly, she made them wait which just made the chemistry even more intense. Other reviews have mentioned the pool game scene… yeah it was totally hot and everyone was still fully dressed. I love watching good chemistry develop like that. I loved the character of Carly. She was totally crushable. I enjoyed Lauren for most of the book too but then I got a little annoyed towards the end when I didn’t like her choices and she acted surprised by the outcome of them. What helped to make both characters, but Carly especially, so darn likeable was the dialogue. Damn can Brayden write some good dialogue! When she is on with her light humor, flirtiness and wit, Brayden’s dialogue is so very fun to read. This wasn’t a 5 star book for me so I did have a few issues. I did find the story to be pretty predictable. That is not really a bad thing, but I do love to be surprised. The bigger issue really was that I didn’t feel the characters connection to be quite as deep as I wanted. I loved Carly, and the chemistry was great, but I felt the story was more about sexual chemistry and not really two people connecting so deeply because they have to be together. That soul-mate deep connection was not there for me like I wanted. In fact, during the big angsty-drama moment, I ended up not caring like I thought I would. Instead I thought to myself “they will get over it”. My favorite Brayden books are when she rips my heart out and makes me go through a box of tissues. Maybe my heart is a little hardened right now. It will probably be for a long time but it’s just funny that I was so worried about the angst and in the end it didn’t really affect me at all. I wish I was reaching for the tissues instead. My closing thoughts are not a perfect Brayden. Not one of her best but it still was plenty damn enjoyable. The dialogue, the chemistry, the theater and Hollywood setting, all made for a book that I did not want to put down. If you are a Brayden fan I would recommend this. Brayden not at her best is still better than most other lesfic romance authors out there. She’s that good that even giving her some criticism she’s still gets to keep the throne and her crown. A copy was given to me for a honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Agirlcandream

    I love the theatre and love when Melissa Brayden graces us with theatre centric love stories. Her vast knowledge of the craft, both on and behind the stage shines through in To the Moon and Back. Bad girl movie star Carly Daniel, shunned by the studios for her off screen antics tries to revive her career by agreeing to perform in an off Broadway play. Cue the fish out of water actress forced to face her own fears while pretending she is coping with the challenges of live theatre. Production Stag I love the theatre and love when Melissa Brayden graces us with theatre centric love stories. Her vast knowledge of the craft, both on and behind the stage shines through in To the Moon and Back. Bad girl movie star Carly Daniel, shunned by the studios for her off screen antics tries to revive her career by agreeing to perform in an off Broadway play. Cue the fish out of water actress forced to face her own fears while pretending she is coping with the challenges of live theatre. Production Stage Manager Lauren Prescott can see that this down on her luck Hollywood starlet is floundering and takes it upon herself to help Carly adjust to her new surroundings. Lauren gave up her dreams of acting years before but is willing to help out the struggling starlet by reading lines with her after hours. There is a lot of theatre info at the beginning of this novel necessary to set the stage for the romance to come. Once Carly and Lauren meet, clash and then bond over a very erotic game of billiards, the heat ramps up with every scene and the reader falls in love along with the mains. The dialogue is crisp and witty and the secondary characters help voice the excitement and concern each woman is experiencing. Brayden doesn’t settle for the formulaic quick makeup following a misunderstanding. Instead she gives us an actor’s version of A Star is Born. Heart breaking and heart felt all at the same time. I enjoyed the drama and was impressed with the way the author pulled everything together for a satisfying conclusion. There is some head hopping thanks to the rapid fire dialogue and I have no idea why the cover art bears no resemblance to the book itself. Those are my only negatives in an otherwise stellar read by Ms. Brayden. ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley for review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosi

    This is a pretty solid romance, something usual in this author, and with all the ingredients. The two MCs are alluring and very likable and also mature and professional, each in their own way, even Carly that at first seems to be a bit crazy and lost in the maelstrom of the star system, but this quickly changes for the better. Because from the moment Lauren and Carly meet, they feel attraction and desire and none of them do much to not follow that pull. They are in two very different parts of the This is a pretty solid romance, something usual in this author, and with all the ingredients. The two MCs are alluring and very likable and also mature and professional, each in their own way, even Carly that at first seems to be a bit crazy and lost in the maelstrom of the star system, but this quickly changes for the better. Because from the moment Lauren and Carly meet, they feel attraction and desire and none of them do much to not follow that pull. They are in two very different parts of the show business. Lauren wanted to be an actress but did not get it and settled for being a stage manager in a Minneapolis theater that has some good reputation despite not being in a prominent place within that industry. Carly has been famous and still lives on those embers, although lately the paparazzy and her own behavior have left an image of her as unprofessional and problematic. And work proposals for her are void. Until an offer arrives for her to star in a play. For Carly it seems that the thing is not going to work, she does not know how to act in a theater and her behavior initially is that of a spoiled star. But Lauren is persistent and for the sake of making the play perfect, she motivates Carly and in turn discovers that the spoiled star is actually a woman a little scared and lost. And along the way, Lauren finds herself again with strength to pursue her dream of being an actress. The drama is predictable and this time there were several ways in which it could happen. And to my liking, the way chosen by the author has been quite adequate and above all tender, sweet, romantic, sentimental, touching. So I can only say that I liked this story, I loved it and I recommend it. An advanced reading copy has been sent to me by the publisher Bold Strokes Books through Netgalley for my honest review

  4. 4 out of 5

    Corporate Slave

    Sometimes you see a new book with the name of a certain author, and you just hit “want to read” without even reading the blurb. Melissa Brayden is definitely one of those authors! She is just such a good writer ! Her dialogue is amazing and she builds such strong/likable characters.. This one didn’t disappoint for sure ! Carly and Lauren were such interesting characters.. if you read the blurb you’d expect Carly to turn out as a spoilt entitled Hollywood princess ... but Brayden manages to show Sometimes you see a new book with the name of a certain author, and you just hit “want to read” without even reading the blurb. Melissa Brayden is definitely one of those authors! She is just such a good writer ! Her dialogue is amazing and she builds such strong/likable characters.. This one didn’t disappoint for sure ! Carly and Lauren were such interesting characters.. if you read the blurb you’d expect Carly to turn out as a spoilt entitled Hollywood princess ... but Brayden manages to show us another side of her and you can’t not just love her! With all her issues and her actions, you still love Carly :) Lauren was another interesting character and their connection was so romantic.. I can’t say it was off the charts, I felt it was just romantic :) The reason why this is a solid 4 rating and not 5 is because it was a little bit predictable.. Miss Brayden may I ask you to re-consider the choice of the cover? I wouldn’t want to be the person to “judge the book by its cover” but I’m sorry I did not like the cover 😁😁😁 P.s: can’t wait for the new series !! “I received an ARC for an honest review.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Grounded from the gulp. Lauren is a stage manager at an esteemed Minneapolis theater, The McAllister. Her much needed vacation is thwarted when she is asked to cancel and run interference for a troubled starlet who just signed on as a lead for the upcoming production. Carly is a starlet that is not quite as troubled as the tabloids would have you believe. But perception is reality in the world of gossip rags. Her agent convinces her to take a role in a theater production in order to help re-build Grounded from the gulp. Lauren is a stage manager at an esteemed Minneapolis theater, The McAllister. Her much needed vacation is thwarted when she is asked to cancel and run interference for a troubled starlet who just signed on as a lead for the upcoming production. Carly is a starlet that is not quite as troubled as the tabloids would have you believe. But perception is reality in the world of gossip rags. Her agent convinces her to take a role in a theater production in order to help re-build her reputation. This was the most satisfying romance. The way Brayden writes chemistry is off the charts. Who knew there could be so much sexual tension in just a simple billiard lesson? Then she gives us some early on conflict because Carly is a spoiled Hollywood actress that is inconsiderate of everyone's time and Lauren isn't having any of it. What I loved the most was how Brayden wrote the character of Carly. The magnetism and charm despite her faults. The desire to be good when all that seems to result is bad. She became completely smitten with Laruen and it was extremely endearing to witness on page. It was easy to see how Lauren could fall for Carly when all her common sense told her otherwise. The book was entirely predictable. But sometimes you just need a solid love story that you can count on. I didn't care in the least that I knew what was coming. I just enjoyed experiencing everything unfold. There is nothing like reading Brayden dialogue. I look forward to that before starting any of her books. She is the absolute best at writing it. She did not disappoint. And dare I say I might have enjoyed the dynamic between these two main characters more than in any of Brayden's previous books? OK, I said it. I loved Lauren and Carly. There was formulaic 80% drama. It made me cry until the end. The only critique I have is that the pacing was slow in a couple of spots with lengthy exposition. Full pages without dialogue. Namely, the very beginning which made it hard for me to get into initially. Then again toward the end. I recommend this to anyone who loves to read about romance, enemies to lovers, intense chemistry, fantastic dialogue, cute banter, communication, theater, Hollywood, dreams come true, character growth, Brayden's 'non sequitur' calling card, and emotive hair. I received an ARC from Bold Strokes books for an honest review

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jude

    I love Melissa Brayden’s books because they’re often fluffy and profound at the same time. They touch delicately on challenging topics (family, anxiety, imposter syndrome…). They seem lighthearted and happy, and they are, but they’re also more than that. And I’d do well to remember that because as much as I enjoy the joyful feelings they give me, I also feel the angst deep inside. When her dream of becoming an actress didn’t pan out, Lauren Prescott became the best stage manager she could be, and I love Melissa Brayden’s books because they’re often fluffy and profound at the same time. They touch delicately on challenging topics (family, anxiety, imposter syndrome…). They seem lighthearted and happy, and they are, but they’re also more than that. And I’d do well to remember that because as much as I enjoy the joyful feelings they give me, I also feel the angst deep inside. When her dream of becoming an actress didn’t pan out, Lauren Prescott became the best stage manager she could be, and now loves her job at the McAllister Theater in Minneapolis. She loves the environment, loves her coworkers, loves that she’s so good at a job that satisfies her need for order. So when her boss and mentor asks her to put her well-deserved vacation on hold to handle the next production because of a high-profile actress, she says yes, albeit reluctantly. Carly Daniel is a very talented Hollywood actress whose star is on the way down (way down) after too much partying and starletting. When her agent suggests she gives the theatre a try, she’s not convinced at first, and brings her bad habits to the stage, unintentionally and carelessly messing with Lauren’s precise organisation. Her sweet personality and willingness to do better go a long way to help her find her footing within the more theatre-savvy cast, except for her costar, who seems intent on looking down on her. To The Moon And Back is all about Brayden’s love of theatre, onstage and backstage, and she does a delightful job of sharing that love. This novel is pure Brayden, so don’t expect anything else. The characters will feel familiar because that’s the way she writes them. They’re lovely and sweet, the kind of people I want to be friends with, but with much better dialogue than most people come up with in real life. It’s quick and witty and fantastic. There’s even a hint of the new series Brayden has been teasing for a while, with Carly mentioning her mother works at Tangle Valley Vineyards. This is not a story with plot twists and unexpected developments. Brayden set the scene so well I knew what was coming, not because it’s unimaginative but because she made it obvious it was the only way things could go. She leads the reader exactly where she wants to take them, with brilliant writing as usual. Also, not everyone can make office supplies sound sexy. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joc

    I’m not a fan of celebrity romances because I don’t have a belief in the longevity of the relationship. And even less trust when the celeb is a known as a shallow, party animal but somehow Brayden makes it work. Carly Daniel is a household name but she has managed to drag her own reputation through the mud by partying all night and not arriving on set on time, if at all. Work is getting hard to come by until she’s offered a part in a play. She’s never done stage work but it’s not as if she’s get I’m not a fan of celebrity romances because I don’t have a belief in the longevity of the relationship. And even less trust when the celeb is a known as a shallow, party animal but somehow Brayden makes it work. Carly Daniel is a household name but she has managed to drag her own reputation through the mud by partying all night and not arriving on set on time, if at all. Work is getting hard to come by until she’s offered a part in a play. She’s never done stage work but it’s not as if she’s getting any other offers. The McAllister Theatre in Minneapolis is held in high regard and stage-manager Lauren is going to ensure its continuing good name. Arriving late on her first day was not Carly’s best move and her good looks and charm weren’t nearly enough to save her from Lauren’s wrath. I started this as an audio book but the advent of lockdown and homeschooling meant that headphones on my head may be the most sensible solution for me, they weren’t going to do anything for my child’s education. I listened to a bit more than half and then read the balance (in my own time). I enjoyed the audio (narrated by Melissa Sternenberg) but wasn’t overly enamoured by Carly’s voice because she came across as even shallower than I had already judged her. But I got used to her. When I switched to reading I found her voice changed in my head to something I liked better. The thing about celebrity main characters is that I keep waiting for them to return to type. I quite like the tension that it sets up and the worry I have for the other character, in this case, Lauren. Lauren on the other hand is really easy to like. She’s organised, down-to-earth, empathetic and gorgeous. Lauren and Carly work surprisingly well together and it kept me invested in their relationship. In the end, I loved the story. It’s not a wildly different story but it’s done carefully and tightly. Brayden doesn’t give her characters the easy route and that’s probably why it works. Great read. Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This is going to be a messy review because I always have so much to say about Melissa Brayden's novels. And it comes from being such a huge fan of her books; every single new one I read reminds me of how strongly I feel about her older ones such as Waiting in the Wings and Kiss the Girl. So she tackled show business again, which had me super excited. I genuinely believe she delivers her best work when she writes about artists, such as in First Position as well (ballet qualifies as art?). Theater This is going to be a messy review because I always have so much to say about Melissa Brayden's novels. And it comes from being such a huge fan of her books; every single new one I read reminds me of how strongly I feel about her older ones such as Waiting in the Wings and Kiss the Girl. So she tackled show business again, which had me super excited. I genuinely believe she delivers her best work when she writes about artists, such as in First Position as well (ballet qualifies as art?). Theater always comes with some very interesting drama of its own. And this was a good one — I devoured it, and I haven't been able to finish anything lately due to anxiety, so this says something. It is virtually the only book I can remember I've finished in months. Her writing is always entertaining enough. She writes witty dialogue and banter like no one, and her brand of drama always keeps you hooked. These are the things most people can say about most of her books. What I feel about this one, though, is that she's gotten comfortable. This might be a bit harsh but I swear that whenever I say anything bad about her work it is because I truly feel that she could've done better. This felt lazy, for lack of a better term — all the aspects that bothered me were things I know she's written better before. She's been releasing books like crazy, with two having come out last year and another two besides this expected for later this year, and while I haven't read all of them, what I feel is she's found her safe place and she's not venturing very much beyond it. All of her books are character-driven, so lazy characterization is a big issue, and it's the biggest problem I had with Carly and Lauren's characters. Along with the other characters, the two of them were essentially profiled from the start and limited to those traits that the author chose for them. The reader doesn't really get to know them through their dialogue and behaviour, because from the very beginning you're told Lauren is type-A and Carly is laid back and fun to be around, and it doesn't get much deeper than that. There was a lot of exposition, with their characterization and the side characters' as well being described pretty objectively. Towards the second half of the book, it even became a bit annoying how much of their dynamic was built upon such superficial traits that kept coming up again and again, such as Lauren being too organized, Carly always being late, and Lauren having a messed-up first impression of her because of all the rumors. We hear about Lauren's type-A personality and about Carly's regrets about her past and the things she did that derailed her career, but it all feels weak and barely touches the surface of what these characters could be. For example, (view spoiler)[Carly expresses some envy for Lauren't perfect family structure, but then nothing comes up about her own family (hide spoiler)] . Lots of things are mentioned matter-of-factly and not properly explored to build their personalities around such traits. For that reason, their relationship itself was also hard for me to buy in a sentimental capacity. I'll digress to say something positive, though — the sexual tension between them was levels above what I've seen in other Brayden novels, and it was pretty fun to read. It's cool, they're sexually active adults! That part was believable, if maybe overplayed for laughs in some bits that felt forced. It was new, though, and for the most part I liked it. The romance was harder to deal with, because I just couldn't pinpoint what they liked about each other that much. And this is entirely due to the poor characterization. Their relationship was still a lot of fun to read about, and I appreciate it when books go for the established relationship early-on instead of eternal mutual pining, but with this book, the pining really was the best of it. Once they got together, all of the issues were difficult to relate to. I won't even get into the issue of how unreal what happened to Lauren's career was, because it's something I can overlook as I believe lesbians deserve to enjoy the kind of cliché fairytale stories straight people have always had. Towards the last 30% is when things fully derailed for me, as I feel that the writer tried to shove a much larger story than could've possibly been told with the respect it warranted in as many pages. While the first half of the book goes on an almost day-by-day basis, the last part sails through months like it's nothing, all the while it expects the reader to believe that a lot of major changes and character development are happening. This is not a new mistake — it's the same issue I had with First Position, when (view spoiler)[she threw a hugely traumatizing plot twist into the very ending and had the characters deal with it just fine in under 10% of the book (hide spoiler)] . Waiting in the Wings, which I will always say is her magnum opus and can never be topped, on the other hand, delivered some of her finest work in the form of an audacious 4-year time jump after which the characters confronted their issues and insecurities and deeply worked through what ruined their relationship the first time around. In short, what I feel is, if you want to break up your characters before the happy ending, you gotta do the work, because getting back together after you're gotten to the point of seriously ending things is not simple, it's not just any argument. Brayden expected me to believe that these characters worked on themselves and on their relationship a lot more than what I actually saw written on the pages. So yeah, this is a harsh one. Even though I did actually enjoy the story and devour the book, I'm not certain that, had this been my introduction to the MBU (Melissa Brayden Universe), I would've been interested in tackling the rest. Which is a huge shame, as I've said there are some books of hers that I love so dearly it warms my heart just to talk about them with someone. I'll keep reading what she puts out there, though, as I live eternally in hopes that I'll get another one of those to keep close to my heart. Thank you to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    4.25 stars for a solid, sweet, entertaining romance without big surprises and angst. As always, wonderfully written by Mrs. Brayden, she never disappoints. Exactly the right enjoyable romance at the right time for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corporate Slave

    Sometimes you see a new book with the name of a certain author, and you just hit “want to read” without even reading the blurb. Melissa Brayden is definitely one of those authors! She is just such a good writer ! Her dialogue is amazing and she builds such strong/likable characters.. This one didn’t disappoint for sure ! Carly and Lauren were such interesting characters.. if you read the blurb you’d expect Carly to turn out as a spoilt entitled Hollywood princess ... but Brayden manages to show Sometimes you see a new book with the name of a certain author, and you just hit “want to read” without even reading the blurb. Melissa Brayden is definitely one of those authors! She is just such a good writer ! Her dialogue is amazing and she builds such strong/likable characters.. This one didn’t disappoint for sure ! Carly and Lauren were such interesting characters.. if you read the blurb you’d expect Carly to turn out as a spoilt entitled Hollywood princess ... but Brayden manages to show us another side of her and you can’t not just love her! With all her issues and her actions, you still love Carly :) Lauren was another interesting character and their connection was so romantic.. I can’t say it was off the charts, I felt it was just romantic :) The reason why this is a solid 4 rating and not 5 is because it was a little bit predictable.. Miss Brayden may I ask you to re-consider the choice of the cover? I wouldn’t want to be the person to “judge the book by its cover” but I’m sorry I did not like the cover 😁😁😁 P.s: can’t wait for the new series !! “I received an ARC for an honest review.”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gaby LezReviewBooks

    Lauren Prescott has always dreamed of being an actress but after a few failed auditions she settled for her other passion: stage managing. Carly Daniel had a successful career as a film actress but when her excessive partying got in the way of her acting, she paid a high price. Now that she hasn’t got any high profile film gigs, she accepts a starring role in a play with a very attractive but standoffish stage manager. When Carly’s co-star is sidelined, Lauren has the chance to revive her forgot Lauren Prescott has always dreamed of being an actress but after a few failed auditions she settled for her other passion: stage managing. Carly Daniel had a successful career as a film actress but when her excessive partying got in the way of her acting, she paid a high price. Now that she hasn’t got any high profile film gigs, she accepts a starring role in a play with a very attractive but standoffish stage manager. When Carly’s co-star is sidelined, Lauren has the chance to revive her forgotten acting dream and to explore her relationship with Carly on and off stage… Melissa Brayden is one of the A-listers of the lesfic genre and every single time she consistently delivers great lesbian books. If you like feel-good, happily-ever-after romances, she won’t disappoint you. Her career as a writer is well known but her theatre vocation is usually overlooked. In ‘To the Moon and back’ Ms. Brayden gets to mix both worlds as she did in ‘Waiting in the Wings’. The result is a heartfelt depiction of the theatre world, a fascinating comparison to the film industry and, on top of that, a feel-good, chemistry-ridden romance. What’s not to love? Apart from the excellent description of the theatre world, one of the best features of this book is the character building. Both leads are actresses and the author exploits this well, making them outgoing, charismatic and with a dramatic flair. Having said that, Carly and Lauren are quite different and they complement well, taking their chemistry to off-the-charts levels. Ms. Brayden is fantastic at writing dialogues, making the most of the characters’ banter and wit. The cast of secondary characters are all multilayered and play a big part in making the story believable. Unlike other Brayden’s novels, ‘To the Moon and back’ is low in the angst department which might not please some of her fan base but it’s right up my alley. Don’t expect to shed many tears with this story but you’ll definitely get the feel-good, ‘in love with love’ sentiment. As usual, Ms. Brayden turns the heat on between the characters and delivers hot sex scenes. Overall, a superb feel-good lesbian romance, low on angst but high on chemistry. 5 stars. ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    3.5 stars rounded up. Had I not seen the name Melissa Brayden, I quite likely would've overlooked this book. Neither the cover or title strike me as a Brayden book, moving on... This story is told in my favorite style of narration, third person point-of-view and from both heroines perspectives. Yay!! The insight into theater life was interesting, yet not entirely compelling as contradictory as that sounds. As always when picking up a story by this author, you can expect to find well fleshed-out char 3.5 stars rounded up. Had I not seen the name Melissa Brayden, I quite likely would've overlooked this book. Neither the cover or title strike me as a Brayden book, moving on... This story is told in my favorite style of narration, third person point-of-view and from both heroines perspectives. Yay!! The insight into theater life was interesting, yet not entirely compelling as contradictory as that sounds. As always when picking up a story by this author, you can expect to find well fleshed-out characters, by the end of the book you feel like you know them personally. I could easily be friends with either or both, but I never felt myself rooting for them as a couple and I can't put my finger on why. Around the 83% mark I found myself muttering, "please don't do it...no, please don't, don't follow that formula. Then it happened. The drama-llama reared its ugly head. I don't mind a bit of angst, but when it goes on for weeks, I tire of it. I guess there are tropes for a reason, readers love them, so maybe I'm being a little unfair. But seriously, does every lesbian have to break up before they can get their act together? (no pun intended) I've read many books by Melissa Brayden and I'll continue to do so. Check this one out for yourself. Copy provided by the publisher, Bold Strokes Books, via NetGalley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    To the Moon and Back has everything I would expect in a romance novel by Melissa Brayden. In this tale we meet Carly Daniel, a celebrity who is well known not only for her beauty and acting ability, but also for her partying ways. Because of this, she has become almost blacklisted in the film industry, and has to take a leading role in a stage production of a play at the esteemed McAllister Theater in Minnesota to try to improve her reputation in the business. There she meets Lauren Prescott, th To the Moon and Back has everything I would expect in a romance novel by Melissa Brayden. In this tale we meet Carly Daniel, a celebrity who is well known not only for her beauty and acting ability, but also for her partying ways. Because of this, she has become almost blacklisted in the film industry, and has to take a leading role in a stage production of a play at the esteemed McAllister Theater in Minnesota to try to improve her reputation in the business. There she meets Lauren Prescott, the head stage manager for the production. Lauren had once desired a career as an actress herself, but settled in behind the curtains after trying and failing to make it as an actress. Sparks fly almost immediately when the two meet, but is this just a showmance that will end with the play? Ms. Brayden is obviously very knowledgeable in theater production, and this definitely comes across in the setting and the story itself. She has created a beautiful story with characters easy to fall in love with, and just the right amount of angst to keep the reader guessing and reading to the end. I became totally invested in these two characters, and really wanted them to have a happy ending together. However, Ms. Brayden put quite a bit of conflict in their paths, and that happy outcome became very questionable. That’s the mark of a good romance. It’s also what kept me reading until the end. If you love a good romance with lovely characters, a great story and possibly a happy ending, then pick this one up soon. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review. Rainbow Reflections: http://rainbowreflections.home.com/

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sprinkles

    Melissa Brayden rings, and I answer. And I was more than excited to receive an ARC of something I've anticipated for months upon months! I'm pretty conflicted about this one. As put in Stephanie's review, the first half, when Carly and Lauren dodged and parried into romance, were thrilling. Then, some time after the sex stopped, things changed. Before I get into that, I must highlight what really worked in this book. Melissa Brayden is, undoubtably, a stellar writer. Her characters are fun and do Melissa Brayden rings, and I answer. And I was more than excited to receive an ARC of something I've anticipated for months upon months! I'm pretty conflicted about this one. As put in Stephanie's review, the first half, when Carly and Lauren dodged and parried into romance, were thrilling. Then, some time after the sex stopped, things changed. Before I get into that, I must highlight what really worked in this book. Melissa Brayden is, undoubtably, a stellar writer. Her characters are fun and dorky and the humorous bits crawl a gentle smile upon my face (ex: Carly being late and showing up with the drink that made her later and the line "Did hell actually freeze over? I never even got to see it."). She's knocked out some amazing first kiss scenes and stays consistent for this story. It's really astounding. The chemistry between the two mains really worked for me, in an opposites attract kind of way. Brayden's work is crazy quotable. A favorite being "It’s not about how good you are in the beginning. It’s about who you know, and being in the right place at the right time . Then suddenly your talent matters." My, my, the wisdom in there. I'm also really into her theatre/showbiz pieces (Eyes Like Those and First Position are favorites). In those, Brayden's knowledge and passion really shine. Gotta love the free-spirited, semi-washed-up celebrity and no-nonsense stage manager giving into their mutual attraction. Did the Starry Nights show give anyone Robin Alexander vibes? Not in the lines, but in the parts about them spotting each other in the grocery store and the delayed flight, I couldn't help but think of the perfection that is Just Jorie. I wish this play were real! Now for what didn't work. My forever nitpick with Brayden: the overuse of certain terms and ways of speaking. I'm all for a distinctive author style, but the voices are consistent book-to-book. Another were all the wardrobe details. Has that always been a thing, but more seamless? Because I feel like it stood out to me a little too much this time. The biggest issue I had was the drama. Ugh, it was almost unbearable for me. A very painful read. I didn't realize the specific topic of lovers clashing over similar careers would stress me out so much. The (view spoiler)[paparazzi scene (hide spoiler)] was necessary for this, but just as painful. I feel like the story was especially hard on Carly. Yes, she burned some bridges by being unprofessional, but Lauren didn't seem to full empathize with the concept of the WORLD calling you a loser, making you question everything about yourself. Carly got cross and grumpy about Lauren's opportunities, which she should've (and did) apologize for. But, cut the lady some slack. Imagine having what you think is your dream job and a few mistakes placing you at the end of everyone's lists. Then, someone you love breezes in and gets everything she even touches (seriously, was Lauren turned down for any roles?). It's very human to feel insecure. And even through the frustration, she encouraged Lauren. Rather than (view spoiler)[leaving Carly's home (hide spoiler)] so soon, Lauren could've stuck around and been her rock. I didn't get treating-Lauren-like-a-punching bag from their interactions; Carly seemed genuinely hurt, lost, and remorseful. We've seen enough cases of celebs who spiral without some bit of foundation (did Carly have family or just the one friend and agent?). Oh and the end: (view spoiler)[ Did....did Lauren ever show an interest or aptitude for directing? Did I miss something? Trust me, people with director energy are very obvious, haha. (hide spoiler)] Then, this story wraps up too quickly, I don't know. I'm stuck between 3 or 4 stars. Again, I'm conflicted. ☆ This copy was provided by NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books Inc. in exchange for an honest review. ☆

  15. 4 out of 5

    Luce

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars for this Melissa Brayden romance. This is a pleasant romance that I’ve come to expect from Brayden. And that is a good thing, because I was disappointed that couldn’t get into the first book of her Seven Shores series, so I didn’t read the other books in the series. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood or mindset at the time? It happens. One day I’ll go back and try the series again. First off, let me confess that I’m a theater fan - ok a fanatic. I have a subscription 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars for this Melissa Brayden romance. This is a pleasant romance that I’ve come to expect from Brayden. And that is a good thing, because I was disappointed that couldn’t get into the first book of her Seven Shores series, so I didn’t read the other books in the series. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood or mindset at the time? It happens. One day I’ll go back and try the series again. First off, let me confess that I’m a theater fan - ok a fanatic. I have a subscription for the Pantages in Hollywood (2-3 hrs from my house even though there are other good theaters much closer, but Pantages is better, IMO), I have traveled to NYC just to attend Broadway plays and to other cities if I’m bingeing on a favorite play. So, a book set in a theater? By Brayden who has a theater background? Sign me up… In this book we have Lauren Prescott, the Stage Manager at the 1500 seat, well respected, (fictional) McAllister Theater in Minneapolis. Originally, Lauren aspired to be an actress, but it didn’t pan out, so she moved backstage. With her mad organization skills and anal retentiveness tendencies, she became a successful and well respected stage manager. She admits “I’m like the Marie Kondo of theater”. Next we have the movie actress, Carly Daniel. When she was twenty, she was cast in her first movie and her roles and popularity rose exponentially. However, now at 29 years old, her career has crashed and burned. Her acting talent and beauty can no longer offset her continual tardiness and demands on set, her partying and adding to the fact she is no longer an ingénue. Absolutely no one will hire her in Hollywood. However, she gets one offer for a lead role in a new play at the McAllister. Reluctantly, she takes the job at her agent’s urging. However, Carly is very apprehensive. She has never done any stage work, not even in High School. Unfortunately, Carly continues her “bad behavior” in Minneapolis - late for the daily rehearsals and partying in the evening with cast and crew. Partying, although not ideal, would be OK with Lauren, if only they weren’t hung over and tired the next day for rehearsals. To Lauren’s surprise, Carly is a very good actress but is not used to stage work – you know, things like memorizing pages of dialogue, no take twos, and being on time. Lauren takes her under her wing so to speak, helping Carly with her lines which is essentially a two person play. This is a romance. So you can predict what comes next. Love, success, jealousy, growth and figuring out what each person needs and wants in their relationship and career. And of course Angst. I think I liked Carly’s journey the best. But then she had the most to travel and with no secondary career to fall back on. She had to figure out what she would have to do, to remain in the business. So if you like show business romances, Hollywood, Theater scene, likable characters and/or Brayden you may like this story. I wouldn’t necessarily say enemies which sounds too harsh – let’s say “not friends” to lovers, then you may like this story. I liked this story. An ARC was given to me by publisher, Bold Strokes books via Netgalley for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heinerway

    A famous Hollywood starlet meets a once-upon-a-time wannabe actress now stage manager... and sparks fly. The following drama was predictable, kind of. But this is Melissa Brayden. All I can say is that I love her stories, her characters, her... Well, everything. We have here another winner.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jules ✨

    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 rounded up to 3 because drama at 80/85% of the book was unnecessary. I really enjoyed most of this book, even though some parts were dragged too much for my liking. The chemistry was so on point and the sexual tension was chef's kiss. It was my first book from this author but I'll check for sure her other works.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Brayden is another one of those names that you see and immediately pick up the book, sight unseen. I always know that when I pick one up, I know that I'll be in for witty banter, loads of chemistry, and a lovable story! With all that said though... this is not my favorite Brayden novel. It's a sweet romance, but it left me wanting a bit more for some reason. The chemistry is there, but it just wasn't quite what I wanted. Maybe I'm a bit jaded right now, because this is a very sweet romance, but i Brayden is another one of those names that you see and immediately pick up the book, sight unseen. I always know that when I pick one up, I know that I'll be in for witty banter, loads of chemistry, and a lovable story! With all that said though... this is not my favorite Brayden novel. It's a sweet romance, but it left me wanting a bit more for some reason. The chemistry is there, but it just wasn't quite what I wanted. Maybe I'm a bit jaded right now, because this is a very sweet romance, but it was just missing that over the top factor for me that Brayden usually has going for her. I actually ended up feeling a bit bored for the first time ever when reading a Brayden novel. I did love the opposites attract theme and it was enjoyable, but... For me, 3.5 stars. **Many thanks to Bold Strokes for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.**

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I want to start this by saying...I will ALWAYS read a book by Melissa Braydon. Waiting in the Wings continues to be one of my all time favorite reads. This author always makes me feel something every single time. I also feel like I will probably be in the minority on this. The first half of this book was amazing. Two really dynamic MCs just quirky enough to be really really interesting together. Off the charts chemistry!! Then she just tried too hard. The story went down some different paths tr I want to start this by saying...I will ALWAYS read a book by Melissa Braydon. Waiting in the Wings continues to be one of my all time favorite reads. This author always makes me feel something every single time. I also feel like I will probably be in the minority on this. The first half of this book was amazing. Two really dynamic MCs just quirky enough to be really really interesting together. Off the charts chemistry!! Then she just tried too hard. The story went down some different paths trying to be several things at once and got really lost in the process. I feel like I'm judging this harshly. I mean, this is still a really good story....it's just not what I'm used to reading from this author. I keep asking myself if I didn't know who the author was would I still feel the same? And then I remember I actually had to remind myself a couple of times which book this was I was reading. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    F.

    Brayden has a real knack for writing great chemistry between characters that collide, have great dialogue and fall in love. All of that is present here, where wild child Hollywood Star Carly has to do a play in Minneapolis to try and rescue her career and meets super organised Lauren the theatre stage manager. They clash of course. But there is also instant attraction. It’s all good fun at first. But the story becomes in a way quite sad. In a very human way. What happens when the person you’re f Brayden has a real knack for writing great chemistry between characters that collide, have great dialogue and fall in love. All of that is present here, where wild child Hollywood Star Carly has to do a play in Minneapolis to try and rescue her career and meets super organised Lauren the theatre stage manager. They clash of course. But there is also instant attraction. It’s all good fun at first. But the story becomes in a way quite sad. In a very human way. What happens when the person you’re falling in love has all the luck and you have all the bad luck? There star is ascending and yours is dimming. I don’t think that this is an easy one to take. It’s a clear actual relationship hurdle and none of that usual manufactured angst at 75%. That is sort of great. But it also means that it’s quite hard to resolve. Because we never really know what we want or value in absolute terms but only by comparison to others. This is a basic and powerful psychological process. And I didn’t quite buy that there was a way out of it. Still. I really like Brayden’s writing. And this was an entertaining read. The world of theatre really came to life and was hugely fascinating and entertaining.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tere

    Carly Daniel was the hot ticket in Hollywood until her party girl reputation started closing doors to new projects. Running out of options, her agent talks her into joining a play at the esteemed McAllister Theater in Minnesota, hoping to resurrect her career. There, she meets former actress hopeful turned successful stage manager Lauren Prescott. Lauren was unable to make it as an actress but found her niche in managing the theater’s productions. Always tardy Carly bumps heads with Ms Organizat Carly Daniel was the hot ticket in Hollywood until her party girl reputation started closing doors to new projects. Running out of options, her agent talks her into joining a play at the esteemed McAllister Theater in Minnesota, hoping to resurrect her career. There, she meets former actress hopeful turned successful stage manager Lauren Prescott. Lauren was unable to make it as an actress but found her niche in managing the theater’s productions. Always tardy Carly bumps heads with Ms Organization Lauren, but both soon realize there is a mutual attraction. Chance brings an opportunity for Lauren to join the play’s cast opposite Carly, but will they continue to be a team after the play ends its run? It is no mystery I have been in a terrible reading slump for the past several weeks. So I hesitatingly grabbed this one because, well, was written by Ms Brayden so needed to give her a chance to get my poor romance-less soul away from the precipice. The end result is a yes, this story was charming and kept me engaged. The biggest issue with this novel is how predictable it is. I usually do not read blurbs of books I will definitely read since I like the surprise element. Even without reading it, I saw the plot unravel a mile away. If this is your pet peeve, pass this one up. If you can live with it, grab this one as everything else was enjoyable. The characters are likable and have crazy chemistry. I realize I haven’t read much lately, but just the kissing had me swooning and buzzing. However, it was the witty, playful banter between the characters that made me smile and thank Ms Brayden for her style. More than once I told myself, yep, this is a Brayden book. There is even a ‘Yoda cameo’! Overall, a predictable but sweet and entertaining novel. 4 stars ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I will be the first to admit that anything Melissa Brayden puts out I will read. She is for sure in my top 5 favorite romance writers. She knows how to put two characters together and make them sizzle. I was super excite to read To the Mood and Back. I really love a celebrity romance so this was up my alley. Lauren Prescott wanted to be a actor since middle school. Eventually after many failed attempts she found her niche being a Stage Manager. Carly Daniel is or was a successful actress. She ba I will be the first to admit that anything Melissa Brayden puts out I will read. She is for sure in my top 5 favorite romance writers. She knows how to put two characters together and make them sizzle. I was super excite to read To the Mood and Back. I really love a celebrity romance so this was up my alley. Lauren Prescott wanted to be a actor since middle school. Eventually after many failed attempts she found her niche being a Stage Manager. Carly Daniel is or was a successful actress. She basically has ruined her career by being partying her way through life and now no one wants to cast her. She is in desperate need for a gig and is convinced to play the lead role in a play at the theater Lauren works. In theory this all sounds good but I did not connect with this romance at all. The leads in this one were not really interesting and the story was slow and a tad bit boring. Listen, this book is not what I expected from Brayden. Sure, I will continue to read all of her books because she is a great writer, I just wasn't into this one. There were things I did like about this one but it was just slow for me. There was nothing exciting about the mains. Anyway, i will rate this one 3.5. This arc was provided by Netgalley and the Publisher for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    MJS

    ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had somewhat high hopes for this after being disappointed in Brayden’s last book. I did enjoy this more than the last one, but it didn’t jump into my favourites pile. So, the mains are Carly, a Hollywood actress whose career is in freefall after some diva like behaviour and Lauren, a stage manager at a famous theatre in Minneapolis. Lauren is nice to everyone, she’s good at her job and she’s very focused. She also wanted to be an act ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had somewhat high hopes for this after being disappointed in Brayden’s last book. I did enjoy this more than the last one, but it didn’t jump into my favourites pile. So, the mains are Carly, a Hollywood actress whose career is in freefall after some diva like behaviour and Lauren, a stage manager at a famous theatre in Minneapolis. Lauren is nice to everyone, she’s good at her job and she’s very focused. She also wanted to be an actress at one point but gave up when she couldn’t get any parts and decided to focus on behind the scenes work. Not gonna lie, Carly was very hard to take for about the first third of the book. This is a woman pretty much on her last chance who knows she’s not getting work because of her crappy work ethic (she’s one of those ‘everyone will just wait for me’ types). So what does she do when given an opportunity to make a comeback? Treats the opportunity like it’s nothing and just continues to show up when she wants. Seriously, what an entitled little shit. Somehow, Lauren manages to fall for her despite this, even though Carly’s character growth amounts to actually showing up on time and crying when another actress puts her in her place. Then we have Lauren, who turns into a Mary-Sue by suddenly being gifted with a role in the play (I did not buy this development for a second, but it just kept snowballing as one opportunity magically turns into everything Lauren touching turning to gold). During all of this Lauren and Carly banter their way into a relationship, and this part was pure Brayden, sparkling banter all the way. Unfortunately it all falls apart around the 80% mark. I actually felt kinda sorry for Carly at this point, everything just came too easily for Lauren, and that would have bugged me too. Anyway, both Lauren and Carly have epiphanies and manage to reunite in the last 5% for a somewhat sweet HEA. Parts of this are sweet, parts of it are fun, but from about the 40% mark, most of what happened with Lauren was too unbelievable for me to buy into. An average Brayden is sill better than most lesfic, so many will enjoy this, but it doesn’t have as much heart as some of her earlier books.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yoly

    As usual with any Melissa Brayden novel, this story is sweet, the main characters are likable, and you can almost feel the chemistry between them. I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved everything! For some reason this book reminded me of her novel Waiting in the Wings (maybe because of the theater setting?) which I also loved. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy a sweet and fun romance.

  25. 4 out of 5

    A.W.

    I don’t know why but I took a break from reading books and only recently started reading again.  I forgot how much I missed Melissa’s writing and To The Moon and Back certainly has me wanting to read more frequently again. I have to say that Carly’s character growth was well-written and what a ride her journey was up until the end of the story. I felt both characters were likeable, even though Carly was a bit hard to like in the beginning. Their chemistry together was great, at least in my opinion I don’t know why but I took a break from reading books and only recently started reading again.  I forgot how much I missed Melissa’s writing and To The Moon and Back certainly has me wanting to read more frequently again. I have to say that Carly’s character growth was well-written and what a ride her journey was up until the end of the story. I felt both characters were likeable, even though Carly was a bit hard to like in the beginning. Their chemistry together was great, at least in my opinion. As high as bringing a smile to my face to as low as getting teary-eyed, I enjoyed the rollercoaster of emotions that this book took me through. Another solid book by Melissa Brayden. Oh, and I definitely don’t think I can cook chili and not think of that particular scene in To The Moon and Back. Review also posted here: https://wp.me/p4Pp9O-Ni

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Andersson

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an arc. I think I've read about a handful of Melissa Brayden's novels and enjoyed them all and this was no different. At first the premise didn't interest me much but I decided to give it a go just because Melissa Brayden was the author and I'm really glad I did. This was super cute, funny and light and I enjoyed every second of it. I really loved both main characters and their chemistry. It was nice seeing their development and seeing them figure out t Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an arc. I think I've read about a handful of Melissa Brayden's novels and enjoyed them all and this was no different. At first the premise didn't interest me much but I decided to give it a go just because Melissa Brayden was the author and I'm really glad I did. This was super cute, funny and light and I enjoyed every second of it. I really loved both main characters and their chemistry. It was nice seeing their development and seeing them figure out the whole relationship thing. I also really enjoyed the humor in this. (there's also a dog in this which always makes every novel a thousand times better) What I really loved was that there was little to no angst in this, it was just a light, feel-good read. It also had just enough steamy scenes which is always a plus. I don't know if I've ever read a book with the whole theater setting before but I really enjoyed and I really want to read more books like this in the future. Melissa Brayden will continue to be a sure choice for me in the future and I can't wait to pick up more of her novels. I really loved this book and definitely recommend picking it up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    4 stars - To the Moon and Back is everything you expect a Brayden novel to be. It’s sweet, fun, sexy and of course the writing is smooth. This book is a little cloud of fluff, exactly what I needed amidst this awful week at work. Whenever I was reading it, I found myself smiling and feeling just a little lighter. Brayden is a master at creating likable MCs who compliment each other and who have great chemistry. Lauren Prescott is the girl next door type with a love of stationary that rivals Amy S 4 stars - To the Moon and Back is everything you expect a Brayden novel to be. It’s sweet, fun, sexy and of course the writing is smooth. This book is a little cloud of fluff, exactly what I needed amidst this awful week at work. Whenever I was reading it, I found myself smiling and feeling just a little lighter. Brayden is a master at creating likable MCs who compliment each other and who have great chemistry. Lauren Prescott is the girl next door type with a love of stationary that rivals Amy Santiago’s. She’s grounded and practical. Carly is your typical Hollywood actress with a wild strike you should find annoying, but you can’t help falling in love with just a little bit. She’s charismatic, always down for a good time and is kind to everyone. Opposites attract? Though this book basically follows the “lesfic recipe”, it’s still a solid, very enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it. There’s little twist or two that are sorta predictable but still surprising, if that makes sense… :p I got a little emotional when Lauren’s parents showed up and so angry when the media trashed Carly. Maybe give this one a shot if you like theater, a nice feel-good romance and pugs! *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Note: Not a fan of the cover.

  28. 4 out of 5

    hubsie

    I've had zero time, nor energy, to do any kind of reviews during this challenging time, but wanted to shout out to Ms. Brayden for this one. It definitely lightened my mood when I needed it, the writing was solid and lovely, and I actually cheered when the obligatory henley made an appearance. Good and lighthearted, yet very mature read that I shall revisit at some point.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    *ARC received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* Honestly, I simply adored this book. "To the Moon and Back" is a soft lesbian romance with a great balance of cute, hot and feels-worthy, not to forget the well-seasoned side dish of personal development. What was the most noteworthy aspect of this book for me were the two main characters - Carly, the Hollywood star whose fame has started to fade, and Lauren, stage manager who gets a chance to fulfill her lifelong dream by *ARC received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* Honestly, I simply adored this book. "To the Moon and Back" is a soft lesbian romance with a great balance of cute, hot and feels-worthy, not to forget the well-seasoned side dish of personal development. What was the most noteworthy aspect of this book for me were the two main characters - Carly, the Hollywood star whose fame has started to fade, and Lauren, stage manager who gets a chance to fulfill her lifelong dream by taking the stage instead of managing it. Both Carly and Lauren were extremely likeable and relatable. Carly was such a bright presence in the story, the kind of person who steals the limelight anywhere she goes but is also kind and friendly and full of smiles. Lauren and her organizational skills made me want to make friends with her and talk about the best ways to organize one's kitchen drawers. Most importantly tough, both of them felt so real to me, you know? They were real people with real dreams, genuine fears, insecurities and flaws. Chemistry between Lauren and Carly was sizzling hot and I was genuinely afraid it would melt my ereader's battery off xD The romance was written well, making me root for the couple right from the start to the very end. While I'm not a fan of "if only they communicated better" trope used as means for couple angst, I found it very authentic in this story - Carly and Lauren faced some tough circumstances but in the end, they took time to work on what had gone wrong and learned some lessons along the way. And I just loved how their love story's conclusion paralleled the play they were acting in - a story of two people finding each other and then finding their way back to each other. Summing up, this has been a great read - full of feels, engaging and a perfect means to escape from reality for a little bit. I'll be reaching for more of Melissa Brayden's books for sure!

  30. 4 out of 5

    JWG1973UK

    I RECEIVED AN ARC COPY OF THE BOOK FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY AND VOLUNTARILY LEAVING MY REVIEW. CARLY IS A DOWN AND OUT ACTRESS WHO NEEDS TO BUILD UP HER CAREER AGAIN FROM SCRATCH WHICH SHE IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT. SHE IS ALWAYS RUNNING LATE AND DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE ELSE EXCEPT HERSELF. LAUREN IS A SUCCESSFUL STAGE PRODUCTION MANAGER WHO HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ACTRESS. I'D SAY THIS WAS MY LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK FROM THIS AUTHOR. I HAVE READ ALL BUT TWO OF HER BOOKS AND LOVED THEM ALL BUT T I RECEIVED AN ARC COPY OF THE BOOK FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY AND VOLUNTARILY LEAVING MY REVIEW. CARLY IS A DOWN AND OUT ACTRESS WHO NEEDS TO BUILD UP HER CAREER AGAIN FROM SCRATCH WHICH SHE IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT. SHE IS ALWAYS RUNNING LATE AND DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE ELSE EXCEPT HERSELF. LAUREN IS A SUCCESSFUL STAGE PRODUCTION MANAGER WHO HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ACTRESS. I'D SAY THIS WAS MY LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK FROM THIS AUTHOR. I HAVE READ ALL BUT TWO OF HER BOOKS AND LOVED THEM ALL BUT THIS ONE DOESN'T HIT THE MARK FOR ME. THE CHARACTERS ARE GOOD (ONE OF THEM) AND THE SEXUAL TENSION BETWEEN THEM BOTH IS OFF THE CHARTS, BUT, FOR ME, I LIKED LAUREN BUT I COULDN'T TAKE TO CARLY FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE BOOK. THERE IS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT HER THAT I DIDN'T LIKE. I LIKED SOME OF THE STORY LINE AND AT OTHER TIMES I FELT IT DRAGGED ON. IN THE END WITH THE LAST TWO OR THREE CHAPTERS I JUST SKIMMED OVER THEM. THERE IS ALWAYS ONE BOOK FROM AN AUTHOR THAT YOU FIND JUST IS NOT FOR YOU AND FOR ME I WOULD SAY THIS IS THE ONE FOR ME. HOWEVER, I WILL CONTINUE TO READ HER BOOKS IN THE FUTURE.

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