Easy, sexy, and a little different than the norm, I got everything I wanted from this low angst romance. What starts as a fake relationship soon turns into something else entirely, and I loved that this didn’t take the usual path. This hero is a sexy bartender who looks like trouble, so it was great to see that he has a vulnerable side and some insecurities… outside of the bedroom, of course. He’s gruff and confident when he needs to be, loving and supportive the whole way through. There’s plenty of chemistry and an easygoing vibe that makes this bingeable. It was a solid 4/low 5-star read for me the whole way through, and I had zero trouble jumping right into this series starter, even though it’s clearly a spinoff from a series I haven’t read. The cast of characters enriches the story, and I’m definitely looking forward to future interconnected standalones in this town.
The story follows Marnie, a woman who was left at the alter a few months ago. She’s been a hot mess ever since, and her friends are starting to get worried. It’s not so much that she’s devastated by the end of the relationship (she’s not), it’s more that she’s tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes – that’s the problem with being the sister of a famous actress. Somehow, Marnie finds herself the newest beneficiary of two “fairy godmothers” (it’s a long story), who have hooked her up with a guy to fill the role of her fake boyfriend when she needs one. Griffin was tending the bar when Marnie met her fairy godmothers, and he was all too happy to volunteer for the role. Since the attraction that sparks between them is mutual, it’s not long before Marnie and Griffin are starting up something that feels very real, but Griffin’s troubled past makes him wary of putting his heart on the line.
If you’re new to Casella’s work, this is a great place to jump in. She seems to have really figured out her style, and the story was exactly the lighthearted read I was looking for. There are a few characters from the spinoff series, but I had no trouble reading this as a standalone – and I kept seeing the potential in future couples, so I’m already hooked on the new series. Both characters are easy to like, and I loved that there were no major roadblocks to them getting together. It’s low angst throughout, with just enough push and pull to keep things interesting. And while it’s not super steamy, there’s lots of sexual tension and heated moments. I loved Griffin, and it was so endearing to watch this charismatic bartender struggle to feel like he’s worthy of love. There were a couple of little lulls in the storyline, but I enjoyed it from start to finish, and there was nothing that bugged me for long. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this fake relationship romance.
What’s worse than being left at the altar? Becoming a meme because one of your nearest and dearest took a video of you running—and falling—down the aisle and made it internet famous.
Yup, I’m that Marnie Jones. My sister is for-real famous, which only makes people more interested in my predicament. Is it any wonder I’m feeling down?
My best friends will try anything to cheer me up…including setting me up with the Fairy Godmother Agency, a maybe-crazy husband and wife private investigator-slash-life coach team who promise to find the person who sold me out. Better yet, they lend me a fake boyfriend to make my ex jealous and appease my sister.
Griffin is gorgeous, attentive, and a very convincing actor. He’s perfect for the job.
After a lifetime of practice, I’m good at pretending. But the more time I spend with Marnie Jones, the less I have to feign my interest in her.
She may be down, but she’s not out. She’s beautiful, funny, and just the right amount of weird. All she needs is someone to remind her of that.
If I weren’t such a screw up, I’d have half a mind to do it myself.
About the Author:
ANGELA CASELLA loves writing romcoms, particularly with the lovely Denise Grover Swank (they write together as Angela Denise). She also writes the Fairy Godmother Agency series. Her hobbies include herding her daughter toward less dangerous activities, stress baking, and marathon watching TV shows, preferably ones that are not stressful. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, and two geriatric dogs.
You can find out more about Angela at www.arcdgs.com.
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