Act Like It, by Lucy Parker

act like it

Grade: B

Doing it at: 66%

Catnip: Fake it Till You Make It; Actors; The Theater; Love to Hate You; London; Lords and Ladies; 99 cent Books; Dual Narrative

Shame Scale: Very low, this one barely even has any dirty parts

Fantasy Cast:  Renee Olstead; Ramin Karimloo

Book Description:

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’m a big fan of the fake relationship trope, both in books and in Hallmark movies. Everyone goes in knowing that the couple is going to fall in love for real and end up all happily ever after, but it’s still uniquely satisfying. Since I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately (lets blame this endless bleak grey winter that is CRUSHING MY VERY SOUL), I was desperately in need of the perfect, toothsome, candy floss book. Act Like It, fulfilled all my needs.

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Come Away With Me, by Kristen Proby

Come Away With Me

Grade: D-

Doing it at: 19%

Catnip: All the Cliches; Bland Characters; Free!; Hate Read; Insecure Heroine; Actors; I Can’t Believe This Famous Guy Likes Me!

Shame Scale: I mean, I’m not terribly proud of the fact that I read this the whole way through.

Fantasy Casting: Robert Pattinson; Mae Whitman as Bland (Ann) in Arrested Development

Book Description:

“Being confronted on the beach by a sexy stranger wasn’t part of Natalie Conner’s plans for a peaceful morning taking photos. And why on earth would he think she’s taking pictures of him, anyway? Who is he? One thing’s for sure, he’s hot, and incredibly romantic, feeding Natalie’s wounded soul. 

Luke Williams just wants the world to give him a break, so seeing yet another camera aimed at his face has him ready to pounce on the beauty behind the lens. When he finds out she has no idea who he is, he’s intrigued and more than a little tempted by her. Natalie has a body made for sex, a sassy mouth and Luke can’t get enough of her, but he’s not ready to tell her who he really his. 

Natalie is a no nonsense girl who doesn’t do well with lies and secrets. What will happen to this new relationship when she discovers what Luke’s hiding?”

This book kept popping up on Goodreads lists next to other books I liked, and I’m pretty sure at least one of the authors I follow on FB has made some sort of a shout-out to Kristen Proby. Her name sounded familiar to me, and this book was on a list of romance books featuring pregnancies I was looking through while searching for something to read in anticipation of the new royal baby. I basically wanted Will + Kate fan fiction, and I ended up with Robert Pattinson fan fiction. I checked my kindle library and saw that I had downloaded it at some point (because Hi, my name is Mary and I’m a Free Book Hoarder), and thought hey, this could be ok. As I mentioned in our review of Deep, accidental pregnancy books are one of my fave types of catnip. Well. This book was terrible. I only finished it because I hated it so much.

Basically, our heroine is out photographing nature scenes one morning and is accosted by our hero, Luke, a famous actor that everyone else in the entire books recognizes from his starring role in a series of teen vampire movies, Robert Pattinson, who assumes she is taking his picture and wants her camera. When he realizes that Natalie doesn’t recognize him, he’s so intrigued and refreshed that he falls into deep, deep insta-love with her. Luke Robert decides not to tell her that he’s famous, and she’s a moron so she doesn’t pick up his big secret even though it’s completely obvious with all the anvils dropping all over the place. As you can see from the book description, this deception is the big conflict, and it’s over pretty quickly, with minimal drama. One blow up scene, then a delivery of “at least 50 dozen roses” with the most incredible “aroma” (lol), then forgiveness. I kept waiting for something to happen, for there to be anything exciting, but the rest of the book is mostly predictable mild relationship drama between a Stage 3 Clinger (Luke Robert), and an insecure twat (Natalie). And poorly written sex scenes that feature words like “waxed pubis,” and things like this:

“He’s braced himself on his fists on either side of me and is pushing into me over and over, hitting that sweet spot on the front side of my vagina, sending little glittery sparks of yumminess all through me.”

“He runs one finger down my cleft, from my clitoris to my anus, and I cry out. “Argh!” Ohmygod! “Honey, you are so wet.”

Also, nitpick here:

“I push and pull him in and out of my mouth, my teeth sheathed behind my lips.”

When writing a beej scene, aren’t sheathed teeth implied? I’m pretty sure you’re only supposed to mention teeth if you’re using them.

The whole book reads like a list of bad romance cliches like, “We didn’t fuck, we made love,” and “I need to know if there is any competition, because I don’t share.” And omg, he just loves to see a girl who eats! Can you even imagine? Also, one of Natalie’s big quirks is that she has a bunch of tattoos that sound like inspirational memes, except written in languages she doesn’t even speak, in all the college girl places. Because she’s really deep, you guys. Natalie was a total basic girl. In fact, this whole book was pretty much basic.

The writing made me cringe over and over (and over and over) again. It was a frequent abuser of one of my biggest pet peeves: describing hot clothes that sound ugly (he wears DOUBLE-BREASTED SUITS), and describing amazing meals that sound like Applebee’s dishes. For example, when Robert takes her on some glorious date to a chateau he’s rented out for the night and they sit down for a five-course dinner with wine pairings, they eat: Chili garlic calamari; Hawaiian-style chicken skewers; Mojito-marinated halibut with mango, avocado and black bean salsa; Pork tenderloin and New York steak with Yukon gold potatoes.

Mmmmm Yukon gold potatoes. How gourmet!

If you’re trying to impress me, those potatoes should be fingerling at the very least.

And here is a picture of a jerk in a double-breasted suit so we can all agree how ugly and un-sexy they are:

Double breasted suit