Wednesday, September 10, 2014

American Blonde by Jennifer Niven

Velva Jean is on her way home with her brother.  They've both been discharged and are on a boat home.  The scars of war show, but they are strong and plan to move on and find their own destiny.  Velva has always thought about going to Nashville...

Plume Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.  This is the fourth book in the series, so check the other ones out, too.

I like Velva Jean.  She's willing to work hard, get up early, learn new techniques and do her job well.  She won't lie or do anything that bothers her morals.  That causes her trouble later in this story.

Velva Jean and her brother get photographed getting off the boat and she becomes an instant sensation.  Not only is she a war heroine, she's attractive.  All of sudden she's got Hollywood calling on her.  That's beyond any of her dreams but she's not going to let the opportunity pass her by.  Off she goes!

She's lucky enough to meet another lady she knows; she was a WASP also.  The two become inseparable and Velva Jean (renamed Kit Rogers) learns about acting and politics from Mudge.  (Mudge is a war nickname.)  As time goes on, Velva Jane realizes something is bothering Mudge.  She tells her no, but she's drinking too much and acting oddly.  Then, suddenly, she's dead.  Here is where the trouble starts.

The studio wants to cover up the death and state it was an accident.  They even move the body.  They own the doctor and some of the police it's no problem to do that.  At least, it wasn't until Velva Jean tells the truth...

The more Velva digs, the more she finds out about her friend.  She also finds out about Hollywood and the magic of money.  It's said anything can be bought with enough money and there's plenty of that in Hollywood.  When Velva won't stop investigating and won't be bought off, she almost gets killed.  This is a complex plot with a lot of reality mixed in.  Hollywood was not a nice place in this era.  The truth is disturbing, but nothing stops Velva Jean.

My very favorite part of this story is the ending.  Velva Jean has two men in her life and she's not sure which one she loves.  When she decides, I approve of her choice.  And the ending is fantastic!

Now I want to read more about Velva Jean.  She's a complex character.

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