Hello friends! I’m so so SO excited about today’s post, which is part of my on-going series where I highlight some of my favorite authors, sharing the reasons why I love them, and their works. So far I’ve covered Talia Hibbert and Alyssa Cole, and you can check those posts out by clicking on their names. 💜
Today the (stage) lights are aimed at a new favorite: Lucy Parker. I discovered her London Celebrities series earlier this year, and I fell in love with it and its characters immediately. I’ve since read all four books in the series – some of them more than once, and I’m eagerly awaiting future additions, as well as any future works by Lucy Parker.
INTRODUCING ACT LIKE IT
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?
WHY I LOVE LONDON CELEBRITIES
🌸 I’ve loved the theater for a long time and so it was a delight to read about actors and artists of London’s West End. Parker doesn’t simply use the theater as a prop – it’s a real, a massive part of the characters’ life: it’s their job, and they take it very seriously (I mean, obviously.) We get the good, the bad and the annoying parts of their lives – the joy of performing, the gossip, the paparazzi – and so the portrayal of the theater feels very authentic and genuine.
🌸 Something I’ve seen in romantic comedies is that the characters as individuals aren’t always fleshed out; that is, rom-com books and movies tend to put the emphasis on the couple and not on the characters as individual people. That’s not, however, what Lucy Parker does. She creates vivid protagonists who have goals, friends, backstories and problems that are unrelated to their romantic relationship. Believe me, Parker’s outstanding protagonists and supporting characters will easily remain with you even after you’ve long put down the London Celebrities series.
🌸 Each novel contains a version of the hate to love trope; one of the best tropes in the world (she said with hearts in her eyes), in my humble opinion. This doesn’t mean that the novels resemble each other, and nor do the characters and the couples. When it comes to why they dislike each other the reasons and circumstances greatly vary – some have fully formed backstories, while others barely know each other. In each case, Parker does a fantastic job of using the hate to love trope in a wildly different way, proving that any trope can be unique in the right author’s hands.
🌸 In part because of the hate to love trope, in part because some of the characters differ from each other a great deal in terms of upbringing, financial situation etc. there’s a lot of banter and snark in here. Loads of the lines are laugh out loud funny – and better yet, they are comical and entertaining without feeling too unrealistic.
🌸 The way sexism is acknowledged and represented is quite masterful – it’s always called out and, if the character who was sexist is not a total twat, there’s understanding and growth.
🌸 Fun fact: you don’t have to follow the order of the series, as each novel stands on its own. There are a few cameos, but nothing that would ruin the experience for you if you read the books out of order. I included the blurb of the first book above, because (a) I know lots of people, including me, like to go in order, and (b) that’s probably my favorite of the series (though it is hard to decide.) But if that doesn’t strike you as something you’d like I highly recommend reading the blurb of each book in the series – I’m sure at least one of the four novels will have you excited to read the series. 🖤
🌸 If you want to learn more about Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series I recommend checking out this podcast (there’s a transcript available for those who need it) where she talks about loads of things, including her research and how she knows so much about the theater.
🌸 She’s revealed her newest book’s cover and discussed it on Entertainment Weekly here.
🌸 If you go to her (super-pretty) website, you can find free extra content for Act Like It, Pretty Face and Making Up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy Parker lives in New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block.
When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting.
Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well. A family friend introduced her to Georgette Heyer, and the rest was history.
Who are some of your favorite romance authors, or romance novels? Have you read the London Celebrities series? Do you plan to?