The Real Deal: A Novel

The Real Deal: A Novel

by Lauren Blakely


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The Real Deal: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book was not worth 8 bucks. It was slow and a little boring. Bummer.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I love Theo because he has a past. We all do.
Crazybooknerd 9 months ago
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely (Audiobook) Narrated by: Zachary Webber and Erin Mallon 4 Stars - I quite enjoyed this fake boyfriend plot line and the characters involved. The dialogue was witty and filled with fabulous tension. The story slowed a bit for me part way in the last quarter, but picked up again with a wonderful ending. Zachary Webber did a wonderful job narrating as usual. Erin Mallon’s male character voices were great and her regular voice is easy to listen to, however she tends to dragout some of her syllables at the end of the words. Example: “Chapter Twelllvvvvve- Aprillllll”. Not sure if she is doing this on purpose for this character or not? Either way I found that distracting and didn’t care for it. That said, I would still listen to her narrations. ~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
I love the sassy girl and the bad boy story.
Cynthia181 10 months ago
I won a copy of this book from the author and was not required to give a favorable review. This was a great story of how a young women and youngest child an moved away from home and is making a wonderful career for herself in NYC. The friend who was suppose to be her plus one for the family reunion weekend got a job out of the country and told her about a friend that is a rent-a-boyfriend. He is a bartender/actor and is trying to pay off some debts from college and other things. So when this opportunity arises he takes it and hopes it will clear everything up. But little did there little acting job get them to become closer. I loved the writing and it really makes you feel for the characters.
Lisa-Lou 10 months ago
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely is a standalone contemporary fake lover romance told in dual POV and complete with a happily ever after. Sweet and Sexy, Spicy and tantalizing, this book was a page turning read. I just HAD to know how these two would resolve their issues, hangups, doubts and feelings... April needs a buffer for her trip home. It is reunion weekend and her ENTIRE family is trying to set her up with one or another all with the special qualification of being from her hometown - where she no longer lives and does NOT want to move back to. When her male best friend cancels on her at the last minute he gives her an option via his friend and his craigslist ad. Theo has been hustling since he was a teenager. Aside from bartending he is a platonic date for hire and can be whatever type of date you can imagine someone needing. He has been a fake fiancé, a bad boy, he has made other guys jealous, made dad's mad, you name it and he has a plan for it. When his friend asks him to consider helping April it comes at a time when he is in desperate need for the cash. The only problem, this may the first client he has ever been attracted to. Hot and sexy, angsty and unexpected - It was a pleasure to read. Enjoy!
Anonymous 11 months ago
Equally fun & naughty, this book has everything you could want in a rom-com and more!! Theo is a charming, social chameleon with a slightly shady past who uses his talents by hiring himself out as a pretend boyfriend. April is the aspiring artist who hires him to get well meaning family off her back with their unwanted matchmaking attempts. Both characters are smart & quick witted, effortlessly weaving together stories of their make believe past. They fight their attraction, but the chemistry leaps off the page & you know that this couple is destined to be together. This slow burning romance makes for a cute, light hearted & hot summer read.
SmutCrazy 11 months ago
April Hamilton needs a fake boyfriend stat, before she goes to her family reunion in Connecticut! It seems every female relative is trying to set her up with either the butcher, the accountant, and so on. They all want her to get married and move back home and leave New York City behind. No such luck, since she loves Manhattan and her job. Now that her bestie has a modeling job in Europe and left her hanging as her fake boyfriend, she’s desperate. However, he did give her name to a guy he knows that works at a bar and is also an actor that does side gigs as fake boyfriends. Well what does she have to lose. So they make plans to meet in a park on the middle of a Saturday, plus two of her friends will be there to help her out, just in case. Wow, when she meets Theo Banks she’s thrown for a loop. He is drop dead gorgeous and not only do they hit it off but they have sizzling chemistry. Theo Banks knows he’s in trouble when he meets April. She is beautiful and everything he looks for in a woman. He’s got to keep telling himself that he can’t go any further with her, that it’s just a job that he desperately needs the money to finally pay off some family debts. On the train ride from New York to her hometown, things get verbally heated as they play a pretend game of how they met and things they did. The last thing he expected was sharing a bed with her. What surprised him the most was the fun he was having with her family. What starts out as a gig develops into something else for him. But when she learns about his background and that he’s really not an actor, April will not even give him the time of day. He’s got to come clean and tell her everything before it’s too late. This was an amazing book, as in anything that Lauren Blakely writes!
Anonymous 11 months ago
It kept my attention. I didn’t want to put it down.
AboutThatStory 11 months ago
This was so incredibly sweet, fun and flirty! A seriously entertaining and heartwarming read! Theo and April were so wonderful and I loved their vibe. They had this amazing dialogue happening right from the start that was so cute, I just couldn't stop smiling. They're in the middle of a crazy circumstance and I ate it up. There was such a great build as feelings emerged, histories were learned, and sexual tension simmered. I loved this pull they had on one another, a real connection and how it built and built. I adored the awesome banter between Theo and April and all their sharing moments. It was just so incredibly sweet and sincere and playful. This story had a slow burn feel to me and it was so worth it, I was filled with so much anticipation and couldn't wait for them to really connect. There was such a great cast of characters as well. Their family and friends were all so fun. There were just so many great things happening throughout, it made my heart happy. Also, I'm a super huge fan of texting dialogue and this had it in spades and made it even more entertaining. This was a fun and easy read with just the right amount of drama and emotion mixed in to the fun and flirt. Sometimes a feel-good read is just what a person needs and this was it! This was a story that leaves you feeling full and happy with super sweet characters, a really interesting storyline, and a wonderful HEA. Complimentary copy received for honest review.
ljtljtljt 11 months ago
3.5 Stars! The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely, is a relationship of convenience romance with two very unlikely characters. The plot is good, however, I found the pace to be a bit slow during the first half of the novel. This book may be read as a standalone. April Hamilton paints humans for a living. She is an up and comer in the entertainment business and her next project should put her on the A-list. She loves her family very much, but they are quite traditional when it comes to ways to earn a living. Body painting is something her parents do not quite understand, and furthermore, they are not fans of her residing in New York City. Since her parents want her to find a guy and settle down near them in the suburbs, they plan on setting her up on a few dates while she is in town attending the family's annual reunion. April has no desire to date or settle down, so she hires Theo Banks to be her boyfriend for the reunion weekend, therefore getting her family off her back. Theo is a good-looking and kindhearted man that will do whatever is necessary to pay down his older brother's debts. He is a bartender and an actor, and he hires himself out via Craigslist to earn extra cash. Despite his troubled past, Theo is a go-getter. The money he earns as April's boyfriend will really help make a dent in his financial situation. Theo has done the boyfriend-for-hire gig many times, so when he finds himself falling for April, he is a bit confused. April is falling for him simultaneously. April and Theo are well-defined characters and I enjoyed getting to know them. They are hot couple, both in and out of the bedroom. Overall, a solid read. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Dalitza 11 months ago
With The Real Deal, Lauren Blakely delivers a compellingly feel-good story full of humor and delicious chemistry that will make you smile and swoon. April Hamilton loves her family and their summer reunions, she just doesn’t want to go alone to the next one because she knows everyone and their mother will try to set her up with a nice man from her home town. Even though it comes from a good place, they don’t understand her career and desire to live in the big city so when her sends her an ad link with the title “Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL,” she knows she found her man. Theo Banks has a past which includes a debt. He does well as a bartender but what will get him out of trouble is his job as a fake boyfriend. But after one look at April he knows he’s in more trouble than he ever thought. He’s never been attracted to his clients, not once was he tempted to cross the kiss on the lips line, much less want more with any of them, never wished the false romantic stories to be true, until her. Could she be feeling the same? And even so, can she look beyond his past and be able to have a shot at a true love? Theo and April’s love story will grip you from the very start. From Theo’s wacky boyfriend for hire ad, to their sexy banter and chemistry, the easy rapport between them, and the fun activities the play during their weekend together will thoroughly entertain and have you cheering for them to get their happy ending. The Real Deal is a standalone, contemporary romance by Lauren Blakely. It is fun, flirty and sexy told from both points of view with a happy ending.
BeckyRendon 11 months ago
I am sporting a big toothy grin with a side of doopey glee. The Real Deal has a snort inducing ad for the perfect guy. Don't mock me! I'm serious. I laughed my butt off (if only) reading that ad and personally would have gone to find said stud if April hadn't. The Real Deal is super cute with instant chemistry and off the charts storytelling. You can't help but be drawn into the story.
Susanmc81 11 months ago
Another great Rom-com from Lauren Blakely! April Hamilton is dreading going to her family reunion as her family will be trying to set her up after her last boyfriend forgot to mention he was married. She decides to hire Theo Banks, bartender and part time rent-a-boyfriend. Theo’s part time gig is strictly platonic, but he and April are attracted to each other from the moment they meet. April and Theo have to get through his checkered past, her family’s distrust of him or any man from NYC, and the crazy reunion competition. The Real Deal brings both laughs and an HEA. I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley for my honesty review.
aschae 11 months ago
Lauren Blakely has done it again! What an incredibly sweet and charming love story about two people who find that pretending can sometimes be just as exciting as the real thing! Imagine a reversed Pretty Woman story... In preparation of going home to see the family in Connecticut, April has decided that hiring a pretend boyfriend to keep the family off her back is the next best thing after her bestie stand-in has to bail for a job. Tired of being set-up with every guy her family comes across, all in hopes of leading her back to her hometown and everything she is not interested in... she heads to the family reunion with her Craigslist hired boyfriend on her arm and a great backstory. Turns out, Theo is perfection from the moment they meet. Ready to create any story she requires, it's obvious the sparks fly immediately with these two. Creating fun backstories that feel all too real for a couple that met only a few days ago. Can't forget the family aspect here... some people have family and never see how wonderful they are and never know how good they have it. Some have no family and only dream of being "harassed" by those who love you and it was beyond heartwarming to watch such a loving group of people together. April clearly has a wonderful family and they so lovingly welcome Theo and his family into theirs. So heartwarming, this book brought a smile to my face over and over. Didn't want to put it down yet I didn't want it to end!? Such wonderful characters, I loved April's strength, and determination and listening to the two of them together was beyond adorable. Loved that she was so quick, funny and smart and he was just a sweetheart, afraid of his past, afraid of letting her down, afraid this would never be more than a fake weekend... boy was he wrong!? ;-) Highly recommended read and author!!
UpAllNightBB 11 months ago
4 Stars Review by Morgen Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog The Real Deal is a stand-alone romantic comedy by Lauren Blakely, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. This story is about family and the lengths you’d go to be able to please them and make their life easier. Theo is a bartender as well as professional arm candy. He can be anyone, whether it be a loving boyfriend who wins everyone over, billionaire extraordinaire, nerdy coworker who is just a friend, or the bad boy. He’ll be whoever you need. To him it comes easy, he’s confident and sure he can tackle any role. April is kind, compassionate, caring, understanding, fiesty, and independent. She paints people for a living. She knows it may sound weird at first, but there’s nothing she can imagine giving her the same amount of pride and joy. She comes from a small town and her family doesn’t really understand her career choices. They want her to move home and settle down with a nice guy. April has a family reunion coming up so she decides its best to bring a fake boyfriend to show her family she’s happy in the big city. From the moment Theo and April meet you can feel the connection between them. They fight it and try to keep their relationship as professional as possible while they’re pretending to be together. The story is captivating, their witty banter and easy chemistry set the pages on fire. With each touch it gets harder to ignore. The more she gets to know him the more she wonders if it’s all fake. Her last relationship ended badly and it hurt her. She’s been on a dating diet ever since. It only makes her question herself more. Rooming with a guy she barely knows for a few days under her parents roof, what could go wrong? The characters have great development while still keeping a little mystery at the same time. The story has a great flow and the pacing is great. I loved all the jokes. They were placed well throughout the story and really hit the mark. What pulled me in most was how perfectly they complimented each other but how hard they fought that connection. Theo has always kept these fake dates professional and doesn’t want to ruin something he is so good at and enjoys so much. She is career driven and doesn’t want any distractions. Neither one has much faith in love, they would rather focus on achieving their goals. I would definitely recommend this for anyone that enjoys a few jokes with their angst.
Arys 11 months ago
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely is a fun and flirty story. April Hamilton needs a boyfriend to bring home to meet her parents so that they will get off her case. Luckily for her she finds Theo Banks' ad. Theo is an expert at exactly what April needs. Coming across as the real deal boyfriend, but just pretending, really well. The idea of this story is reminiscent of the movie, The Wedding Date, but these characters are very different. While there was an immediate connection between them, dealing with April's crazy family gives them real experiences with each other and as the lines between pretend and real start to blur we get to see April and Theo really grow and blossom together. Overall I had a lot of fun reading The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely and recommend it if you are looking for a fun, fake to real, romance story. The characters really connected and brought the whole thing together. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
B2BKristina 11 months ago
This book...was fantastic! Pretty sure I have a girl crush on April. She's one of those quick-witted, smart, creative women and I was instantly drawn to her. Theo was equally charming, sexy and smart and funny to boot, I love me a funny man. I devoured this book. The witty comments, just the way the two interacted, their back and forth banter, it was sassy and flirty and had me smiling from ear to ear because it was just fun to read! You could literally feel April and Theo's connection dripping off the pages. Plus it helps that the author has a way of writing that keeps you glued to the pages making it so hard to put the book down. I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book. Really, April's family was as spunky as her, they had me cracking up with some of their dirty talk, I know I would've been blushing if I was in April's shoes at some of the things those ladies said. Too funny! I think April is one of my favorite book characters I've read in awhile. April and Theo might just be my favorite book couple this year as well. They both draw you in and though their backgrounds are quite different, Theo's is utterly tragic and heartbreaking in certain aspects, I'd say they most definitely found soulmates in each other in the short amount of time it took for them to get to know each other. Ms. Blakely definitely knows how to spark a fire and keep it crackling, because this book was a freaking slow burn like no other. When I finally get the blaze I'd been waiting for, I was not disappointed. There were quite a lot of steamy scenes, and a few of them didn't even involve "hula-hooping" *wink wink*. Both April and Theo have quite the vivid imagination and I thoroughly enjoyed their tale-spinning. How they would switch back and forth between stories and real life...loved that. Awesome summer read and I will most definitely be reading more by this author in the near future. Her writing is addicting and I'm a new-er fan. So good! #B2BKristina
carvanz 11 months ago
Do you remember when you read The Real Deal and fell in love with Theo and April. Remember how they were so perfect together and how they played out little scenes about remembering things they had done together…things they had never done together but that fed the little lie they were telling her family? It was freaking awesome! I absolutely loved Theo and April. Their chemistry was instantaneous and despite the deal they had going neither of them could keep things platonic for long. This was a low angst read with plenty of mature humor that had me smiling the whole time. April hired Theo to act as her boyfriend during a family reunion that is chock full of competitions. The games aren’t the problem, the problem is her family is determined to set her up with one of the locals so she’ll stay in Wistful where they all live. Finding Theo was the perfect solution even if their “remember whens” and their pretend relationship did start to feel very real. This was a very upbeat read with some incredible secondary characters and plenty of laugh out loud moments. The steam is sizzling although this couple don’t get down and dirty until 80% into the story. That doesn’t mean there isn’t teasing and tension…lots and lots of tension. So, remember when I gave this five stars because it was exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it and it left me with the best feel good feeling one can expect from a book? Yeah, I remember that too. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and St. Marin’s Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
KaraS 11 months ago
4.5 stars! The book is more than the blurb in this one. April and Theo have chemistry to spare. What starts out as a boyfriend-for-hire gig turns into so much more...the real deal! This book has all the wittiness you expect from a Lauren Blakely novel. It was cute, witty, hot, steamy and just all around enjoyable. Of course there's some bumps in the road and April gets a dose of reality at the part she's playing in deceiving her family, but all is right in the end. Enjoyable read for sure. I voluntarily requested and reviewed an uncorrected advance reader copy from the publisher via Net Galley.
AmandaKozi 11 months ago
4.5☆ The Real Deal is absolutely adorable! April and Theo are trying to fake their relationship, but they can't fake their fantastic chemistry. I love well they play off each other and their slow burn. I really like the build up with their story and enjoy the storyline a lot! Theo has a very interesting background and I really liked what that element added to the story. These two were so freaking cute together and I just adored their story!
JackiesBookWorld 11 months ago
I’m always excited to read any of Lauren Blakely’s books, they are so full of life and charm. The Real Deal was no different, it was witty and romantic. It’s a story that will certainly leave you waiting for more. At the beginning of the story we get to meet April Hamilton, she is a body-point artist who has worked really hard to establish a successful career in New York. Being from a small town, she was used to being around her family all the time until she decided to break away from her small-town life and travel to New York in hopes of making it big. But no matter what she does in her career, it will never be a real job to her family. They don’t see body-painting as an actual career and they want her to go back home where she belongs. After going through a really bad break-up, April decides to not date at all and focus on her career instead. This makes things a lot more complicated with her family and to help her see their side they decide to set her up with every eligible bachelor in their small town in Connecticut. But when she has to go back home for a family reunion, April doesn’t want to go alone and ends up hiring a fake boyfriend to take home with her. Meeting Theo for the first time wasn’t what she thought it would be like. There is an instant connection between them right away that’s sizzling and sexy! They understand each other and the more time they spend together, the more she starts to realize that he might just be the one. Theo Banks never aspired to be an actor, but he is really good at it and if it pay the bills he’ll do just about anything. When he needs the money to pay off a debt, Theo posts an ad on Craigslist in hopes of getting hired. When his friend calls him for a gig, he immediately accepts and decides to meet April the next day. From that moment on, he has been going crazy over her and he doesn’t know what to do about it. He needs the money and he can’t get himself involved with a client. But when he meets her family, they are all nice to him and he feels like he belongs with them. Something that he hasn’t been able to feel after his parents passed away. Yet there is something that he is not telling April, something that could damage what they have and he’ll have convince her that he might just be the right guy for her before it’s too late. I absolutely loved this book, it was sweet and funny! Lauren Blakely knows how to deliver a great story and she did it again with The Real Deal. April is the creative one in her family and wanting to make a career out of it makes her relatable to anyone who has felt the same way. It’s clear that she has a loving family that want the best for her, yet they don’t understand what she does. In the story we get to see them interact and it was so much fun to read. Their family reunion is not your typical reunion and that’s what made the story that much more entertaining to read. What I love the most about this story was the moments that we get with just the two main characters. It was romantic and swoon worthy. Theo is not your typical bad boy, he is just very charming and likable. There are problems along the way, but they help each other and it all works out in the end. The ending was very creative and it totally fit the vive of the story very well. I highly recommend reading this story and any others by the author. You will not regret it! :) ***ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.***
tsmb02 11 months ago
April Hamilton is living in New York City much to the dismay of her parents. They want their little girl to find a great guy and settle back in their hometown of Wistful, CT. Too bad April enjoys her life in NY, especially her job of painting people. When April has to go back home for the annual family reunion, she decides to hire a pretend boyfriend for the weekend long celebration that her friend Xavier recommended. Enter Theo Banks. He will play any part, bad boy, guy next store, etc based on each person situational needs, but never anything emotional or physical. So what happens when Theo first meets April.....BAM....instant attraction. This attraction will make the job easy to pretend, but also hard because he wants more from April than what they agreed to. Over the course of the weekend, April and Theo are having a hard time keeping their hands off of each other. When they finally give in to their desires, the past will come back to haunt them. This was such a great, fun, sexy story that I laughed out loud at many times. I just adored both Theo and April. They were both jaded from events in their pasts, but together they were able to move forward. Read this, you won't regret it!
astroyic 11 months ago
Fun, Entertaining and Hot! This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely won’t be my last. This was such a fun, entertaining, sexy, and heartwarming story. 
With lovable, and unique characters and a utterly, charming and entertaining, family reunion that keeps the funny times coming and coming as her family, falls, for her fake date, and their fake date, turns into the real deal. But when secrets come to light, will love save the day? 
It was LOL. hilarious, full of rapid, fire, wit and flirty banter as well as exquisitely playful and enticing moments that made me giddy and breathless. It was so easy getting lost in these characters and their wonderfully crafted conversations and their special connection and I didn’t want it to end. Loved and so will you. 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.