The stage is set for the play of a lifetime: but it’s the romantic drama backstage that has everyone applauding.
Paul and Cath are the perfect creative team. He’s an up-and-coming theater director and she’s his unflappable, rock-steady stage manager.
If Cath’s had to bury her unrequited affection for Paul for ten long years to keep things professional, it’s just the price she pays for a career she loves, working with her best friend by her side.
Until he hires her old nemesis as the leading lady for a new play that’s their chance to make it big.
Handling temperamental actors is one thing, but watching this diva throw herself at Paul makes Cath miserable. It’s another complication when the leading man shows his attraction to her. Suddenly, an unexpected new job offer seems like a good idea.
But then Paul upends her world by declaring his love and sparking a passionate encounter.
It’s both a dream come true and a nightmare as Cath is convinced that personal and professional relationships don’t mix and getting involved could jeopardize the play-and both their careers.
Can Paul flip the script and set the stage to convince Cath otherwise or is their love always destined to wait in the wings?
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives, not by chapter but clearly defined.
I preordered this the minute I spotted it on Suzanne Brockmann’s Twitter and am so glad I did. This debut novel by Adele Buck is absolute perfection. I love the friends-to-lovers trope as well as authors who do a fantastic job of mixing strong character development, humor, romance, and just a bit of angst. I was a little nervous because I have no experience with theater production other than a semester in High School <<mumble mumble>> years ago and sometimes books about play productions leave me feeling like I’m missing all the inside scoop. Not here – I never once felt lost and managed to curl up on the couch and finish this in one day!
I found Cath and Paul relatable and endearing and spent the entire book cheering for their HEA. These two have spent 10 years as best friends and professional collaborators and their chemistry just jumps off the page (or ereader as it were). Their banter had me laughing out loud several times. I especially enjoyed that I didn’t have to wait for the entire book for Paul & Cath to move past merely friends. I love stories where I get to enjoy the couple, being a couple – a mature and communicating one at that. Most of the drama is created by a spiteful woman from their college days who has landed the leading role in their play.
There are several secondary characters that are a fun addition to the world and I can’t wait to experience everyone Buck gives a story to. There’s a little teaser at the end sharing a chapter of the next book in the series, Method Acting, and I’m already hooked.
Extra note: I love this cover by Marika Bailey. It perfectly captures Cath & Paul.
About the author:
Adele Buck/Buchanan is the author of several novels. Her debut, Acting Up, will be released in January 2021.
When not writing, Adele is a librarian at a Washington, D.C. law school. Prior to that, she had a short stint as an index editor and over a dozen years in corporate communications and executive relationship management. Even prior to that, she was an actress and stage manager.
You can connect with Adele Buck here:
My Favorite Quotes
It wasn’t fair, him looking like that – those blue eyes and high cheekbones framed by that messy hair. Adonis escaped from the Muppet Show. – Acting Up by @_AdeleBuck #CenterStage #FriendsToLovers #Theater #RomanticComedyTweet
As if they had kissed a hundred times instead of this being the first. – Acting Up by @_AdeleBuck #CenterStage #FriendsToLovers #Theater #RomanticComedyTweet
I can’t figure out if this is incredibly cozy and domestic or awkward as hell. – Acting Up by @_AdeleBuck #CenterStage #FriendsToLovers #Theater #RomanticComedyTweet
We keep taking turns being rational, we may finally add up to one whole functioning adult. – Acting Up by @_AdeleBuck #CenterStage #FriendsToLovers #Theater #RomanticComedyTweet