Feb 12 2016 9:30am

Fake It Til You Make It: Lucy Parker’s Act Like It

Act Like it by Lucy Parker

This little gem of a novel first came to my attention via Angela James, editor for Carina Press. Like many Carina Press titles, Act Like It by Lucy Parker is a solid love story filled with sass, snark and brooding all at a reasonable price. The story is a pretty simple take on the one-week fiancé/ one week significant other trope. Lainie and Richard are cast mates and Richard has a bit of a reputation as an arsehole. Lainie considered to be the “good girl” of West End theater in London, takes on the task of being Richard’s significant other in exchange for the proceeds of one of the plays going towards the charity of her heart. This may sound like a category romance you’ve read a million times, but what makes this book so special is how the antagonists to friends to lovers pattern progresses in the book.

Lainie may be a “good girl” but she doesn’t put up with Richard’s complaining and antics. In addition, Richard may be sort of a broody hero, but he snarks and gives as good as he gets from Lainie. What makes the pair really work is Lainie pushes back against Richard not in a “sassy female lashing out at an unreasonable hero” but instead, a equal addressing the ridiculous attitude of another equal partner. Because Lainie doesn’t put up with his guff, it’s pretty easy to see how Richard comes to respect Lainie and eventually that respect turns into a friendship that eventually blossoms into a romance.

By no means are either the hero or heroine perfect. Richard is established as a bit of a jerk and Lainie may be a solid character, but her past judgement in men leaves something to be desired, something readers will especially understand when they meet her ex, Will. The setting in the West End theater really works to the advantage of the novel. The interactions between Richard  and Lainie in relation to each other and in relation to the other cast members gives the reader insight into the niche that is live theater. In addition, Lainie and Richard are celebrities in their own right, but not so major as say a Brangelina couple, thus Parker is able to give the reader a little taste of stardom and able to explain why people would be concerned with Richard’s dating habits without making it over the top the way a Hollywood relationship might work.

I feel I also need to mention the real star of the story, Cat Richard. Lainie’s neighbor has a cat that looks grumpy and has Richard’s sort of demeanor to the point where Lainie declares them, “Twinsies.” Cat Richard aside, it’s also important to know that Lainie and Richard aren’t an instant love match but rather grow into a love match. In addition, both characters are very concerned with their careers, Lainie wants to break into television and Richard wants to establish himself as the head of the RSPA, the Royal Society of the Performing Arts. Both have great respect for each other in what they want to accomplish both career wise and in their individual goals. One great scene is Richard talking some sense into Lainie before an audition:

“You’re a compotent actor. Grow a spine and act like it…Richard’s dictatorial straight talk made her sit a little taller.”

Sometimes a relationship isn’t about love at first sight or first lust, but a meeting of the minds and a mutual attraction as well as respect for what the other person brings to the table. Add in a little bit of snark as well as spice and viola! A reader can see what makes Act Like it so special.


Learn more about or order a copy of Act Like It by Lucy Parker, out now: 

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Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.


Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I'm looking forward to reading this. I enjoyed Artistic License which is the author's other book under the pseudonym Elle Pierson. (Both books are currently 99 cents on Kindle.)
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This author has gone on my auto-buy list. The characters and the setting felt fresh and really contemporary, not forced at all.
Janet S
3. Janet S
I loved this book, and am looking forward to more from Lucy Parker. Hope to see Act Like It out in print too.
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
@Janet S, I actually think I saw recently that it would be, though it's not up for pre-order yet!
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