Series: London Celebrities #1
Published by Carina Press on November 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
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 all?
I love this book! A well-written slow burn romance with my favorite trope (hello, fake relationship!), witty banter, and a little Pride and Prejudice-esque feel to it. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a modern-day Pride and Prejudice, but there’s a lot of influence there, especially with the main characters. And y’all know how much I love P&P. I read Act Like It again as soon as I finished it. Feels!
Elaine “Lainie” Graham is in the unfortunate position of acting alongside her cheating ex and a stuck-up co-actor. Now, their stage manager wants her to do something ridiculous. Preposterous. They want her to pose as said stuck-up actor’s girlfriend to help him clean up his reputation. If their offer to help something close to her heart wasn’t so good, she wouldn’t even consider it.
Richard Troy is an exceptional actor… who’s also an a*hole snob with a bit of a temper problem. His less than pleasing personality has been splattered all over the tabloids, and now, not only is it affecting ticket sales for the play he’s in, it might jeopardize his ambition to become the next Royal Society of the Performing Arts president. His agent, the company’s stage manager, and the PR manager all believe the only way to fix his public image is attach it to someone with the cleanest reputation; in this case, Lainie, “a reigning sweetheart of the London stage”.
With little to no love for each other, they start off the relationship with hugs and kisses so fake, they would disgrace even an understudy in a kindergarten school play. Lainie doesn’t think highly of Richard, and Richard…well, he doesn’t even think of her at all. Still, spending a lot of time together has given them the chance to really get to know one another. Next thing you know, lines are blurred and feelings are felt (lol). Fake isn’t fake anymore.
I’ll be honest and say it took me a while to get into it. The opening line had a good hook–it definitely made me look twice to make sure what I was reading was what it was–but nothing was really making me hold on to it. There were a lot of British slang that went over my head, but thank goodness Harry Potter and English shows trained me for this! And thank you, dictionary/internet. Once the story got the ball rolling, I couldn’t let it go. I fell in love a little more with each page and each moment with the MCs.
Both of the characters were likable, even Richard with the attitude. The author wrote him in a way that showed his obnoxiousness but not in a way that would make you hate him. He’s a lot like Mr. Darcy, with his old money, snobbish beliefs in art, and just his personality in general. He’s the type who has little tolerance for people who don’t use their heads; something I understand and sometimes agree with. Some of his snobbish attitude comes from his fancy upbringing, but that was sorted once Lainie started calling him out on it. I love how no one excused his sour personality for his past, and how he slowly turned into this sweet man who cuddles and nuzzles his nose on Lainie’s cheek and ahhhhhhh!!! Feels!
I’m a huge fan of Lainie! She’s outspoken, but never mean. She’s written as a kind and likable person without making her sound like a Mary Sue. I love that she calls Richard out on his bullsh*t and that she doesn’t tolerate his behavior when he’s acting like his old self. Their banters are so entertaining to read; they’re clearly of the same caliber in sarcasm and wit.
“You do realize you’re holding a baby, not a leaking bucket?” She asked conversationally, and he gave her a look that could splinter wood.
“Against your chest, hand under his bottom. Honestly. You must have had a cuddle before.”
“Yes, but women don’t appreciate a hand under their bottom until I’ve at least bought them dinner.”
I also love how she calls out anyone who says something sexist/misogynistic or anyone who slut-shames. I don’t usually see someone do that blatantly, so plus points to her.
The couple’s chemistry is amazing, and their moments made me giggle like a school girl. I’ve highlighted them all so I can go back and read them when I’m feeling down. It showed how compatible they really are.
Act Like It is a standalone novel written in the third POV, although we still see a bit of what both MCs are thinking and feeling. The steam is low, with the scenes tastefully written(fit for ages sixteen and above), angst little–mainly somewhere in the second half of the story––and the humor a high dose.
If you’re a fan of stories like Pride and Prejudice (read Mr. Darcy) or The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, you’ll definitely enjoy this wonderful debut novel written by Ms. Parker! I can’t wait to read Pretty Face, the next standalone in the series.