Author: Christi Barth
Number of pages: 258 pages
Release Date: 8 October 2010
Publisher: Damnation Books
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle store
Grade: 5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: When two people make beautiful music together onstage, can their love survive once the curtain falls? Linnea Larson is willing to do anything to keep her family's Minneapolis dinner theatre from going under. Anything, that is, besides accepting a date from the Hollywood hunk her father hired to inject a dose of star power into their production of Guys & Dolls. It's a toss up whether his greatest claim to fame is playing a superhero on screen, or a super stud off screen. Neither fact convinces her he's got what it takes to share her stage. And thanks to a life long pact with her best friend, she never dates actors.
Luke Powell has fame, fortune, and an endless string of women, but also a lingering dissatisfaction with his picture perfect life. Looking for a change, he escapes to his theatrical roots. What he finds are wary cast mates, a nervous best friend convinced the show will ruin Luke's career, and an adorable costar who stubbornly refuses to go out with him. Suddenly singing and dancing aren't the only challenges he'll tackle over the summer. Far from the spotlights of Hollywood, can he find happiness in the footlights of a tiny theatre?
Despite Luke dragging her into his daily paparazzi nightmare, Linnea can't deny her mounting attraction to his irresistible charm. And even if she's crazy enough to chance getting involved, their fling would have a guaranteed expiration date. He's leaving at the end of the run, and she's tied to her family's theatre. Why risk the inevitable heartbreak? Their job is to act like they're in love, but will they decide it's worth the leap to fall in love for real?
"Hey Sky, your mission doll's looking for you."
Luke loved getting to this point in the rehearsal process, when everyone called you by your character name. When the show took you so deep, you lived and breathed it. Almost as if the character you played was more real than you.
"Nathan and Adelaide have been engaged for fourteen years at the start of the show. Can you imagine? I can't keep a woman for fourteen months. " Stu barked out a laugh, and his self-deprecating grin encouraged the circle of men to join in on the joke.
"I bet Luke's gone through fourteen women in a day," piped in a voice from the back. Catcalls snd whistles ensued. Luke buried his hands in his pockets and gave a who-me? shrug
"A gentleman never tells." Luke's voice dropped to a whisper. "But when I run out of fingers, I just stop counting for the night." A roar of masculine approval filled the hallway.
But don't fear, there is plenty of sensual too:
"Enough talk. I'm going to kiss you now," he whispered in her ear. "If you like it, i'll keep going. All night." Then he licked the rim down to the lobe, and gently bit down."I want my hands on you, Linnea. I'm going to discover you. What makes you happy, what makes you moan, what makes your eyes roll back in your head. Mostly I'm going to discover how good we are together." He levered himself up to look her square in the eyes. "If you don't feel the same way, you'd better stop me right now."
"Wow" she said and instantly regretted it.
And then there are all the heart-thundering, "aww" melting moments:
He picked up the pace, his long legs eating up the pavement. Temper pushed him faster till Linnea practically trotted beside him to keep from being dragged along. She flat-out pissed him off. Couldn't she see how difficult this was for him? Did he really have to spell it out?
"Listen to me. I don't care whether Mom wants to see you - which, by the way, she does. Don't you get it? I want her to meet you. It's important. Not to be polite. Not to torture you as payback for your parents breathing down my neck every day. But because you both matter to me, damn it!"
"Linnea, [...] how can you believe when I kiss you it's anything less than the best moment of my day?"
Verdict: Act Like We're in Love is an amazing contemporary romance! If you like your romance with an interesting background story, three dimensional quirky supporting characters and charismatic, powerful main characters, if you like your romance to be sweet, sensual yet funny, then Act Like We're in Love is the novel for you!
"When you see a guy reach for the stars in the sky, you can bet that he's doing it for some doll."