Pretty Face by Lucy Parker (London Celebrities #2)
Released: February 20, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
I fell completely in love with Lucy Parker’s first book, Act Like it. Taking us back to the West End and the theater community with a hero who is a curmudgeon (at least to start) and a heroine who is on a popular yet trashy television show, and the tabloids have a field day with her character.
Director Luc Savage is ready to reinvigorate his West End theater with a new historical play. The only problem is that his girlfriend who he wanted in the play, ran away to get married…to a man who isn’t Luc. When another actress breaks her foot and with the rehearsals starting very soon, Luc starts to get a little desperate..and super grumpy. He watches the acting reel of Lily Lamprey and can’t believe he is actually considering her for a main part. Lily is all curves, and breathy-voiced seduction, which works well on her television show that has her naked and having sex more than serious acting. But that voice in Luc’s esteemed theater? He thinks not. But he admits he does see something in her talent, and he also knows an amazing voice coach. After her audition, he nervously decides to cast her.
Lily can’t believe she has made it to an actual theater production. Lily’s parents, both well-known names, haven’t been the greatest support system for her, so she doesn’t have a lot of people to share her excitement. Her roommate Trix, who is a great supporting character in this book, is there to cheer her on. Luc intimidates Lily. With looks out of an old-time movie, his serious demeanor and passion for his play makes Lily nervous. He hates her voice, and Lily finds herself under a lot of pressure to make it theater-worthy. When the entire cast goes to an estate for the weekend for some bonding time, Lily and Luc get to know one another better and just a hint of a relationship blooms. Luc is hell-bent on not messing up his play – which means he needs to keep his feelings for Lily locked away. But as things unfold in their personal lives, he finds that harder and harder to do.
While Luc starts off grumpy and irritable and a big pain in the butt, he actually turns out to be a warm, kind, lovely man. I guess when your girlfriend flees the country to marry another man, you are allowed to be grumpy. This girlfriend’s name is Margo and she actually comes back and has a bigger part in this book. They remain friends, knowing their relationship was going nowhere to begin with. I liked her inclusion in this story. When he is presented with Lily as a choice for Elizabeth I, he can’t believe he is actually considering it:
“Her character is…divisive. A lot of fans would like to throw her under a bus, but it’s made her a household name. She’s constant tabloid bait. She’ll fill seats.”
While Lily is nervous to audition for Luc, when she meets him in person, her competitive spirit, and her driving professionalism which has made her a career in entertainment, comes out to play:
This was Luc Savage. Award-winning, career-making, ego-curdling Luc Savage. Get-in-my-way-and-I’ll-crush-you-like-a-bug Luc Savage. And her driving instinct was to touch the tips of her boots to his—and then stand her ground until he stepped back first.
Her spine prickled.
After a long pause that was too charged to be awkward, he stepped forward and extended a hand. “Luc Savage.”
She glanced down at his fingers wrapped around hers. “Lily Lamprey.”
They released each other’s hands; their eyes met again.
This is a slow-burning romance since Luc and Lily want to be professional. The author writes really great and cute sexual tension. There are moments like this:
One moment she was standing there like a sane professional woman; the next, her nose was buried in his chest and she was hugging a human ice lolly. He’d frozen into cadaverous horror, and she was really glad she couldn’t see his face.
She couldn’t seem to let go. She wasn’t sure where to go from here. Step back, clear her throat, give his hand a brisk shake, and sprint back to her room to die quietly?
Seemed like a plan.
And moments like this:
In the candlelight, Lily looked up at Luc. Her gaze moved over his jawline and profile, travelling over the inky black hair with the threads of silver. He turned his head and looked down at her.
He was sitting only inches away, but neither of them made any attempt to cross the divide. She could see the slow, steady rise and fall of his broad chest as he breathed. His face was a mystery of shadows and flickering light.
As everyone around them sang, with mixed ability but plenty of enthusiasm, they watched each other’s eyes and sat in silence and stillness.
SO romantic!! And don’t worry, there are sweaty and naked in bed moments too *wink*
What really makes this story rich is not only the wonderful romance and the theater atmosphere, but the supporting cast. Lily’s roommate, the other cast members, Luc’s family, Lily’s friend Ash from the television show….they all add really great scenes in this book that makes Luc and Lily’s life full and entertaining.
This author definitely has a way with words. If you have not read Act Like It, you are missing out. Pretty Face can be read as a stand alone.