Act Like It by Lucy Parker was quite a popular book last year. Personally, it was one of my favorites of the year and I’ve now read and reread it at least half a dozen times. It was light and fun and pretty much everything I was looking for in a romance. When Ms. Parker’s next book was announced I obviously pre ordered right away. And then it came in early on my Kindle on Monday.
Luc Savage is theatre-ish royalty in London. He’s one of “the directors” to work with. He has a new production and needs some “it factor”. Lily Lamprey has been spinning her wheels for four years on a sexy version of Downton Abbey, taking her clothes off once a week and using her “porn star voice” to sex up vicars. Due to said voice and her sex bomb appearance Luc does not want to cast Lily, but thanks to some family connections, her tv star cred, and the spark he sees in her audition he decides to anyways. Sparks fly from the first, but both are very aware of the boss/subordinate roll so the story builds a little slower than a lot of romances.
I usually hate boss and underling romances. It grosses me out on so many levels, but for once I didn’t. I appreciated that both characters realized that this was highly unconventional, and neither were using their roles to convince the other into bed. Luc was charming and deferential to Lily once he realized he was a complete ass initially, and Lily was fun and stood toe to toe with Luc. It was frothy and happy, and there was drama at the end but not enough that I particularly sighed in exasperation like some books. Or maybe there was more, but I am more forgiving to Ms. Parker and her charm.
What it didn’t have though was the spark of Act Like It. There was no instant connection for me. No sizzle. It was good, I was entertained for a few hours, but it’s not going to be a regular reread for me like the other. I knew it would be almost impossible to live up to her first work so I wasn’t too disappointed, but yeah. Not on the same caliber romance-wise. But not enough to think her a one hit wonder either. It’s still there. I’ll keep reading Ms. Parker. There’s a lot of rubbish out there in the genre, and I will happily take a happy, sensible romance over so many others these days.