Review of ‘Stepping Stone’ by Karin Kallmaker,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
”There are three kinds of Hollywood parties—brawls, benefits and bright lights. As a rule, when an evening had all three, Selena Ryan attended them in that order. After a polite appearance at a brawl, she could be gone before the police were necessary, still stay awake during the speeches lauding everyone’s favorite charity of the evening, and arrive at the strut-posture-and-pose after the A-list had sated the paparazzi.”
Lights, camera and action are the backdrops for this novel of taking chances by Golden Crown and Lambda Literary award-winning author Karin Kallmaker.
‘Stepping Stone’ is all about Hollywood. Not so much the glamour of it but the hard-working side a movie producer faces when making an independent movie. And we get to see it all through the eyes of Gail Welles – waitress by day but dreaming to get her break in the industry someday soon.
Her start is rather auspicious when she and a plate of food end up in the lap of top producer Selena Ryan. Selena is far from impressed and even suspects it might be a ploy to get noticed. It wouldn’t be the first time she gets used that way. Burned too often, Selena has become weary of actors and their motives for wanting to know her. Her recent devastating heartbreak, courtesy of the gorgeous Jennifer Lamont, is reason enough not to ever mix business and pleasure again.
But this being a romance (and a lovely slow-burn one at that), we already know Selena will lose her heart again. But it’s a wonderful journey as we follow our cast throughout the making of this movie. Kallmaker really knows how to write Hollywood. The book was originally published in 2009. I read the book four years ago. Since then I forgot most of the details, so listening to the audiobook version felt like it was all new again. I love that these older books get a new life now they are re-published for the growing audiobook market.
The narration was done by Abby Craden. She of the fabulous voice. There seems to be a growing demand for her voice acting and that doesn’t surprise me. She can make any book sound good. Not that this wasn’t a good book to begin with. If you love Hollywood and are curious to know what happens behind the scenes, this is your chance to find out.
I love how guileless Gail gets the break she has been longing for and in the process wins the heart of once-bitten-twice-shy Selena. Selena’s ex (the Luscious Lamont) is not giving up without a fight. Oh no. There will be drama and joy, glitz and glamour and plenty of gossip but ultimately there will be a Hollywood ending. So get yourself some popcorn and press play.
Look out for the fabulous Buzztastic gossip sound bites. They are a hoot!
Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
Available for free with a Scribd subscription
Themes: Hollywood, making an independent movie and all that comes with it, slow burn romance, a broken heart, Barcelona, the ruthless tabloid press, Hollywood agents, auditions, schmoozing, reputation is everything.