All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

on December 10, 2019

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2)
Lucy Parker
Carina Press
2017, 222p
Personal purchased copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

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…

A little while ago, I bought and read the first in this series, Act Like It on a whim and loved it! I’d heard some good things about the series as a whole and the first one was 100% my jam. Recently I’ve been doing these salt therapy sessions for my allergies, hayfever and asthma and it’s a mostly darkened room so I download a book onto my phone and read during the session. I picked this one last week because I wanted something with fun and romance but also feels and it delivered just like the first did.

Lily Lamprey looks and sounds a bit like Marilyn Monroe – she’s all blonde curves and a breathy, porn star voice that works for her villainous character in a soap opera but less so on the stage. When she’s suggested to director Luc Savage for a role in his new play, the role of Elizabeth I no less, his response is an emphatic no way. She doesn’t have either the look or the vocal range he’s after and she won’t be able to handle a theatre run, performing night after night with that voice. But he’s more or less forced to watch more than the reel of her soap opera glory and he has to admit, there’s something there. Except the voice. The voice is a problem.

What’s more of a problem is how Luc feels when he meets Lily in person. And when he hears her mimic him pitch perfect then he knows she can possibly work on the voice. Despite everything working against them from their age gap to the fact that Luc is now her boss and the rumours will be well, as savage as his name, there’s something between them that they just can’t ignore.

This is just the right blend of humour and seriousness for me. Luc is a bit of a dick at the beginning – he makes a few remarks about Lily based specifically on her appearance as he sees her acting on the soap and he realises when he hears others talk about her how wrong that is. Lily isn’t afraid to call him out on it either and he sees very quickly that she is much more than just her stunning looks and has a real character as is capable of much more than she’s been doing. Spending time with her makes him realise just how much people talk about her as if she isn’t there and can’t hear them and how much they assume she is chronically stupid because of the type of look she has. A lot of the story does deal with the perception of Lily by strangers and the assumptions they make about her without knowing her and the way they talk about her. The way the press talk about her, because she’s beautiful and plays a femme fatale on screen. Through this, Luc examines his own actions as well and realises what he said wasn’t kind or called for, even though he was speaking as a director and that he shouldn’t judge her on what he has.

I really loved the interactions between Luc and Lily. In some ways they are a bit similar to the ones between Lainie and Richard in the first book in that Richard is a cynical dick and Lainie calls him on all of his bullshit and he sort of loves it. Similarly, Lily is quick to call Luc out on a lot of his as well, regarding his comments to and about her as well as his sometimes grumpy mannerisms and attitudes. It was quite refreshing to read about Luc and Margo, a couple recently separated but not with animosity and who weren’t trying to score points with each other or hurt each other. Their relationship isn’t shown as such in this book but a lot is conveyed and the interactions between both Luc and Margo and Lily and Margo were really interesting and it was nice to read women supporting each other in acting roles and wanting the best and believing in each other for the good of the production rather than the other actresses serving to play only stereotypical bitch fodder to Lily as the theatre newcomer and coming from soap opera no less. The cast interactions were fabulous and I am looking forward to a book for Freddy in the future.

The age gap between Lily and Luc didn’t bother me much but both of them were aware of it and it was Luc that was more concerned about it, at 10+ years older than her. Especially as her director and even though they weren’t involved when he cast her, that wouldn’t be something that would concern the tabloid press, particularly the one with the vendetta against Luc and his whole family. The family dynamics in this book were really well fleshed out as well. Luc has a tight knit and quite traditional family that he’s close to and they are lively and a lot of fun. It’s Lily with the unusual childhood and loving although somewhat distant and fractious relationship with her parents. I found it quite amusing that both Luc and Lily’s family seemed to know from their first interactions with the other exactly where the two of them were heading.

This series is so fun and I already want to read the next one, which is about Lily’s flatmate, so someone we encountered in this book. Also we got a cameo by Lainie and Richard and it always makes me happy to see couple previously read about pop up in other books!

8/10

Book #204 of 2019

 


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