“This book was like the best sort of dessert. I. Am. Addicted.” – #1NYT bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
Fake Date, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is LIVE!
Working at Bliss Lingerie, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life.
But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. So when Sarah walks into his office demanding to know why he can’t stop sending her gifts, he makes her an offer she somehow can’t refuse: be his fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother’s engagement party.
Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course.
Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?
Peeps I loved this book. I even liked it better than Save the Date. There was something a bit naughtier about this book. Sure it had some smexy times in it but its the job that Sarah has and how Jared interacts with her that set the tone and mood of the book. Selling upscale lingerie can’t be easy for anyone but when you have a client that buys it for his so-called mistresses and then being on the receiving in of those gifts. What’s a girl to do?
Jared is positively AWESOME in the book. I read from Ms. Murphy that she actually had to tone him down and honestly, I would have liked to have read that version. He is not a very nice person in the book but there was something about him that I couldn’t shake. I liked that he was subtle in his pursuit of Sarah. The hate/love banter between them at the beginning of the book is priceless. You know going in that the trope is a fake relationship but Ms. Murphy does a great job of putting a different spin on it. Both Jared and Sarah come from different backgrounds but still feel the pain of losing a parent that has shaped them into what they are now.
Jared still acts like a sullen teenager when it comes to his family. I get that, truly I do, but it’s not until Sarah is thrown into the mix that he realizes that he just needs to grow up. And the whole ex-fiance bit? Again, honestly, I found that I bit contrived for me. Plus, the fact that Sarah didn’t hear it from Jared made me mad. On the flip side, I found the ex-finance actually nice to Sarah. She could have a been a diva but she wasn’t. Jared didn’t even blink an eye when Sarah told him about her siblings which I thought was a bit weird but also endearing. It made no difference to him in the end. I would have loved to read the scenes when they met though. A teenage girl meeting Jared? Priceless.
Sarah is a great character. She was a hard worker but also overwhelmed at the same time. She never gave up and with the help of her besties, she got through it. I loved the besties. Protective but at the same time, hilarious. The feelings that she had for Jared were genuine. Hate and love are two very powerful emotions and I felt like Sarah really enjoyed Jared coming into Bliss every week. Would she ever admit it? Nope, but it doesn’t matter. She just didn’t understand why HE liked her. Getting these two on the same page was a blast.
These two were perfect for each other. They balanced each other out and I really wished the book was longer. Yes, I enjoyed it that much. The grouch and the beauty. At least that’s what I’m calling them. Ms. Murphy knows how to write a seemingly mismatched couple and makes it work. Jared and Sarah don’t disappoint and I can’t wait for Jared’s sister’s book next month. Maybe I’ll get a little follow up. Please?!?!?!?!?!
Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/FakeDateMM
Apple Books: http://bit.ly/FakeDateMMApple
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/FakeDateMMBN
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/FakeDateMMGR
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
Connect with Monica:
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Mae Gallagher will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.
Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.
Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?
Read an Excerpt
“Stocking up a bit?” Nate asked as they set the cooler down next to the deepfreeze.
Abby shrugged, flipping the lid up to reveal packages of steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef, bacon, sausage, turkey. Staring at the mountain of meat, she had to admit she was a little obsessive when it came to being prepared. “Well, I did some research before accepting the position at Echo Springs Community College, and it said that roads can be impassible during the winter.”
“They can, but we do try to stay on top of road clearing. When it snows, the skiers come out in full force and head into the mountain resorts. All those travelers are the life-blood of this town, as they stop at the gas stations, restaurants, and shops. Without that, this town would go belly up in a New York minute. When the snows hit, the Styman boys stop working the appliance store and clear the streets, along with a few more of the locals. They work together to keep the city’s roads as clear as possible.”
“Good to know. But we aren’t in the city.” Which was something that wasn’t lost on her.
“No, we’re not. It can get a bit dicey out here. I tend to stay in town more and sleep at the station, but it’s good that you’re stocking up. Make sure you’ve got yourself some long underwear and some firewood.”
She blushed at the underwear comment and wanted to kick herself. What are you, a teenager? Just because Sheriff Stud Muffin’s topic made her wonder whether he was a boxers or briefs kind of man, and that she’d love to find out which he preferred, was no reason for Abby to act like an unschooled virgin.
Wait a second… “Firewood? Why would I need firewood?”
It wasn’t something she had considered she would even need. Where did she get some? Would she have to cut the wood herself? Abby could see herself trying to heft an ax to chop wood. Coordination was not her strong suit. More likely than not, she’d end up hacking the wood to bits, all while taking off a few of her limbs. It wouldn’t be pretty. Besides, knowing her, she’d leave the ax outside for the psycho killer to find and use to attack her in her home. She could imagine the headline:
Evie Callier’s great-niece hacked to death because she didn’t listen to her parents. Murder weapon apparently belonged to the victim, army of dolls suspected, news at eleven.
Jesus, she needed to get a grip.
Nate regarded her, his modest expression calling her a hundred times a fool for not being better prepared for life in the mountains, and said, “In case you lose power during a storm. It can get mighty cold up in these hills, especially when we are being pummeled with blizzard conditions. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in these older homes, power can get knocked out and be out for days.”
“What about a backup generator? Would that suffice?” Because if so, she’d turn right back around and head back to Gundry’s Bulk Superstore for one. The thought of being without power during a blizzard chilled her, and for a millisecond, she considered hightailing it back East. Until she remembered that back East would mean having to deal with her parents’ disapproval nearly twenty-four seven. She’d already visited that amusement park fun house, thank you very much, and didn’t want to return.
“Yes and no. Most are gas-operated, although there are newer models that are solar but come with a heftier price tag, and if you run out of fuel…”
“You run out of electricity. Does anyone sell firewood in town?” She’d start looking tonight online for a backup generator. The thought of having only a fireplace for warmth made her shudder involuntarily. With her luck, that would be when all the creepy dolls decided to rise up en masse and strike.
“Check with Styman’s. I’m not sure what their stock is this time of year, but if you’d like some help, I’d be happy to get you started.”
She unloaded the last of the meat into the freezer, and shut the lid. “That would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble. Thank you.”
“It’s no problem at all. After you.” He gestured at the wooden stairs.
Nate trailed her up the steps; she could feel his gaze boring into her back as they entered the kitchen. Abby restrained from fanning her face at the jolt of heat that hummed in her system whenever he was near.
This couple is in my top 10 all-time couples. Yes, top 10. Jordan and Noah (Shadow Dance-Julie Garwood), Eve and Roarke, Jack and Cathy Ryan (Tom Clancy), Wolf MacKenzie/Mary Elizabeth (MacKenzie’s Mountain-Linda Howard), Drea/Simon (Death Angel by Linda Howard), Jaine/Sam (Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard), Raine/Zack (Sizzle & Burn-Jayne Ann Krentz) and Fallon/Isabella (In To Deep, Linda Howard) and now Abby and Nate. As you can tell, my favorite couples are from older books and I’m proud of that. I read a lot of books and let me tell you, I fall in and out of love with couples, but the list above and now Abby and Nate have stayed with me and have captured a piece of my heart that I can never get back.
I’ve enjoyed read Ms. Gallagher under her erotic name so when I was approached to read the first book in a new series under her contemporary name, I jumped on board. There is something about this book that just resounded with me. I connected with Abby on a scale that I haven’t done in a long time. I completely understood why she decided to rebel against her parents. Families can be tricky and I have a weird relationship with my own mother, so I can see why she was so close to her Great Aunt Evie. She accepted Abby for who and what she was as a person. She encouraged her to break free and to let her know that it was okay to do that. I had a grandmother like Great Aunt Evie. I miss her still.
Nate is a trip. Literally a trip. And Rufus, his dog. Oh my…the scene where everyone is spooning every one. I giggled out loud at the pool. There were so many parts of this book that had me giggling. Nate and Abby were born to be a couple. Both had their flaws but they complimented each other, too. Abby at a crossroads when it came to the rest of her life and Nate finally realizing what was missing from his. Will they make it? You need to read it and find out.
The secondary characters are top-notch. We get to know Evie and Old Man Turner through his journal and it was beautiful, if not heartbreaking at times. I loved how Ms. Gallagher weaved their romance into Abby and Nate’s. It made their relationship that much richer and truer. In fact, I believe in the Fates and they were meant to be together. I think that’s why Evie willed her house to Abby in the first place.
Nate’s friends are a hoot. I can’t wait to read their stories. And the girls that were in the book are the perfect matches for these guys. Oh yes, Abby’s new friends take no prisoners when it comes to men. They don’t put up with a lot and give Abby some great advice when it comes to Nate. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in Echo Springs. There is so much more to that town then what I’ve only read. The break-ins were spot on and when the culprit is caught, I wasn’t shocked. I kinda figured it out but it still stung.
Ms. Gallagher has written one couple that I’m proud to say is in my top 10. Does that mean that I didn’t like all the other couples that I have read? Absolutely not. On an elemental level, I just connected with Abby and Nate. Their relationship is funny, sexy, emotional and just spot on realistic. Plus, the dolls. Yes, I would be creeped out, too. She has got to get rid of them. Yikes!
About the Author:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Visit her website here: http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com
Visit her on social media here:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiegallagher
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-mae-gallagher
Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!
The Mystic Series
The Cantati Chronicles
And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/