Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere // Travel By Page to the West End

"I wouldn't have to lose my temper if people weren't such morons."
--Lucy Parker, Act Like It
Act Like It (London Celebrities, #1)

My Thoughts
The Belle
When Hannah started telling me about a book she read on the plane home and how great it was, I was intrigued. Then she mentioned it 1. takes place in London 2. is low on drama and high on hilarity and 3. focuses on people in the West End theater scene, I was sold! And I am so incredibly happy with my decision to impulse buy these books and read them immediately. They were the perfect balm to my soul after leaving the UK (and battling a bout of the stomach flu).

Act Like It
The first book in the series focuses on Lainie and Richard. Two actors in the same play, Lainie is kind and beloved by the British tabloids while Richard is the grumpy short-fuse prick of the same tabloids. Because his bad publicity will soon affect the run of the show, the PR director has a scheme to turn it to their favor...fake date and be seen out together. Whaaaaa?! Yes! In a world of social media and instant information, Richard and Lainie agree to date for different but mutually beneficial reasons. Obviously they end up falling for one another but how they get there is the story...and what a story.

I loved the snarky dynamic between the two characters. Sass doesn't even begin to describe it. They never fail to have a witty comeback and neither backs down in their retorts. They are borderline mean and! I loved every second of their hate-to-love romantic adventure. The book is on the shorter end and while I would have loved more of them as a couple, I thoroughly appreciated Parker's style of writing in regards to the conflict. It wasn't drawn out of melodramatic. I actually really like the twist and how everything played out. In a romance world of melodramatic miscommunication and conflict, Parker is a breath of fresh air in the way she writes her stories. If you're looking for a fun, snarky, and hilarious hate-to-love romance that takes place in London, this book is for you.

Pretty Face (London Celebrities, #2)Pretty Face
While Pretty Face has similar elements that I loved to Act Like It, what I loved most was how unique it felt in comparison. We have the snarky retorts and hate-to-love components but the hero and heroine felt completely unique and I loved that! So many times I binge read a romance series and they kind of blend together in my head. This is no the case. Lily is a 'scandalous' TV actress on a show where she plays a character with as many brain cells as she has boobs, Luc is a very successful director...and about 15 years her senior. I was READY for this dynamic!!

The age difference, the power imbalance, the cliche, I was here for it all to be worked through and figured out and I loved every second of it. As with the first one, Parker takes you down the road less traveled. Where I thought the book would focus, it did not and I loved it. I loved Luc's silent but strong demeanor. I loved Lily's intelligence and perseverance. Watching her come into her own on the stage where she has so longed to be was incredible. Luc's journey to understand love and truly caring about another person was beautiful. Their dynamic was snarky and no-holds-bar. Again, the setting of a theater and play was so interesting to read about. I loved reading about the actor's temperaments and stage directions and how things work. It was just enough of a focus to now overpower the story with inane details but just enough that I was super interested and invested. If you love a slightly unconventional love story, this book is for you. 

Backstage Pass
If you love theater, snark, and London...this series is for you.
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Publisher: Carina Press
Source: Purchased for Kindle
Find on: Goodreads

"Aww...Look at them. I'm never going to have someone look at me like that...
Or like that. Man. I'm going to die alone. I should get a puppy."
--Lucy Parker, Making Up

Making Up (London Celebrities, #3)My Thoughts

The Belle
My favorite part about the London Celebrities series was the setting. I love musicals, I love London, and when you combine the two and set a romance series in the West End, HELLO! Sign me up! So I thought the final book would be a perfect addition to Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere feature Travel by Page! I am so sad to see this series go but fingers crossed there is more from this author soon!

When I binge read the first two London Celebrity books, I was crossing fingers I'd be approved for the third and spoiler alert: I was! I immediately started reading it to close out my binge of this fantastic series. I was excited to read about the Khal Drogo lookalike hero who was a successful makeup artist...I mean...rawr. And Lily's friend Trix who we know has had a rough go of relationships because of the previous book. I was not disappointed.

What we don't know before going into the book but find out in the first few pages is Trix and Drogo, err, I mean Leo have a history. They cannot help but needle each other every time they are forced together. When Leo gets a job on Trix's show, their run-ins are inevitable...but so are the sparks. Their contrary behavior to one another is a constant and I loved seeing these two argue while fight their obvious feelings for one another.  How they end up getting together felt natural and genuine, their similar interests and hobbies were nerdtastic and it was uh-may-zing. I loved picturing this big handsome beast with a huge nerd soul. I also loved trying to envision Trix's cirque de soleil-esque show and her acrobatics.

Again, as with the previous books, the drama was not drawn out or melodramatic. It real and genuine to the story with minimal casualties and fallout. The communication between the two characters could be misinterpreted at times but it wasn't obnoxious or irritating to the reader, my opinion. I also ADORED the epilogue! Of all the books, this was my favorite one. It was so sweet and adorable and gah, all kinds of feels! I really hope this series is more than three books because I would love to spend more time in this setting and get glimpses of our previous couples!

Backstage Pass
If you love Khal Drogo-looking heroes, cirque de soleil, and snark...this book is for you.
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: May 28th, 2018
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Find on: Goodreads

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