sweet victory. sophie's uncle holds the key to the trust that owns the commercial development where sophia's bakery and xander's gym are based. until she turns thirty or she gets married she has no say in what happens to the trust, and her uncle is unscrupulous enough to use that to his advantage.
when he makes a real estate development deal that will force all the tenants in the development to relocate, xander is furious and when he goes to talk to sophie about the situation he overhears the possible solution straight from mr. caldwell's mouth. so he barges in and pretends that they're engaged to be married.
sophie's been intrigued by xander for a long time, and his kiss is so hot and so surprising that she simply follows his lead. and when he proved that he is willing to do anything that is needed to preserve her bakery she decides to take him at his word.
she has every intention of things remaining platonic for the 180 days demanded by the court to prove the validity of their marriage. but there is so much explosive chemistry between them that when an outing to a carnival results in a bet where the payout is three orgasms, it's not really a surprise. and from there we get to see sophie and xander build a real marriage, a real relationship, a real friendship. even though they don't actually talk about what happens once their 180 days are up.
there's this wonderful scene with sophie's grandmother, who suffers from alzheimer's disease, where you see how deeply they are both in this relationship. the undeniable sweetness of their feelings, the incredible chemistry of these two characters--it all gets to develop so realistically. so often in romance novels you go from chemistry to love with nothing in between, and then there's some ridiculous blow up and then everything is magically solved. and yes, there is a moment where xander and sophie's wires get crossed, but even this is understandable. and i don't want to give anything more away, but to say that everything gets sorted out in exactly the right way.
sweet victory closes out the fighting for love series with a deeply emotional, satisfying love story. xander and sophie are perfect for each other from page 1 and seeing their love grow as the days count down in their pretend marriage is an absolute delight.
**sweet victory will publish on february 27, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for my honest review.