Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lucy Parker - Making Up

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.
Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.
To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.
When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.
It seems hopeless.
Utterly impossible.
And yet…

Comment: As many other readers, I've really enjoyed the previous two stories written in this London celebrities universe created by Lucy Parker. Although I've noticed some readers weren't as happy about this book as they were about the other, I still felt quite eager to spend time reading this.

In this third installment, we have the story of Beatrix and Leo, two people who knew each other while they were teenagers but separated after a situation that now makes them sort of enemies.
The two of them reconnect after Leo accepts a job with Trix's company and they even realize the new vacancy at Trix's shared apartment is Leo. Of course that with so much close proximity, thy eventually talk about the reasons why they didn't get to discover what was between them. But now, more mature and with past experiences, they can finally give in and see where their chemistry leads them...

I liked this book as I've enjoyed the others because, once again, we have glimpses of the lives of interesting people but, more important, of people who talk and act on the page and we get to understand why some of their reasoning make sense or not. I like that we get to see things, and when the author writes about what happened at a another time or with other people, it matters but it's not overdone. I'm very, very glad this is a clever author who thinks about the outcome and weights in what is necessary to add or to not add.

The romance is vibrant. I don't think it's as fascinating as the dynamics seen in the previous two books where the couples were strangers and had no shared history, but Trix and Leo hadn't seen each other for a long while and were never really together before so this is more a second chance at something rather than lovers reunited (trope I don't like that much).
As I've said, it was great they were able to talk about what was happening to them but I still think they started being intimate very quickly... maybe  a few more scenes of sexual tension would have added a little extra to their relationship.

As the plot moves forward, things start to be what one would expect. In this matter, I don't thin the author really imagined different, rather, she writes simple situations but with a very good dose of emotion and believability. I care about her characters and what they do and that can count as a lot.
However, I would say that since the dynamics aren't as exciting to follow, some of their romance felt a little weaker even if still good. I wouldn't think this is a story about childish behavior as some readers have said and I actually think Leo and Trix behaved very well for the most part. Yes, some scenes are a bit...silly, but that's where the fiction part comes, we want to be dazzled by the romantic aspects, and not just follow a real live situation, isn't it?

I also liked how the author incorporated the work difficulties in this book. Usually in romances, things are too easy or too out of the page for us to see when it comes to work or a job the character has or there's no real impact in that. In this book we get to see Trix worry about what she is doing, if she is able to deliver... we see Leo talking about his work, about what he would prefer to do, about what it means to have opportunities... it added interesting layers to the characters' lives and decisions.

All in all, this wasn't as addictive as the other books, it wasn't as "magical" but I still had a great time reading, the epilogue was sugary but cute and will certainly not miss the 4th installment, coming out next year apparently.
Grade: 8/10

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