Monday, 26 November 2018

#CBR10 Book 102: "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Page count: 400 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

This is a re-read of one of my favourites. My original review (which is quite lengthy) can be found here.

We're pretty much in the coldest and darkest part of the year here in Norway now and it gets harder to motivate oneself for anything except hibernation, really. So with an ever more attentive and demanding baby and preparing to go back to work as a teacher for the first time in over a year, I'm not really up for anything very challenging to read in my spare time. Hence the need for comfort reading.

As I mentioned in my review of The Wedding Date, neither 2017, nor 2018 have been especially great years for romance, but Pretty Face, released early last year, was absolutely one of the exceptions. I remembered it being very good, and re-reading it, I started wondering whether I should actually change my rating to a full five stars. Having thought about it some more, I'm going to leave my rating the same, mainly because great as it is, I would have preferred a bit more time reading about Luc and Lily as an established couple before the book ended, not just the very sweet epilogue.

In her London Celebrities series, Lucy Parker is working her way through her favourite romantic tropes. In the wonderful Act Like It, she covers the "fake dating" trope, in this, she covers "the age gap", which can be extremely tricky to manage properly. Romance with a substantial age difference is difficult to write convincingly, because done badly, this trope can be reading about a guy having a midlife crisis with someone young enough to be his daughter, or some slightly damaged woman with daddy issues trying to work through them with someone inappropriately old for her.

Interestingly, while Luc is certainly going through something resembling crisis (trying to refurbish the family theatre, having recently very publicly broken up with his famous partner), he's in no way having a midlife crisis. Lily certainly has a complex emotional relationship with regards to her father, considering she's the product of his adulterous affair with her mother, and while she knows deep down that he loves her, she's never really been welcome in his home while her stepmother was there and frequently, her father puts himself and his business ventures ahead of spending time with Lily. As does Lily's mother, and for a time, Lily's ex-roommate Trix. Yet it never feels like she's throwing herself at Luc, she is in fact trying very hard to fight the attraction, for a number of reasons (see my original review for her three relationship rules).

Having revisited this, I'm very excited that Lucy Parker has another novel out next year (starring Freddie Carlton, Lily's co-star in this book), but also sad that it's not out until April. That's a long time to wait for what I am hopeful is going to become another favoured comfort read in years to come.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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