Is there anything more comforting than a romcom with a happily ever after? I think not. And there is something even more comforting when it’s a queer romance. That was especially true of Karelia Stetz-Waters’ Behind the Scenes.
Ash Stewart was a big time filmmaker until the accident that took away her confidence. Now she’s got one shot at a second chance with a pitch that could propel her back to the life she once had. And that’s where business consultant (and secret ASMartist) Rose Josten comes into the picture. Sparks fly as the two work together to get Ash’s pitch ready.
This book was such fun from start to finish. I was immediately in love with the vibes of it from page one. (When a book opens with a pug crawl, how is one supposed to avoid falling in love?) The meet cute isn’t one to swoon over, but it’s absolutely perfect for these two.
Both of our main characters are fully fleshed out with deep backstories that inform their decisions and their development as the story goes on. Both have gone through their own trauma and are dealing with the aftereffects of that. Karelia writes them in such a way that you can put yourself in their shoes and understand how and why they react to things the way they do.
The majority of the book focuses on Ash’s upcoming pitch to bigshot producer Irene Brentworth. It was very cool to be able to see what goes into a pitch and getting a film (specifically an indie film) funded. As a fan of film as a medium, it’s not often you get to see how it comes to be from day one and Karelia was able to bring that process into the light and make it a little less mysterious while keeping it incredibly interesting.
One of my favorite things is when an author includes some cameos and Easter eggs from previous books and we definitely got that here! For fans of Karelia’s Satisfaction Guaranteed, you’ll be happy to see some old friends and locations. It’s like coming home, but home has been given a fresh layer of paint.
If you’re looking for a fun romcom featuring low stakes and gay joy, pick up a copy of Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters today! You can preorder a copy here or pick one up at your favorite brick and mortar when it hits shelves January 31, 2023.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well!