All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

on December 16, 2019

Making Up (London Celebrities #3)
Lucy Parker
Carina Press
2018, 254p
Purchased person copy via iBooks

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved… difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.

To Leo, something about Trix is… different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.

When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London — and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

It seems hopeless.

Utterly impossible.

And yet…

Recently I have been really enjoying this series as a little break to read on my phone when I’ve been out doing some health sessions. The first two were wonderful – right up my alley with grumpy hero types and sassy heroines. Trix is Lily’s (from the second book) room mate and she was quite fun in that scene. She’s an acrobat, performing in a show in London. She and Lily were at LIDA together, as well as boarding school. In the second book we met Trix’s ex, a London financial type named Dan who used words to belittle and bully her, stripping her of her self confidence and belief. She’s free of Dan now but his words still linger, creeping in insidiously every time Trix thinks she might be getting good at something.

Leo Magasiva went to school with Trix before she got a scholarship to boarding school. The two of them were friends until Trix overheard something Leo said and now they constantly come in and out of each other’s orbit and squabble and bicker incessantly. Leo has just been hired as a make up artist in Trix’s production at around the same time Trix gets a temporary promotion from a minor role to one of the leads.

I did not enjoy this one as much as the previous two. I understand the long lasting effects that Trix’s former relationship had on her psyche and emotional abuse and that sort of bringing someone down in order to make someone feel better, is quite an important thing to explore in fiction. It definitely happens and it can be quite difficult for someone to extract themselves from such a situation. Dan had isolated Trix from almost everyone in her life – he’d almost even managed to drive a wedge between her and Lily, something that Trix still feels guilty for. Dan is gone now (although he turns up occasionally, like a bad penny) and Trix is trying to move on. But his voice in her head is still so present. And it becomes a facet of her everyday professional life, to the point where it’s affecting her performance. Trix pre-Dan would’ve given her eye teeth for a lead role and smashed it out with confidence and skill but Trix post-Dan is unsure and nervous and questioning her ability, which leads to her making little mistakes. She enters into something physical and casual with Leo when they decide that kissing is much more fun than bickering.

I found Leo and Trix together quite hard work to read. Their background isn’t really explored enough for me during their teens and as adults, the bickering is quite annoying. They’re both supposed to be professional adults and the point scoring gets a bit tedious, rather than the fun, chemistry-filled witticisms of the first two books. Leo is a talented make up artist who was working in America but accidentally used a product a famous actor was allergic to so his name is mud there now, he’s back in London taking a relatively low paying gig at Trix’s show until he can restore his reputation. He comes with a sister named Cat, who is a heinous bitch to everyone and I don’t know how she doesn’t get fired (from her wardrobe job, also on Trix’s show) in three minutes. She’s rude, arrogant and just so unlikeable. However she keeps popping up so I can only assume she’ll get her own book one day, somewhere down the track, especially as towards the end some steps to redemption were taken when she confides in Trix just why she was so horrid to everyone because they are Kindred Spirits with Something in Common. Mmm, wasn’t good enough for me. Yeah okay, a shitty thing happened to you. It doesn’t mean you get to be shitty to people half a world away who had nothing to do with it and who are just trying to do their jobs. And although I liked Jono, Trix’s partner in the show, when Cat was around it was like he’d had a lobotomy, which made me not like him.

Trix and Leo just didn’t really do anything for me I’m afraid. I wasn’t invested in their romance, I didn’t really enjoy them in scenes together (or in scenes separately to be honest). I’d liked Trix in book 2 but I got quite bored at times during this – it’s super short and it took me 3 days to finish it. The best thing about it is getting to see Lily and Luc from book 2 get married, although that’s framed in and around not only Trix and Leo, but Cat as well, who uses it as a way to hurt and humiliate people. Publicly.

Disappointing, after the height of the first 2. But I’m going to still read book 4 because it’s Freddy, who was one of Lily’s cast mates in the show she was doing with Luc in book 2. And I want to see what happens to her, because she was great in her brief scenes in that book.

5/10

Book #210 of 2019


3 responses to “Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

  1. seantheaussie says:

    I found Making Up to be a distinct step below the other 3, a DNF due to boredom at 80% instead of 5 stars, so your hopes should be high for The Austen Playbook, which became my favourite of the 4.

    I hope you know Lucy Parker also wrote Artistic License by Elle Pierson, which is the funniest of her books IMHO.

    • I did manage to finish it but yeah, it was such a step down. I actually didn’t know that about Artistic License, so thanks for telling me! I’m going to look that one up

      • seantheaussie says:

        “I actually didn’t know that about Artistic License”

        That is the common response. She does a terrible job of publicizing the fact, and then she charges only $1 for it, despite the fact that London Celebrities fans would be aching to read it… she is mad, in other words😉

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