Title: Acting Up
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Although not my favorite by this author, I did enjoy this lighthearted comical romance.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: It’s not easy breaking into show biz. Especially when you aren’t exactly loaded with talent. But Malcolm Fox won’t let a little thing like that hold him back.
Actually, it isn’t the show-business part of his life that bothers him as much as the romantic part—or the lack thereof. At twenty-six, Malcolm has never been in love. He lives in San Diego with his roommate, Beth, another struggling actor, and each of them is just as unsuccessful as the other. While Malcolm toddles off to this audition and that, he ponders the lack of excitement in his life. The lack of purpose. The lack of a man.
Then Beth’s brother moves in.
Freshly imported from Missouri of all places, Cory Williams is a towering hunk of muscles and innocence, and Malcolm is gobsmacked by the sexiness of his new roomie from the start. When infatuation enters the picture, Malcolm knows he’s really in trouble. After all, Cory is straight!
At least, that’s the general consensus.
Review: Acting Up is a contemporary romance sprinkled with a lot of humor, and is a fairly easy going read. There wasn’t what I would consider a lot of angst; rather, it’s a comical story of two men who find their way to a romance.
The story is told via first person narrative from Malcolm’s perspective, and he is quite the character. He is sort of (okay, more than sort of) self-centered, a little judgy, and a spitfire. His internal dialogue and the phrases that come out of his mouth are laugh inducing, and his escapades are pretty entertaining. His interactions with his roommate and BFF, Beth, are hilarious, and I could easily see me and my friends in the two. The quirky characters were fun to read about, especially Malcom’s Ma (don’t call her that though!).
Malcom is a struggling actor who recognizes his mediocrity and embraces it. He and Beth live in San Diego, and he works at the zoo, doing all kinds of fun (not) jobs that deliver a lot of comedy to the story. Things get interesting when Cory arrives and takes up residence in their apartment, and, for the first time, Malcom finds himself having feelings for someone as more than a trick. Unfortunately for Malcolm, Cory says he is straight.
As Malcolm and Cory get to know each other, the reader gets to experience all kinds of wacky times in the life of Malcolm, and also experience how clueless someone can be. Though there is a lot of hilarity, there are some seriously sweet moments and introspective dialogue which broke it up from being too over the top. Malcolm and Cory were well matched, and Cory seemed to just get Malcolm and his somewhat bizarre life.
As a lighthearted read Acting Up hit the mark, though I will say it’s not my favorite from this author—mostly because I seem to like just a bit more angst on the road to happiness—this was still an engaging story. The humor at times toes the line of possibly being offensive to some readers, but personally I found it fit in well with the story and Malcolm’s character. He is somewhat shallow and self-centered and judgy, so it made sense that his humor sometimes went in that direction.
For a reader who’s looking for a cheerful and easy on the angst romance, and quirky characters, I would say grab this up!
You can buy Acting Up here: