Former surgeon and self-professed life-long bachelor Evan Manning has one thing on his mind—to reclaim the career that a car accident stole from him. But when he's forced to return to his hometown of Red River, Evan comes face-to-face with the gorgeous woman who's haunted his dreams for the last year—the woman he rescued from the burning car that injured his hand. Now Evan needs her help. In a month, he'll have the job opportunity of a lifetime...he just needs a wife to get it.
Artist Grace Matheson is down on her luck again…until she walks into Evan Manning's office. When her sexy former hero hears that she needs work, he offers her a job and a home—if she'll pretend she's his fiancée. Grace knows she shouldn't fall for him. Once the month is up, Evan will be back to his old life. But the more time they spend together, the more real their feelings become—and the more likely heartbreak is.
Each book in the Red River series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 A Risk Worth Taking
Book #2 The Best Man's Baby
Book #3 The Doctor's Fake Fiancee
Book #4 The Rebel's Return
About the Author
Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto. She is a mother to two young children, one very disorderly feline, and wife to her very own hero. Victoria attended Queen's University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She then earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of her first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized by Entangled in 2012. Victoria is living her dream-staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters. Victoria would love to hear from her readers! You can visit her at www.victoriajames.ca or Twitter @vicjames101 or send her an email at Victoria@victoriajames.ca.
Read an Excerpt
The Doctor's Fake Fiancee
A Red River Novel
By Victoria James, Tracy Montoya, Alethea Spiridon Hopson
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Victoria James
All rights reserved.
Dr. Evan Manning hung up the phone and cursed loudly inside his empty office. There was no way around it: if he wanted to restore his position at the top, he needed to find a wife. Or fiancée. By next week.
But first he was going to have to deal with a full day of patients. He scowled at his computer screen and fought the urge to jam his fist in his mouth. His eyes glazed over as he read the roster of upcoming appointments:
9:00 a.m. — Eunice Jacobs: Toe fungus 9:20 a.m. — Crystal Boon: Warts 9:40 a.m. — Jeremy Morris: Hemorrhoids
He stopped reading and dragged his hands down his face with a loud groan. There was precisely one month left of this monotony. These were the kind of medical issues he'd never had to deal with in the ER. There was no adrenaline rush in prescribing hemorrhoid cream and more fiber. When his mentor, the doctor that he'd admired as a child and had stayed in close contact with professionally and personally, had suffered a mild heart attack and had asked Evan to fill in for him for a month to six weeks, Evan had readily agreed. The timing had been ideal, really. He was about to make a major career move, and the dead-crawl pace in Red River would give him the extra time to ensure he got what he was after.
But small-town, family practice was definitely not what he'd expected: it was much worse. People in Red River were all about long conversations and getting into everyone else's business.
A short, quick rap on the door reminded him that he was a professional, and small-town horror or not, he had a job to do. He composed himself and swiveled on the worn chair to look at Sheila, the receptionist standing in the doorway. Her tightly curled gray hair seemed to stand on end as she frowned at him. He attempted a smile, but her glower only deepened. He took a deep breath and pretended he was a patient man.
"Dr. Manning, this is my official notice of resignation," she announced with a huff, walking forward and slapping a letter on his desk. He tore his gaze away from her angry face to the envelope on his desk. He had been here less than a week, and the receptionist of almost thirty-five years was quitting.
"Sheila, you can't resign — "
"I can, and I will. You may be easy on the eyes, young man, but I'm past the age where my hormones will respond to those baby blues of yours. In all my years working with Dr. Chalmers, I have never been so patronized or overworked — "
"I didn't patronize you. I know you're an invaluable part of this practice. As for being overworked, I'm sorry, but I just noticed that there were many files and systems that needed updating. I thought it would be nice to get this place up to speed before Dr. Chalmers returns from his sick leave." Actually he thought the way this entire place was run was archaic and without any kind of discipline. Judging by her herculean stance, she wasn't in the mood to be criticized.
"Well, I do not appreciate working under a dictator. Maybe this kind of thing is acceptable in the city where you're barking out orders in the ER, but this is Red River. Here we take the time to say good morning and ask about your family and talk about the weather. I will remind you, Evan Manning, that I knew you when you were running around in diapers, trying to keep up with those older brothers of yours." She paused for a moment, and he sincerely hoped it was the end of her tirade. But then she puffed up her chest, and he braced himself. "You were much sweeter then."
For chrissakes. The constant reminders that everyone knew him when he was a child drove him nuts. He'd been back for all of one week, and he was ready to enter the witness protection program to ensure no one would ever find him again. Her voice screeched on, and he glanced over at his computer display, wondering if there was a way he could switch the screens and get to his email account without Sheila noticing. He nodded seriously at her, when he heard the words "settle down," and slowly placed his hand on the mouse, his eyes not leaving hers. And then she swatted him with a medical file.
"Are you even listening to me? This is what I'm talking about — I refuse to work for a person who can't even be bothered to make eye contact with me."
He looked at her, squarely. "I have been listening to you."
Her eyes narrowed to little blue slits, and he braced himself for another unsolicited opinion. "Do you know what's wrong with you, Evan Manning?"
Sheila seemed to think that because she and his mother had been friends, and that she'd seen him in diapers, she was qualified to give him life advice. He stretched his legs out in front of him, forcing his muscles to relax and his mind to numb. "Please tell me, Sheila. What's wrong with me?"
"You need a wife. A family."
Exactly right. Had she been eavesdropping on his phone conversation? When his Good Samaritan stint in Red River was over, he would hopefully be on his way to running North America's most exclusive plastic-surgery clinics. All he needed in order to seal the deal was to convince the head of Medcorp that Evan Manning was a family man, the ideal choice to oversee the network of clinics for the wealthy, family-owned company. Then his career would be back on track. Sure, his surgery days were over after the accident, but he'd be at the top again. And that was the most important thing.
You need to be the best. You are bigger than this small town. Don't disappoint us, Evan, not like Jake. Stay focused on your goals. Evan frowned. He hated when his father's voice popped into his head without warning. Especially since he now knew the truth about his father.
"Well," Sheila prodded, effectively drowning out his father's voice.
"Maybe you're right. So why don't you stay, point out my flaws, and then when the month is up, you can go on vacation? Just think, how will Dr. Chalmers feel when he returns to find that you've retired? I'm only here for four more weeks. He'll be recovered and back at work, and I'll be in Toronto — I'll be nothing but a memory to you."
"More like a nightmare," she said, her chest inflating like a rooster again. "I'm sorry, but I'm leaving. Life is too short to be wasted here. I've booked myself a Mediterranean cruise. I have left instructions and detailed notes on my desk for whatever poor, unsuspecting receptionist you coerce into taking my place. So, as the Italians say, 'adios.'"
Evan rubbed the back of his neck, and flipped open the file. "Actually, it's 'ciao' or 'arrivederci.'"
He flipped through the file and nodded. "The Spanish say 'adios.' The Italians say, 'ciao' or 'arrivederci.'"
Sheila let out a choked sound and then whirled on her beige, rubber-soled shoes and marched out of the small office.
Dammit. So now, he needed a receptionist, a wife, and a freaking prescription for high-blood-pressure medication.
Five minutes later, Mrs. Jacob's high-pitched squeal rattled the silence of the small office. Good God. This was going from bad to catastrophic. Evidently, Sheila hadn't bothered to lock the door behind her. He was going to have to get through this day without a receptionist.
He pulled out Mrs. Jacobs's chart as her heavy footsteps approached at a rapid, ominous pace and stood, the sudden movement causing his swivel chair to glide across the spotless linoleum floor and bang into the examination table. He tried to mentally prepare himself for the inevitable onslaught of nonsensical questions from the elderly woman. He opened the door, ready to face the most eccentric patient of the day, only to have her barrel though the door like a bushel of apples.
"Dr. Evan," Mrs. Jacobs huffed, lunging forward and forcing him to back up a step. Eunice Jacobs was probably the only person in Red River who called him Dr. Evan instead of Dr. Manning —and the only person to wear a raincoat in sunny weather.
"Good morning, Mrs. Jacobs." He took another cautionary step backward, needing a healthy dose of space between him and the woman who smelled like rancid garlic. He forced himself to look down at her foot, which she had raised from the ground and was dangling in the air. He stifled his need to curse and grabbed her arm to steady her as she seemed precariously close to losing her balance. Her pink, sparkling sandals were looking more stuffed than a turkey on Thanksgiving.
"I jammed some disinfectant around the nail, added fresh garlic, and wrapped it in gauze. But you need to fix it so that I'll fit into my stilettos for my wedding next Saturday."
He bit down on his tongue so hard he worried he cut it. He had no idea how this woman thought she'd ever get those wide feet of hers crammed into stilettos.
"And where is dear old Sheila?" she continued. "I had much to discuss with her this morning!"
Evan cleared his throat. "It seems she planned a vacation and decided it was time to retire." He coughed. "Today."
Mrs. Jacobs frowned. "That doesn't sound like Sheila. And she had confirmed she was coming to the wedding. Hmph." Mrs. Jacobs plunked herself down on a chair with a massive sigh. "Now I do have to apologize in advance that I won't be able to stay and have a little chat. Lots to do these days; it's wedding time!"
Jeez. This was small-town family practice. Chats? There were no chats with the doctor. No wonder Chalmers could never keep to the ten-minute appointment slot Evan had tried pressing Sheila to convert to. No, Chalmers had people booked in twenty-minute slots. Twenty minutes with Eunice Jacobs would make him retire early.
He tried to concentrate on the examination of her foot, but his mind was on his current issues. He needed a receptionist. Today.
Tomorrow he could worry about finding a wife.
* * *
Grace pulled the key out of her car ignition, and the engine sputtered and coughed until it was completely silent. She said a silent prayer that it would actually start up again and get them home to Toronto. This car was on its last leg, and she knew for certain that she would soon be relying on public transit. Which might be for the best considering the cost of gas these days.
She glanced in her rearview mirror at Christopher, who was still asleep. The three-hour car ride from Toronto to Red River had been filled with nonstop questions, complaints, and one washroom stop. She was partly to blame, because they could have arrived a lot quicker if she'd taken the highway. But she hadn't been on one since the accident. Instead she'd mapped out a route comprised only of country back roads. It had been picturesque — for the first hour. Then the farms and cows and sprawling countryside had lost their appeal to her four-year-old son.
She leaned to one side and peered through the passenger window at the little white house. It was on a tree-lined side street, downtown Red River. At one time it must have been someone's home and then converted into an office. There was a white, painted wooden sign perched in an immaculately kept garden bed on the front lawn that read Dr. Chalmers Family Practice.
Grace drew a long, unsteady breath and then glanced at the Spider-Man notepad sitting beside her on the passenger seat. She opened it and flipped through the pages until she reached today's to-do list. To-Do lists were "her thing." She made one for every single day, no matter how big or small the day's events were going to be. Sometimes she added even the tiniest items so she'd feel more accomplished. To-Do lists made her think of her mother — Grace remembered her mother making one every day. A single mom's necessity, she'd say under her breath.
Grace dug through her crappy bag that was on the brink of self-destruction and felt around for a pen. The only thing she could find was an orange crayon. Good enough.
She studied the remaining items on today's list:
Drive to Red River
Meet Dr. Manning (don't act like an idiot)
Give Dr. Manning present (don't forget Christopher's gift)
Thank Dr. Manning profusely
Job Interview (don't screw it up)
She crossed out the first item on her list with the crayon. Then she clenched it in her sweaty palm and took a deep breath. This is where she would find Dr. Evan Manning. He was the man who'd saved her and Christopher. It had taken her over a year to track him down, and last week, by some stroke of luck, she'd stumbled across information about him. She'd been at the emergency room in Toronto General, because Chris had sprouted a high fever in the middle of the night and she'd rushed him to the hospital. The doctor who'd treated him for a double ear infection was asking about the scars on his body, and she ended up telling him about the car accident and the mystery man who'd saved them. As luck would have it, the doctor was a colleague of Evan Manning and knew all about Dr. Manning's heroics that day. The doctor told her Manning was temporarily working in his hometown of Red River.
Grace had seen the conversation as a sign. She needed to thank the man who had saved their lives. She baked a batch of their favorite cranberry muffins and wrapped them up in cellophane with a big red ribbon. And Christopher had spent an entire hour drawing his hero a picture.
"Chris," she whispered, turning in her seat to look at her son. He stirred slightly, his dark hair rumpled. She smiled at the sight of him, his faded Spider-Man shirt hugging his thin frame. He'd insisted on wearing it, explaining his logic that he should wear a superhero, since Evan Manning was one. "Come on, honey, time to wake up; we're here."
She turned to the front and collected her keys, dragging her hands down her face as she caught a glimpse of herself in the rearview mirror. If Ronald McDonald had an older, crazier-looking, dark-haired sister, she'd be her. Except Grace probably looked even worse, because she didn't have the access to that kind of heavy makeup.
She attempted to smooth down her curly hair but, when that didn't work, frantically searched her purse for something to tie it back with. She chewed her lower lip as she held a Spider-Man shoelace in between her fingers. It could work. No one would notice if she wrapped it tightly. Working quickly, she finger-combed her curly hair into a high ponytail. And then frowned at her reflection. Well, whatever. Good enough. It's not like she was here to pick up Evan Manning and impress him with her looks ... or lack of. She was here to thank the man. Profusely. He'd saved the most important person in the world to her. Her concern over her pathetic appearance seemed trivial in comparison to the real issues they faced.
Christopher yawned loudly. "Where's Dr. Nevan?"
"Dr. Evan. I think he's inside. Ready to go?"
Her son stretched and then bopped his head up and down quickly. "I've never met a real live superhero."
Grace stifled her groan as she opened her door. The superhero fixation was reaching new heights and showed no signs of slowing down. She helped Christopher out of the car, and they held hands as they walked up the flagstone path to the front porch.
The small waiting room was empty when they entered. Grace frowned as they stood in the doorway. It was odd for a doctor's office to be so quiet. The practice she'd worked at for years had always been bustling, and phones were always ringing — even when it was closed. Maybe this was what small-town family practice was like. The cellophane crinkled as she balanced the plate of muffins on her hip and walked toward a French door that separated the waiting room from what must be the examination rooms. She winced at the loud creaking of the old door but walked through anyway.
They could hear a man's deep voice speaking, filling the otherwise-quiet space. She stopped hesitantly outside the first room, Chris bumping into her. Seconds later, the man said good-bye and hung up the phone. Her heart hammered incessantly as she waited for him to turn around. When he didn't, she cleared her throat and knocked on the door.
The man turned in his chair and slowly stood. He must recognize her.
Her mouth went dry as she stared into his striking blue eyes. Everything was arresting about the man. Perfectly chiseled jaw, high cheekbones, and a mouth that was somewhere between sensual and severe. A few strands of gray visible amidst his thick, dark hair. She noticed the outline of the broad shoulders, tapering to a narrow waist and long, lean legs.
Excerpted from The Doctor's Fake Fiancee by Victoria James, Tracy Montoya, Alethea Spiridon Hopson. Copyright © 2014 Victoria James. 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
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! This book has my heart. From the moment I started it I could tell this book was going to wrap me up in feels. It begins with the accident mentioned in the summary for a prologue that instantly had my heart racing. It pulled me in, took hold of me and wouldn't let go. I love the small town, everybody knows everybody and their business feel. As well as the numerous characters that I couldn't help but love. It was the whole package. Grace is my superhero. She's a single mom who was very easy to identify with even though she's had it more rough than I did in that department by leaps and bounds. She has this amazing inner strength and determination. She comes from nothing and anything she does have goes to her 4 year old son Christopher, she puts him above all else in her life. She's a very inspirational character. And her little guy Chris steals every single scene he is in. He's one of those kids that is very curious and bright and will talk your ear off flipping between subjects in the blink of an eye without even stopping to breathe between subject changes. Most of the time...without a filter, much to the dismay and embarrassment of Grace. I loved how when he would be talking about something that happened in the past he'd say stuff like; "When I was younger, like 3 years old..." and he's only 4. So. Stinking. Cute! I want to eat him up! I very nearly didn't think I was going to like Evan. He has a brief moment in the beginning where he uses the accident to attempt to manipulate Grace into taking the job and posing as his wife/fiancée. I was ready to write him off with a one way ticket to Jerkville. Like I said it was brief though and his actions throughout the rest of the book outshine that tiny moment of bad judgement. He's not perfect, he's damaged but he grows. The way he interacts with Chris melts my heart like no other. Chris views him as his superhero. The strong guy who saved him and his mom from a crash, it's beyond sweet and it's beautiful to watch him worm his way into Evan's heart and watch Evan fall in love with not just Grace but Christopher as well. I haven't yet, and I do mean yet, read the first two books in this series but I do have them both on my Kindle and I am really looking forward to reading the stories about Evan's brothers Jake and Quinn. They're both in this book as well adding a bit of comic relief every now and again. I quickly got attached to both of them and their families. I do recommend reading them in order though. If I realized I would've had enough time to do so before starting this one I would have. There is one family secret that I'm sure gets revealed in Jake's book that I now know but it isn't going to stop my from enjoying it that's for sure! This one book was all it took and I'm an instant fan of Victoria James and I can't wait to read more of her in the future. Thank you Entangled Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
This book is a great read, but of course if it is from Victoria St.James then it would be. I have read Jake Manning's story and fell in love with the series. I fell in love with Evan and Grace too. Well written story as are all the Red River series. Read it. You will not be disappointed. I was given a complimentary copy in return fir an honest review.
Fantastic story! This one made me smile from the very first page. Grace and Evan are a perfect couple even with the baggage they both bring to the relationship. The love and care Evan takes with Grace's small son seals the deal for me. Loved this one! I highly recommend you read it.
Great fun to read this families story
This would have been a 5 Star Plus if not for the editing... Absolutely awful!! Don't know who to blame, the Publisher or the Author... All three books were bad but this was the worst and yet probably the best of the three in terms of story, characters and the emotion it generated.. That said, a great story about Evan the doctor, Grace the struggling artist and single mom (excuse the order), an awful accident and a very happy ending... So much to like I feel really bad about the rating...
Awesome series & wonderful author.
One of the best romance stories with real life emotions and inner feelings ....highly recommended for all.
Really loved this book.
This was a great love story!
This was a different book, at least in the reason the two initially meet up. I really liked the fact that Evan's rescue of Grace at the beginning of the book had such an impact on both of their lives (saving Grace and destroying his surgeon career) and that Grace was so touched by his efforts to save her, she never stopped looking for him. Evan I think had the most growing up to do though. He's definitely more of a bachelor type for much of the book, despite having been almost married once before (and his ex was quite a piece of work), but it was delightful to see him continually pulled not just toward Grace, but toward Red River itself despite the fact that his gaze has always been on bigger and better things (as far as his career). The resolution was nice as well, and I loved how these two finally fell in love and made it official. It wasn't overly angsty in most places, which is always a plus. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I couldn't wait to read Evans story in book 3 of Victoria James Red River series since I loved Jake and Quinn's stories so much. I'll be honest though, it took me a while to warm up to Evan. I felt he was selfish and misguided, especially in relation to Grace, who's practically saint-like! Her name now makes sense to me!! Grace is a single mom who does everything she can to make her son Christopher's life better with their very limited resources. Evan is mourning his former life as a surgeon because of injuries he suffered while saving Grace and Christopher from a car accident. He wants to keep his emotional distance from Grace and her son, but they start to settle into his life and heart. I did grow to like Evan and I just loved little Christopher...wanted to hug that sweet boy! But to me, Grace is the real hero of this book. I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.
Before you even start Victoria James's The Doctor's Fake Fiancée, grab a box of tissues. I'm not kidding Victoria had me crying from the first couple of chapters. It did lighten up, but it might be a good idea to keep them near by. The ending did me in. Granted it was one of the sappiest endings, but it still got to me. However, this book is FANTASTIC! I absolutely loved this story even though I was crying through most of the book. So, if you have read the previous Red River books you would remember at the end of The Best Man's Baby Evan Manning was in an accident that caused serious damage to his hand. This caused him to quit being a surgeon and the lost of his fiancée. Well, if the girl is going to leave after a tragedy, good riddance. Anyway, we didn't know exactly what happen to Evan's hand, so we were left wondering. Finally the answer was reveal. Evan is a hero. All right, we have Evan who is trying to piece back together his life, and he's doing his mentor a favor by helping him out in Red River. Family Practice never held any appeal to Evan, so this is his time spent in hell. He's just biding his time. Grace Matheson and her son Christopher have hit a couple of rough patches since the accident, but they manage to get up again. Grace wanted to thank Evan properly for saving her son and herself after the accident that had change his life. Prior to the accident, Evan was pretty self-absorbed, and the sad thing was he didn't realize it until he got to know Grace. Now Grace is an open kind person, who has rotten luck in her life. A lot of my tears came from Grace's situation, but she's a fighter. She could have given up on life so many times or given up her child when her boyfriend left, but she didn't. She did everything she could for Chris. When hears about Grace's situation he kind of did a scummy thing and manipulate the situation so it would benefit his situation. Evan slowly realizes there is more to life, but he almost let his ambition get in the way of real happiness. I love that Grace sticks up for herself when Evan was being a douche. It took Grace leaving him to realize that his life was hallow. I absolutely love The Doctor's Fake Fiancée. I think this was even better than The Best Man's Baby, and I absolutely LOVED that story. This is an emotional roller coaster and a lot has to do with Grace's circumstances. While I was reading this story I tweeted that about sending my gut to Victoria cause it would have been easier to deal with than the gut punches. This is my final thought: The Doctor's Fake Fiancée by Victoria James will tear you up. If not, you have a heart made of stone. Copy provided by author (Later purchased)
The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee by Victoria James is the 3rd book in her Red River series. When I decided to read this book, I was concerned that I had not read the first two books. I did not need to worry, as this was a wonderful book that read very well as a standalone. This story started off with a bang,. Our heroine Grace was driving her young son to school, when a trailer truck over turned trapping her in the car. A doctor comes to her rescue, and saves both of them. The story flips to three years later, when Grace finally finds the name of the doctor, and travels to Red River to meet him and thank him for saving her life, as well as her sons. Evan is our hero, and he is only in Red River temporarily helping the old time resident doctor, until the job he has been waiting for comes through. We learn early on that Evan suffered a hand injury in that accident three years earlier, not allowing him to do surgery anymore. He is very anxious to get this new job that would make him the CEO of a major clinic. The company is family oriented, and wants to know that their new ceo is the same. He knows he needs to present himself to them, and plots to find a fake fiancée to help him. Evan will let nothing stand in his way, and he can’t wait to get out of Red River, though his family still lives there. This is where Grace enters the practice to find Evan and thank him. Grace has trouble holding a job, and barely makes ends meet. She is a budding artist, but has not had an opportunity to show her work. When she does meet Evan, in a short time, he begs her to help him be his fake fiancée for a few weeks. He offers her a job as a receptionist at the doctor’s office, a place to stay, and even buys her clothes to fit the part. After some doubt, she finds it difficult to refuse, especially since she could save some money, and work on her art. What follows is a wonderful sweet story, with great characters, including many of the secondary characters. Grace’s son Christopher is a charmer, and so much fun. The slow to build romance between Grace and Evan was great, with both attracted to each other, but they each had their own past issues. The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee was an enjoyable heartwarming story; filled with pure romance, humor, super characters, that I found myself so entranced that I read it all in one sitting. I really loved reading this book, and was so impressed with Victoria James writing, that I plan to go back and read the first two books in this series.
Grace Matheson and her son were in an accident and were both saved by Dr. Evan Manning. Over a year later she and her son finally track him down to say thank you. As it happens, the doctor Evan was filling in for needed a receptionist and Grace just happened to be looking for a job. Evan offered it to her and as part of the job, he needed her to pretend to be his fiancee for one month. He was applying for the position of CEO of Medcorp and Medcorp is very family oriented. A little wary of the deceit, she agrees. Being Evan's fake fiancee and working with him every day is going to test Grace's self control. She must keep reminding herself that he's leaving and he doesn't want to be a small town doctor with a ready made family. After meeting and spending so much time with Grace and her son, will Evan still long for the big city life or can he be satisfied with a small town practice? This is a small town feel-good story with smart women and gorgeous, sexy men. I love stories with a strong sense of family. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Good story recommend
Evan Manning wants to focus on his career as a Doctor. Since he's a confirmed bachelor, he wants to reclaim what he lost when he saved a woman and her child. Now he's back home working in a family practice while Doctor Chalmers recovers from a heart attack. Grace Matheson arrives to thank the Doctor for his heroism. She's down on her luck so when he asks her to be his fake fiancé, She reluctantly agrees. Can these two damaged people find happiness as a family? Grace is a wonderful character. Her gentle and loving spirit are her strength. She is first and foremost a mom. Her world revolves around her son, Christopher. Evan is afraid love will make him weak. It was touching seeing him interact with Christopher. I liked watching him with his family. Their dialogue is often humorous and low key. This is the way Evan hides his pain. When Grace and Evan grow closer, you feel their attraction grow along with their hope and desire.This story is wonderful. I was drawn into their world. It was so easy to care about them. I want them to find forever love. Red River provides the perfect background for this feel good romance. All the characters are charming and likeable. This book had me shedding tears. Victoria James writes from her heart. I love reading about the Mannings of Red River. What a family!
I found myself sobbing at the end. I knew where the story was going but still had me use up a few Kleenexes at the things that made it unique. Grace has lived a hard life but she stayed true to who she was and what she wanted to be as a mother. She has lived in homeless shelters before and has very little possessions. But she has her art as her passion and a portfolio that she really hasn’t been able to do anything with in order to provide for her son. There was an accident where Grace and her son were trapped in a car a year ago. Then a man said he was a doctor and was getting them out of the car. He got her son out second and both suffered for it. The man was a surgeon who couldn’t do surgery anymore because of the burns he suffered from the accident. For the next year, Grace tried to track him down to thank him for helping them. When she tracks him down, he needs a secretary for the doctor’s office he is covering for. He also needs a wife for the CEO position he wants for a plastic surgery’s company. So, he offers her the job and asks her to pretend to be his fiancé for the company’s gala because they are a family company and he wants the job. To me, that was silly, family and plastic surgery don’t go together. Anyway, I didn’t like Evan at first. He was selfish. He wanted a career over family and told Grace that. He gave stuff to Grace and a place rent free that was way more than Grace could ever afford. Grace was thankful and the more kindness Grace showed him and the more Grace’s son talked to him the more they got under his skin. But he was determined to get the job and put Grace and her son away from his life. I loved Evan’s family. I read the first book in the series and still need to read the second. It took me a while if not even close to the end to finally like Evan. I enjoyed watching Evan see the error of his ways! I loved Grace’s son Christopher. Little kids can be so honest that it’s funny and we get to see a lot of that. I loved the small town life; the people are so funny when they have known you since birth. If you like small towns, families, overcoming hardships, medical stuff, and finding what you really want and that family is important in life than this might be for you.
4.5 Heartwarming stars The Doctor's Fake Fiancée was a beautiful and heartfelt read. Loved Grace and her little boy Christopher, their story made my heart ache for them. It was beautiful seeing Evan and Grace come together, they were perfect for each other. Loved all the characters and the banter between the brothers made me laugh, loved how they teased each other =) This was a heartwarming and emotional story, the relationship between Evan and little Christopher brought tears to my eyes, that little boy made the story for me, loved him! If you're looking for a beautifully written, heartwarming read I highly recommend The Doctor's Fake Fiancée and all the books in the Red River series.
Reading the teaser blurb for this one at the end of The Best Man's Baby, I knew I was going to have to read this one ASAP. But I was going to have to wait, of course... And oh, Evan's story was so worth the wait! Sure, the inciting incident hinges on some pretty big coincidences (namely, Grace, trained as a medical receptionist, showing up at Evan's office the day his other one quits), but hey, I can absolutely live with that. They served the purpose--to get Evan and Grace together--and the story was just a whole lot of fun to read, with characters it was so easy to root for. Evan Manning is the classic "thinks he knows what he wants but he's dead wrong" character. Unable to continue his career as a surgeon due to the accident, he's all set to take over as CEO of a group of private plastic surgery clinics. First, though, he's back in his hometown for one month, filling in for the man who inspired him to become a doctor in the first place. He's only there marking time before moving on--he resents his chatty patients, wishes his brothers and sisters-in-law weren't quite so busy-bodyish, and believes he is, as his father often told him, bigger than the small town he grew up in. He knows having a family isn't for him, and the only kids he gets along with are his niece and nephew. (Contemplating his awkwardness around children, he reflects that, "Luckily for him, they [Ella and Michael] probably assumed his weirdness was due to the gene pool he shared with their fathers." An LOL moment.) Nothing, he's sure, could ever be more important to him than his job. Oh, and then he thought those four words that are a death knoll to the singlehood of romance heroes everywhere. As he considered his plan to get Grace to agree to be his fake fiancee to better his chances at being hired on as Medcorp's CEO, the words, "What could go wrong?" ran through his head. Yep. They caused me to snort unattractively. Obviously he doesn't read romance novels. I loved the character of Grace. She's funny and friendly and honest and always puts her son first. She volunteers at the places that have helped her in the past--like the shelter she and her mom stayed at--even though she herself is only a step or two above the women there whom she is helping. She ties her hair back with a Spider-Man shoelace and writes her very detailed daily "to do" lists in crayon. Heck, anyone who can refer to herself (referencing her curly auburn hair) as "[Ronald McDonald's] older, crazier-looking, dark-haired sister" is going to be a favorite in my book. Christopher was adorable, and had a tendency to steal the scene when he showed up. At times his conversation was a bit too adult to be believed, especially when he'd call Evan "Dr. Nevan" in the next sentence, but those parts were few and far between. Revealing all of his mother's secrets, though? Totally spot-on. (And as a former preschool teacher, I can just guess what he was saying at school--poor Grace!) The family relationships were some of the best parts of this novel--Evan and his brothers, Evan and his niece and nephew, Evan and his sisters-in-law, Grace and Christopher--their interactions were at times touching, sweet, and wickedly funny. (The conversation Evan and Quinn had about buying Jake a pink box of tissues? Another snort-laugh moment.) These scenes all rang true, and made it a joy to read. And of course the romance was just so sweet and sigh-worthy. Until it isn't. But then Evan eventually pulls his head out of his butt and figures out what he really wants--and sigh. I read The Doctor's Fake Fiancee in an afternoon--I couldn't put it down! Victoria James is quickly becoming a must-read for me. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
so sweet. broken souls come together = HEA--author has surefire hit. MUST READ This story grabs your heart and twists it around so many times until …well, until everything is aces. Evan Manning and Grace Mattenson are IT together. They meet when Grace is in a car accident – because of that car accident, and Evan trying to save Grace and her little boy, Evan ends up causing damage to his surgeon’s hands. Fast Forward to a year later, Evan has lost everything that meant something- his girlfriend & the ability to be the best surgeon there is. Grace has finally found Evan and she wants to repay Evan for his saving her son’s life and her life. Evan thinks that Grace is down on her luck and offers her a temporary job until she can get back on her feet. He hires her to work as the office manager of the family practice he is filling in for with the stipulation that she pretends to be his fiancée so he can land a job of a lifetime. In Grace’s eyes. Evan’s offering her not just a job and a place to stay but a life line. She hasn’t had a good life or really anyone to be there for her and her son. Grace has never had an easy life. She believes in working very hard and making sure that her son, Christopher is first and foremost in her life and with what Evan is suggesting, her son may be hurt. Destiny and fate work together to bring these three people together to be the family they so desperately need. Evan thinks small town living isn’t for him but with Grace and Christopher is in life, he’s happier than he’s ever been. There are some emotional twists and turns and several times I was yelling at Evan to get his head out of his rear because he just was so afraid to risk his heart. This story Is so good. This is my first time reading this author but I will now go back and buy the other books because I REALLY enjoyed this book so much. My rating: 5 stars ***** ****A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review****
Love this book and this is a great series to read
I could not put this book down, read in one evening. I fell in love with the characters, Evan and Grace. Christopher, Grace's son was so cute. Everyone should have a super hero in their life, and that is what Evan is to Christopher. I was so happy that Evan finally decided what is important in life, and might not be what his initial plans were. This is my first book by Victoria James, and I have already bought her other Red River books, to catch up. I was not lost in this story at all, can be read as a stand alone. Highly recommend. I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you weren't sure where to start with explaining it? That's how I am with The Doctor's Fake Fiancée. The book had me laughing and crying and just wanting more. Evan Manning and Grace Matheson are simply great. And oh my gosh, Grace's four-year-old son Christopher is a handful, but in a good way. Don't let it ever be said that kids aren't smart and don't pay attention. A year ago, Evan lost everything that truly meant something to him, when he rescued a woman and little boy who were facing sudden death from a car accident. By rescuing them, he suffered an injury to his hand that cost him his ability to be a surgeon. He also lost his girlfriend because without being able to operate, he was no longer the best. In The Best Man's Baby, Evan found out things about his family that rocked him big time. His whole life he was pushed to be the best. He was always told that he had to be at the top. Now, all he’s left with is a nagging voice that keeps reminding him that he MUST be the best. "Things happen for a reason." A year after having Dr. Evan Manning save her and her son, Grace finally tracks him down. Sensing she is in need of money, Evan makes Grace an offer she can't refuse. He hires her to work as the office manager of the family practice he is filling in for with the stipulation that she pretends to be his fiancée so he can land a job of a lifetime. For Grace, Evan is not only offering her a job and a place to stay, but a lifeline. Grace has never had an easy life. She believes in working hard and making sure that Christopher is first and foremost in her life. They are all each other has and there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for him. Being in Red River gives Grace friends she’s never had and a community who cares for her and her son; something else that she’s never had. While working together and pretending to a couple for a few events, Evan and Grace discover that there’s more than attraction between them. But Evan is only able to offer up a short, one month relationship. Grace is a forever kind of girl. She can’t afford to let someone get close to Chris and then disappear out of his life. Destiny and fate work together to bring these three people together to be the family they each desperately need. There’s this saying that grace will lead you home. For Evan, that is SO true. Evan thinks small town living isn’t for him but with Grace and Christopher is in life, he’s happier than he’s ever been. One of the best things about the book, and there are A LOT of good things about The Doctor's Fake Fiancée, is that the book brings back brothers Quinn and Jake, as well as their wives, Holly and Claire along with the kids. This is simply a really really good book. Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m cheating on Jake by loving Evan. I don’t know what it is about Victoria James....I’ve read three books by her so far and I have cried some serious tears with them all. Her stories are emotional, heartfelt, and touching. She manages to write heroes that you want to be yours and heroines you want to be be friends with. Be sure to have tissue because you are going to find yourself laughing and crying. But it is SO worth it. **Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased review. But also purchased the book myself.**