Just for Appearances

Just for Appearances

by Jenna Rutland

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Overview

Just for Appearances by Jenna Rutland

Hot man for hire...

Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys, and she needs help. Now. Unfortunately, her only option is John MacDonald-her high school sweetheart and the disgraced hometown hero who's just returned to Lake Bliss. He's perfect for the job. He cooks, he cleans, and he's amazing with kids. He's also still far too sinfully hot for Rachel's comfort...

Rachel is just as gorgeous as John remembers. But in order for his new youth activity center to be a success, John needs Rachel's help to earn the town's trust back. In exchange, he'll take care of her boys for the summer while she works. Except keeping their relationship strictly business is harder than he imagined. But summer can't last forever, and when it ends, so will their arrangement-and John's time in Lake Bliss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511648493
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/10/2015
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.43(d)

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Just for Appearances (Entangled Bliss) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
MJSanders1021 More than 1 year ago
Rachel and John was a hoot. Giving into what your heart wants and needs is always a sacrifice but the rewards are so much better. I enjoyed the innuendo and the fact that they were tasteful and in good fun. This romance novel is a quick fun read about second chances and giving in to your wants and needs.
sl0873 More than 1 year ago
I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. After much consideration I changed my review from 4 stars to 5 stars. I'll explain in a bit. I loved this book. The whole "single mom and a guy that loves her kids" trope tugs at my heartstrings. Rachel was a single mother who has received a job promotion that required more of her time. The kids were out of school for the summer so she needed someone to help watch them for her. John was her first love back in high school, but they both had said things they didn't mean and left true feelings unsaid which resulted in their falling out and John leaving for an out of state school. She had remained friends with his mother, who recommended that John could help her out for the summer. He, of course, ended up being perfect in every way. The kids fell in love with him and he went above and beyond helping out around the house. He cooked, did laundry and had a genuinely good time with the kids. He enjoyed spending time with them and I loved seeing that in a man.  The tension between these two was so thick you could cut it with the proverbial knife. They both had feelings for the other but neither one of them was willing to acknowledge it, even to themselves. They both purposely held back their emotions in order to protect themselves. Rachel was afraid that if she let him into her heart he would still end up leaving at the end of the summer and end up taking a piece of her with him. John couldn't forget that she seemingly let go of him so easily all those years ago when he had thought she had loved him and he didn't want to be fooled again.  I originally gave 4 stars because I wished they had gotten their acts together sooner than they did. I would've enjoyed seeing them spend more time as a couple without all the angst. Then I realized that this was the way the author wanted the story. It's not the story of their happily ever after, it's the story of their struggle to join together in the first place. It deserves the 5 stars because it does an excellent job of not only telling that story but also developing a depth to Rachel and John's emotions that made me hurt for them and also want to smack them and yell at them a few times. I could sympathize with everything they went through, just as if it was my own life. When a writer can hijack my feelings like that, I have no other choice but to give them 5 stars and tell everyone they need to read it!!!
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim Ten years ago, Rachel Clarke and John MacDonald were high school sweethearts, until Rachel sacrificed her heart for John’s future. Now, Rachel is a divorced mother of three energetic boys, who is finally ready to get on with her life. She just accepted her first full time job in years. She just needs a nanny to take care of the boys for the summer and so far is not having any luck finding anyone. That’s where John comes in. His mother, Carol, has been serving as surrogate grandmother for the boys and she suggests John for the job. In return, Rachel will help John improve his reputation with the people of Lake Bliss, so that they will back the kids center he’s going to build. Just for Appearances has all the makings to be a really good, wonderful story. It just falls short with unaddressed details and issues, being predictable, and not truly original. It’s been two years since Jenna Rutland debuted her first novel, Just for the Summer. I was on pins and needles waiting for this book. I have to admit that I feel a little let down that this book doesn’t come anywhere close to the the caliber of the first book. With the three boys being the catalyst for John and Rachel coming back together, I really thought they would have played a bigger role in the story than they did. **Received a copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
PennySparkles More than 1 year ago
*I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review* 2.5 "It didn't Work for me" stars. I liked the idea behind this book, but in actuality didn’t love it. It felt like there was a lot going on, but at the same time nothing ever happened… it was confusing as hell. We have Rachel, a single mother of 3 boys after divorcing her somewhat of a douche husband. He pays alimony because he’s pretty much loaded but she doesn’t want to depend on him so she is starting a new job. For the duration of the summer break she needs a nanny who’ll keep up with her very active little rascals and still give her peace of mind so she can do her work well. Unexpectedly the guy she fell for in high school comes back to town to open some type of youth activity center and oh-won’t-you-look-at-that: he just happens to be available to help her out during the whole summer since that is the time this center will need to be built. Manny it is! (You know Man + Nanny = Manny ) ;) Old feelings come back, they win over internal struggles, yadi yadi yada… you know. I felt like a lot of things were just thrown in to make the plot last longer. Most of them were left unresolved or unexplained which deprived me of feeling closer with the story. For example, some random girl making a play for him, her ex husband suddenly wanting to get back together, the issues behind their break-up, and even his relationship with his dad. But what really really bugged me was his constant mention of being undeserving of her that stemmed from his daddy issues… This book is well written, not much for sexy scenes, it’s more of those frantic kissing, fade to black…and the next morning. I just couldn’t feel with the characters, they lacked depth and everything else could have done with something more too. It could have been a great book. But it just wasn’t.
Lindsey_Gray11 More than 1 year ago
Rachel loved John so much, she told a lie to set him free. Now she's divorced with three sons and in need of a last minute nanny for the summer. John was crushed when his girlfriend Rachel broke up with him soon after they made love for the first time. Years have passed, but he's never forgotten her. Since his mother took on the role of surrogate grandmother to Rachel's boys, he learns of the nanny dilemma. One look at Rachel and all those old feelings came rushing back. What he didn't know was the same thing happened to her. Over the course of the summer, Rachel and John get to know each other again. Rutland creates an epic level of sexual tension as the two fumble their way through the hot summer nights. The burn is slow, but completely necessary for the development of Rachel and John as individuals as well as a couple. I had trouble thinking about how the summer could possibly end well for our lovers, but Rutland gives us all the perfect happily ever after. Thanks so much to Entangled Publishing and Jenna Rutland for providing me with a copy of Just for Appearances in exchange for an honest review.
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Second Chance of Love makes an Apperance in this Story by Jenna Rutland. Great storyline and emotions. Recommend highly! ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*** Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys and she just got a job promotion that needed a lot of her time but she also needed to be with her boys. She was conflicted and didn’t know what to do. The kids were out of school for the summer so she needed someone to help watch them for her since his ex-husband is no help to her. Her friend and her ex-boyfriend’s mother, Carol, suggests her son, John as a possible babysitter for the boys for the summer so Rachel can take this job opportunity.  Rachel is unsure- she broke things off with him because his father pressed her hard and said he would because a football star if she wasn’t around so she did what he said and ended things without giving him a reason . John was unsure about coming into Rachel’s life with her children but he ended up coming into their lives and he was great. The kids loved him and he gave 110% around the home. He cooked, did laundry and had a perfectly good time with the kids. He enjoyed spending time with them and did what their real dad wouldn’t or couldn’t do. As for Rachel and John, the tension was so thick, you could really read it in the book, it was like seeing it. They both had feelings for the other but neither one of them was willing to admit it, even to themselves. They both purposely held back their emotions in order to protect themselves. John couldn't condone that she clearly let go of him so quickly years ago when he had thought Rachel had loved him and he didn't want to be made a fool of again. Rachel was afraid that if she let him back into her heart he would still end up disappearing at the end of the summer and taking a piece of her heart with him and she would be incomplete. Will they have their HEA or will they never be together. The twists kept me on the seat of my pants. The emotional pulls in this story made my stomach hurt at times. The author knows how to get you involved and make you root for John and Rachel. I just wish she had made my stomach hurt a little less. Their journey was rocky and the pain from the past was rough but I will say she knows how to get you and your feelings involved right from the start. My rating: 4.45 stars ****
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4 stars Just for Appearances was a sweet, fun and heartfelt read. I enjoyed the characters, both John and Rachel were likable and very relatable. Enjoyed seeing them reconnect and open their hearts to each other.  John and Rachel have a second chance at love, will they find a way to make it work this time? If your looking for a sweet romance then I highly recommend Just for Appearances and the Lake Bliss series.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Such a sweet sincere story!  I loved John in the entire book.  He was so sweet, loving with Rachel's boys and dove right in to helping her and them.  Rachel was an amazing mom who was a little overwhelmed with a new job and no childcare for the summer.  A little matchmaking on John's mom's part and voila instant nanny.  The connection between John and Rachel was as strong as it was when they were in school together.  They were so cute and yet hot with their perusal of each other.  This was a very realistic story but with a fairytale ending.  I only wish two things different...a little more discussion about how they ended things in the past and a little more of their HEA.  I wanted to know what happened next. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
A second chance romance between, John and Rachel, whom dated in high school and ended abruptly. Fast forward ten years with failed marriages, John returns home for the summer to Lake Bliss. Rachel is just starting a new job and needs a nanny for her three boys, perfect job Nanny McHeartbreaker. I really enjoyed the characters, they pulled at my heartstrings. John was the perfect man, cooks, cleans, active with the boys and loves Rachel, but only for the summer. He is quite adamant that he is only here for the summer. Rachel, has given up her life to raise these three little boys, and now starting her career. Can this love be only for summer, and give John up like the last time. I really enjoyed this book, great interaction between the charcters, and even John's mom playing matchmaker. I recommend this book for a light summer read. I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Second chance at romance! As a teenager, Rachel Clarke encouraged her high-school sweetheart, John MacDonald, to go chase his dream of becoming a sporting star by suggesting she didn’t love him. He left Lake Bliss and with him went the town’s only chance of winning a major competition. Some people in the town have long memories and have never forgiven him for deserting them at such a crucial time. Now he’s back and he’s going to look after Rachel’s three boys over the summer whilst she goes to work. He’s brilliant with the lads and cooks and cleans, too! The problem is their past and their ever present attraction to each other. Should Rachel take a second chance on love with Mac, even though he’ll be leaving again in September? Can he resist her? Can she resist him? Does their love stand any chance of a HEA? You’ll just have to read the book to find out! A great, blissful, second-chance romance with past actions impacting on present day reactions, fears and dreams. The characters are well written, their interactions believable and the boys are fantastic, too! A lovely read to relax with, highly recommended! Thanks to the author and publishers, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hamsterwheeljunction_Blog More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story of love reunited. Rachel has her hands full as a single mom and her high school sweetheart has to mend some relationship fences. After John left the Town in what they perceived as a lurch while in high school, he and Rachel join forces to repair his image and to help Rachel balance work with taking care of her three boys. Although they thought it would be temporary, the happily ever after in this book is definitely heartwarming! This is a well written story, I enjoyed the story line very much. Lots of romance and a tiny bit of steam
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this one! The characters really dug their way in to my heart. The kind loving way John handles Rachel's kids was beautiful and I felt badly for both John and Rachel as the truth of the past ending to their relationship is revealed. Single mom Rachel Clarke is in desperate need of help and it appears the only one who can give her the help is old flame John MacDonald. Now if she can just balance going back to work, the guilt of leaving her kids, and the attraction that is obviously still there for John. Oh yeah, and a royal pain of an ex...ugh This is a good one and I definitely recommend it.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
John and Rachel fell in love as teenagers. Their relationship did not end well. Feelings were hurt. Hearts were broken. As adults each is trying to find their way. Rachel now the single mother of three boys, John is looking for help in order to open a youth center. Unfortunately, John has not left a good impression on the town because of his abrupt departure years ago and needs help from Rachel who had her heart broken by John. Ultimately an agreement is made, John will help Rachel if Rachel helps him. What starts as a necessity may lead to more. Just for Appearances was given to me for an honest review. I thought the story was a little slow in some areas and somewhat chaotic in others but still a heartwarming read.
Sheri_B1975 More than 1 year ago
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating. There's nothing like a good second chance romance and Just for Appearances was just that. It was very sweet and full of surprises. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I mean, I expected it would probably be cute and sweet and I'd enjoy it but not to the point where I hardly did anything else until it was finished. Thankfully it was short enough that I could gobble it up in one sitting. I love when books are set in small towns. Lake Bliss seems like one of those quaint, peaceful communities where everyone knows each other and they really care about one another. It's these types of settings that have me really get lost in the atmosphere of a book and daydream about what it would be like to be a part of something like that. The grass is always greener, am I right? With the whole single mom angle I felt very connected with Rachel's character. Though she has a whole lot more on her plate with her three boys compared to my one, still it was easy to like her and really understand her and her feelings. On top of being a great mom with three very sweet and well behaved boys I really admired the fact that she wanted to do something with herself and got this really great job in an effort to be less dependent on her ex, who by the way is a real piece of work. And then there was John who was such a good, good, good guy. Like, I cannot stress enough how good of a guy he is. He has such a big heart and he's amazing with kids and like, the fact that he came back to a town that basically turned their backs on him when he was a teenager to build a community center for kids? I mean, come on! What kind of person would be that thoughtful and that and giving under those circumstances? That's a rare type of person and I was definitely in full on swoon mode over him! All of that said there were a couple things that bothered me when they came up. One just seemed strange and didn't seem like it fit while the other just bothered me personally and might not be a big deal to others. So the thing that didn't fit was the reason that everyone is holding a grudge against John. It was something that happened when he was a junior in high school for crying out loud and I guess I shouldn't give the specifics for spoiler type reasons but it just made no sense to me that that an entire town would get their panties in a bunch over something that wasn't even bad. I will honestly stress that he did nothing illegal or morally wrong or anything of that nature. So a couple of the times he was out in public and dealing with someone in a restaurant or in a hospital they would start making snotty comments about him leaving I would nearly lose it. It was just so childish and stupid of these people and I couldn't stand it. Luckily there were only a couple instances and I'd forget about them when they were over and I read on but after finishing they're still there and make me mad. The other thing is just personal for me. If I understand how it was laid out, when Rachel was a freshman in college she needed to make some extra cash and so she put out a tutoring add which John's parents answered. He was a junior in high school. And the tutoring led to them dating. He was only a junior and let me say that as the mother of a high school senior and him being a year older than John was probably at the time I would have a problem if I found out he was dating a college chic. Is it a double standard? I don't know, maybe? I'd like to think if I had a daughter instead I would still feel the same way. I guess I just felt less comfortable about their past than I had originally once I read that. But seeing as how this book isn't set back then and they are now both very together and great adult characters I didn't allow it to effect how I felt about them in the present. Maybe it's silly, but it's just the overprotective mom in me I suppose. Overall it was a very sweet and quick read. The characters were fun and the setting was peaceful. I notice that I have the first book in this series on my Kindle so I'm excited to make time for it one of these days. I liked what I saw of Dani and Matt when they made appearances in this book so I look forward to reading how they got together. Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
While I found the initial premise a little convenient, in the end it didn't disrupt my enjoyment of this book at all. Rachel - being a mother myself WITH the help of their father, I'm in awe of the woman's ability to raise three children, no, three BOYS alone. She's done her best and understandably is a little overwhelmed as she tries to get back into the work force. Everyone needs a little help and she's not ashamed to admit it, even when it ends up coming to her in the form of gorgeous John MacDonald. John - I liked his motivation for coming to Lake Bliss and the fact that he was incredibly up front from the beginning that he's only there temporarily. I liked his redemption in the eyes of the town, and his reasons for caring what they thought of him - because he was trying to get a community center built to help kids out. These two together were spectacular. I loved the way they fought the attraction to one another as long as they could. While the curveball toward the end in the form of Rachel's ex was a bit over the top and conveniently timed, I didn't really mind it. It's category romance and no one does Category like Entangled does these days (not even my beloved Harlequin Presents). I loved the setting of Lake Bliss and the small-town feeling that the Bliss books all have. This definitely won't be a miss for all those who enjoy such settings. Give this book a shot. I have to track down the first one in the series, so that should tell you how much I really enjoyed this book. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Rachel Clarke is a single mom who wants to re-join the workforce. She no longer wants to be dependent on the alimony from her ex-husband. With three boys she'll need a full time nanny. In walks John MacDonald. Rachel's high school sweetheart and he's asking for the nanny job. In exchange for being the nanny to her boys, John wants Rachel to help him earn back the trust of the townspeople. In high school, instead of staying and bringing the football team to a state championship, John left to go live with his father in California. We all know how important high school football is to a small town. He wants to build a youth activity center but needs the support of the town to do it. Once he gets the approval and builds it, he'll be leaving to build other centers in other towns. The old sparks are still there between them but will they act on that old spark knowing he'll be leaving at the end of the summer? How is he NOT going to get attached to her boys? Very entertaining story! I couldn't stop reading until I was completely done. John is the whole package. He's responsible, sexy, has a body to die for and did I say he was sexy? This book is full of fantastic characters and small town life. I love it! This is my first book by Jenna Rutland and it will definitely not be my last. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
love2dazzle More than 1 year ago
This story is about second chances for John and Rachel. John and Rachel dated in high school, but it ended so abruptly. Rachel called things off as soon as they got physical with each other. Now it is ten years later and they both have failed marriages. When John returns back home, he learns from his mother that Rachel needs a nanny for her boys. John decides to take the job. He seems to be the perfect man. He cleans, cooks, and keeps the boys active. Now John and Rachel just have to figure out if there is still feelings there for each other? I thought "Just for Appearances" by Jenna Rutland was really cute. This wasn't my favorite Bliss novel but I thought that Rutland did a decent job with the plot. She was able to make the story and the characters interesting. I did feel like the story was a little too short and I didn't get to have as much as I would have liked. I did like the fact that John's mom kept playing matchmaker with the couple and then both John and Rachel had great interactions with each other.