Publisher: Carina Press on February 20, 2017
It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. View Spoiler » She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.
Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers… « Hide Spoiler
With PRETTY FACE, Lucy Parker proves that she’s anything but a flash in the pan: she’s going to be one of the greats. Sparkling wit and sizzling romantic tension sell the love story of Lily Lamprey and Luc Savage, two very complex, career driven characters who fall madly, deeply, and unwillingly in love. Swoon!
Tired of being typecast as the sex kitten femme fatale, Lily wants to make the transition from TV acting to stage performances, but first she has to overcome her unfortunate vocal similarities to Marilyn Monroe. That, and she needs to impress the notorious Luc Savage, her new boss and a very talented director. At first glance these two have nothing in common (and have a substantial age gap, Lily’s 26 to Luc’s early 40s), but they quickly find that they’re uniquely suited. But workplace romances rarely end well, particularly when one person is in a position of power, and Lily doesn’t want people to think she slept her way to the top. Is pursuing a relationship worth it?
I absolutely adored the characters in PRETTY FACE, both the primary and secondary cast. Lily’s work ethic and commitment to growing as an actor impressed me from the start, and Luc’s realization that life doesn’t have much meaning without human connection of some kind was also great. Parker also explores the pitfalls of a power imbalance in a romantic relationship with sensitivity and skill. Add to that Lily’s love of books and Luc’s commitment to Lily and this one was pitch perfect.
Publisher: Avon on January 24, 2017
There’s no such thing as a little in love…
Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. View Spoiler »Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust…
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as…
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along… « Hide Spoiler
With a banter-filled, push and pull romance, I thought that I’d love ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, but out of character behaviour and uneven pacing in the last third brought this one down for me. As the manager of a large building in San Francisco, Elle is responsible for apartments as well as several small businesses, including a private security firm run by a man from her past. Archer, formerly a cop, knew Elle when she was a teenaged thief…and they’ve had an uneasy relationship ever since.
Elle is a fantastic romance heroine: she’s smart, tenacious, hardworking, she’s hilarious, and she knows the value of a good pair of shoes. The only problem? All of that independence and tenacity seems to fall by the wayside whenever Archer gets involved. Without giving too much away, when it turns out that Archer was “helping” Elle move up in the world without her knowledge (or permission) she forgives him almost immediately. Girl. No. This guy was keeping track of your every move for ten years, involving himself in your private business without your awareness. You better make him grovel!
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE also features a suspense b-plot involving Elle’s estranged sister and Archer’s security firm, but I thought it was out of place and ultimately unnecessary. While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t feel that it lived up to Jill Shalvis’ usual standards. When it comes to contemporary stories, I just can’t abide the high-handed behaviour that I might forgive in a historical.
Publisher: Avon on September 27, 2016
All Charlotte wanted was to avoid scandal. Instead, she was caught in the arms of a mysterious, handsome lord…and he’s not letting go. View Spoiler »
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.
Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville–the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love? « Hide Spoiler
It’s been a difficult season for Charlotte Highwood, as her mother’s overly enthusiastic attempts at matchmaking have given Charlotte the unfortunate nickname of “The Desperate Debutante.” Always one to look on the bright side, Charlotte figures that no romantic prospects means that she can go off on a Grand Tour of Europe with her best friend! But all her plans are dashed when she’s caught in a compromising position (sort of) with Piers Brandon at a party. If Charlotte can’t prove that it was another couple having a tryst, the two are doomed to marry…or start a scandal.
Charlotte is a charming heroine, perfectly comfortable with herself and her situation in life: she’s absolutely uninterested in being anyone else, which is an admirable quality. She’s also quite carefree and possesses a cheerful, cheeky disposition – which she uses to mercilessly tease the too-serious Piers, of course. A spy for the Crown, Piers was in attendance at the party to gather information, not to find a wife. But if he has to marry, Charlotte will do. She’s pretty and young, and she makes him want to smile. Not that he actually likes her, or anything.
It’s official y’all: a person falling in love against their will is my new favourite romance trope. Tessa Dare pulls it off beautifully, as she does everything historical romance related. If you want a witty, clever romance that’s guaranteed to leave a smile on your face, you can’t go wrong with the Spindle Cove or Castles Ever After series.