Rising star and current darling of London’s West End, Elaine “Lainie” Graham has to pretend to be passionately in love with and kiss her ex-boyfriend Will Farmer every evening and sometimes for matinee performances. While none of her family really liked him, she was still shocked and upset when she discovered he was cheating on her – by seeing it splashed on the front page of the tabloid news media. Now she’s pretty much sworn off men for a while and is none too amused when the theatre management want her to pretend to be an item with her other cast mate, Richard Troy, playboy billionaire method actor, who is in serious need of an image makeover. After a few too many negative stories, Richard’s publicity team and the theatre’s manager feel that the audiences and media might look more kindly upon him if they believed he was in love with Lainie. Lainie would benefit from the added publicity to aid her career, and they’d make a very generous donation to her favourite charity.
Lainie reluctantly agrees and has to start appearing in public with a man she finds arrogant, rude and insufferable. Their first kiss, staged for the cameras, is an absolute disaster. Richard is independently wealthy and became an actor mainly to piss off his father. There is no denying his great talent, but he’s also condescending, elitist and quite a snob. He has a hell of a temper and while many of the stories in the press have been exaggerated, he’s really not a very pleasant man, and it’s quite clear that he’s never really bothered to notice Lainie, despite the fact that they’ve been working together for some time. Lainie refuses to take him seriously. Although she respects and admires his undeniable skill as an actor, she goes through with the charade to make money for her cancer charity and isn’t really expecting to enjoy herself or change her mind about Richard as a person.
Of course the modern take on the “marriage of convenience” turns into mutual attraction and romance, while very encouragingly not ending with Lainie’s love for Richard turning him into a soft, fluffy bunny who never has an unkind word for anyone. Full review here.