Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

Title: Pretty Face (London Celebrities series) 
Author: Lucy Parker
Publication: Carina Press, 2017, paperback
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Plot: Lily Lamprey is a pretty blonde starring in a very popular English television show when director Luc Savage starts casting his new 16th century historical drama.  He makes fun of her as a “breathy Marilyn Monroe impersonator” but is persuaded to audition her for the part of Elizabeth I in a period drama.  They clash immediately but she gets the job.  Once hired, Lily needs to work hard to acquire the skills Luc requires and show the cast and critics that she was hired because she is more than a pretty face, not due to connections or because she’s having an affair with her sexy director.  Even if the temptation is irresistible!
You could get away with dating a co-star - if they were single and born in the same decade.  That was good promo for the show.  The bosses loved it.  Until the inevitable breakup, when fans went into meltdown on social media and the backlash hit.  Lily had seen it happen enough at CTV that she'd never wanted to go anywhere near another actor romantically. 
Nobody was high-fived for having a fling with management . . . it was all her lifelong deal-breakers in one man.
Audience: Fans of character-driven contemporary romance

My Impressions: This is the second book in an entertaining and fast-paced new series set in the celebrity world and on the London stage, always a fascinating venue.    Lily is not interested in a relationship while she tries to establish a serious career; she has a complicated family history: her father is a business magnate who had an out of wedlock relationship with her mother, and his mortified wife has always despised her.   Luc is just coming out of a long relationship with an actress who precipitously married someone else and just wants to focus on his new production.

Naturally, they can’t think about anyone but each other and the tension practically sizzles on the page – I love how the author manages to make their story sexy and funny at the same time.   Lily’s internal monologues are especially amusing because they ring true.  The minor characters are also well depicted.  I like Lily's roommate Trix and Luc's ex Margo is more complicated than predictable other woman cliches.   If there is a flaw, it is that humans probably can't sustain this degree of intensity nonstop (and I think Parker could have reduced the cursing).  And it is hard to believe that two mature adults - who acknowledge a romantic relationship would be unprofessional and potentially disastrous to at least one of their careers and who are committed to those careers -can’t withstand temptation for a few weeks, but the result is good storytelling.
New Zealand author Lucy Parker
Source: Library – but I ordered the next two books in the series to keep.  I suggest you begin with the first in the series, Act Like It, because characters from that book appear in this one.  Thanks to Stephanie Burgis for the recommendation.

Off the Blog: Thinking of F. Washington Jarvis, a dear family friend whose memorial service I just attended.

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