After a delightful romance debut and an equally charming sequel, Lucy Parker returns with another romance set in the world of London theater. We met Trix and Leo in Pretty Face: Trix was Lily’s close friend recovering from a break-up with an abusive boyfriend and Leo was the good-looking make-up artist for Lily’s show. They are flirting in the background during the pre-opening party.
Dan the jerk may be out of Trix’s life, but the damage he did remains: Trix has lost a bit of her sparkle and self-confidence. Of course, the universe loves to kick a romance heroine while she’s down: long-time nemesis Leo Magasiva steps in as a make-up artist for the show Trix performs in.
This is a bit second chance romance, a bit enemies to lovers, which, I have to say, I was skeptical about. I prefer authors not retcon relationships, and the news that Trix and Leo have this long-standing antagonism which was nowhere to be found in Pretty Face didn’t sit well. (It feels a bit like cheating to change the rules of engagement in the subsequent book.) I needn’t have worried: Lucy Parker handles the circumstance with her usual deft touch.
Once again, Parker’s main couple are a pair of adults, capable of having adult conversations with one another. Parker wisely sets Trix and Leo’s Great Misunderstanding with their teenaged selves, where it feels more age-appropriate. Adult Trix and Leo finally uncover what went wrong and move forward. There’s no lingering mistrust that rears up and taints the present.
(Though, not all characters are quite so mature. Leo’s sister is a Grade A Pain in the Ass, and I would have cheerfully seen her hit by a metaphorical bus.)
Despite the fact that Parker does pretty much everything right in this book, Making Up is a book that’s going to need to grow on me. Trix’s crisis of confidence feels honest, and Leo’s patience with her appears infinite, but it’s also a bit heavy for a romance. I don’t know that I’m going to reach for Making Up in a low moment as a pick-me-up as I still do with Act Like It. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is.
Parker fans: this one is worth the pre-order. You won’t regret it.
I was provided with a complimentary copy from NetGalley in order to facilitate this review.