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Thursday, March 31, 2016

REVIEW: "Act Like It" by Lucy Parker

Act Like It
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Contemporary Romance

Carina Press -- November 30, 2015
Ebook, 199 pages
Read in March 2016
Purchased from Amazon

Goodreads -- Author Website -- Publisher Website

RATING: 4.25 STARS

SUMMARY
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?


THEMES AND TROPES
Actor Hero, Actress Heroine, Enemies to Lovers, Pretend Relationship

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge
2016 New To You Reading Challenge

MY THOUGHTS 
I picked up Act Like It after seeing a ton of people raving about it over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  I am picky about the contemporary romances I read, but I couldn't resist that many people's recommendations and the fact that it told the story of a fake relationship between two stage actors that quickly becomes real.  And I am very happy that I tried this book because it was an entertaining, emotional, and poignant romance with two richly drawn protagonists and a fascinating cast.

Lainie Graham is performing in a successful run of a West End play in London.  She recently ended a lengthy relationship with a fellow cast member and isn't really interested in pursuing another romance so soon.  But, things change when the bigwigs at the theater decide a publicity stunt is needed to alter the public persona of the star of the play, West End bad boy Richard Troy.  So it is determined that Richard and Lainie will pretend to be dating in order to improve his reputation.  What no one expects is for the fake relationship to become something much more to both participants.

I love a good pretend romance story so I was predestined to enjoy this book.  What I really liked was how Lucy Parker took this popular trope and made it feel fresh.  Lainie and Richard's characters are slowly revealed through their interactions with each other and the people around them.  Lainie has the rep of being the sweet girl next door and, while that is true, she also has a backbone so she isn't afraid to speak her mind.  I also enjoyed her geek references and how her kind nature helped bring out Richard's sweeter side.  And Richard...ah, I do love a cranky hero with a secret heart of gold.  I thought getting to know his past was key to understanding him and I also enjoyed seeing how he used his experience with Lucy to become a better person.

Besides the romance, I thought it was fun to read about the inner workings of the London theater industry.  People in the public eye have always been fascinating to me and I enjoyed the elements where the author showed how that type of life affects a love story.  There are many side characters in this book that helped enrich the world and offer parallels for the protagonists.  I particularly enjoyed meeting Richard's agent and Lucy's family.

Act Like It was a cute and surprisingly emotional romance between two characters that I really ended up liking.  There is a lot of hype around this book and I think it is definitely worth it.  I look forward to reading more of Lucy Parker's contemporaries in the future.


FAVORITE QUOTE
“Men in particular,” he went on, stating the loathsome truth, “are given a fair amount of leeway in the public eye.”

3 comments:

  1. This one made me so happy. It was such a surprise and I loved it to pieces.

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  2. Awww, I love a pretend relationship too! So I definitely have to read this one! I'm so glad you liked it, and that this trope felt a fresh. I cannot wait to try this one.

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  3. I haven't heard of this book before but I enjoy the trope of fake relationships becoming real so I might pick it up :) Thanks for the great review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

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