The novella "Beyond Repair" was my first story by Charlotte Stein, and up until maybe halfway through the book, I had a lot of mixed feelings about it. The premise wasn’t entirely appealing to me — the heroine finds a sexy movie star passed out on her floor? Really? But since I’ve suspended my disbelief for dragons, vampires and shifters, fine, ok, Alice wakes up to a movie star passed out in her home. Let’s do this.
20-year-old Alice wakes up to find A-list celebrity Holden Stark has pulled a Robert Downey Jr. all over her living room floor. At first, I was frustrated that there wasn’t much of a context. She manages to drag him to the bathroom and wake him up, but never once does Alice say “Um, what the hell are you doing here? How did this happen?” or do something sensible like call an ambulance. She thinks about doing all of the normal things one would do in this situation, but she never actually does because “awkward” doesn’t even begin to describe Alice — she’s severely agoraphobic.