ACT LIKE WE’RE IN LOVE

 

 When two people make beautiful music together on stage, 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?

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Reviews:

  • RT Book Reviews:  When a Hollywood Star invades the small town where a young actress lives, their relationship rivals any Tony Award winning comedy portrayed on a Broadway stage.  There’s great dialogue, a fun storyline and characters that readers will want to visit again and again. Rated 4 Stars!
  • Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks:  This book centers around the actors and actresses before the opening of a big-ish theater production.  You can tell that the author has a background in theater.  The details she gives when telling of the actors before a show and the way they feel while on stage is wonderful.  You feel as though you are a part of the show alongside Linnea and Luke.  It’s almost like the production is a character all its own.
  • The dialogue in Act Like We’re in Love is delightful.  Warm and engaging.  Really great.  There is not any real conflict in this book.  It’s simply the story of people who meet and the circumstances surrounding how they fall in love.  And even though you think you are 99% sure of where the story is headed, Christi manages to throw a few wrenches in your gears along the way.  Especially the last few pages where she kind of throws you for a loop.  Overall, Act Like We’re in Love is a lovely book.  It’s a character story involving likable characters you actually want to get to know.  It’s a story that will make you giggle and leave you smiling. Rated 4 Stars!
  • Long Live the Lit:  Christi Barth gives the twice-told tale of guy likes girl a fun overhaul. Uptight manager, Wes, hugging his briefcase and chewing a pack of gum at lightning speed was my personal favorite, but Linnea and Luke have their own unique charms about them.
  • What I enjoyed most about Act Like We’re in Love was the author’s writing itself.  Christi Barth has a wonderful way with words. Vivid descriptions and vibrant word choice make the tale sparkle, and her humor is evident through the characters’ dialogue as well as their inner personal reflections.  Ms. Barth definitely knows the art of making her reader turn the page to the next chapter with some of her scene ending conflicts. For those readers looking for a lighter tale, let it be known the love scenes do take the rating up several notches.
  • Minding Spot:  Exciting and heartwarming, Act Like We’re in Love is a delightful contemporary romance that will touch your heart.  Beautifully enhanced with a poignant plot, compelling characters, humor, romance, striking plot twists and plenty of love, this story is brought to life right before your eyes by the attractive writing style of Christi Barth.
  • Becks Book Picks:  This book was great. I love contemporary romance and this fits it perfectly. I also love when there are two stories in one book. Not only did the reader want to see Linnea and Luke get together, but each of their best friends Ingria and Wes who were complete opposites were drawn to one another. Since we didn’t get as much with the two of them, I am hoping that means the author is working on a book for just those two characters.  As always, one thing I look for when reading romance is the chemistry between the characters. I have to feel the want between the two, and I definitely did in this book. Linnea was so drawn to Luke and he the same. It was one of those books where the two main characters struggled with being together, but not to where you want to throw the book across the room and tell them to just get over it. The author really balanced it well. The characters were all well liked. This is a book your going to want to read if now a days romance  for you. Rated Five Butterflys!
  • Suite 101:  The (sexual) tension amidst the pages will carry the reader through and keep the reader entangled in the plot right till the very end.  Besides the sexual tension, the dialogue and the characters make the book worth reading too. With witty sayings that will make you literally laugh-out-loud, Act Like We’re In Love can easily be considered a humorous contemporary romance novel. The characters are so vibrant, so alive on the pages, that their dialogue just makes them seem all the more real. They deal with issues we experience, they feel like we would feel, and they often time act as we might act. That makes for some emotional investment on the readers side. Readers will become attached to the characters and feel for them throughout the story.

Excerpt:

This time she claimed his mouth.  Something untamed in her broke free and took control.  Fueled by passion and need, her hips ground against him while their tongues danced with abandon.  The tree trunk anchoring them became an impediment to her hands exploring even more of his fabulous body.  Linnea took a step back and Luke followed her lead, dropping to his knees on the scant patch of grass.  Now they were able to embrace fully, arms sealing each tight to the other.  His back was rock solid beneath her hands, his thighs equally hard against hers.  He was so thoroughly masculine, as proved by a commanding hardness pressing into her abdomen.

The loud horn of a police boat caused them to jerk apart.  Luke laughed while Linnea sank back onto her heels and waved while it motored past them down the river.  A few seconds ticked by.  Linnea had no idea what to say, where to begin.  To her immense relief, Luke cleared his throat and took the lead.

“Gotta say, this was a great way to end lunch.”

“And much less fattening than the brownie I had my eye on,” she added.  The light, playful tone felt right.  Whew, no big, serious conversation about ramifications and the future needed. Good, because there were so many different emotions flitting through her head like butterflies it was impossible to zero in on a single feeling, let alone discuss it.  Especially since the overriding thought in her mind was how soon she could come up with a reason to kiss him again!

“Now, about our date…” his voice trailed off, the question hanging like a thought balloon in the sky.

Hmmm.  Guess he wouldn’t let her escape the big talk after all.  But she still couldn’t pin down how she felt about what just happened – aside from being unbelievably, undeniably turned on.  Evasion was her best tactic.  Linnea stood and brushed dirt from her legs.

“Okay.  Given what just occurred, I’ll concede that our lunch can now officially be labeled a date.  Consider my debt to you paid in full.”

Luke surged to his feet.  “No way.  You’re not whitewashing today as follow through on a promise to a pathetically over-sedated stranger.  You didn’t kiss me like that to pay off a marker.  This,” he used his thumb to wipe a smear of lipstick from her chin, “was more, and you know it.  At the rate we were headed, it practically became a third date.”

His thumb brushed back and forth against her lower lip.  Tiny nerve endings sprang to life, and Linnea struggled like crazy not to let her eyes drift shut in pleasure.  “What’s your point?”

“Call today anything you want.  But I still want the whole package with you; dinner, soft music, dim lights in a place that doesn’t have a steady stream of traffic overhead.”  He shook his fist at the bridge and its unending flow of noisy cars.

Linnea fluffed her skirt and straightened her top while she considered.  There were so many reasons to say no.  If things went badly, doing the show together for the next two months would be awkward at best.  Ingrid was guaranteed to be pissed if she broke the sacred ‘no actors’ pact they’d upheld together for over fifteen years.  Then there was Luke himself; complicated, always in the spotlight, and different from everyone in her world.  Or did that make him so darn attractive?

“Don’t think.  Feel,” Luke urged.

He smoothed his hands down her arms.  A trail of goosebumps rose in his wake.  Linnea looked up into his sea-glass eyes and saw barely contained heat flare.  This fervor had snared both of them equally, which was reassuring somehow.  And it gave her the courage to be brutally honest.

“You were right.  Don’t let it go to your head, though!”

The naked vulnerability that had flashed across his face as he awaited her answer vanished.  It was replaced by a cat-who-ate-the-canary smirk of satisfaction.

“Always like to hear when I’m right.  Care to be more specific?”

“Only if you wipe that smug grin off your face.”

“Purely an involuntary reaction, I swear.”  Luke nosed aside the edge of her shirt and began to drop a string of kisses along her collarbone.  His voice slightly muffled but still understandable, he asked, “Is this better?”