Second Chances in Hollywood

Sarah Hendess

LATE 20TH CENTURY: Nurse Josephine “Josie” Donovan is asked to check on Merrill Reynolds who is not her patient. Josie has heard many horrible things about him, yet manages to make it through unscathed. Merrill then unaccountably asks Josie to act in “Gunslingers”, his television show. Josie at first doesn’t believe he could want someone with no acting experience, but he manages to convince her to at least audition. All the cast and crew treat Josie kindly. The only one that Josie can’t seem to figure out is Robert “RJ” Coolidge, who avoids everyone and keeps to himself by reading a book. As Josie gets to know the cast, she becomes close to RJ, who ends up liking her despite his reluctance. But Josie holds a secret that will damage not only her life but everything she holds dear, including RJ. 

This is just a wonderful story that grabs the reader’s attention from the get-go! The small screen locations and colloquialisms ring true to the time period. Even the weighty issues are presented quite eloquently, with deft attention to detail. Yes, it takes a little while to figure out the mystery that Josie keeps hidden despite the distasteful agendas which are told realistically and articulately. Josie, the plucky girl from Hays, Kansas, radiates a charisma and charm that makes her wonderfully endearing. The warmhearted Robert oozes a John Wayne swagger, making him not just a marvelous guy, but the true definition of a hero! Ms. Hendess has written a truly captivating story of old Hollywood that bubbles with originality and charm!

Roslynn Ernst