I don’t know why widowers are so sexy, but they really are. There’s something about a man who has loved and lost that gets me every time, and I loved this sweetheart of a mountain man. This fake relationship romance is light and STEAMY, with plenty of heat to keep things interesting. It builds on the series while still feeling like a standalone, and I had no trouble bingeing it in one sitting. The story flew by, and the chemistry between these two kept me turning the pages late into the night.
The story follows Clark and Jessa, two people who really shouldn’t get together. Clark’s wife passed away unexpectedly a few years ago, and Jessa was one of her friends. Though Clark and Jessa were never close, he feels guilty every time a spark of attraction ignites in her presence. So when Jessa’s ex shows up on the wilderness retreat Clark and Jessa are a part of, no one is more surprised than Clark when he comes to her rescue. Pretending to be in a relationship with the woman he shouldn’t be attracted to is sure to be trouble, but Clark goes for it anyway. And as the two spend time together, they discover that those sparks have the potential to turn into something more… even if neither one is ready for something real.
This manages to remain light and sexy, even while handling heavy topics. Clark is a widower and Jessa is divorced, so the ghosts of relationships past haunt them both. They’re both hesitant to move forward with a real relationship, but the chemistry between them is impossible to ignore. I loved how likable these characters were, and I felt for them both. I typically don’t love books that feature “just” sex, but it was understandable that these characters would resist giving in. The story is fast-paced and steamy, with plenty of sexual tension and just enough heartache. I also loved getting to know Clark’s family better, and this remained a standalone while also advancing the series. I’m not a big fan of either of the tropes that are up next in the series, but I’m definitely looking forward to more from the author. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this fake relationship romance.
Who knew pretending could be so hot?
Clark: It started as a joke. After all, I’d never pretend to date a woman just to get my mom and sister off my back.
I would, however, pretend to date her to get her ex-husband off hers.
Now the two of us, the wilderness warrior and the wedding planner, are stuck sharing a very small tent. I had no idea how fast things would heat up in here, or how hard it would be to keep my hands—among other things—to myself.
I also didn’t guess how quickly the news of our “relationship” would spread to my big, nosy family.
We can’t “break up” yet, because she’s planning my brother’s wedding and I’m his best man. Through venue visits, DIY disasters, and Vegas trips, we’re thrown together, and the chemistry’s off-the-charts. But the kicker is, I feel like she gets me.
Maybe that’s what scares me the most. I’m still reeling from the loss of my wife, and she’s still hurting from her ex’s betrayal. There’s no way this can ever be real.
But what if I’m starting to hope it is?
Start the series today!
His best friend’s sister is rocking his boat. In the best way possible.
Brody: What’s a bad boy doing hosting a book club on his boat? Excellent question. All I can tell you is, it’s not going well. I forgot the bug wipes, the extra TP, and the hand sanitizer, we’re out of wine, and… well, I may have made some people angry, if the reviews are any indication. The only way to dig myself out of this hole is to redeem myself by offering the best girls’ nights out in town.
Enter my best friend’s sister. I’ve gone out of my way to avoid Rachel, since despite her good-girl rep, I can’t seem to get her out of my head. Now she’s in my boat… and if I don’t watch myself, soon she’ll be in my bed. Things are going surprisingly well between us… but I know myself, and I’m not this guy. I’m the guy you want for fantasy fulfillment, not the guy you want for forever.
But what if I need this time to be different?
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About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including a RITA finalist spot, an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
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