Vanishing Act: A Novel

Vanishing Act: A Novel

by A. M. Madden

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399180903
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/20/2017
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 332
Sales rank: 371,620
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author A. M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels, and now an author. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good romance book.

Read an Excerpt

My agent, Roger, had explained years earlier that the more successful I became, the more vicious the rumors, the more people would want a piece of me, and the more opportunists would crawl out from the woodwork.
Through the years I’d seen my fair share of all of the above. It wasn’t until this last film that it had finally gotten to me.

What was that saying, Bad things happen in threes? All three of mine occurred while filming that damn romance movie, Broken Branches. If I had learned anything from this experience, it was to trust my gut. The only reason I had accepted this role was because of the director. Being associated with his name would serve me well, and not only as an actor. Even though it was a romance, which I normally shied away from, I knew I’d learn a ton from him.

Turned out I had, but at the cost of my sanity.

Nothing came easily, especially in Hollywood.

Three days into shooting, my brother died in a freak accident.

Halfway through filming, one of the wardrobe assistants accused me of sexual harassment. The charges were quickly dropped when another female on staff came to my defense, outing the chick for her scheme to ruin me. The social media crap storm it had unleashed had made it nearly impossible to leave the house and caused a delay in production.

A week had passed since we wrapped, and with each day I knew what I needed to do. I glanced at my vigilant agent, droning on about upcoming opportunities, knowing darn well that the moment I said what I had come to say, he would lose his ever-loving mind.

“So, I separated them into definites, maybes, and absolutely nots.” Roger’s monotone voice interrupted my thoughts. His gaze narrowed in on the piles that majestically sat on the glass top of his desk. Of course, the definites represented a small percentage of the total.

“I need out for a while,” I blurted, deciding it was better to rip off the Band-Aid.

His eyes cut to my face, and the astonished look did little to hide his true feelings. I could always tell what he was thinking. Roger had been with me for five years—a bit of a player, but it worked for me.

“Say again?”

“I said, I need out for a while.”

He shook his head so forcibly, his jowls jiggled. “You can’t do that, Landon. You’re at the top of your game. It’ll be career suicide.”

“Nah. I’ll be fine.” Walking over to his well-stocked bar to help myself to two fingers of his finest whiskey, I deliberately ignored his prediction. Roger knew I was exhausted, but he didn’t know I was so darn tired, both physically and mentally, that I couldn’t think straight.

“Landon. Cut me a break. My heart can’t handle this. You’re going to kill me, and then where will you be? I dedicated my life to you, you prick.”

“Stop the drama, no one is having a heart attack. I’m not disappearing for a year. I just need a break.”

Turning my back to him, I gazed out at the view of LA at night. A cold metropolis filled with fake humans.

Everyone moved toward one thing—fame. Roger included. He wasn’t sitting in his plush office that overlooked the city at ten o’clock at night because he was a workaholic. He was sitting there to avoid going home to the wife and kids who cramped his style.

 “Any break will ruin the momentum you have going.” Roger walked toward his bar, deciding he also needed a drink. He downed the first shot, immediately pouring a second. “Seriously, go to Canyon Ranch for a week. It’s just what you need. Use the spa, relax, tap the best in the country . . . you’ll come back a changed man.”

“It doesn’t work that way. Maybe I’ll start the book I’ve been wanting to write. Consider it a career detour. Some musicians leave music for film. Doesn’t mean all their fans abandon them.”

“Not the same . . .”

“Roger, I’m going,” I cut him off before draining the whiskey in my glass. I welcomed the way the slow burn warmed me from the inside out.

On a resigned sigh he asked, “Where the heck will you go?”

I knew exactly where, but I wasn’t ready to tell him that. I trusted him with my life, but unintentionally, in his attempt to make sure I was well taken care of, he’d expose my location. That was the last thing I wanted. Not even my parents knew where I was going, but they understood why I needed to go. I had promised my mother she would be my only source of contact, and a burner phone would be our only mode of communicating.
The clear visual that popped up in my mind came from meticulous planning. As a kid in New Jersey, we practically lived at the beach from June to September. Some of my best memories as a kid happened on the beach. It’d been the one place I could go and hide to be completely alone with my thoughts. All I needed was a small cozy house, with just the necessities, sitting right on a beach that I could get to without using a passport . . . I needed to vanish.

If no one knew where to find me, I couldn’t be found.

“Don’t know yet,” I lied. “I’ll know once I get there. My housekeeper; my assistant, Erin; my PR rep, Sadie; and my lawyer were all given my mother’s number and vice versa in case of an emergency. You already have it. Just don’t bother her, please. She doesn’t know where I’m going.” The look on his face went from comical to downright hilarious. “Put your eyes back into their sockets, dude. It’s not a good look for you.”

“Screw off.”

I glanced down at my Rolex. “I gotta go. I have a ton to do before I leave.”

At my announcement, panic set in. “Landon! Are you insane? This is so stupid. There’s press to do and meetings on the calendar.”

“Press won’t happen for months. The meetings can be cleared. That’s why I pay you the big bucks. Clear them.”
“You can’t be serious and just—”

“Rog.” I cut him off again, leaving no doubt about how serious I was through the tone of my voice. “Either you can be on board with this or not. Either way, I’m going. You’ll hear from me if I feel you need to. This way no one can harass you on my whereabouts. You simply don’t know.”

His jaw dropped farther and a string of unintelligible squeaks escaped before he finally found his words. “You’ll be leaving me with a mess to deal with!”

“Oh, calm down. I’m taking a vacation.”

“They’ll assume you’re in rehab.”

“So? Let them.” I didn’t have a doubt I’d come back and slide right into this plastic town without a blip in my success. I knew damn well my attitude was cocky, but true. The one thing Hollywood was besides fickle, was forgiving.

I stood, removing my Ray-Bans from the neckline of my shirt and automatically sliding them over my eyes in spite of the late hour. “Anyway. I thought you should know.”

“I should know? How considerate of you, you moron!”

I had to laugh at the go-to epithet he used on everyone, including his own mother.

With a wave and another chuckle, I sauntered out of the glass fortress he called an office—one my success had helped to pay for—and said, “I’ll talk to you in a few months.”

In a panic, Roger began babbling desperately. “Don’t just disappear on me, Landon! I’ll hunt you down . . .”

The more I chuckled, the more his insults echoed loudly down the empty hall until the slide of the elevator door finally silenced him.

A tiny seed of doubt tried to grow in size to the likes of Jack’s beanstalk. Before it could, I tamped it down with a firm stomp of my size-twelve Burberry wingtips. I needed to listen to that inner voice. I could hardly recognize the person I had become. My body might have been perfection, but it was nothing more than a pretty Tupperware container that held the disarray of personality pieces from the different stages in my life.

If I didn’t hide for a while, there wouldn’t be anything left of me to salvage.
 
 

Customer Reviews

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Vanishing Act 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
mjlovestoread More than 1 year ago
A.M. Madden has once again written an absolutely delightful romance. The unexpected love story between Landon and Zara is full of mischief and fun and tender moments. Their meeting was something the beleaguered actor never saw coming. It was a clearly a shot through his heart when he first set eyes on the local Lanai resident, the one with the addicting South Africa accent, and he was a goner! The entire book is a push and pull between these two stubborn characters but I enjoyed that and the way they each made the other work for their affection. There are some very sexy scenes and a tenderness between them that made me swoon. Landon (aka Lance) is a bit of rogue and his charm is clearly very hard to ignore. Even Zara's dog Marshmallow (aka Spike), who stole the show more than once, can't resist him and I almost wondered who the adorable dog loved more! Zara's very secluded world is a welcomed respite for the tired Landon and their time together opens both their eyes to what they really want out of life even when they thought they had it all figured out. A wonderfully written book with unforgettable scenery that serves as the perfect backdrop to a love that is truly meant to be. A solid 4 stars!
BananaTricky More than 1 year ago
DNF at 21%. So, I requested this book thinking it was J.M. Madden - my bad! Landon Price is a famous actor, he runs away to Hawaii to recharge where he meets a beautiful South African girl, who has no idea who he is! They bond over her dog, which keeps running away and who can blame him with a name like Marshmallow and then proceed to fall instantly in love. This was just too NA/YA cliched for me, nothing seemed to be happening and I couldn't see the chemistry, it was more like they were the first person of the opposite sex that each other had seen and so it was insta-lurve. I tried to get into this book three times but finally gave up when a sandy beach and a large gin and tonic didn't help. Recommended for the younger and less cynical. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
voraciousreaderKB More than 1 year ago
VANISHING ACT is a sweet and heartwarming story. I always enjoy books written by A. M. Madden, she knows how write a realistic story with believable and likable characters. Landon Price, one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, decides to take a few months off to clear his head. To get away from his hectic life, he decides to spend some time on a small Hawaiian island and doesn't tell anyone where he is going. For the first time in a long time, Landon can relax and has a sense of freedom. No one knows who he is and he can just be a normal person. While on the island, Landon meets Zara and he is immediately captivated by her beauty and innocence. From the moment Landon meets Zara, he can't stop thinking about her. She is young, naive and has only known island life. After living in Los Angeles for years, where you can't trust anyone and everything is fake, Zara’s genuineness is refreshing and intriguing to Landon. Landon has never met anyone like Zara. She has no expectations of him and he can be himself. He keeps telling himself to leave her alone, but he can't. He is eight years older than Zara but he feels much older than her. Living in the island most of her life, has left Zara innocent and untouched. Yet Zara is also tough and strong and she knows how to fight for what she wants. Landon and Zara live opposite lifestyles and have had very different life experiences and they are not sure if it is possible to mesh their lives together. I liked the plot and the story, although It moved a little too slowly for me. This story is told from alternating POV’s which I always like, because it is easier to understand what both characters are thinking and feeling. This a beautiful, enchanting story. I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review for Netgalley and Cocktails and Books.
DorisB More than 1 year ago
What does a movie star do when things are getting to be too much for him? He leaves everything behind (including his phone…now who does that. lol) and rents a remote place in Hawaii. Zara who is a local girl has no idea who Landon actually is which surprises Landon because who doesn’t know of him. Landon has to work hard to get Zara because even though she doesn’t realize who he is, she does think that he is too cocky for his own good. Even if Zara would fall for Landon her father would not approve. Does Landon even have a chance of becoming someone special in Zara’s life because of all of the obstacles in their way? I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley for a freely given and honest review.
froggy29532DC More than 1 year ago
Landon Price is one of the hottest actors in Hollywood but things have happened in his life that he needs time to process. He cannot do that while all eyes are on him and his every move. So he takes a little break from it all, packs up and takes some much needed time off from his life. He ends up on a little remote island in Hawaii, with an alias as a name, a burner phone, a made up profession and lots of peanut butter crackers. He never imagined a little maltese dog, he named Spike, would lead him to a woman named Zara, a beautiful South African woman whose accent he loves and who quickly becomes important to him. How can it be possible that she doesn't know who he is and more important, how will she react when he finally tells her? To add to his problems her father really doesn't like him and the dogs real name is Marshmallow! Vanishing Act is a lighthearted, passionate, romantic, sexy, love story with just the right amount of angst and a must read for all lovers of romance. I couldn't help but fall in love with Landon, Zara and Marshmallow/Spike. I absolutely loved the epilogue in this book and that's all I can say about that, you will have to read it to find out more!!
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
This was an okay read for me. Landon is a famous actor in desperate need of a break. He clears his schedule and decides to disappear to a quiet spot in Hawaii for a while. While he meets Zara, and can’t deny the attraction he has for her. Zara meets Lance what will she do when she learns the truth that Lance is actually Landon. I found the story just okay would have liked to have a bit more drama/suspense. The characters were okay, not a lot of depth to them. This is a sweet, entertaining read.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars--VANISHING ACT by A.M. Madden is a stand alone, contemporary, adult erotic, romance story line focusing on blockbuster movie star Landon Price, and Zara Jobert. Told from dual first person perspectives (Landon and Zara) VANISHING ACT follows Hollywood movie star Landon Price as he takes time out to recoup and regroup on a remote Hawaiian beach. Vanishing from the public eye Landon arrives in Lanai City, Hawaii under the name of Lance White where he will meet the woman that calls to his heart. Enter Zara Jobert, a young woman of South African descent, sheltered from the outside world and all things current and popular. What ensues is the building romance between Zara and Landon (Lance), and the fall out when the truth is finally revealed. Landon Price needs a break from Hollywood, a break from the paparazzi, and a break from his agent who is all about the next big thing. In between movies, Landon decides it is time to take a well-deserved vacation-a vacation that finds our hero falling in love with a woman who has no idea about Landon’s true identity. Zara Jobert hasn’t always lived in the Hawaiian Islands, but a family tragedy landed the Jobert’s in the secluded and remote sandy beach where anonymity and privacy is afforded those who work and live. The relationship between Landon (Lance) and Zara is predicated on a lie. Landon continues to lie about his identity to the woman that calls to his heart, and when the truth is revealed the fall out is far greater than either one expected. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic, language and text. The character building reveals the backgrounds, history and tragic losses for our story line couple. We are introduced to Zara’s parents Talia and Andres , her sister Annia and husband Kai, and Lanai City mayor Palu, as well as Landon’s mother Caroline, and his agent Roger. Of course, we can’t forget Spike aka Marshmallow who brought out story line couple together. Conflict occurs when Landon’s identity and whereabouts is revealed for all of the world to see. VANISHING ACT is a slow building story of romance; a sexy tale about two people fated by chance, a dog, and a sandy beach. The premise is heartwarming and idealistic; the characters are passionate and spirited; the romance is sweet and sexy. VANISHING ACT is a playful and delightful romance story for a lazy, sunny afternoon on your very own sandy beach.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars--VANISHING ACT by A.M. Madden is a stand alone, contemporary, adult erotic, romance story line focusing on blockbuster movie star Landon Price, and Zara Jobert. Told from dual first person perspectives (Landon and Zara) VANISHING ACT follows Hollywood movie star Landon Price as he takes time out to recoup and regroup on a remote Hawaiian beach. Vanishing from the public eye Landon arrives in Lanai City, Hawaii under the name of Lance White where he will meet the woman that calls to his heart. Enter Zara Jobert, a young woman of South African descent, sheltered from the outside world and all things current and popular. What ensues is the building romance between Zara and Landon (Lance), and the fall out when the truth is finally revealed. Landon Price needs a break from Hollywood, a break from the paparazzi, and a break from his agent who is all about the next big thing. In between movies, Landon decides it is time to take a well-deserved vacation-a vacation that finds our hero falling in love with a woman who has no idea about Landon’s true identity. Zara Jobert hasn’t always lived in the Hawaiian Islands, but a family tragedy landed the Jobert’s in the secluded and remote sandy beach where anonymity and privacy is afforded those who work and live. The relationship between Landon (Lance) and Zara is predicated on a lie. Landon continues to lie about his identity to the woman that calls to his heart, and when the truth is revealed the fall out is far greater than either one expected. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic, language and text. The character building reveals the backgrounds, history and tragic losses for our story line couple. We are introduced to Zara’s parents Talia and Andres , her sister Annia and husband Kai, and Lanai City mayor Palu, as well as Landon’s mother Caroline, and his agent Roger. Of course, we can’t forget Spike aka Marshmallow who brought out story line couple together. Conflict occurs when Landon’s identity and whereabouts is revealed for all of the world to see. VANISHING ACT is a slow building story of romance; a sexy tale about two people fated by chance, a dog, and a sandy beach. The premise is heartwarming and idealistic; the characters are passionate and spirited; the romance is sweet and sexy. VANISHING ACT is a playful and delightful romance story for a lazy, sunny afternoon on your very own sandy beach.
carvanz More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that this book doesn’t work out the way you may think. (Oops! Hope that’s not a huge spoiler.) But for those of you who would choose not to read it because you’ve read the story of the famous hero who lies about who he is and all the angst that results from that lie…this is not that story. Instead, it is a beautiful love story of a man who is isolated in an industry where he is never alone. No one knows the real Landon Price. Making the decision to take a break he heads to an isolated Hawaiian island. While there he meets Spike. Let me just say that Spike is the most charming, charismatic secondary character I’ve read in a very long time. He eventually leads our hero to our heroine who has lived her life in a community where the tv program Friends is still considered current viewing. There is no wi-fi and cell reception can only be found in a few spots. We are talking i-s-o-l-a-t-e-d. Landon and Zara’s romance is slow but steady and totally organic. Much like real life. They meet, they date, there is no fast and furtive sex but there is immediate attraction to each other. One of the things I appreciated the most about this story is that this couple actually refrain from having sex until they are in love. It’s a novel idea, right? Zara is one of the sweetest heroines I’ve read in a while and Landon loves everything about her. You’re not going to get knocked over the head with an alpha hero that thumps his chest, but you’ll meet a man who will give his woman what she needs in order for her life to be fulfilling. Well, he can be a little possessive when confronted by anyone who threatens his position in that life. I’m not going to tell you how the lie resolves itself and I’m not going to tell you what the huge conflict is. What I will tell you is that this couple are together emotionally throughout this whole book. And I loved every single word of it. ARC provided for an honest review Dual POV Safe No triggers IMO
Lorizen More than 1 year ago
I love this story. Landon Price needs a break from his Hollywood life and is determined to get it. So he ghosts off to a tiny island in Hawaii totally off the grid, using an assumed name. He meets a tiny white fluff ball pup and calls him "Spike", he and Spike make fast friends. The next day he goes to town to see if he can locate the dogs owner and there they meet. Zara calling for her dog "Marshmallow". Lance as he is now known, teases her unmercifully. Zara also has an accent, which he doesn't place and inquires. She's from South Africa, living on the island with her parents. The relationship between these two blossom and it was just the best to watch them relax into each other. Zara doesn't know that Lance is a famous movie star. The island is isolated and they are technologically impaired there. That is until they have a party and a even though her sister and brother in law recognize him, a family friend tweets his presence and they are soon overwhelmed. Zara's father is difficult. Lance has to return to LA and they leave on good terms, he wants her to sort things out with her family and pursue her dream of being a photographer. They don't so separation very well and soon are reunited. So what happens from there? And what happens in the meantime? What about the past for these two? Wow, what a great story Ann Marie wrote here. I loved it. Low angst, honest and real people and the dog!!! 4.5 Stars from me. **arc from NetGalley and Loveswept in exchange for a fair review***
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden, is a unique combination of love, the tropical breezes of Hawaii, and the fast-paced Hollywood lifestyle. A gripping and lively first chapter drew me into this exciting romance, with characters that are heartfelt, sincere and authentic. This is a sweet and sexy read that kept me engaged from beginning to end. Although Zara Jobert lives a sheltered life on the peaceful island of Lanai, she has always wanted to expand her horizons through higher education, travel, and photography. Zara is a kind and giving young woman, who escaped the violence of South Africa with her family many years ago. Her non-existent love life takes a turn for the better when she meets Landon Price. Landon is a very famous actor, getting some much needed rest and relaxation after the arduous filming of his latest movie. The island's remoteness and lack of current technologies provide him with the autonomy he craves, while his agent deals with the fallout of his fast but temporary exit from the entertainment industry. Thanks to a scrappy Maltese named both Marshmallow and Spike, Zara and Landon fall in love. This is an enjoyable book. Zara and Landon are beautiful people, both inside and out. Talk about opposites! Of course a few obstacles stand in the way of their happiness. Zara’s overprotective father, Landon's unveiling of his true self, and the paparazzi, just to name a few. Their feelings evolve from attraction to genuine love, which enables them to work through the hardships within their newfound relationship. If you are looking for a solid, fast-paced romance about love with a celebrity, then give this book a shout. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this story! I was hooked from the first sentence, plus it was staged in Hawaii, my favorite place in the world! Landon is at the top of his game, an A-list actor that is burnt out. He is still grieving the loss of his brother and is tired of the Hollywood life. Once he wraps his latest project, he checks out. His manager is furious, as he has projects lined up, but Landon has had enough. He makes his arrangements under the name Lance White, instead of Landon Price for obvious reasons. He doesn’t want to be found. I cracked up in how he came up with his alias. Lance, for the Lance Peanut Butter crackers that he loves and White, because he was wearing white boxer briefs the day he made his arrangements! He leaves behind his phone, buys a burner phone and the only people that knows his whereabouts are his parents. They are under strict instructions to not give out any information. Landon arrives on the island of Lanai and is settled in his tropical paradise. He has been trying to write a book about his brother, but the words just aren’t coming. He is starting to feel lonely until a visitor shows up at his door. A small white dog that he names Spike, totally has Lance White wrapped around his little paw. The next day he goes into the small town trying to find the owner. The town is tiny enough that everyone knows everyone. Then by chance, Spike spots his owner and Lance is not prepared for what he is about to see. The most beautiful woman he has ever seen makes her way to him and then she calls the dog Marshmallow and he comes back to reality. They banter about the dog’s name and Lance tries to charm Zara, but she politely brushes him off. Thus, begins the pursuit and the epic love story of Lance and Zara! I won’t tell you anymore about this magically romantic story. The swoon worthy journey that I took while reading this book, just melted my heart. It is sweet, tender, romantic, funny, passionate and everything you want in a love story. The secondary characters are endearing and frustrating all at the same time, but oh what they add to this plot. There is so much going on in this story that you are just swept away. I loved it from start to finish and everything in between!
micharch More than 1 year ago
Zara and Landon meet when he decides to vanish for a while from his hectic life in Hollywood and goes to a remote location in Hawaii to get away for a while. He meets Zara's dog, Marshmallow, and they have a bromance going throughout the book. Zara goes looking for her dog and finds Landon has him. Sparks fly when they meet but Landon has to keep who he is a secret. Landon (Lance) finds he is anonymous on the island and takes full advantage. He decides to tell Zara about the real him but keeps his real name and occupation a secret. Zara's dad and family fled South Africa when she was younger and have been hiding out on the island for years. Her father is paranoid and is suspicious of everyone. He immediately dislikes Lance and thinks he is hiding something. Zara decides to get to know Lance and they begin to spend time together. Landon knows that he has to fess up to the truth to Zara but is afraid of what her reaction will be. The truth always comes out and he knows it needs to come from him and not a tabloid. What Zara's reaction is and what transpires with her family is something you will need to read about. To say their relationship is not always a smooth ride is an understatement. I did like how they both grew as people with each other. The book flowed well and was entertaining. I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Mgrabeel More than 1 year ago
Landon Price is Hollywood's hottest actor. After suffering a personal tragedy and life catching up to him, Landon decides he needs to take a break. Searching for peace, he is pleasantly surprised when he finds her. Zara Jobert is a small town girl. She loves her family but feels the strain of her father's overwhelming need to protect them. She didn't expect to find love when she went looking for her missing dog. I loved that this story was told mostly from the hero's perspective. The life he's been blessed with, though he's thankful, has been overwhelming. The heroine struggled with trying to be loyal to her family while trying to gain her independence. I truly liked this story as the elements in it are typically found in romance novels with a famous person. As with all of this author's works I've read, I was pulled into the story and the world she created. Her writing is entertaining and captivating. I'm eagerly awaiting her next work of awesomeness.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
Landon needs a break before he breaks so he vanishes (get it) to a secluded part of Hawaii under an assumed name. Zara doesn't recognize him and even though he is a bit of a cocky jerk they seem to work. She is a naive island girl and he is a wordly guy and when his lies catch up with him will it all fall apart? These two brought out the best in each other and if the rest of the world can let them survive together they will make it. **Received an ARC copy for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
CousinMaura More than 1 year ago
Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden - 5 Stars This is the story of Landon Price and Zara Jobert. Landon is a Hollywood actor at the top of his game. He is burnt out and needs some time away from the spotlight. He decides to vanish to a small island in Hawaii where he can recharge for 6 weeks. Zara is a young woman who grew up sheltered on the island and is unaware of who the new vacationer really is. They meet as a result of her runaway dog who Landon calls "Spike" because Marshmallow is just to emasculating a name. This book has it all. Romance, introspective reflection on the meaning of life, humor, and sexy scenes too. The character development is complete and the story flows quickly from beginning to end. It is told in dual point of view so we can see both sides of the developing romance. The interaction with Spike had me chuckling often. When I "closed this book" I wanted to do two things. Take my husband on a trip to a secluded tropical island from some R&R and adopt a little dog who understands me. I absolutely recommend this book.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised by Vanishing Act. I wasn’t expecting to do be sweet as it was or for it to get as emotional as it did. Maybe I have been jaded by the last few books that I have read because I honestly went into Vanishing Act expecting it to be a boy meets girl, boy and girl have hot explosive sex for chapters and chapters and maybe some action or drama is thrown in. Instead, what I got, was a well-written book that explored grief, how it affects people in different ways and of course love. What I also liked about Vanishing Act is that the author chose to have Zara’s father and mother meet, fell in love and had children in South Africa during the latter part of the apartheid. The reason why they fled to Hawaii was heartbreaking and I can definitely see what Zara’s father had issues. Their older daughter, Lilou, was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by people who supported the apartheid. They also left a note saying that Zara and her other sister, Annia, were next. So, he did what any parent would do. He moved to protect his children. Unfortunately, he was also convinced that those evil people would come after his family and it did affect him. So I wasn’t surprised when certain events happened in the book. I could see it coming from the moment that the author introduced his character. Landon’s story was also one that took me by surprise. I honestly wasn’t expecting the raw emotion when he was talking about his twin brother, Logan. Logan suffered oxygen loss during birth, which caused him to become mildly retarded. He and Landon were extremely close and when Logan died in a car accident, Landon blamed himself for not being there. I cried right along with him and Zara when he finally gave into his grief. A grief that he was not allowed to show because he was filming a movie. I thought Zara was perfect for him, even if she was a little too sheltered (see above for the reasons why). She was probably the sweetest character that I have read about to date. And she wasn’t saccharine sweet either. This sweetness was a genuine sweetness. The growth of her character was amazing to read. She went from this quiet, sweet girl who just took her father’s suffocating overprotectiveness to a woman who was willing to give up her family to be with the man she loved. I loved reading it!! Landon and Zara’s romance was sweet. What I really liked is that the author made them get to know each other, become friends. It was a refreshing change of pace from the boy meets girl and bam, they are in bed in the first chapter. The build up, the making out, the heavy petting, the getting to know each other was an excellent build up to when they had sex. The only complaint that I had been that they went bareback and that she actually asked him to because she wanted magic. That is the only part of the book that raised my eyebrows and made me go “Uh, okay“. You do know what comes out of “magic“……lol. I have 3 of them and they are not made of magic (even though one of them is convinced she is a unicorn fairy princess….but that’s another post). I did expect the events that happened after they went to mainland-Hawaii to happen. He couldn’t stay undercover forever. But what I didn’t expect was the events that happened afterward. I think my heart broke right along with Landon and Zara and I will say that I think that Andres was in the wrong for his reaction. But, things are resolved and the ultimate happy ending.
ytcruz More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book my Ms Madden. Our main characters are Landon Price and Zara Jobert. Landon is a Hollywood actor needing to escape his life and what better place than going to a secluded area in Hawaii. Zara is not interested in the pretty boys , especially a mainlander .When at first he came on strong, she likes him even less. As time goes by, feelings develop until Zara feels betrayed when Landon’s real identity is revealed. Both characters were well developed and like most individuals ,had to overcome personal issues in order to move forward. A sweet romance story, with a HEA and lets not forget a lovely location. I was gifted this copy by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
sm0120 More than 1 year ago
Vanishing Act is a lovely, really well developed story about a burned-out movie star and the beautiful young local woman he meets when he goes off the "grid". Life has gotten to be too much for Landon Price and he just needs a break from it all. Against the advice and wishes of his agent he trades in the limelight and heads for some much needed down time on a remote, scarcely inhabited Hawaiian island. There, thanks to one match-making ball of fur, he runs into the gorgeous and slightly sheltered Zara. There's an instant attraction on his part, but Zara, even without knowing who he really is, doesn't have much interest in the handsome stranger. He's too cocky, too overwhelming, too unrelenting. But he's determined to break down her walls and show her resistance to him is futile! Landon, or Lance as he's known on the island, and Zara have a sweet romance that really blossoms over the weeks he's in Hawaii. After initially pushing him away, Zara discovers there's so much more to Lance than what she expected. And even after finding out who he really is, her feelings are too deep and she decides he's worth being with. Zara and Lance encounter a few obstacles on their path to a happily ever after, namely her father, Lance's career, and the distance between them. But thanks to an unexpected ally, Zara realizes she needs to finally take charge of her own life, even knowing her father won't be happy with the choices she makes. It's time she started living on her own terms, instead of continually letting the past stifle her.
Christine_Miller More than 1 year ago
This story was so unique to me. We have Landon Price who is a successful Hollywood star who needs a break from the life. Zara lives in a small town in Hawaii that is off the map. She is very sheltered. When they meet and sparks fly, the harder they fall, the more Landon worries that his life will be too much for Zara. This book, to me, speaks volumes about what it's like to be famous. How much of your privacy you give up and how you become a public persona and you aren't really just a person anymore. Everyone wants something from you. Landon was not cocky or stuck up. I liked him instantly and fell harder for him as the story progressed. His biggest hang up was how to protect Zara from his life and what being a part of it means. He continually put her first and I loved him for it. Zara was a little sheltered and at times, I wondered how that's possible in this day and age, but I loved how even though she was scared, she didn't make any drastic decisions. I loved Zara and Landon's story. The depth of the characters and the detail of the story were perfect.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I think I'm in the minority on this one. It was just an ok read for me. I even put it aside a couple of times which is rare for me. The story is a good one but it never seemed to come together and it drags along in quite a few places. To be fair though the writing is good, the characters are definitely well developed, and the romance was nice.
Melerickson More than 1 year ago
Refreshing and Beautifully told love story. No smoke and mirrors needed. Pure and true emotions. This isn't your stereotypical Hollywood story. Landon is the "It" man everyone wants a piece of him. He's had to go through some rough times and suffer in silence he needs a break . He is Done. He disappears off the grid to a reclusive little spot in Hawaii and he becomes Lance . Well what happens when a little white puff of yappy fur finds his way to his door. Magic ! Pure and simple . What happens when reality comes calling. Ahh you have to read. I don't think I've ever loved the banter between a man and a dog more before in my life!
heater_28 More than 1 year ago
**Advance copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review** I'm a fairly new A.M. Madden reader, but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining, kept me guessing on how things were going to pan out and it was loaded with chemistry. Landon Price, one of the world's most well known actors needs a break. A break that no one in his inner circle wants him to take. Knowing it is what is going to be best for him, he takes steps to disappear for awhile, much to the chagrin of his manager. When Landon arrives in Lanai, Hawaii, he uses the name Lance White, and there is no doubt he feels like he's been transported back in time due to the lack of technology and the small town vibe he's encountered, and he couldn't be more thrilled. When a white fluffball of a dog shows up on his doorstep, Landon just thinks a local dog has gotten loose, but what he doesn't realize is that this little guy has the chance to change his life completely. Zara Jobert is used to living a quiet life in Lanai. She's okay with with her small town life, however when her dog, Marshmallow, runs off and subsequently Zara meets Landon, who Marshmallow has befreinded. she realizes, that number one she's never met anyone as good-looking and number two, she wishes that things in her life were different and not so complicated. As Zara and Landon begin to spend time together, not only does their friendship grow, but so does the heat level. Will these two people that have very much been loners find exactly what they are looking for in one another? Or will circumstances in both of their lives work to keep them from finding their happily ever after? I was sucked in to this book from the very beginning. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, the fact that it was something a bit different and who wouldn't love a cute little dog added to the mix?! This is a great book and one I would highly recommend you pick up!
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden If you are looking for a simple sweet drama-free contemporary romance between a gorgeous young woman and a slightly older A-list heartthrob movie star then this book might be just the one for you. Landon is in Hawaii taking a break from his hectic schedule when he meets Zara Jobert and sparks fly. Flirtation, kisses and eventually more are all part of the courting of Zara by Landon. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept for the ARC – this is my honest review. 3 Stars