Security Company CEO Josh Slater put his life on hold when he said “I do” to protect a stranger. While his marriage was never meant to be real—he hasn’t even seen his wife in five years—Josh can’t shake the idea that he’d be cheating if he moves on. Now he’s a man with a mission: chase down his “wife,” get an annulment, and finally indulge in a little no-strings sex.
Heiress Alexia Slater entered into a marriage of convenience straight out of high school to gain control of her inheritance before her not-so loving family squandered the whole thing. She doesn’t want the marriage to be real—she’s fought hard for her independence—but that hasn’t stopped her from spending the last five years fantasizing about her gorgeous husband.
Then he shows up.
Josh wants an annulment. Lexi needs to stay married. When the chemistry explodes between them, there’s no stopping the battle of wills only one of them can win…
Each book in the Things to do Before You Die series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 His Fantasy Girl
Book #2 Her Fantasy Husband
Book #3 His Fantasy Bride
About the Author
Nina Croft was born in the north of England but headed south at the age of 18. She studied marine biology at London University before training to be a chartered accountant.
Having worked a number of years in London, the urge to head south hit again. This time it took her to Zambia, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kariba, where she spent four years working as a volunteer. It left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of regular employment. Since then, Nina has a spent a number of years mixing travel, whenever possible, with work, whenever necessary.
After travelling extensively, Nina has now settled down to a life of writing and almond picking on a remote farm in southern Spain, between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. She shares the farm with her husband, four dogs, a horse, two goats, three cats, a three-legged Vietnamese potbellied pig, and a handful of chickens.
Nina has loved reading all her life and fell in love with vampires after discovering Anne Rice at an early age. She likes to write all types of romance often with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Read an Excerpt
Her Fantasy Husband
A Things to Do Before You Die Novel
By Nina Croft, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
On days like today, Lexi Slater was glad she was her own boss.
Her desk was covered with a gargantuan pile of stuff, along with every other surface in her office. She had nothing on her schedule until her afternoon meeting with the Wildlife Trust people, and it was still an hour until lunch. She could clean up.
Really, what was the point? It would only get messy again.
A sense of peace filled her. Her office was a mess and there was absolutely no one to complain about it. She kicked off her sandals, rested her bare feet on the desk — knocking off a pile of magazines in the process — and sat back.
The phone rang, and she reached under a pile of fabric samples — covers for the new beds at the rescue center — and picked it up.
"Lexi Slater here."
Sadie's voice came down the line, her tone hushed. "I know it's you, Lexi. I'm your assistant, and you'd know it's me if you let me clean your desk so you could actually see your phone."
"A clean desk is a sign of a ..." She was sure it was a sign of something.
"An organized mind?" Sadie suggested.
"Exactly, and who wants one of those?" She frowned. "Anyway, why are you phoning? And why are you whispering? Why not come in? I'm only through the door." There was a little silence. Something was wrong. "What is it?"
"There's someone here to see you."
"I'm not scheduled for any meetings."
Sadie's voice dropped even lower. "This is definitely not a scheduled meeting."
"Who is it?" Her mind ran over the list of possibilities.
"You're never going to guess."
"Sadie, I will fire you."
"No, you won't, because then I'd be jobless and poor and probably homeless as well. And more to the point, so would my cat."
Lexi sighed. Why had she employed Sadie? Oh, yes, because she'd been jobless and poor and living on the street. But honestly, while she loved her dearly, she was a crap assistant. "Tell me."
"I'm not sure if this is true, because really she looks nothing like you, but she says she's your grandmother."
The world stopped. No way. Then everything started moving super-fast. "Five minutes," she squeaked into the phone. "Just give me five minutes."
"I'll try," Sadie said drily.
Lexi leaped to her feet. She stared around the room for a moment in blind panic.
Oh. My. God. This wasn't happening. Her grandmother was supposed to be in New York. She hated leaving New York, hated coming to London, claimed the city held nothing but bad memories. It had been the only thing that had allowed Lexi's life to work over the last five years, the only way her marriage of convenience hadn't been exposed for the lie it was.
Old habits die hard — especially ones ingrained from childhood — and she stared around her in horror.
She has no control over you. She has no control over you.
She repeated the mantra in her head, but her insides churned like they were on a roller coaster.
Why was her grandmother here?
This can't be good.
Keep it together. She doesn't know anything. And she won't find out.
She opened the big bottom drawer in her desk and swiped everything off the surface and into it, then slammed it shut.
She opened the drawer again, scrabbled beneath the rubble, hooked her fingers on the pile of photographs at the back, and dragged them out.
For a second, she stared at the top photo — her and Josh on their fourth anniversary celebratory holiday. They'd visited the Seychelles for a wonderful romantic break in the sun. Actually, she'd gone trekking in Nepal on her own, but it was amazing what Photoshop could do.
She put the picture prominently on her desk and placed the others around the room. The wedding photo. She looked so young and sort of round. But she'd hated boarding school and had spent a lot of time comfort eating. Once away from there, she'd found other comforts. The first anniversary — she'd slimmed down a lot by then, thank God. The second and third anniversary photos. They always managed to go somewhere nice.
In my fantasies.
Okay, office sorted. She glanced down at herself. There was very little she could do there. Not in the time she had. Though actually, time was irrelevant. She'd always been a disappointment to her grandmother, especially in the looks department. In a family of tall, slender women, and tall, broad-shouldered men, Lexi was a misfit.
Swapped by the hospital.
Her evil stepsister had once told Lexi she'd overheard that little theory. Sometimes Lexi believed it to be true, except she'd seen pictures of her mother. While Lexi didn't have her tall, slim figure — total bummer — she did have her eyes and her dark red hair and freckles. Another mark against her.
She made do with tucking her hair behind her ears and wiping her sweaty palms down her jeans. She was plastering an inane smile on her face as the door opened — and there stood her grandmother. Unfortunately, not the round, cuddly, cookie-baking type of grandmother. Lexi doubted Grandmamma had ever baked anything in her life.
She was beautiful. Probably always would be. Age wouldn't change that; the beauty went right down to the bones. She'd once told a fourteen-year-old Lexi that good bone structure was the most important feature a woman could have. Lexi had spent many hours afterward prodding her plump cheeks, searching — in vain — for bones.
Grandmamma wore a Chanel suit and high-heeled pumps, her hair in a perfect chignon.
Lexi sighed and resisted the urge to fidget, which always wound her grandmother up. But what the hell was she doing here? And why did this woman still have the ability to turn her into a mindless moron? Pathetic. Insecure. A wimp.
She came to a halt just inside the room, her gaze sweeping over Lexi. "You're looking well, Alexia," she said.
"I am?" That seemed unlikely.
"Although, shoes would probably help."
She glanced down at her bare toes, curled against the hardwood floor. Where the hell were her shoes?
Her assistant cleared her throat. "Would you like some coffee?" Sadie asked.
Lexi dragged her attention from her feet and raised an eyebrow at her grandmother.
"No, thank you, Alexia. Your company is all I require."
Hmm, why did that send a ripple of unease down her spine? "Thank you, Sadie. You can close the door behind you."
Sadie's face dropped at being excluded from the fun. Lexi glared, and her assistant backed out, closing the door behind her.
When she returned her attention to her grandmother, she was at the desk, staring down at the photo of Josh. She picked it up and studied it with narrowed eyes.
Lexi's breath caught in her throat. She cleared it with a cough, the sound like thunder in the too-quiet room. "That was our fourth wedding anniversary," she mumbled. "We went to the Seychelles."
Her grandmother put the photo down. "I can't believe he has the time to take you on all these holidays" — she waved a hand at the other photos around the room — "and yet in nearly five years he has never found the time to visit your only family."
She licked her dry lips. "He's away so much. We just want to be together when he's free." It may be time for a little forward planning. "For our fifth we're thinking of re-affirming our vows. Josh has always hated it that we married in a registry office, but he couldn't wait. Now he thinks a beach in Mauritius."
Oh what a tangled web ...
She hated lying. If she did it for too prolonged a period, she came out in a rash.
"How ... romantic." Her grandmother pursed her lips. Romance was not high on her priority list. "He's a very handsome man, if a little ... rough around the edges. And when do you think the rosy glow will fade enough for the pair of you to come and visit us? Perhaps we could all have dinner together while we're in town."
Never going to happen.
"Unfortunately, you've just missed him. He left yesterday. He'll be out of the country for ... ages, but otherwise ..."
"Don't you want him to meet your family?"
"Of course I do." Not. "But he might feel a little out of place." She smiled. "As you said — he's a little rough. Not like you and Daniel." Daniel was her grandmother's fourth husband — they'd married when Lexi was eighteen — a New Yorker and one of the reasons Lexi had made the somewhat impetuous decision she had back then.
Her grandmother's eyes narrowed even further, studying Lexi with an intensity that made her twitch. "When are you going to give up this little hobby?" She waved a hand around the office.
Hardly a hobby. It was a registered charity with a turnover of millions of pounds. But Lexi just smiled sweetly.
When she didn't answer, her grandmother continued. "At some point you have to accept that you can't save the whole world. Or buy love."
Lexi's cheeks flushed, but she kept her smile fixed in place. She wasn't trying to buy love. Was she? She liked helping people, and she had the money, so why shouldn't she help them?
"Why not come back to New York?" Now her grandmother's tone was conciliatory, and Lexi wasn't buying it. "We'll hire you one of those personal trainers to get you in shape, and maybe introduce you to my personal shopper. You'll fit in — all it takes is a little effort."
Lexi gnashed her teeth. "I'll give it some serious consideration." Like hell she would.
Her grandmother gave her a sharp look. "It's time for you to forgive us, Lexi. When are you going to admit that we only wanted what's best for you?"
Though maybe, in her way, her grandmother had only wanted what was best — but for herself and her own narrow-minded view of what mattered in life, so totally different from Lexi's that throughout her childhood she'd felt like a changeling. It had taken a jolt to make her realize she had to find a way out before she lost herself completely.
"I have forgiven you." Like, never. "It's just our lives are so different now. You live on another continent, I'm married ..." She resisted the urge to cross her fingers behind her back.
"Well, you can come to dinner tonight. Daniel has a favor to ask you."
"He does?" She couldn't begin to imagine what. And that was another lie. There was only one thing Daniel and her grandmother ever wanted from her — money.
Though usually her grandmother kept the requests to Lexi's once-a-year visit to New York.
"We're at the Ritz," her grandmother said. "Eight o'clock and don't be —"
The telephone rang, interrupting her flow. Lexi gave her a weak smile, edged around her, and picked up the phone. The flashing red light indicated it was Sadie. "Yes?"
"You have another visitor." Once again Sadie was speaking in hushed tones.
"I do?" Gosh, she was popular.
"Yeah. And just let me say ... wow! You lucky girl. I'll send him straight in."
Sadie ended the call before Lexi could answer. Him? A really bad feeling was swelling up inside her. What were the chances? She stared at the closed door, her eyes growing wide, her legs growing weak as the handle turned ...
* * *
The receptionist stood with her back to him, whispering into the phone. She'd seemed to recognize him, which was strange and unexpected.
Joshua Slater shifted his weight onto his good leg, rubbing absently at his thigh as he waited. He'd broken the leg six weeks ago when the cruise ship he was working on had crashed and sunk in the Mediterranean. Now his mind drifted back to that night and the decision he'd made while floating in the lifeboat afterward. Coming face-to-face with death had a way of making you reassess your life, decide what was important.
Maybe he should have gotten his lawyer to send the annulment papers, but he thought it only polite to visit in person. He wasn't expecting any opposition. Whatever his "wife's" reasons were for entering into a fake marriage nearly five years ago, her circumstances had no doubt changed. Like his.
The receptionist turned with a big grin. "You can go right on through" — she nodded to a door opposite — "Lexi is going to be thrilled to bits to see you."
She is? Doubtful.
A case of mistaken identity perhaps? He could feel a frown forming between his eyes. This wasn't going as planned, and he hated the unexpected. Casting the receptionist a last look, he shook his head, and strode toward the door.
He pushed it open and peered into the room. His gaze locked on a small redhead in jeans and a white T-shirt, who stood in front of a big, wooden desk. Her eyes were wide and filled with ... horror? He took a step into the room and opened his mouth to explain who he was — just as she launched herself toward him.
He didn't have time to answer as she crashed into his chest. His bad leg almost gave out beneath him. He braced it, reached instinctively for the door for balance, but it slammed shut behind him, and the force of her momentum backed him up against the wood. Her fingers were clenched on his shoulders, her legs wrapped around his waist, and one of his hands automatically curled around her, holding her in place.
His cock stirred in his pants at her closeness, her smell, her hot breath —
He shook his head. Definitely not what he expected. She was staring into his face, and he had the strangest impression she was trying to tell him something. Her eyes were huge, and she had the longest, curliest lashes he had ever seen. He opened his mouth again as she lowered her head and kissed him.
His mind went blank, and his body came to instant alert, heat sizzling along his nerves.
Her lips were closed, and she was jamming her mouth hard against his. But she was soft and curved in all the right places, and it had been years since he'd had a woman in his arms.
Leaving one hand on her ass, holding her in place, he brought his other up to burrow in the soft curls at the base of her neck. She backed off slightly at his touch. He really needed to tell her who he was. Why he was here.
"Easy, honey. I'm —"
Her lips came down on his again, cutting off his words. Her breasts pressed against his chest, her legs tightened around him, rubbing against his cock so the blood drained from his veins, sinking to his groin. He groaned against her lips.
What the hell?
How long had it been? Too long, and his instincts took over, taking control of the kiss.
He turned her so she was pressed up against the door, his hardening erection nudging against her softness. She went still, raised her head. Her eyes widened, and her mouth fell open, and he lowered his and thrust his tongue inside. She tasted sharp and spicy, with a hint of honeyed sweetness. She was still for a second, and then she was kissing him back, her tongue pushing against his, her hands fisting in the hair at his nape.
Not why I'm here.
A little voice nagged at his brain saying something was wrong with this scenario. But then she pressed even closer so her firm — and amazingly full — breasts flattened against him, and his dick got even harder, draining the last of the blood from his brain and shutting down the annoying nagging.
Unfortunately, it didn't cut out the noise from behind him. He wanted to ignore it. His body liked where it was and what it was doing, and he didn't want to stop. Then someone cleared their throat for a second time, and he went still. He removed his tongue from where it had no right to be — but hell, she'd accosted him — and leaned away a little so he could look down into her face.
Encountering her dazed expression, he gave her a little jiggle. She shook her head. Her eyes were huge, wide open, and they darted from his face to beyond his left shoulder and filled with alarm. Her attention came back to him, and a look of desperation, then pleading, filled her face.
"Josh." Her voice was low, breathy, and his dick twitched. "I'd like to introduce you to my grandmother."
What the fuck?
His turn to shake his head. The morning had taken on a surreal quality. But at least his dick was wilting in his pants.
What the hell was I thinking?
Excerpted from Her Fantasy Husband by Nina Croft, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2016 Nina Croft. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had forgotten about this little gem in my NetGalley account (Yes, I have a lot that I've requested...). I thought this book was well-written, and I ended up enjoying both the heroine and hero. Lexi and Josh have been married now for 5 years - except they're mostly complete strangers to each other. Theirs is a marriage of convenience because Lexi needed to get married quick to someone that wouldn't try cheating her out of anything due to her family wanting to get their hands on her inheritance and squander it. Enter Josh, a man with no interest in being in any relationship who is focused on creating his own company/business. The agreements works for both of them until Josh experiences an almost-close-to-death-experience and realizes he needs to stop being married so he can have some sexy times without any strings. And yeah, that isn't gong to work for Lexi because it opens up the opportunity for her grandmother to hound in and squander Lexi's inheritance. So - how to convince stubborn Josh to think twice about staying married? This wasn't exactly an enemies to lovers story (my fave!), but it was a strangers to lovers stories with a marriage of convenience which is just as good some times. Lexi is a billionaire with a heart of gold, using most of her money to help people and animals. Josh is the strong, silent type who starts feeling protective of Lexi. Together, they form an agreement within an agreement *SPOILER* and decide they can add sex to their marriage as long as they stay married for 6 more months - and then they can get a divorce and each move forward in their lives. Nothing wrong can come of that, right? Ha! Yeah right. Feelings and sex are just the mix for everything to go wrong - especially in a romance read. The characters are just well-rounded enough for me to care about them and want them to work things out. There are instances of them both feeling hurt (am I sadistic because I like it when the romance leads get hurt/jealous/possessive?), and enjoying each other. OH! and my other favorite thing - we get the story from both POVs. I love reading the guy's thoughts heh. I think romance readers that are in for a quick read will enjoy this story. Unless you have a thing against marriage of convenience stories...
3.5 stars---HER FANTASY HUSBAND is the second installment in Nina Croft’s adult, contemporary THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE erotic, romance series focusing on three friends-Vito, Josh, and Logan. Six weeks earlier, a cruise ship fire left the three friends struggling to survive; each made a commitment to go after the one that got away. This is security expert Josh Slater, and heiress Alexia Slater’s story line. Told from dual third person perspectives (Josh and Alexia) HER FANTASY HUSBAND follows the marriage of convenience between Josh and Alexia. Five years earlier Alexia married Josh Slater to gain control of her inheritance but she hasn’t seen the man in question for as many years….but Josh has returned looking for an annulment, and Alexia is in no position to grant him what it is he wants. Our heroine needs five more months to protect the inheritance from the family she no longer trusts, but Josh is a man determined to get on with his life. What ensues is the building of a relationship between two people whose lives have been connected for a number of years. The relationship between Josh and Lexi is one of convenience but our heroine needs Josh to act the part of her adoring husband when ‘Grandmamma ‘ comes sniffing around. Lexi is a woman who has kept her vow to her husband, and with it comes the realization that falling in love with Josh may be the biggest mistake of her life. The $ex scenes are intimate; Lexi is an innocent and Josh has waited five years to make love to his wife. We are introduced to Josh’s friends and co-victims of the cruise ship disaster- billionaire Vito (Vittorio) D’Ascensio, and night club owner Logan McCabe. Each of their story lines will run parallel to the other. Lexi’s life is filled with ‘foundling’ animals, lost and homeless people, and an extended family that sees Lexi as their ticket for ‘more’. HER FANTASY HUSBAND is an imaginative tale; an enjoyable story line about two people whose lives are thrown together by circumstance and money. I had hoped the author would have revealed more information about the cruise ship disaster; as well as the introduction between Lexi and Josh. The premise is entertaining; the characters are spirited if not a little big awkward with one another; the romance is a second chance at a happily ever after-this time –for real !
4 stars I really enjoyed Her Fantasy Husband. The plot was entertaining & I found myself connecting to both Lexi and Josh. They had amazing chemistry and even though they were total opposites, together they made a perfect couple. And did I mention how hot these two are together? Loved watching Josh bring all of Lexi's fantasy to life **fans self** It was heartwarming watching Josh & Lexi open up and share their fears, insecurities & desires and how supportive they were of each other. It took Josh a lot longer to open his eyes but once he saw how his life was so much fuller with Lexi in it there was no doubt this couple belonged together. I'm really enjoying the Things to do Before You Die… series, each book can be read as a standalone. I highly recommend this book & series.
Title: Her Fantasy Husband - Things to do Before You Die 2 Author: Nina Croft Published: 4-4-16 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Pages: 193 Genre: Romance Sub Genre: Contemporary Fiction ISBN: 9781633755796 ASIN: B01CXO4WVS Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 Stars . . Josh married Alexia to get the money to find his sister who got lost in the foster system when their mother when Evie was eleven. Alexia married Josh Slater when she was eighteen to gain control of the trust her father left her before her grandmother and other relatives could squander it away otherwise she will have to wait until she is twenty-four. With the help of her grandfather who brought them together an agreement was reached and they married. Neither has seen the other for five years. Josh holds his vows as sacred even if they were just a contract between strangers. Alexia has used her vows as a shield and lived on the her fantasies of her handsome husband. until now. Her Grandmother is insisting she meet Josh and Lexi knows her family is planning something to get her money. Josh has decided he can't live like a monk any more nor does he feel he can break his vows so he sets out to find his wife and get an annulment. Lexi needs him to keep her "family" of people and animals she has taken into her home safe. Josh find's his heiress wife living in a home with people she has taken in off the street and animals of questionable heritage. Josh cannot leave her being taken advantage of. He stays around to clean out the house and ensure Lexi is safe from her family and her "family". The funny thing is the longer he is around Lexi and her "family", the more he gets to know his wife, the harder it is to remember why he should fight the attraction between them. Perhaps it is not him saving Lexi, but Lexi that is going to save him? A truly emotional story of two souls that came together out of necessity, but come to find that maybe they were meant to be together all along. Josh though he had his life on track and knew what he wanted from life. He likes a place for everything and everything in its place. Lexi on the other hand goes with the flow and follows her heart. Two more opposite people you will not find. They are just two of the many characters both two and four-legged variety Nina Croft has created to pull you into Her Fantasy Husband so far you will not want to leave. This is the second in the series, can be read as a stand-alone. It moves at a fast pace and flows smoothly. Pick up your copy today. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Check out His Fantasy Girl for more reading pleasure.
How have I missed this series until now? I love the premise--three friends go through a life and death situation together, and each decides they must do one specific thing before they die... For Josh, that means ending his marriage of convenience (he hasn't actually seen his bride since the day they married) so that he can once again enjoy--well--sex. No strings attached sex, to be exact. Though some might find the idea that both the hero and heroine have gone five years (!) without having sex to be a stretch, I thought it worked here. Both had a lot going on with their respective businesses, which they were starting from scratch, and neither felt it was quite right to sleep with someone else when they were technically married. Honestly, I found it refreshing to have main characters who were able to remain celibate for so long by choice. See, it can be done! Plus, that plot device made everything that much more explosive when they broke their respective dry spells...which was a win-win for the characters and the readers :) (Yeah, okay, having sex isn't on par with say, finding a cure for cancer or building a well for a village in need. But it sure as heck seems like a realistic gotta-get-it-done-before-the-final-curtain-goes-down kind of goal for a guy who's gone for a looooooong time without--honestly, I can't say I blame him for this particular resolution. Really, when your life flashes before your eyes do you think you're going to wish you'd done more philanthropic acts? Chances are pretty good you're going to be thinking about more mundane--and probably slightly more selfish--wishes.) I liked Lexi and Josh, and thought they were really great together. Both had family issues that led them to believe that they were unlovable, at least to a degree; it was fun to watch them gradually grow to realize otherwise. The glimpses we got of Josh's two friends and co-conspirators in the "before we die" resolution have me looking forward to reading their books as well. It appears that Logan's ( His Fantasy Girl ) is at least partially occurring concurrently to this one; but we don't get much of a clue what's going to happen with the third friend, Vito. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out :) Rating: 4 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
I love marriage of convenience romances, and this one is uniquely original. Her Fantasy Husband by Nina Croft, is a feel good read with a slightly emotional twist. The two main characters, former army sergeant Josh Slater, and heiress Lexie Slater, got married five years ago in order to prevent Lexie's wicked grandmother from spending Lexie's inheritance. Josh received cash in exchange for his marriage vows, which he used to locate his younger sister and start his own business. Now Josh is a success in the security business and Lexie spends her time and money helping others. Josh seeks Lexie out, in order to get an annulment and move forward in his life. He wants to engage in a ton of no-strings attached sex, since he has been celibate for a long time. Lexie needs to remain married for six more months in order to ensure that her inheritance is all hers. Having sex with Josh, is something she has fantasized about for years. Lexie and Josh are good together. They are complete, total opposites that find each other irresistible. Their inability to believe that they can be loved in any possible way could have been their demise, however, true love prevails and they are able to share their feelings for each other. While Lexie and Josh are figuring out their respective futures, Josh gets an unexpected surprise from his past, which is the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed this fast-paced story. I found Josh's character to be interesting and constantly evolving. Lexie is a strong heroine and her feisty attitude is contagious. Both characters suffered tremendously during childhood, and I teared up on more than one occasion as the details of their individual upbringings unfolded. Ms. Croft did an excellent job of creating bitchy and nasty, with Lexie's grandmother as a prime example. Overall, this is a likable marriage of convenience story. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Her Fantasy Husband by Nina Croft was a great read! I hadn't read the previous one in the series, but it appears they happen at the same time, so I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Josh and Lexi were great characters with well developed emotions and pasts. You could definitely feel the chemistry and you were rooting for them to figure it out to get their HEA. I will read more from Nina Croft in the future. ARC provided by NetGalley
My Review: Confession Time: I haven't read the first book in this series and that's okay, you can read this one without having read the first book and never skip a beat. BUT I loved this one so much, I immediately jumped onto Amazon to buy book #1, His Fantasy Girl. But this story is about Josh and Lexi. They were married five years ago. Lexi was 18 and through extenuating circumstances needed access to her trust fund that she could only get through marriage or by turning 24. Her godfather agreed with her reasons so he hooked her up with a guy who needed the money that was trustworthy, Josh. They haven't seen one another since the courthouse wedding. But since then Josh went through a near-death experience which changed his outlook on things. Josh grew up with a really bad homelife. As a result, he wants marriage to mean something and even though his marriage is a farce he's never been able to cheat on his vows. He's had five years of living celibate and it's time for that to end so he goes to his wife to get an annulment. Josh and Lexi are complete opposites. His childhood means he likes control and order. She is chaos and disorder. She's a millionaire, but lives in threadbare clothes inside her huge mansion taking in lost souls and animals. Her parents died when she was five and then was left in the care of her cold, ruthless grandmother. She takes in a menagerie of people who have become her version of a family. It truly is chaos in her house, and Josh gets sucked into it all because he's worried about her. She has a heart of gold and it's only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of that. He can't let that happen. But rather than take care of Lexi, Josh finds that he's the one sucked into her vortex of love. I adored that about this story. Josh doesn't understand Lexi's world, but he slowly gets sucked into it, into her. It's a great story about the power of love. There are some really interesting characters. My favorite besides the hero and heroine had to be Harry. I loved getting to see his character evolve through the story and then there was the whole Toby, the dog, story line that broke my heart. So many feels. This was an incredible book and I'm so happy I picked it up for review. Now I need to go back and read Logan's story...although it would be hard to be as good as this one was. I highly recommend this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this one and thought the premise of the story was an intriguing one. I couldn't give it a 5 star rating because it's just so hard to believe a strong virile man stayed celibate 5 years because of a fake wife. It is a very fun read though. It's well written and I loved Josh and Alexia. These two entered into an arranged fake marriage that was to last 5 years and 5 months so Alexia could gain control of her trust fund. Now 5 years later Josh is looking to have the marriage annulled. Lexi is desperate not to let that happen and will do everything she can to prevent it. The struggle between these two is a thing of beauty. I definitely recommend this one.
4 - "I've spent the last five years fantasizing about you." Stars! Nina Croft continues the Things To Do Before You Die series with Josh Slater's story. Being stuck on a raft with his two friends after the cruise ship they were traveling on sinks, brings on a few confessions, and life decisions. Josh it turns out is married, to a woman he has never spent any time with… Lexi, uses her marriage to Josh to keep her abhorrent money grabbing family at a distance, as long as she stays married she controls her inheritance, but when Josh turns up looking for an annulment prior to their previously agreed divorce date, things start to go awry. He was here to get away from her, not get turned on every time she got near him. After an unexpected kiss reveals a 'straight to boil' chemistry between the pair of them, Josh is left questioning whether he still wants an annulment, especially when all of his Alpha over-protective instincts kick in around her family. Lexi is desperate, she only needs Josh to stay married to her for another six months for the risk to be removed, but with her Grandmothers unexpected arrival and a whole host of hangers on poking their noses in on her behalf, Josh’s decision to end things earlier than agreed could not come at a worse time. "You can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed." I am not a huge fan of overblown familial drama, and the tropes used in Her Fantasy Husband were knee-deep into that territory for me, but Nina managed one thing that some authors struggle with in that although they were seriously annoying, and hugely dislikeable, Gran and the gang did not take over the story as a whole. There was a huge amount of potential for this to happen, especially in the latter stages of the story, but it was well balanced between the relationship developing with Lexi and Josh, and Lexi’s dealings with them did come second to that. "I think maybe I might be lovable after all." My one moan is that the ending was super speedy, and the resolution to everything although expected, didn’t offer any real fireworks or retribution to the situation as a whole. Still enjoyable, but I would have liked Gran to have gotten more of her comeuppance that she actually did. Vito is up next, I am looking forward to seeing what story Nina, gives him. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
A truly unbelievable story. The perfect man, a stranger no less will marry, live apart from and live like a eunuch for five years for a woman he met only once. NOT!!! That incredulity is what makes this story an amazing read. I could not read the blurb without giving the novel a look see. Despite the over the top plot, it worked. Highly implausible, surely improbable but stranger things happen ever day. Every once in a while it's fun to live in a world of make believe. Her Fantasy Husband by Nina Croft is a twist on a marriage of convenience story that was a surprisingly sexy and imaginative ride.
Her Fantasy Husband, Things to do Before You Die 2, Nina Croft Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance, I’ve enjoyed several of Nina’s reads, she’s a writing style that suits me. This is a contemporary romance that’s fun and relaxing to read. sometimes you want gripping, dirty, gritty romance and sometimes – as I did yesterday – you just want a story to sit back and indulge in. This was perfect for that. Josh, he’s a great guy, and recently had a wakeup call about life. Now he wants to get an annulment from Lexi, they married 5 years ago when she was 18, each having their own reasons but not actually knowing each other, then went their separate ways. Now he wants to put that behind him and move on. Lexi though, she needs to stay married another six months. He’s got an image of her as selfish rich girl who just wanted access to a trust fund or something, he didn’t know her and didn’t want to. When he meets her though she’s way different, and his ideas about her get turned upside down. Not only that but his attraction to her is visceral and hard to deny though he tries at first... Lexi’s family, well grandmother, her husband (4th) and his son and daughter, are horrible and once more her grandmother just wants money from Lexi. Josh is tougher though, thinks Lexi needs protecting and that starts off a trajectory that ends in potential crisis. Not only that his plans for annulment are off once he gave in to his impulses on the spur of the moment. Rethink time needed ;-) I loved Josh and Lexi, loved the side characters, even evil gran. Special mention to Prudence too! Every story needs some bad characters in for balance! Its a fun read, light and easy to follow, sparks of humour at times and some light drama. Stars: Four, light and easy romance. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.