Grad student and future marriage counselor Aly Brewster had a perfect childhood with perfect parents. Now she’s heading into her own perfect life: Finish her Master’s. Build a successful practice. Husband at twenty-six. But when her parents blindside her with the news they’re getting divorced, her perfect world shatters.
Actor Nick Armstrong has been in love with Aly since they met during freshman year. He’s happy to accept his assigned place in her Friend Zone because it lets him be close to her. But it’s been over five years — time to move on. Then the usually-unflappable Aly comes to him begging for help to save her parents’ marriage. Nick has the perfect plan: fake an engagement to each other to inspire her parents to fight to save their marriage. And who knows? It might trigger Aly’s feelings for him. But when Aly takes the ruse to the next level — planning a wedding in her parents’ backyard and hiring additional actors to play his family — enough is enough!
As the lines between acting and reality grow decidedly blurred, these two improvised fiancés must decide: are they going to finish the play . . . or exit stage right. Alone.
Rene Gutteridge is the author of over 25 books and has been writing professionally for almost two decades. Her writing ranges from comedy to suspense and from freelance writing to novels to screenplays. Her first feature film, SKID, is due out next year. Her latest two fiction projects are collaborations with screenwriter Cheryl McKay and are romantic comedies.
Cheryl McKay began writing stories and plays at five years old based on pictures on her lunchboxes. She’s been writing since. Both a screenwriter and author of non-fiction and fiction books, her most notable film to date is The Ultimate Gift (James Garner, Abigail Breslin). Cheryl’s favorite genres are family dramas and romantic comedies. One of Cheryl’s favorite writing alliances is with Rene Gutteridge. The two partner on novelizations of Cheryl’s screenplays. (Never the Bride for Random House, Greetings from the Flipside for B&H.) Cheryl and her husband live in Los Angeles. She’s avid scrapbooker, day-tripper, and chocolate addict.
Love’s A Stage is a light, romantic comedy with a bit of slapstick thrown in from the writing duo of Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. The setting is Massachusetts in the fall, complete with a Pilgrim-themed wedding (yes, that’s right, a Pilgrim wedding) and will get your Autumn romance reading off to a good start. The characters are likable — Aly is idealistic, Nick is devoted and the assortment of secondary characters range from loyal to clueless. But it is the underlying message that a marriage takes real work that resonated with this reader. As Aly and Nick planned their fake wedding to reunite Aly’s parents, it is apparent that for a real marriage to work, a couple needs to keep their eyes on the husband/wife relationship. A happily-ever-after follows near disaster that will have you chuckling. A quick read, Love’s A Stage is fun reading.
Recommended for fans of light romantic comedy.
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(Thanks to Redbud Press for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)