Skip to main content

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors and casting, this time it is different--the play is set to open at his own theater, one that he has sunk his time and money into rebuilding, and if the play fails, his theater probably will too.  After being pressured by one of his financial backers to at least audition Lily Lamprey, star of a god-awful (in his opinion) soap opera, he is shocked to find that she has a voice made for porn--not the London theater scene.  However, if he doesn't at least see this girl, he's likely to lose his backer.  Giving in, he meets with Lily and sees something in her that he wasn't expecting, his Elizabeth.

Lily Lamprey has always wanted to do theater, but ended up on one of Britain's top rated soap operas instead.  While the show has helped get her foot in the door, she knows that people only see her as the highly sexed and manipulative Gloria.  She's determined to prove everyone wrong and launch a successful career in the theater, but she's got a couple of big problems: her pretty face and her sex kitten voice.  She already knows that Luc doesn't take her seriously, but she needs this role to show the world that there is more to her than what they've seen on television.

Just a few years ago, I would not have read this book, and not just because of my antipathy towards British authors.  No, I wouldn't have read this because of the age difference between the hero and heroine.  While it is never explicitly spelled out in the book, Luc is somewhere around 40.  Lily, on the other hand, is 26.  Anything more than a 10 year age difference seriously squicked me out when I was younger, and even now I have issues when there is a rather large age gap between two people.  What can someone pushing 50 have in common with someone young enough to be their child?  In my mind, nothing.  If a man in his 50's is trolling for young girls, he is far from a catch and is probably looking for someone with whom to have sex and not an intelligent conversation.  Sure, that's a generalization, but that's how I feel.  Thankfully, Ms. Parker did a wonderful job of showing the similarities between Lily and Luc and how much those two were right for each other.  I loved the conversations they had and how they were almost always brutally honest with each other.  From the start, there are almost no secrets between the two, although the climax of the narrative does involve lies of omission. One thing that I loved about their relationship was how much Luc fought with himself over their ages.  He didn't like to think of himself as someone who would rob the cradle, so to speak, especially since his older brother is going through a divorce with his child-bride (she was 19!).  There is a wonderful scene between the two of them when he realizes that Lily is more than just her age and sees her as someone he could love.

I also really enjoyed the interactions they had with other characters, especially the other members of the play, although I wish there were more of them.  At times, it seemed as if Luc and Lily lived inside of their own little bubble and the other characters only existed to move the plot along.  For instance, we are introduced to Lily's roommate, Trix and Trix's ex-boyfriend, Dan, both of whom show up at integral parts of the narrative only to disappear once they've played their roles.  The same can be said for Luc and Lily's families.  I seriously wish these characters were more fleshed out and used as more than just plot devices.  Sadly, we can't have everything that we want.  If we did, I'd be sitting on a private beach with Adam Levine.  Or maybe Jensen Ackles.  Oh, well.

4.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Blog Tour and Review of " A Lady's Code of Misconduct" by Meredith Duran

I'm going to be honest.  When I first got the email about being a part of this blog tour, I was ecstatic.  I've only read one Meredith Duran before this (Sweetest Regret, a novella part of a 2015 Christmas Anthology), but that one was so good that I had a bit of a fangirl moment as I responded.  I wish that what I got was as good as the anticipation of the thing itself.

From the Publisher:

A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL…
Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.
…NEVER GOES TO PLAN.
The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly rea…

Review of "The Thing About Love" by Julie James

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
ISBN: 0425273776
Publisher: Berkley
Series: FBI/US Attorney Book #7
Price: $10.99 (paperback) $8.99 (e-book) $15.74 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2

From The Publisher
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.
After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other. 
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't g…