I started this book because the blurb intrigued me after a lifetime spent around live theater, but I expected a typical romance with some interesting elements and would have been happy to read it. Instead, I was folded into the London theatrical scene, the bias between television and stage acting, rampant sexism, assumptions, infighting, artistic personalities, and so much more. Even economics and far-reaching family feuds had a part to play. This book is epic.
Pretty Face delivers on the romance with Lily and Luc, but it’s no simple tale. The book demonstrates the consequences of falling in love with the wrong person as well as the power of love to overcome the downsides. It shows the love behind driven people even when that drive has negative effects, and the lengths hate can push someone to go.
There are both on-screen sex scenes and vulgar language used to perfect effect, resulting in at least one of my startled laughs. The book is very dramatic in an over-the-top soap opera way, but it laughs at itself and makes everything deeper. Even Lily recognizes the cliches in how she and Luc come together, for example. Her wry internal observations are matched only with Luc’s similar thoughts.
It’s a rich pageantry that borders on farce (the theatrical kind) at times, but is rescued by the characters’ self-awareness and willingness to change. This self-awareness and honestly is what elevates the story to epic, along with well-timed punches to the gut that produce emotional responses. Even when it seemed headed for a cliche misunderstanding, the problem is only a step to reveal a deeper issue that is serious.
The book is masterfully written with many twists and turns, one of which had me in tears while several times I laughed aloud. Even the secondary characters are lively and flesh out well. The ending is relatively typical romance in comparison to the rest, but it still shows the same humor and pure connection that make Pretty Face a delight to read. I heartily recommend this title.
P.S. I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.