falling for the fake fiancé, the last thing jill is expecting are strings. except of course there are strings, in order to collect her inheritance it seems that her grammy wanted jill married by her thirtieth birthday. given that jill's social life consists of pta meetings and shuttling her exceptional daughter from one after-school activity to another, it's not likely that marriage is in the cards. a shame because the money could make life easier—she wouldn't need to stress about paying the bills for her daughter's school, she might get around to replacing her old death trap of a car, she might be able to quit her second job.
aaron collins is in town after serving eight years as a marine. he's only come back to charleston to help his dad with his construction business, but he has plans for a life in dc, running a security business with one of his buddies. when he runs into jill at a bed & breakfast he's renovating he's shaken by her effect on him. truth is he's loved jill since he first set eyes on her when she moved into the house next door. she's just never seen him.
jill sees him just fine now. he's doubled in size, quite possibly. and he carries himself with a confidence and surety that he didn't have back in the day. but underneath all the good lucks and charisma, he's still aaron collins, her neighbor who makes her laugh. the guy she can talk to about anything. the man who will always want to save her. she doesn't tell him about her predicament, but her mother spills the beans.
and here is where the fake fiancé bit comes into play. every time jill and aaron meet up the chemistry between them is off the charts. they cannot keep their hands off each other, no matter where they are and what they are doing and who else might be around. they are that hot for each other. and maybe aaron isn't thinking things through, i mean, he's definitely not thinking things through, because making a temporary commitment and putting off a solid job offer to help someone else collect an inheritance doesn't make much sense. their whole engagement plan makes no sense. and of course it blows up in their faces, quite spectacularly, several different ways.
the problem is that both aaron and jill are scared to admit their feelings for each other. jill doesn't want to hold aaron back. she's already made poor partner choices and she has no desire to trap someone who doesn't feel the same way about her as she does about him. she has a daughter to think of. and really aaron is too much of a risk, the way she feels about him now, there's no way his leaving won't break her. and aaron is scared too. because he's still the guy that jillian never saw for years. so many times she picked the guy standing next to him. and every time he knew it was the wrong choice. he's loved her for so long he doesn't even recognize that it is love. that there is no one else he would give up everything for. she's it for him. but he's never been it for her.
that's a lot of baggage to work through. but even with all that heavy stuff between them, the truth is that more than anything this book sizzles with aaron and jill's chemistry. and it's not just about sex, their camaraderie, the heft of their friendship makes the romance deeper and more meaningful.
oh, one last thing, as the second snowpocalypse book in the series, we get a couple of updates on our favorite air marshall and his set designer girlfriend. and the snow does play a part even though the action takes place in south carolina. also, this must be a different snow storm from the one gage and abby experienced, but i did have a hard time figuring out the timing. anyway, landing the air marshall was also a fun read, and even though the books are standalones the series thus far has been very enjoyable.
**falling for the fake fiancé will publish on june 12, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for my honest review.