Cover Image: Lead Me Back

Lead Me Back

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Member Reviews

This book just made me smile and swoon throughout the entire read. I loved every minute of reading this. I loved the banter and the chemistry between the characters. I loved the storyline that held me captive. I loved all the feels that you get from reading it and still feel after. CD Reiss can write any genre and I will read. I can't wait to see what she brings us next.
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I loved Ms Reiss's previous Hollywood romances so I had to read this one, guess I am just unable to resist the ordinary girl who gets to fall in love with the Hollywood star.  

Justin came across as arrogant, entitled and selfish at the beginning of the book especially when he first met Kayla by accident when she gets his old phone number.   His Gran calls (and what a character she is!) and suddenly Kayla finds herself doing a favour for someone she has never met.  Luckily Justin manages to sort of redeem himself when he gets her a job on on the film set which is where sparks start to fly between them.  Though start to fall for each other they both have issues to deal with from recent events which are threatening both of their careers.  Kayla to leave New York in disgrace, and Justin's behaviour caused him to be cut off from the rest of his band.   

This is a slow burn romance dealing with some serious issues that have to be resolved before the end, but the story is captivating and emotional and I loved it right to the end.
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3.75- 4 stars. This was a good book! Lead Me Back is a standalone book and is Justin and Kayla's story. After a disastrous job situation in the fashion industry in NYC, Kayla leaves for LA to live near her sister and reacquaint herself with her estranged father. On her first day in town, she gets a new, local cell phone number. Her first call is from a older woman looking for her grandson, Justin, to do her a favor. Kayla doesn't know who Justin is, but she decides to do the favor for the older lady herself. When she arrives at the lady's house, she meets her grandson, who is actually Justin Beckett, the famous bad boy, boy band hottie. His band has recently broken up after some major drama and tabloid news. Justin changed his number to try to keep from being dragged in the band's drama and to clean up his reputation by distancing himself from the members. But he decides he still wants his messages from his old number and he is attracted to Kayla. So he hires her to give him his messages. So begins a fun flirtation between them. They both like each other and eventually begin a relationship. The two have to deal with Justin's drama and Kayla's past, but they come out together strong and in love in the end.

I really liked Justin and Kayla. Justin was a different kind of hero. He was part Justin Beiber and part Justin Timberlake to me. He was a modern guy and a star, but was really a doll and a sweetheart. He only had eyes for Kayla. Kayla herself was a sweet and snarky, take no stuff from others, kind of girl. She wasn't blinded by Justin's star power. But once she got to know him, she only had eyes for Justin too and was good at standing up for herself and not letting herself get walked all over. The two of them made a great match and had lots of fun banter. This was a safe, "low angst between the couple", witty read. Even though Justin was a star, I never felt a power imbalance between the couple. The story was good and the writing as well. I really enjoyed this one.

Overall, this was an entertaining, sexy and sweet read! I enjoyed seeing Justin and Kayla's relationship develop. I look forward to more from Ms. Reiss in the future.
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Seamstress running from her problems meets a famous singer/actor. They both had emotional baggage and complicated lives. But they were extremely emotionally attached. I enjoyed the story and I was definitely Entertained by all the side characters. Unfortunately this book dragged for me and was a little long in parts. But I would definitely try this author again.
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3.5 Stars

Lead Me Back is the latest release from C.D. Reiss about a young woman running from a bad situation that needs a break and a guy who’s had it all handed to him but sees it all tumbling down like a house of cards. Our heroine Kayla returns to LA after spending most of her life living on the east coast. She needs to salvage what’s left of her career while laying low from the publicity she left in NY. Justin is a former boy band member that has decided to branch out into movies and a solo career, but some previous actions have him on thin ice with almost everyone in Hollywood.

Kayla gets a new phone to really start fresh in LA and is unlucky enough to be assigned Justin’s old number. When we’re first introduced to Justin I, like the savvy heroine, was prepared to not like him. First of all his name is Justin Beckett (too close to Bieber for my taste) and he’s described as wearing douchecore style clothes. But the amazing thing is C.D. manages to take that questionable exterior and flip our expectations by giving us a genuinely sweet and interesting man.

Kayla is the kind of no nonsense chick I want in my contemporary books. She’s had some hard knocks and is doggedly picking herself back up and trying again. She accepts a job working on Justin’s current movie project. Even as barbs are exchanged we can see the chemistry that will pull these two together. The relationship could have been very skewed due to their different circumstances, but we’re given a truly equal pairing which I found refreshing to a Hollywood story.

I loved that both Justin and Kayla worked to sort their own issues out, with the support of the other. Neither had to have someone “fix” their problems for them and I loved the characters all the more for their ability to support each other. Both Kayla and Justin had to fix some of the relationships in their lives before they can have their happy ever after, and C.D. manages to give us that resolution in a very satisfying way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book (my first from this author) and only had minor issues with the way Justin talked. I couldn’t stand how much he said “nah”, but it’s such a minor quibble in a truly entertaining book. If you think you don’t like a Hollywood story, I’d challenge you to give this one a try. I’ve never read such a grounded portrayal of the costs of fame in a romance before. I’ll definitely be seeking out more from this author in the future.

Content warning for descriptions of abuse towards women.

~ Lindsey
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Kayla is after a fresh start and a cross country move is supposed to offer just that.  To make the new beginning even more real she decides to change her number.  Little does she know the flow-on consequences of that decision.   

Apparently the previous owner of the number hasn't quite cut ties and implores Kayla to take messages for him in return for his assistance in providing her with a leg up for her fresh start.  Although Kayla doesn't want to turn down a chance for a fresh start she isn't keen on the idea of being indebted either and would prefer to make a name for herself based on her own worth.  Unfortunately, her situation does not afford her with the luxury to have many choices so agrees to assist. 

What neither expected was the undeniable draw they felt when around each other.  With the undeniable pull, they could only deny themselves for so long.
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Kayla had a job she enjoyed working for a high profile designer until a workplace incident garners attention that she wants no part of.    She has relocated to California to be close to her sister and maybe repair the relationship with her father that was fractured when her parents divorced.   

Justin was part of a successful band and his feelings for his bandmates were more like brothers.    When scandal erupts the band is no longer together and Justin finds himself trying to follow his dreams of acting and is to have no contact with anyone from his past.

When Kayla is given his old cell phone number their worlds collide both personally and professionally.    What started out as an arrangement regarding the calls turns into so much more but when their pasts resurface only they can decide if the reward of being together is worth the risk.

Kayla’s strength and resilience shines through while Justin is so much more than his reputation which combined with their humorous interactions and hot chemistry make this an enjoyable story.
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This a first of reading CD Reiss and I was definitely not disappointed. I love Kayla. She is a strong, confident woman. She wasn't going to back down to anything. I love Justin. He is a famous singer that went through some stuff as well. He was just trying to help and that is not how the world viewed it. He is stubborn. I was cracking up at these two. They both just want to get back to a normal life. I love these two being together. I highly recommend this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Kayla and Justin were fun to read. I didn't quite feel the angst when dram rolled in, but I did enjoy these two at the end of the story. I wanted a bit more full story. This is a full novel, but I needed to be hooked in from the first few chapters. It just came a little late in the story. I love CD Reiss and her books. It is still a story that you can smile with at the end.
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CD Reiss is an automatic one-click author for me. No matter what she writes, I will read it. 
Lead Me Back is more of a light contemporary romance for Ms Reiss, but don't count it out. That's what plenty of people want now. Nice romance, low drama and chemistry. You definitely will get that with Justin and Kayla. CD Reiss still made me want to follow the story of a young ex-boybander and the fashion designer woman who falls for him. 

Ironically enough, while I was reading this book, I was listening to another book that had a famous musician falling for a "regular woman". So obviously it isn't an original idea for a romance, but the characters and their journeys couldn't have been more different. I mean, you take a kind of douchey ex-boybander (Justin) trying to make it on his own because of things that have happened in and with the group members and throw in a woman (Kayla) that is trying to forget her past in NY and make a name for herself in California and you get a fun and entertaining romance. You get CD Reiss' LA! She writes LA and it's characters in a way that you feel that you belong there and as if you know these people.

Justin and Kayla's story told in dual POV starts with her getting Justin's old phone number when she goes to get a local number when moving to California. The two end up meeting because of his grandmother. I love that spry old lady! I love this idea and what could happen when you get a new number. That was fun and original. What if you ended up with someone's old phone number that happened to be famous? This is one take on what could happen and it is fun and filled with some great one liners from these two.

"The only thing a period ends is a sentence." 😂

Justin is kind of douche (see above 😉), but it fits him and his character. Because he's also sweet and always looking out for everyone else. He's obviously younger, but he's also misunderstood. And when he meets Kayla, he has met his match. He's used to everyone falling at his feet and telling him YES. Kayla is tough, hard and willing to tell him NO, but she also has a heart of gold. She may me hard on the outside, but she can soften for the right touch.

I liked these two characters and their banter. They were fun and entertaining and sexy. Their story was more light, but the stuff that happened to them before they met each other was a bit more drama filled. I liked that we got to touch on those aspects and their story came full circle so they could be with each other after 'fixing their pasts.'

Need a lighter CD Reiss book? You got it. You're not getting her "normal" more intense and alpha filled book, but you're still getting a story that is so LA. Bright lights, big city and a couple of up and coming characters that you will be sure to enjoy. 3.75 star
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This is a really great book. I love a celebrity Romance. Love Kayla and Justin. Cd Reiss writing and story telling is amazing. It's so good want to read it again. Highly recommend it.
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Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I’m shameless…at least in writing. As the vaguely anonymous reviewer here, I can fan-girl over C.D. Reiss, and you can assume I’m shameless even when my cheeks are pink from my adoration for her brand of romance. Now, to be clear, I know her brand runs the gamut of tropes, and she can be as dirty as you want in a romance or she can be a bit more buttoned-up. If I had to characterize her newest book, Lead Me Back, it’s a bit more buttoned-up (not by much, though) than I’m used to from her. However, that seems so inconsequential when you consider the genius of her brain. Now, I’m SURE I’m going to overdo this review. I’m sure I’m reading WAY too much into Lead Me Back. For gosh sakes, I earned my master’s in English and Literature. I spent YEARS learning to read and read EVERYTHING into that reading, picking it apart and contextualizing it with literary theory…blah blah blah. BUT if I am going to take this review too far and if I’m going to read into Reiss’s newest book, so be it. I’m putting myself out there and who cares. Right?

At the most basic level, I loved Lead Me Back. This book is more of her Hollywood series, so there are characters from earlier books who show their faces which is fantastic, wonderful, everything you love about Reiss. Additionally, her heroine, Kayla, is a ballsy broad for lack of a better term. She takes no prisoners and she gives back to Reiss’s hero (which he loves) what he deserves for his entitled self. Kayla is the person you want in your corner when you must slay your dragons. She’s honest and insightful when she isn’t self-flagellating over past choices. And Reiss’s hero, Justin…ahhh…hold on to that name as it clues you in to her inspiration for him, is layered. At first glance, you don’t see it. In fact, there were times when Justin made me a little crazy by his actions. When your life is driven by others for so long, you tend to lose yourself, and Justin has fallen prey to this. I think this is typical of Hollywood, and Reiss does a fantastic job of showing that struggle, but it also makes him frustrating at times. However, as we know, romance needs moments of conflict to keep the readers engaged or they will lose interest and close the book. All of these qualities make this book worthy of a read. No question. 

But…but…but… here is where I can’t help but want to believe what I suggest to be Reiss’s writing genius. And yes, once again, I may be reading into this, but please bear with me. In the story, Justin has been cast as Mr. Darcy in another iteration of Pride and Prejudice (honestly, what a miscast but he does well apparently). If you’ve ever read one of my favorite books of all times, then you know, or might know, that Pride and Prejudice illustrates the consequences of misperceptions. And for this book, C.D. Reiss, takes that idea and creates an allusion to P&P within Lead Me Back. She doesn’t recreate P&P; she carefully crafts its truths into her story in a way that feels like it could be a different version of it. Again, I might be reading this idea into her story, but there were moments that felt like a parallel to Austen’s story. And if I’m right, then, in my mind, Reiss is a genius. Yes, I know writers do this all the time, and yes, I think they are geniuses too especially if they write it as nuanced as Reiss has. But for Lead Me Back, it works, and it works well.

Along with that level of genius, Reiss interweaves the story with pertinent social issues: the #metoo movement is in this story, mental health issues are here, the dangerous specifications of the fashion industry and the relationships that support it find purchase in Lead Me Back, etc. If you think Reiss left the heavy lifting for another book, she didn’t. If you think this is simply about a former boy bander turned actor romancing a future fashion guru, you’re wrong. The qualities of Reiss’s storytelling that make it important reside in Lead Me Back hidden behind the facade of Hollywood, and it makes this book nerd silly. My fangirl flag is flying once again after reading one of her books. 

If I haven’t sold you on the characters or story or $exiness of C.D. Reiss’s Lead Me Back, then I have not articulated myself well enough, and you should one-click it anyway. You can trust Reiss to tell stories that will titillate, challenge, and steam your glasses. Lead Me Back is more of that with the added depth of story that makes Reiss’s romances feel necessary.
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Lead Me Back by CD Reiss is the story of Kayla Montgomery and Justin Beckett. 
Justin along with his band is very famous which happened at a early age.  That fame has lead him to be gossiped about to the point he needs to regroup and put out a more serious grown up persona.  Kayla has deiced she needs a life change after some bad experiences so she head to L.A to work on getting her dreams fulfilled.  Kayla ends up getting a new phone to go with that life which leads her to meet Justin's grandmother which in turned had her meeting Justin.  Kayla isn't star struck by who he is but somehow she ends up helping him each time he tells her to do something which finally leads her to working for him.  Both are trying to move forward away from their past by trying to create something new but they may be finding they do that better together.   Enjoyed this book.  I do hope to read more by this author soon.
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After months and months of being in a reading funk, this was just the book I needed to get back into enjoying reading again. CD Reiss blows me away time and time again, and this time I desperately needed it. An escape, and that is just what she gave me.

 

I simply loved everything about this story. The main characters, the dirty old grandma, the passion and chemistry between Justin and Kayla, and just the adventure I went on with the entire lot of them. It was witty, it was steamy, and it was packed with so much heart that I didn’t see coming. The emotions packed into this one story got me from the get-go, and I was so emotionally invested in all these characters so quick, that I am now finally out of my long-lasting reading slump! Thank you, CD Reiss for Justin, oh my goodness thank you! I am always curious when I see a Hollywood romance, how this one is going to stand out from the rest, but she knocked this one out of the park.
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Justin and Kayla were on fire. They really showed how strong they were as a couple with all of the hurdles they had to overcome. He was rich and had a bad reputation and even though he insisted some things everyone though happened weren't what they appeared, it was harder to prove. He was a short leash but was drawn to Kayla from the first moment they met. Kayla tried to get away from Justin, she was trying to start over after all, but the more she tried the harder it seemed to be.
Each character had so much depth and things that were hidden deep down that no one saw. I enjoyed the fact that he was vulnerable with Kayla, even when he tried to act tough. When pictures get released and headlines are written, Kayla will have to decide if she can live with his lifestyle. When his manager/label tells him that Kat isn't right for his image, he has to decide if she is worth possibly losing everything over.
A wonderful book with great characters. Each character, especially Justin and Kayla, grow so much throughout the book that it makes me want to read more about them. I highly recommend this book. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest, voluntary review.
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„I want to be something good in your life.”

Lead Me Back is a refreshing book, definitely lighter than CD’s usual work. In this one Reiss takes us to Hollywood, where a celebrity falls for a regular girl. This story is a modern reflection on a fairytale, where rockstar/actor plays the Prince and a fashion designer embodies his love interest. The upgrade? Witty banter, steam and swoon-worthy happily ever after!

I have to admit that I needed some time to find Justin likeable. At first he seemed haughty and arrogant to me, but over the course of the story, I found in him qualities that changed my first impression and Justin proved that he was a good guy with a big heart.
Kayla is the type of heroine I like right away. She’s not impressed with the fame or money. She’s feisty and tough.
Their meet cute was hilarious and brought an opportunity from which they both could benefit. They formed a friendship that slowly evolved into something more. But to start fresh both professionally and romantically, they both needed to come to terms with the past and fix some mistakes. 

Lead Me Back is a cute story. It’s low on angst and there’s a lot of banter and funny moments. Perfect summer read!
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Did CD Reiss just make my loins quiver for Justin Bieber? 

WHAT!

You have to picture him as you read Lead Me Back because Reiss's descriptions of Justin Beckett sure seem to reflect the Beibs in all his tattooed, gold-chain wearing, "douchecore" jeans-sporting glory. The two Justins also hit their musical celebrity high as teenagers. This fictional Justin, however, also dabbles in acting, and he seems to be more mentally stable than the real thing.

In Kayla, Justin finds a worthy partner. She doesn't take his fame seriously; in fact, she doesn't take him all that seriously. Freshly relocated from NYC, she's in LA to begin anew and to prove herself. The two meet cute, their connection instant and problematic. Thanks to their individual controversies, the last thing they need is an emotional connection. As CD Reiss shows so well, though, their emotional connection is too strong to deny. 

As I write this review, it is early July in the midst of a pandemic. I opened this book expecting an angsty, fraught, sexually-centered story of an alpha male and his lady, and what I got was hilarious, heartfelt heat. 

I'm also a sucker for Hollywood romances, so Reiss checks a lot of my boxes in this book. I'll admit that there were times I questioned Justin Bieber as a muse, but it works in this book. You understand how this guy achieved his fame, you understand how he's maintained it, and you understand how he might lose it. Kayla's backstory may have more notoriety, which makes her need to establish herself professionally all the more urgent. 

I enjoyed this book so much, and I like seeing the softer, friskier side of CD Reiss. She's shown it before, but I think it clicks better in this book. 

When you read this one, let me know what you liked about it. Were you, too, surprised that you could get hot for Justin Bieber?
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I have not been this impressed with a female lead in forever. I love, love, love Kayla’s character, and am a fan of her honesty, resilience, and grit. CD Reiss gives us something we didn’t know we needed-a story about hope and strength mixed with love and passion. 

Justin took a little getting used to-I’ll be honest. Only because of his cocky facade and immature ways in the beginning. Maybe it took me a bit to get used to because of my age, but I grew to like his character with Kayla and their chemistry. 

LEAD ME BACK by CD Reiss is everything you want in a romance. These days I find it hard to focus and when I picked up LEAD ME BACK, it hooked me from the first page. Kayla drew me in. But the storyline kept the pages turning.
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CD Reiss is an automatic one-click author for me and I thoroughly enjoyed Lead Me Back. Kayla and Justin’s story had me hook, line, and sinker from the start. Their story was refreshing, something I needed in this world of craziness. Justin has met his match with Kayla and their witty banter, undeniable chemistry, and sexiness just made this story enjoyable!
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Kayla and Justin's story was a great read. We have a fashion designer wanting to turn her life around and finds herself working for Justin, he is a superstar with a bad reputation he wants to clean up his act. They both find themselves challenging each other in different ways. I love Louise, she made me laugh a lot. This is a sweet celebrity romance that will have you immersed in the story until the very end. If you love celebrity romances make sure you don't miss this one.
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