Also by this author: Unzipped, Never Have I Ever
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 10th 2018
Genres: RomCom
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon

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?


by Lauren Blakely

Look, I get it. I totally get why Lauren Blakely is so popular. I have been a little cautious because she releases books almost monthly so I was wondering whether the quality would suffer. The Real Deal is my first book by her and I can happily report: the quality is top notch and it’s one of the cutest books I’ve read this year.

When I saw that one of my favorite narrators Zachary Webber was performing The Real Deal I needed to have this little gem in audio as well. It’s amazing how Mr. Webber improves with every recording. And can I say that Erin Mallon is a new favorite for female voice actors? She’s amazing acting the male parts. AMAZING.

Theo is a walking, talking, breathing actor-for-hire-menu. He isn’t an escort, sex is the only thing that isn’t on the list of things he will perform for his clients. He is up for everything else though. Whatever your needs, he can do it. Whether it is the cowboy with the raspy drawl, the bad boy who causes trouble or the billionaire in a suit. He’s a gifted chameleon. But people don’t know that he’s also an ex-con man.

Liking her is dangerous. There’s a text message on my phone that’ll remind me just how dangerous it is. I need the money a lot more than I need a distraction as delicious as her.

April needs somebody to accompany her to her annual family reunion since her best friend is unavailable on short notice, which puts her in a pickle because her whole family is trying to set her up with somebody local in her hometown. But being a best friend means Xavier doesn’t leave her in the lurch: his friend, an actor for hire, has time for the gig as her new boyfriend.

When April meets Theo for the first time the hit it off at first sight. They are two peas in a pod. They are so alike, a perfect match. Both of them have a goofy, sweet sense of humor. In preparation for the family reunnion they make up stories about how they met, episodes of their lives together and let me tell you, Lauren Blakely struck gold with this – the build-up of the sexual tension between the main characters is delectable, the slow burn of it grows into a fire and eventually into an explosion and I loved every second.

Everything we do is suddenly foreplay, even our role play.

April is a sassy, strong young woman who loves her independence and job. Theo a sweet man behind the bold, and a little cocky attitude. Of course he has secrets but they don’t cause huge problems eventually. I loved Theo and April’s strong connection which was pretty much happened at first sight but in this case it totally worked. Their cute banter was one of my favorite things.

The Real Deal is an adorable, sexy romantic comedy with all around lovable characters. It will make you feel good, laugh and sweep you away from reality and isn’t that the best feeling ever? To fall into a book and not come out for hours? My first Lauren Blakely experience was a complete success.

It feels as though all the secrets I’ve been keeping are bubbling up, threatening to spill over, and I know I will tell her. I know I will share everything. I want her to know me. Want her to understand who I am. Because I want her to feel the same damn way I do. I want her to fall in love with me, too. The real me.


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