Review: Lights Camera Passion by Isabel Lucero

Complexities of love and identity in the spotlight

“Lights Camera Passion” by Isabel Lucero takes us behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, where actors Jacoby and Roman navigate love, secrets, and miscommunications.

Jacoby is a 29-year-old deeply closeted gay man. Roman, at 24, is a bisexual actor more open to coming out. Both have secretly crushed on each other for years. However, their relationship is clouded by a significant misunderstanding. Jacoby believes Roman made homophobic remarks about him, causing tension. This miscommunication felt forced and could have been easily resolved with a conversation.

The book starts slow, especially regarding the chemistry between Jacoby and Roman. In the first half, their interactions lack the spark and tension you’d expect from two people with a history of unspoken feelings. They seemed more like cardboard cutouts rather than fully realized characters with deep attraction. However, things take a positive turn after the 60% mark, where their relationship finally gains some sensuality and depth.

Once the book finds its footing, there are several enjoyable elements:

  • Banter and Dialogue: Jacoby and Roman’s banter becomes more engaging, adding a layer of humor and charm.
  • Supportive Relationships: Both characters have close, supportive relationships with their sisters, adding depth to their personalities.
  • Emotional Growth: Jacoby’s maturity in handling jealousy issues, especially concerning Roman’s friend Emerson, showcases emotional growth and trust.

Despite the positives, there are notable drawbacks:

  • Lack of Early Chemistry: The first half’s lack of chemistry makes it hard to stay invested in their romance.
  • Similar Narrative Voices: It’s often challenging to distinguish between Jacoby’s and Roman’s points of view due to their similar narrative voices.
  • Unnatural Dialogue: Some dialogues, especially early relationship exchanges, feel forced and unnatural.
  • Show vs. Tell: The author tends to tell rather than show emotions, which reduces the impact of key moments.

Despite its flaws, “Lights Camera Passion” delivers some memorable scenes. The public coming out scene is particularly well-handled, emphasizing respect and privacy. This moment resonates with a powerful message about not making assumptions about people’s sexuality or identity.

“Lights Camera Passion” offers a mixed reading experience. While it struggles with a slow start and lack of early chemistry, it eventually delivers a worthwhile exploration of trust and romance. If you’re patient and willing to navigate through the initial slow burn, the book’s latter half offers rewarding moments of emotional growth and connection.

Book Stats:
Rating 3.5/5
Tropes: enemies-to-lovers, Hollywood Romance, Pining, Secret Romance, Grumpy Sunshine, Forced and Close Proximity, slow burn
Pop: 61%
3rd act break up