Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Act Like It Lucy Parker returns readers to the London stage with laugh-out-loud wit and plenty of drama.
The play's the fling.
It's not actress Lily Lamprey's fault that she's all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that's not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn't so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.
Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He'd be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily's suddenly rising career, it's threatening Luc's professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they're not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…
Now, last year I read and reread Lucy Parker’s first book, Act Like It. I told everyone how much I loved it and I became a little bit obsessed with getting a hold of Pretty Face. Once I got approved on Netgalley to read it I became utterly terrified it wouldn’t my admittedly high expectations. I even put off reading for a few weeks just in case. I came up with excuses in my head but it was full on fear of disappointment. For anyone else who read and loved Lucy Parker’s first book and are scared of disappointment, have no fear, this book more than meets expectations. I loved every page of it and will be rereading often until Parker’s next book is out.
I was hooked by this book when I was no more than 2% of the way in and Luc was making snap judgements and making snide comments about Lily and Lily was fuming after his comments were overheard by someone she knows. From there, I was in love.
I was concerned when I first began reading that this would be a repeat of Act Like It with new characters. They disliked each other before they even met and I was fully expecting another hate to love affair, which would be nice, but also done and boring. I was so wrong I deserve a slap in the face for even doubting Parker's genius. It is not a hate to love, simply a case of two characters being completely off base about one another. Luc thought Lily was some small time actress who had no brain in her head and was doing a poor Marilyn impression when acting. Lily thought Luc was a judgmental asshole who didn't even give her a chance to audition before passing judgement. Both were miles off base and I loved it.
Sure, from that you may be expecting hate to love too, but they get past their misconceptions of one another swiftly and end up finding out about their attraction quite swiftly which begins with a very steamy kiss. I loved the fact that the obstacle for their relationship was a very significant one. It was simply a workplace romance, maybe not recommended but not frowned upon, he was the director and was in a very obvious position of power, it is frowned upon and can lead to many a rumour about how a small-time TV actress managed to get on the stage in a lead role. Watching the pair circle around one another denying their attraction when it was obvious for all to see was absolutely fantastic. I was there laughing away and loving every second of it. I especially loved their time in Oxford when they first met Jocasta (the voice coach who is there to make Lily sound less like a Marilyn impressionist).
I adored Act Like It because I loved Richard Troy and how he was this asshole actor who was utterly charming to those he loved (basically, Lainie). I loved Pretty Face because I adored Lily. I mean, Luc was fantastic and I loved every scene he was in and the fact that he was falling for a younger woman when he had ripped into his older brother for a similar situation and the fact he really didn't want to be in the situation he was. But Lily was the character who took my heart. I loved her struggle to accept that she could be in a relationship with Luc despite all the bad press it would generate. And I loved how she struggled to accept people were permanent in her life when her parents had continually let her down. She was the woman who got my heart and kept me reading this time.
I have to say, it isn't often a romance gets all of my emotions going but this one did. I was laughing and swooning, I was angry and ready to punch folks in the face and I was in actual tears. I felt all of the emotions and loved every second of it. I could not say enough positive things about it if I tried. I could gush about this book all night and I've only just finished the damn thing. I recommend it all fans of Lucy Parker, her second book doesn't disappoint and if this is a sign of books to come from her then I hope we have a long and productive career as a writer from her because I will be buying everything she writes ever and telling all of my friends to do the same.
Have you read a book lately which ticked all your reading boxes? And how soon is too soon to declare an author one of your favourites?