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Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender

Stars in Your Eyes

by Kacen Callender
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Quick take

In this charming adult debut, two Hollywood hunks must pull off their greatest acting feat yet: fake dating each other.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FakeDating

    Fake Dating


Logan Gray is Hollywood’s bad boy—a talented but troubled actor who the public loves to hate. Mattie Cole is an up‑and‑coming golden boy, adored by all but plagued by insecurities.

When Logan and Mattie are cast as leads in a new romantic film, Logan claims that Matt has “zero talent,” sending the film’s publicity into a nosedive. To create positive buzz, the two are persuaded into a fake‑dating scheme—but as the two actors get to know their new characters, real feelings start to develop.

As public scrutiny intensifies and old wounds resurface, the two must fight for their relationship and their love.

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Content warning

This book contains scenes that mention sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and child abuse.

Why I love it

Stars in Your Eyes might sound like a romance you’ve seen before: fake dating between Hollywood co-stars, with drama unfolding between the innocent golden boy and the troubled bad boy. But this is Kacen Callender, whose anything-but-typical talents stretch across age categories and genres, and who here enters the adult romance sphere with a stunner of a novel. This is not a fluffy romance, but a love story that covers challenging issues born of deep trauma and soul-healing compassion—both for our partners and for ourselves—that will dig its claws into your bones.

Everything about this novel fascinated me, from the way Callender crafts the on-set scenes, to the compelling interstitials included throughout. Mattie and Logan are both Black and queer, and their stories include examinations of colorism, biphobia, and shame. The masterfully approachable prose pulls you effortlessly into their world. I consumed this book in twenty-four hours, my fingers itching to return each time I had to leave it.

Stars in Your Eyes is a reflection on the price of fame, both in the abusive power structures of Hollywood and in how we treat each other in our always-online lives. But what lingers most for me are the questions Callender raises about romance as a whole, and what a happily-ever-after truly means. From start to finish, nothing about Mattie and Logan’s relationship is conventional—and ultimately, that’s what makes their love so special.

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