Sometimes you need to find a boyfriend-for-hire in the most unusual of places...
What do you get when you mix a bad boy with a heart of gold and a smart & sassy heroine with a desperate need for a fake relationship? THE REAL DEAL, a brand new, standalone romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely! Get a copy of your next favorite feel good rom-com now!
✮✮✮THE REAL DEAL is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮
April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.
Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL. Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.
Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.
She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.
He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.
They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.
But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?
The plot of this book just completely sucked me in. Fake relationship tropes usually don't work well for me but I think the fact that I could feel April and Theo's chemistry right away made it work. These two had me smiling and laughing and they definitely had me sighing too. The balance just worked perfectly.
I loved April. I love her sense of self, I love that she knew what she wanted and how to make that happen. She was fun, sweet and kind. Her job was unique and not anything I'd ever dream of, but was incredibly cool. She's the type of person I could hang out with and not ever be bored.
Theo? Well he wasn't what I was expecting at all-and I mean that in the best possible way. He's a little rough around the edges. He has a past that he has to deal with before he can fully move on to the future and watching him balance that with his attraction to April was really intriguing. I liked that he wasn't perfect...but was absolutely perfect for April.
I loved the little stories and moments these two created. They made me smile at times and they made me sigh at others. The connection between them is instant, even though they don't acknowledge it immediately. I always love the first kiss in books-and nobody writes a first kiss better than Lauren Blakely. I was smitten with these two and couldn't get enough of them together.
The supporting cast of characters here are (mostly) a hoot. April's family cracked me up-but I swear, they're so relatable. I would enjoy going to their family reunions and competing in all the games and just laughing and enjoying their company. There were some moments that weren't fun for all the family members, but isn't that what life is like? I liked that all of these characters worked together so well and just made April and Theo shine.
The plot of this book was fun, but there were some serious things tossed in there as well. It was unique and felt really fresh to me. There were also some nods to other characters from previous Lauren Blakely books and, as an avid reader of her work, I LOVE how those characters just pop up so organically. It's like catching up with an old friend for a minute. The writing here was superb and just flowed. It was funny, sweet and sexy.
If you haven't read this author before (what are you waiting for) this book is a fantastic place to start. The Real Deal is a perfect romcom and I loved every moment! I highly recommend this book and cannot WAIT to see what this Author comes up with next.
Like April, you know this but you don't know all of the details. You know more than April, but you are sort of left, as a reader, in a place where you need to trust the author and know that this is all going to work out, and he is going to become the guy you dreamed of...and, of course, he does. (With a couple of charmingly funny Easter Egg tidbits in the end, but I will let you find those out for yourself.)
April and Theo meet when she hires him to be her date at her family reunion. One with competitive sports and matchmaking relatives, coffee date set ups, general mayhem...and squirrels who throw nuts at windows, as we can't forget them (is that REALLY a thing, by the way?).
There's a fun, and a charm, to their story. Yes, they are pretending to be a couple, but not for any real harmful reason, but to keep the peace with the family and to avoid April having to deal with her family and their wishes for her to move back home.
And, isn't that how life really works? Things aren't perfect, your family wants you happy and in the house next door, the one you think is your soul mate just might not be when the truth gets ugly...all of it is very real.
While this book is funny, it feels different than other Lauren Blakely books, and I think it is because the hero isn't as squeaky clean and perfect. I am not saying the heroes in her books aren't real, just that her heroes tend to be more the romantic dream at the beginning of the book, whereas Theo needed a little work. He's the first to tell you this, and he works at being a better person while taking care of his brother and trying to do right by April.
By the end of the book, Theo is happy, April is happy, her family finally understands what she does for a living, and both are at the point where life is going in the way they want. It's the perfect blend of romance, humor, and a little bit of reality.
I recommend this title.
ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE!
When I clock out and head for the park, anticipation runs through my veins like a good buzz on a night out. A reunion booking could be my way out of trouble. A five-day gig might bring me very close to the finish line.
Along the way, I stop in front of a dry cleaner, check my reflection in the plate-glass shop window, and reckon that I look the part April wants: dark jeans, motorcycle boots, and well-worn T-shirt that shows off the ink on my arms. Tribal bands, a sunburst, and a compass. I haven’t shaved in two days, and my stubble is rough. If she wanted clean-cut and business attire, I’d have covered up the tats with a crisp white shirt and a fine silk tie, then slid a blade across my jaw in the a.m. If she wanted sophisticated, I’d have given her the smooth, James Bond voice to boot. She could have me as a country boy, even, in a pair of steel-toed cowboy boots and with the drawl to match.
But April wants the guy who might have screwed her in the restroom of a bar.
She wants gravel and sandpaper, ink and danger, shades and leather.
The more you give someone what they want, the more you get in return.
When I reach the park, I head to the Terrace Bridge. She’s not here, but I’m early, since I like to get a read on any and every situation. I scan the surrounding area, noting the benches, the nearby tables, the cool placid water gurgling under the bridge. June in New York City can seduce you or it can trick you.
What it has in store today is anyone’s guess. I lean my hip against the stone railing, and I wait. Two minutes later, I spot a threesome walking in my direction. My heart thumps, and I groan quietly.
Why does the universe do this to me?
Blond curls, lips like a bow, a tight trim waist. Even from several yards away, I can tell she wears little makeup—she has that fresh-faced, rosy glow about her, and something innocent yet knowing in her expression. Like Lily James, whom I developed a wicked crush on when I watched her in her latest movie.
April’s not tiny, but she’s not towering either. Maybe five-three, five-four. A delicious dream. Which translates roughly to “just my type.” She wears tight jeans, a long black shirt that clings to her figure, and a huge silver necklace with a heart charm that dangles between her breasts.
As if I wouldn’t already be checking them out without the pendant between them.
I’ve had many clients. Keeping it platonic has never been an issue since I’ve never been attracted to a customer.
Looks like I’ll be getting familiar with how to resist temptation.
✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber and Erin Mallon! ✦
✦ Audio ➜ http://blkly.pub/RealDeal-Aud
✮✮✮Reader's Choice Giveaway!✮✮✮
Everything you need for Date Night except the date:). Find the perfect date in the Real Deal! $100 gift card to the restaurant of your choice, $50 gift card to the movie theater of your choice, and $50 gift card to the retailer of your choice. ($200 value)
About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she's sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she'll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional second chance romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter