This is the first book of Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities Series. It is written in third person from Elaine “Lainie” Graham’s and Richard Troy’s POVs. I found out about her via a Nalini Singh newsletter and quite enjoyed it.
So Lainie and Troy are both in a play in London. Lainie is a bit of a sweetheart with the paparazzi. She does charity work and is a very nice person to meet. One blip to her reputation is she dated someone also in the show who ended up cheating on her, and now she has to work with him every day. Awkward. Richard on the other hand is a bastard. He doesn’t like people and has no patience for the tabloids. He’s an actor because he is committed to the art, not because he wants to be famous or attention.
Troy has been so bad out in public lately (throwing plates at chefs, cursing at people, etc) that the public relations team of the play need to do something fast before he hurts ticket sales. Their solution? Partner him up with a nice girl. If the stage sweetheart likes him, he can’t be a total bastard, right? Too bad neither Richard nor Lainie want to be a part of this farce. However, they each need something, so they’re in.
There is a certain Pride and Prejudice vibe from this book, though where Darcy seems to actually be a shy person, hence his social awkwardness, Richard is definitely not shy. He just cannot be bothered to pretend to be polite. Makes him a lot of fun! And the fact that Lainie will call him out on his BS just makes the character dynamics that much better.
I loved this story. Nothing overly heavy or complicated that you have to endure. It’s more of a realistic story of two people getting to know each other and creating a relationship. Due to the nature of their jobs, there is a lot of outside pressure that has to be faced, but in the end Richard and Lainie work together. There are highs and lows as with all relationships, but these characters feel real and are easy to connect to.