The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!
April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn't been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn't even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can't handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she's ready to pay to play.
Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I'm the REAL DEAL.
Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He's this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He's no gigolo. Please. He's something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April's new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.
Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents' inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.
She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.
He didn't expect to have the time of his life at her parent's home.
They didn't plan on loving every single second of the game.
But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?
This is the first book that I’ve read by Lauren Blakley and it was a good one. Her writing style was comfortable and easy to follow along with and her characters charmed me right out of my socks, especially Theo.
So April and Theo meet when April hires Theo to be her boyfriend for her family reunion. She loves her family but their matchmaking shenanigans are driving her crazy so she figures if she brings a boyfriend to the family reunion, everyone will lay off. They mean well but they want her to move back home to their small town but she loves being in the big city and she loves the job that they don’t understand so she brings a buffer who ends up being way more than she thought.
Theo has bills to pay and his bill-collector is breathing down his neck so he bartends and does a lot of odds and ends jobs to keep everything together. This next job of pretending to be the bad boy boyfriend at a family reunion will make him enough to finally get over this hump he’s been and he’s eager to get started. He was expecting to play nice and he was expecting to be whatever the client needed but he wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to his client but when he meets April, he keeps forgetting that she’s a client. They’re so in tune with each other that their relationship feels real from the very beginning.
Overall, this story was sweet and I enjoyed getting to know both Theo and April. April’s personality really shined and I thought she was a great heroine. I adored Theo as well and wanted very much to hear his sexy voice. LOL. This book was a lot of fun and if I had a gripe, it would be that their romance never felt fake. Right up at the beginning when they showed up at the family reunion, sparks flew and they just fell in line with their story but even in the privacy of their bedroom, they acted like a real couple. They slept in the same bed like it wasn’t a big deal like it didn’t register with either of them that they were strangers. It was all, good night sweetie, I call first dibs on the shower in the morning. I was able to get over that (I do enjoy a fake romance story) because I was enjoying the chemistry and just them as people so it ended up not being a big deal but still…
This was a solid romance and I enjoyed it.
Grade: 4 out of 5