I had finished reading Act Like It by Lucy Parker awhile back before attempting to write a review. At the time, I wasn’t able to put down how I felt about it and instead was getting the itch to pick it right back up and do a reread (my TBR list would not be too happy about it if I did). Seriously it just stole my heart away! Honestly did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did…
I feel I’ve already done a little spazz about this book in the book looks post I did for it so I won’t drag it out, let’s just jump right into the necessaries!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published Date: November 30, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Some crushes aren’t meant to be
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 allI was unwilling to put this book down! Sadly, I had life and work to attend to and could not even read through the night, but when I finally did finish it, I was a little sad. Not enough to cause a major book hangover, but more like I hope to see the couple again in the future. The story was absolutely adorable and the bantering between Lainie and Richard were the BEST! It’s been awhile since I’ve read characters with such first class bantering skills!
I am not a fan of the whole fake relationship trope. Most times it just doesn’t feel believable; and you don’t even know how they got themselves into the situation, because their reason for it is a little farfetched. Yet, the whole fake relationship was done really well in the book. Parker added in some enemies to lovers, although I wouldn’t call them enemies since it is only Lainie who has intense dislike for Richard; whereas Richard doesn’t really notice Lainie at all, to him she’s just another actor playing her part – barely a bleep on his radar, ouch. Yet the slow burn in their relationship and just the whole acceptance of each other imperfections, flaws and all, hooked me in.
Lainie’s was assigned to provide bad-tempered Richard with some good publicity…
“People might flock to see a subject of scandal, but they won’t fork over hard-earned cash to watch someone they whole heartedly-despise. Not in this competitive market. At least not since it became socially unacceptable to heave rotten vegetables at the stage”
Outwardly, Lainie looked like someone they could push around, but she is pretty tough in her own way, she stood her ground resisting the idea until their stage producer offered her a deal she couldn’t resist, which involved donating profits from two of their best selling nights to a charity organization dear to her heart. For a good cause, Lainie agreed to put up the incredibly difficult and surly Richard. I was quite taken with her. On the surface she seemed mild and gentle, but she has her own strengths and refuses to be cowed by others. Especially not arrogant bad boys like Richard; she takes none of his crap and doesn’t mince words when it comes to him. Although, Lainie isn’t perfect either; she has made some bad decisions in the past especially in the male department, such as having dated her co-star Will Farmer, who is quite the pest in the book and becomes a thorn in the couple’s side.
Now let’s talk about snarky Richard, I did not initially take to him, he was sort of a difficult man to love. In fact, I could understand Lainie’s initial dislike for him. He is someone who feels as though everyone were morons and in general dislikes people. He is blunt and cutting, and unapologetic regarding his temper; according to Lainie:
“You [Richard] make Mr. Darcy look like the poster child for low self-esteem.” […] “Oh my God. I have never had such a sisterly feeling for Elizabeth Bennet.”
Lainie lets out many of these lovely gems, alluding to wonderful classic books along with some other more popular reads. She had also likened Richard to a very popular villain:
“The mere suggestion of firing Richard Troy was the theatrical equivalent of hollering ‘Voldemort!” in the halls of Hogwarts. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Missed.”
It took me awhile to warm up to him, I guess I was a little tired of arrogant men. It was his out look on people that I didn’t appreciate, but as he became more entangled with Lainie and had begun to soften his stance towards her, he became a little more likable in my books.
Despite my reservations about Richard, the best part of this couple is their acceptance of each other. Neither would force the other to change. Even before they were an official couple, there were some instances where Richard would step back and allow Lainie to fight her own battles, knowing that she can handle it; unlike where most men would try to step in and be the hero. Richard found some sort of satisfaction in watching Lainie stand her ground and wasn’t intimidated by her wit and intelligence; in fact he even appreciates how she could manage a situation on her own.
Lainie is similar in how she deals with Richard; she doesn’t go out of her way to fix his surliness or his abrupt manner, although she does try to soften his attitude towards others, she doesn’t forces him to change his views on others. Instead, she just lets him take it at his own pace. This was something I appreciate of this couple.
Their romance had quite the slow burn…things don’t start until the second half of the book, but that is alright, there is enough in the first half to keep us entertain thats for sure. The best thing: it wasn’t instalove. Neither character were instantly attracted to one another, they both had existed in each other’s realm for some time and just needed time to learn more about the other. It’s definitely refreshing especially amongst all the instalove tropes we’re getting in contemporary romance as of late.
One of the main reasons I read historical romance are the witty banters. Act Like It delivers some of the best contemporary bantering between the two main characters! I loved it! Every time Lainie and Richard came together I was excited for their witty exchanges. It was definitely the highlight of the whole book for me.
So what stopped me from giving this a 5-star on Goodread? There were a lot more of tell the readers whats going on as oppose to showing, I’d rather get more details one what was going on, but I can accept it since the book would end up with a lot more page and a lot more long winded if we had it my way…but I would still like a little more show, for example Richard’s interaction with Lainie’s mom – especially the scene where Lainie’s mom is kicking both Richard and Will out the apartment. There were just some scenes I wanted more of.
There was also the last minute drama, at the end of the book, it just felt unnecessary and rushed. As though there was a need to cause a big misunderstanding and to have a huge dramatic event for the couple to reconcile. It just felt out of place for me.
Overall, this book was definitely an enjoyable read, it was believable and not forced, well paced with loads of witty banter. Would I recommend this book? YES! Especially if you’re a fan of witty banters, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (I’m in love with the Firth version of course), sassy heroines and laughter; this would definitely be a fun read for you. The story really provides for a quick and easy read, and will have you smiling and laughing. I am personally looking forward to reading more of Lucy Parker’s work.
Have you read the book? If you have, what did you think of it? If you’ve not, would it be something you’d pick up? Do tell me what you think! Would love to hear from you!