Act Like It
by Lucy Parker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 30, 2015
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre’s Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham
Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.
Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?
Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.
Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?
Richard was poking at a chipped teapot on the table for the white elephant stall. “This is junk,” he said, without even bothering to lower his voice.
“It’s a white elephant stall. That’s kind of the point. And who are you, the Antiques Roadshow?” Lainie cast a quick, embarrassed look around. She would estimate the ratio of people staring at Richard to be about ninety percent. It was too much to hope they were all hard of hearing. “If you could develop some sort of filter and a volume button in the next thirty seconds, it would really help me out.”
“Exactly how long do we have to stay?” Richard stared in disbelief as a pig walked past with a blue prize ribbon around its neck.
“Until the last cup of tea is drunk and we’ve helped with the cleanup.” Lainie was rapidly losing her sense of humour about the situation. “These people are kindly giving up their time, money and goodwill to help out a charity that means a lot to me. And sulking at a fund-raiser for children with cancer is a total dick move. FYI.”
Once again, Richard reddened slightly. A week ago, she wouldn’t have thought him capable of changing colour without the aid of cosmetics. He thrust a hand through his tumbled black curls and looked away from her. All broody in an open-necked white shirt, and set against a pastoral background, he looked like a still from Wuthering Heights. She refused to be softened by the image. He could look as handsome as he wanted; it didn’t make his behaviour any more attractive.
And he needed a shave. There was a fine line between designer stubble and scruffiness.
“Of course I’ll support the cause,” he muttered, and then added impatiently, “but I don’t see why we can’t just write a cheque.” He repeated his derisive survey of the merrymaking. “You’ll be lucky to break a thousand quid with this lot.”
Lainie wasn’t sure whether “this lot” referred to the fairground goods for sale or the villagers themselves. It was offensive either way.
“Because there are dozens of people here who care enough to want to contribute—” and a good hundred more who’ve come along for the sole purpose of seeing your sour face, thanks to the social media grapevine “—and they can’t all afford to just ‘write a cheque.’” She had the satisfaction of seeing his flush deepen. “And all of these events help raise the profile of the charity. We’re trying to turn a spotlight on Shining Light. Not on the fact that Richard Troy has opened his fat wallet for something more philanthropic than a new sports car.”
His face was unreadable. “You’ve made your point.”
Not quite. “For the record, you’re behaving exactly the way Will would.”
Not that she would have got Will down here in a million years, PR stunt or no.
A nerve twitched above Richard’s right eyebrow. “Is that blatant insult supposed to make me re-evaluate my life choices?”
She shrugged. “It would make me think twice.”
Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block.
When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting.
Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well. A family friend introduced her to Georgette Heyer, and the rest was history.