after all it's jake reese, up-and-coming hollywood actor, currently he's starring on a sci-fi/fantasy show mystic on basic cable. his father—hollywood royalty, kurt windlass—has bigger ideas for him, and jake is really just a down-to-earth, sweetheart of a guy has no idea how much his father is interfering in his career. jake is up for contract renewal, and all he wants to do is sign on for more seasons of a show he really loves. he isn't in it for the money or the fame, he loves his job.
when jake is told by his agent that he needs to up his q factor, hailey comes up with a plan. she'll act as his girlfriend in exchange for him appearing at her family's bookstore that they are in the process of remodeling. the timeline here is pretty constrained, everything happens in a matter of days so if instalove/lust type books aren't your thing, you might be annoyed by this.
i found jake super charming, and was really rooting for him. hailey is a bit more prickly, but her baggage informs who she is, and once she starts letting jake in, you really do understand why she is the way she is. this was a fun, enjoyable read. perfect material for some time on the beach.
**one true pairing will publish on july 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press (swerve) in exchange for my honest review. read on for more information on the novel including an excerpt...
Title: ONE TRUE PAIRING
Series: Fandom Hearts
Author: Cathy Yardley
Imprint: SMP Swerve
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
They couldn't be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley's One True Pairing.
Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family's bookstore. It's a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?
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Jake handed over a few hundred dollar bills. “Hey, this is too much!”
“You rescued me, you’ve driven me around, you stood up to a manager for me. This is the least I can do,” Jake said, his eyes meeting hers. He looked so damned sincere. “Anything else I can do to make it up to you?”
The guy was a sweetheart, she realized. He’d probably be a beautiful mark—just enough naiveté, especially for Hollywood. Chivalry, nobility. The guy was a soft touch.
She couldn’t help it. Her grinned curved wider, and she looked at him suggestively. “Have anything particular in mind?”
“What? Oh! No. That’s not what I meant,” he stammered. But she saw his pulse racing in the thick muscles of his neck, and the way his pupils dilated.
Might not be what he meant, but he was thinking about it.
And damn it, now so am I.
“Why not?” she teased, pitching her voice as if she were hurt that he wouldn’t consider it, just to watch him squirm. And squirm he did.
“No. I mean, I’d love to, don’t get me wrong. You are . . .” His gaze now swept over her, and she felt it like a chinchilla mitten, all soft and sensual and something you just wanted to rub up against.
“Unbelievable. But I don’t want you to think that I’m just taking advantage of the situation, or anything. I mean, I don’t expect you to have sex with me.”
“Relax, Boy Scout. I’m just messing with you,” she said, laughing and patting his cheek. “Really, it’s cool. Maybe score me a one-day pass to the Con? My sister’s a big fan, she’d love to get some video of it.” Since Cressida couldn’t leave the house, video would be the next best thing to attending in person.
“Just because I don’t expect anything,” he said quietly, “doesn’t mean I don’t want anything, Hailey.”
She blinked. Her heart started to rhumba in her chest. God. Sex with Jake Reese?
He was messing with her, she chastised herself. He had to be.
She started to take a step away from him. She had to get out of here, before she started getting ideas—reckless, stupid ideas.
Before she could pull away, he grasped her wrist—gently, but inexorably. He kept it against his cheek, then turned his face, letting her fingertips rub against the stubble before placing a hot kiss in the center of her palm.
Just like that, her lady parts tingled in anticipation.
“Oh, my,” she whispered.
“I’d like to take you to dinner,” he said, his voice low, those blue, blue eyes mesmerizing. He’d lost his stammer, and he’d somehow switched from awkward suitor to hell-yeah, hot-fudge-sinful man. “Tonight. When do you get off work?”
Wow. Zero to turned on in three-point-two seconds. That had to be some sort of record.
She swallowed hard.
This is a bad idea.
“I guess I could have dinner.” Her voice came out breathy, and she cleared her throat, getting more businesslike. “I mean, I’ll be hungry. Gotta eat, right?”
Cathy Yardley is the author of the Fandom Hearts series, starting with Level Up, and needs to get out more. When not writing, she's usually lurking on social media, playing Fallout 4, or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She's a fangirl of Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, LOTR, and too many others to name. She lives with her family in Seattle. They are considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture.
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