I was not prepared for how much I enjoyed this book. At all. And I liked Act Like It, but Pretty Face was even better.
I must admit that I hate Lucy Parker’s titles. They are not at all indicative of the witty writing and wry, wonderful characters inside. I picked it up to browse the first couple of pages and the I couldn’t put it down. I read while my sinuses threw yet another mucus festival. I read while I walked the dog. I read while I made dinner. I read while my body begged for sleep. I read while I was supposed to be doing other thing.
Lily Lamprey is a TV star who playes a tarty character in a period soap opera. I could not stop associating her with Lillie Langtry. Lillie Langtry, as a young woman, was known for being beautiful. Eventually she was also known for her romantic entanglements, became an actress, and then started her own production company. She managed to do all this in the last half of the 19th century. Lily Lamprey is beautiful, a soap opera actress and has a porn star voice. We don’t meet Lily until after we meet her television character and hear what some men think of her. One covets her because of her appearance. One dismisses her because of her appearance and voice. She is championed by a woman, a casting director, who has to point out that the men are paying her a lot of money to ignore her opinion. I loved the way the character introductions were structured.
Luc Savage (dear god, that name!) is the judgemental asshole who is forced into giving Lily an audition. He does have the grace, later in the book, to be embarrassed and apologetic about his initial response to her. A lot of the barriers to romance between Luc and Lily involves expectations and assumptions. Despite themselves, they build a wonderful friendship. They are both at crossroads in their lives, Lily professionally and Luc personally, and this opens them up to each other.
Luc is softened up for a relationship with Lily by two things. His longtime girlfriend split up with him and then promptly fell in love and married a man who makes her ridiculously happy. Luc witnesses first hand the way men consistently objectify and dismiss Lily, which forces him to confront his own assumptions and consider her as a person.
Lucy Parker has written a very good book. It was a compelling and enjoyable read. I am excited for her next book, whenever that may be.
This is yet another book I would not have read without Malin. I am officially jumping on the #BlameMalin bandwagon.