Monday, September 11, 2017

The Real Thing by Melissa Foster ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—
but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Sugar Lake #1
Melissa Foster
Releasing Sept 5, 2017

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

**THE REAL THING is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE, order the paperback.

“You're sleeping on the couch,” Willow said for the fifth time in as many minutes as she and Zane left their suite. He was busy texting, and she wasn’t sure he was even listening anymore. He used to be such a great listener. When they were younger, he’d never acted like he was above her, despite the fact that he was the star quarterback, lead pitcher, and eventually the prom king, and she was two years behind and as awkward as a foal on new legs.

“Are you listening to me?” she asked as they walked down the hall.

“Yes. I just got confirmation. You’re catering breakfasts for the set. Cool?”

“Yes, perfect. But did you hear what I said?”

She had almost backed out of their deal twice since she’d accepted. First when she’d seen the king-size bed, which really drove home their situation, and again when Zane had whipped off his shirt to change and her sex-starved body had buzzed to life. She was still a little nervous about the whole thing, mostly due to that second issue, but she felt a certain obligation to help him. 

Regardless of how arrogant he was, she’d never forget how tender he’d been with her when she’d given her almost-eighteen-year-old self over to him, and he was a true friend, even if they had a weird friendship. 

The truth was, even if he hadn’t done her that favor before college, she would have agreed to his plan. She liked him despite his insatiable appetite for women. He was everything she loved in a person and more. He was confident and funny, direct and thoughtful, and honest when it counted. Painfully honest. The exposure for Sweetie Pie Bakery was just the icing on the fake-fiancée cake. What a difference national exposure could make.

Zane shoved his phone in his pocket. “Yes. Sleeping on the couch. Got it. But you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

She laid her best damn-right-I-can stare on him and pushed the button for the elevator.

“Fine. I’ll behave. Jesus, Wills, you’re never this uptight when I visit.”

“You mean that five minutes twice a year?” Willow remembered how happy he’d been when he’d finally left town to pursue his dream of being an actor. He’d been bursting at the seams for a bigger life. But her “five minutes” comment wasn’t really fair. He never missed Ben’s birthday, and he almost always made it back for a few days over the holidays, even though his parents had moved to Florida right after he’d graduated from high school and left town. He’d been back a few other times when he was filming nearby. Even though she rarely saw him, their texts—and the fact that he was her first real love, even if he didn’t know it—had kept him in the forefront of her mind. Unfortunately, it also kept her heartbreak pretty close to the surface, no matter how deep she tried to bury it.

This is my first book by this author.  I couldn't resist a good faking story, though this one wasn't exactly what I was expecting, still enjoyed it!

I always think of a good faking it story as the ones where a couple that's not likely to get together are forced to fake their relationship.  Then the kisses they inevitably share start something either of them ever expected.  It's my very favorite trope.  So many possibilities.  And this book gave it a different look.  

Zane and Willow (love the names, btw) grew up together.  He's her brothers best friend and he was her secret first (v-card type first).  She set up rules and then left for college.  And lots of other things happened that, well, I just can't tell you.  Need to read it yourself for that.  But later when they end up in this fake relationship, it's bringing where they always should have been.  Finding out all that other stuff (which I still won't tell you) and figuring out their purpose.  I just can't see a world where these two don't find it back to each other.  They are just too perfect for each other.  I guess that's the "difference" I felt in this book.  Their fake relationship did bring them into each other's arms but if it hadn't been that it would have been something else.  They are pretty clearly meant for each other.  Sweet and sexy these two are!

Zane is adorable.  His reputation needed fixing but he's just not that guy.  It becomes clear pretty quickly that he loves Willow and isn't gonna cheat on her.

Willow did take a bit longer for me to love.  She's been protecting her heart for a long time and she pushes too hard sometimes.  Does make her real.

I'm not sure if it's characteristic of this author since this is the first book I've read of hers, but the romance is smoother.  By that I mean, the angst that these two deal with is not so much a mess one of them makes as it is dealing with other issues (also not telling on what those issues are - you peeps need to read this book yourself).  I found that I rather enjoyed that aspect of things.  It felt more real to me.  It also left more room for some seriously hot action between these two.

Oh yes, this author believes in couple time with lots and lots of heat!  And these two were creative in their and dirty.  Willow likes him talking dirty.  Gotta be able to deal with that if you're gonna read this book.

Oh, and there's this book two coming out in December that I already want to read.  Looks so good too.  Sounds totally different but equally good.  Can't wait to hang out in this small town again.  


Releasing December 5th, 2017

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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1 comment:

  1. LOL, I love how careful you were not to reveal too much in your review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, the character's names and so much more! Thank you! XXO