Monday, January 9, 2017

seriously romantic: fake engagement, real temptation by joya ryan

carrie and blake have known each other forever. blake is carrie's brother's best friend. and when carrie decides to go on her honeymoon by herself after being stood up at the altar, blake can't stop himself from tagging along. after all he's been charged to protect carrie, and an all-inclusive resort in hawaii is dangerous? okay, so the set-up here doesn't necessarily track, but who cares? fake engagement, real temptation is a classic category romance, with all the tropes in place and they work beautifully. i mean, i've said before how i love the fake relationship trope. it works for me.

blake and carrie don't start the trip with the intentions of faking a romance. but when the fake romance leads to a first class upgrade, and then later when it leads to one-upping the jerk ex-fiancé, it's all in good fun. except things get heated pretty quickly. and as always sex complicates matters. especially since carrie is dying for love and marriage and the baby carriage, while blake is running scared from anything like responsibility for others that could lead to heartbreak.

he's messed up because his mom died of cancer while he was young after his father abandoned the family. he irrationally feels like he failed her because he couldn't fix the problem back then, so that he lives his life in such a way that he runs toward every danger so that he can be the hero, except in his relationships where he runs away from real intimacy.

this is the real conflict in the novel, and blake needs to get over his hang-ups in order to fight for the connection that he and carrie share. because what they do share couldn't be less fake. and even though there are some super over-the-top public declarations that make me want to die of embarrassment on the characters' behalf, it is super romantic and totally dreamy how these two end up together. definitely a total call back to the wedding singer.

**fake engagement, real temptation will publish on january 30, 2017. i received an advance reader copy from netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for an honest review.

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