The Real Deal: A Novel

The Real Deal: A Novel

by Lauren Blakely
4.7 46


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The Real Deal: A Novel by Lauren Blakely

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250165930
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 46,618
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With many New York Times bestsellers, her titles (like Big Rock and Mister O) have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. She enjoys comedies, cake and good company.

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The Real Deal: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Equally fun & naughty, this book has everything you could want in a rom-com and more!! Theo is a charming, social chameleon with a slightly shady past who uses his talents by hiring himself out as a pretend boyfriend. April is the aspiring artist who hires him to get well meaning family off her back with their unwanted matchmaking attempts. Both characters are smart & quick witted, effortlessly weaving together stories of their make believe past. They fight their attraction, but the chemistry leaps off the page & you know that this couple is destined to be together. This slow burning romance makes for a cute, light hearted & hot summer read.
SmutCrazy 2 days ago
April Hamilton needs a fake boyfriend stat, before she goes to her family reunion in Connecticut! It seems every female relative is trying to set her up with either the butcher, the accountant, and so on. They all want her to get married and move back home and leave New York City behind. No such luck, since she loves Manhattan and her job. Now that her bestie has a modeling job in Europe and left her hanging as her fake boyfriend, she’s desperate. However, he did give her name to a guy he knows that works at a bar and is also an actor that does side gigs as fake boyfriends. Well what does she have to lose. So they make plans to meet in a park on the middle of a Saturday, plus two of her friends will be there to help her out, just in case. Wow, when she meets Theo Banks she’s thrown for a loop. He is drop dead gorgeous and not only do they hit it off but they have sizzling chemistry. Theo Banks knows he’s in trouble when he meets April. She is beautiful and everything he looks for in a woman. He’s got to keep telling himself that he can’t go any further with her, that it’s just a job that he desperately needs the money to finally pay off some family debts. On the train ride from New York to her hometown, things get verbally heated as they play a pretend game of how they met and things they did. The last thing he expected was sharing a bed with her. What surprised him the most was the fun he was having with her family. What starts out as a gig develops into something else for him. But when she learns about his background and that he’s really not an actor, April will not even give him the time of day. He’s got to come clean and tell her everything before it’s too late. This was an amazing book, as in anything that Lauren Blakely writes!
Anonymous 3 days ago
It kept my attention. I didn’t want to put it down.
AboutThatStory 4 days ago
This was so incredibly sweet, fun and flirty! A seriously entertaining and heartwarming read! Theo and April were so wonderful and I loved their vibe. They had this amazing dialogue happening right from the start that was so cute, I just couldn't stop smiling. They're in the middle of a crazy circumstance and I ate it up. There was such a great build as feelings emerged, histories were learned, and sexual tension simmered. I loved this pull they had on one another, a real connection and how it built and built. I adored the awesome banter between Theo and April and all their sharing moments. It was just so incredibly sweet and sincere and playful. This story had a slow burn feel to me and it was so worth it, I was filled with so much anticipation and couldn't wait for them to really connect. There was such a great cast of characters as well. Their family and friends were all so fun. There were just so many great things happening throughout, it made my heart happy. Also, I'm a super huge fan of texting dialogue and this had it in spades and made it even more entertaining. This was a fun and easy read with just the right amount of drama and emotion mixed in to the fun and flirt. Sometimes a feel-good read is just what a person needs and this was it! This was a story that leaves you feeling full and happy with super sweet characters, a really interesting storyline, and a wonderful HEA. Complimentary copy received for honest review.
ljtljtljt 4 days ago
3.5 Stars! The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely, is a relationship of convenience romance with two very unlikely characters. The plot is good, however, I found the pace to be a bit slow during the first half of the novel. This book may be read as a standalone. April Hamilton paints humans for a living. She is an up and comer in the entertainment business and her next project should put her on the A-list. She loves her family very much, but they are quite traditional when it comes to ways to earn a living. Body painting is something her parents do not quite understand, and furthermore, they are not fans of her residing in New York City. Since her parents want her to find a guy and settle down near them in the suburbs, they plan on setting her up on a few dates while she is in town attending the family's annual reunion. April has no desire to date or settle down, so she hires Theo Banks to be her boyfriend for the reunion weekend, therefore getting her family off her back. Theo is a good-looking and kindhearted man that will do whatever is necessary to pay down his older brother's debts. He is a bartender and an actor, and he hires himself out via Craigslist to earn extra cash. Despite his troubled past, Theo is a go-getter. The money he earns as April's boyfriend will really help make a dent in his financial situation. Theo has done the boyfriend-for-hire gig many times, so when he finds himself falling for April, he is a bit confused. April is falling for him simultaneously. April and Theo are well-defined characters and I enjoyed getting to know them. They are hot couple, both in and out of the bedroom. Overall, a solid read. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Dalitza 5 days ago
With The Real Deal, Lauren Blakely delivers a compellingly feel-good story full of humor and delicious chemistry that will make you smile and swoon. April Hamilton loves her family and their summer reunions, she just doesn’t want to go alone to the next one because she knows everyone and their mother will try to set her up with a nice man from her home town. Even though it comes from a good place, they don’t understand her career and desire to live in the big city so when her sends her an ad link with the title “Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL,” she knows she found her man. Theo Banks has a past which includes a debt. He does well as a bartender but what will get him out of trouble is his job as a fake boyfriend. But after one look at April he knows he’s in more trouble than he ever thought. He’s never been attracted to his clients, not once was he tempted to cross the kiss on the lips line, much less want more with any of them, never wished the false romantic stories to be true, until her. Could she be feeling the same? And even so, can she look beyond his past and be able to have a shot at a true love? Theo and April’s love story will grip you from the very start. From Theo’s wacky boyfriend for hire ad, to their sexy banter and chemistry, the easy rapport between them, and the fun activities the play during their weekend together will thoroughly entertain and have you cheering for them to get their happy ending. The Real Deal is a standalone, contemporary romance by Lauren Blakely. It is fun, flirty and sexy told from both points of view with a happy ending.
BeckyRendon 6 days ago
I am sporting a big toothy grin with a side of doopey glee. The Real Deal has a snort inducing ad for the perfect guy. Don't mock me! I'm serious. I laughed my butt off (if only) reading that ad and personally would have gone to find said stud if April hadn't. The Real Deal is super cute with instant chemistry and off the charts storytelling. You can't help but be drawn into the story.
Susanmc81 6 days ago
Another great Rom-com from Lauren Blakely! April Hamilton is dreading going to her family reunion as her family will be trying to set her up after her last boyfriend forgot to mention he was married. She decides to hire Theo Banks, bartender and part time rent-a-boyfriend. Theo’s part time gig is strictly platonic, but he and April are attracted to each other from the moment they meet. April and Theo have to get through his checkered past, her family’s distrust of him or any man from NYC, and the crazy reunion competition. The Real Deal brings both laughs and an HEA. I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley for my honesty review.
aschae 6 days ago
Lauren Blakely has done it again! What an incredibly sweet and charming love story about two people who find that pretending can sometimes be just as exciting as the real thing! Imagine a reversed Pretty Woman story... In preparation of going home to see the family in Connecticut, April has decided that hiring a pretend boyfriend to keep the family off her back is the next best thing after her bestie stand-in has to bail for a job. Tired of being set-up with every guy her family comes across, all in hopes of leading her back to her hometown and everything she is not interested in... she heads to the family reunion with her Craigslist hired boyfriend on her arm and a great backstory. Turns out, Theo is perfection from the moment they meet. Ready to create any story she requires, it's obvious the sparks fly immediately with these two. Creating fun backstories that feel all too real for a couple that met only a few days ago. Can't forget the family aspect here... some people have family and never see how wonderful they are and never know how good they have it. Some have no family and only dream of being "harassed" by those who love you and it was beyond heartwarming to watch such a loving group of people together. April clearly has a wonderful family and they so lovingly welcome Theo and his family into theirs. So heartwarming, this book brought a smile to my face over and over. Didn't want to put it down yet I didn't want it to end!? Such wonderful characters, I loved April's strength, and determination and listening to the two of them together was beyond adorable. Loved that she was so quick, funny and smart and he was just a sweetheart, afraid of his past, afraid of letting her down, afraid this would never be more than a fake weekend... boy was he wrong!? ;-) Highly recommended read and author!!
UpAllNightBB 6 days ago
4 Stars Review by Morgen Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog The Real Deal is a stand-alone romantic comedy by Lauren Blakely, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. This story is about family and the lengths you’d go to be able to please them and make their life easier. Theo is a bartender as well as professional arm candy. He can be anyone, whether it be a loving boyfriend who wins everyone over, billionaire extraordinaire, nerdy coworker who is just a friend, or the bad boy. He’ll be whoever you need. To him it comes easy, he’s confident and sure he can tackle any role. April is kind, compassionate, caring, understanding, fiesty, and independent. She paints people for a living. She knows it may sound weird at first, but there’s nothing she can imagine giving her the same amount of pride and joy. She comes from a small town and her family doesn’t really understand her career choices. They want her to move home and settle down with a nice guy. April has a family reunion coming up so she decides its best to bring a fake boyfriend to show her family she’s happy in the big city. From the moment Theo and April meet you can feel the connection between them. They fight it and try to keep their relationship as professional as possible while they’re pretending to be together. The story is captivating, their witty banter and easy chemistry set the pages on fire. With each touch it gets harder to ignore. The more she gets to know him the more she wonders if it’s all fake. Her last relationship ended badly and it hurt her. She’s been on a dating diet ever since. It only makes her question herself more. Rooming with a guy she barely knows for a few days under her parents roof, what could go wrong? The characters have great development while still keeping a little mystery at the same time. The story has a great flow and the pacing is great. I loved all the jokes. They were placed well throughout the story and really hit the mark. What pulled me in most was how perfectly they complimented each other but how hard they fought that connection. Theo has always kept these fake dates professional and doesn’t want to ruin something he is so good at and enjoys so much. She is career driven and doesn’t want any distractions. Neither one has much faith in love, they would rather focus on achieving their goals. I would definitely recommend this for anyone that enjoys a few jokes with their angst.
Arys 7 days ago
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely is a fun and flirty story. April Hamilton needs a boyfriend to bring home to meet her parents so that they will get off her case. Luckily for her she finds Theo Banks' ad. Theo is an expert at exactly what April needs. Coming across as the real deal boyfriend, but just pretending, really well. The idea of this story is reminiscent of the movie, The Wedding Date, but these characters are very different. While there was an immediate connection between them, dealing with April's crazy family gives them real experiences with each other and as the lines between pretend and real start to blur we get to see April and Theo really grow and blossom together. Overall I had a lot of fun reading The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely and recommend it if you are looking for a fun, fake to real, romance story. The characters really connected and brought the whole thing together. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
B2BKristina 7 days ago
This book...was fantastic! Pretty sure I have a girl crush on April. She's one of those quick-witted, smart, creative women and I was instantly drawn to her. Theo was equally charming, sexy and smart and funny to boot, I love me a funny man. I devoured this book. The witty comments, just the way the two interacted, their back and forth banter, it was sassy and flirty and had me smiling from ear to ear because it was just fun to read! You could literally feel April and Theo's connection dripping off the pages. Plus it helps that the author has a way of writing that keeps you glued to the pages making it so hard to put the book down. I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book. Really, April's family was as spunky as her, they had me cracking up with some of their dirty talk, I know I would've been blushing if I was in April's shoes at some of the things those ladies said. Too funny! I think April is one of my favorite book characters I've read in awhile. April and Theo might just be my favorite book couple this year as well. They both draw you in and though their backgrounds are quite different, Theo's is utterly tragic and heartbreaking in certain aspects, I'd say they most definitely found soulmates in each other in the short amount of time it took for them to get to know each other. Ms. Blakely definitely knows how to spark a fire and keep it crackling, because this book was a freaking slow burn like no other. When I finally get the blaze I'd been waiting for, I was not disappointed. There were quite a lot of steamy scenes, and a few of them didn't even involve "hula-hooping" *wink wink*. Both April and Theo have quite the vivid imagination and I thoroughly enjoyed their tale-spinning. How they would switch back and forth between stories and real life...loved that. Awesome summer read and I will most definitely be reading more by this author in the near future. Her writing is addicting and I'm a new-er fan. So good! #B2BKristina
carvanz 7 days ago
Do you remember when you read The Real Deal and fell in love with Theo and April. Remember how they were so perfect together and how they played out little scenes about remembering things they had done together…things they had never done together but that fed the little lie they were telling her family? It was freaking awesome! I absolutely loved Theo and April. Their chemistry was instantaneous and despite the deal they had going neither of them could keep things platonic for long. This was a low angst read with plenty of mature humor that had me smiling the whole time. April hired Theo to act as her boyfriend during a family reunion that is chock full of competitions. The games aren’t the problem, the problem is her family is determined to set her up with one of the locals so she’ll stay in Wistful where they all live. Finding Theo was the perfect solution even if their “remember whens” and their pretend relationship did start to feel very real. This was a very upbeat read with some incredible secondary characters and plenty of laugh out loud moments. The steam is sizzling although this couple don’t get down and dirty until 80% into the story. That doesn’t mean there isn’t teasing and tension…lots and lots of tension. So, remember when I gave this five stars because it was exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it and it left me with the best feel good feeling one can expect from a book? Yeah, I remember that too. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and St. Marin’s Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
KaraS 7 days ago
4.5 stars! The book is more than the blurb in this one. April and Theo have chemistry to spare. What starts out as a boyfriend-for-hire gig turns into so much more...the real deal! This book has all the wittiness you expect from a Lauren Blakely novel. It was cute, witty, hot, steamy and just all around enjoyable. Of course there's some bumps in the road and April gets a dose of reality at the part she's playing in deceiving her family, but all is right in the end. Enjoyable read for sure. I voluntarily requested and reviewed an uncorrected advance reader copy from the publisher via Net Galley.
AmandaKozi 7 days ago
4.5☆ The Real Deal is absolutely adorable! April and Theo are trying to fake their relationship, but they can't fake their fantastic chemistry. I love well they play off each other and their slow burn. I really like the build up with their story and enjoy the storyline a lot! Theo has a very interesting background and I really liked what that element added to the story. These two were so freaking cute together and I just adored their story!
JackiesBookWorld 7 days ago
I’m always excited to read any of Lauren Blakely’s books, they are so full of life and charm. The Real Deal was no different, it was witty and romantic. It’s a story that will certainly leave you waiting for more. At the beginning of the story we get to meet April Hamilton, she is a body-point artist who has worked really hard to establish a successful career in New York. Being from a small town, she was used to being around her family all the time until she decided to break away from her small-town life and travel to New York in hopes of making it big. But no matter what she does in her career, it will never be a real job to her family. They don’t see body-painting as an actual career and they want her to go back home where she belongs. After going through a really bad break-up, April decides to not date at all and focus on her career instead. This makes things a lot more complicated with her family and to help her see their side they decide to set her up with every eligible bachelor in their small town in Connecticut. But when she has to go back home for a family reunion, April doesn’t want to go alone and ends up hiring a fake boyfriend to take home with her. Meeting Theo for the first time wasn’t what she thought it would be like. There is an instant connection between them right away that’s sizzling and sexy! They understand each other and the more time they spend together, the more she starts to realize that he might just be the one. Theo Banks never aspired to be an actor, but he is really good at it and if it pay the bills he’ll do just about anything. When he needs the money to pay off a debt, Theo posts an ad on Craigslist in hopes of getting hired. When his friend calls him for a gig, he immediately accepts and decides to meet April the next day. From that moment on, he has been going crazy over her and he doesn’t know what to do about it. He needs the money and he can’t get himself involved with a client. But when he meets her family, they are all nice to him and he feels like he belongs with them. Something that he hasn’t been able to feel after his parents passed away. Yet there is something that he is not telling April, something that could damage what they have and he’ll have convince her that he might just be the right guy for her before it’s too late. I absolutely loved this book, it was sweet and funny! Lauren Blakely knows how to deliver a great story and she did it again with The Real Deal. April is the creative one in her family and wanting to make a career out of it makes her relatable to anyone who has felt the same way. It’s clear that she has a loving family that want the best for her, yet they don’t understand what she does. In the story we get to see them interact and it was so much fun to read. Their family reunion is not your typical reunion and that’s what made the story that much more entertaining to read. What I love the most about this story was the moments that we get with just the two main characters. It was romantic and swoon worthy. Theo is not your typical bad boy, he is just very charming and likable. There are problems along the way, but they help each other and it all works out in the end. The ending was very creative and it totally fit the vive of the story very well. I highly recommend reading this story and any others by the author. You will not regret it! :) ***ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.***
tsmb02 7 days ago
April Hamilton is living in New York City much to the dismay of her parents. They want their little girl to find a great guy and settle back in their hometown of Wistful, CT. Too bad April enjoys her life in NY, especially her job of painting people. When April has to go back home for the annual family reunion, she decides to hire a pretend boyfriend for the weekend long celebration that her friend Xavier recommended. Enter Theo Banks. He will play any part, bad boy, guy next store, etc based on each person situational needs, but never anything emotional or physical. So what happens when Theo first meets April.....BAM....instant attraction. This attraction will make the job easy to pretend, but also hard because he wants more from April than what they agreed to. Over the course of the weekend, April and Theo are having a hard time keeping their hands off of each other. When they finally give in to their desires, the past will come back to haunt them. This was such a great, fun, sexy story that I laughed out loud at many times. I just adored both Theo and April. They were both jaded from events in their pasts, but together they were able to move forward. Read this, you won't regret it!
astroyic 7 days ago
Fun, Entertaining and Hot! This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely won’t be my last. This was such a fun, entertaining, sexy, and heartwarming story. 
With lovable, and unique characters and a utterly, charming and entertaining, family reunion that keeps the funny times coming and coming as her family, falls, for her fake date, and their fake date, turns into the real deal. But when secrets come to light, will love save the day? 
It was LOL. hilarious, full of rapid, fire, wit and flirty banter as well as exquisitely playful and enticing moments that made me giddy and breathless. It was so easy getting lost in these characters and their wonderfully crafted conversations and their special connection and I didn’t want it to end. Loved and so will you. 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
gabby2846 7 days ago
Lauren Blakely never ceases to entertain me! She has done it once again with The Real Deal. I loved this book!! It has everything I love in a rom com. She brings the sass, the fun, the family feels, and the heart along with her outstanding characters and addictive dialogue. The Real Deal is one more must read by this author! April is a sassy, independent body painter in the middle of a dating diet. When she has to go back home for a family reunion, she hires a Theo off Craigslist to pretend to be her boyfriend and buffer to ward off her nosey, meddling, matchmaking family. The chemistry between these two is insane right off the bat. I could not get enough of Theo and April's storytelling. My favorite, favorite, FAVORITE thing to read is witty banter and easy flowing conversations. Lauren is a master at this. Every piece of dialogue was pure gold. Addicting and fun! My goodness! The way these two continuously concocted their story so effortlessly made my heart sing. It was like they shared a mind. I just love them so much! It is not hard to fall for a Blakely hero. I've fallen for plenty. However, there is something extra special about Theo. I love his charm, his sex appeal, his fun accents and talents, more than that though, I love that he has a past; that he's not as squeaky clean as some of her other heroes. Yet, he is still a genuine good guy. I swooned with the pride he showed for April's job. I loved how he was quick to defend her work to her family. He is definitely one of my new favorite heroes. It's weird to say The Real Deal is a slow burn considering the story takes place in a span of five days but it feels like one. Lauren Blakely did a fantastic job building the connection between Theo and April with all their touches, just because kisses, and their sexy storytelling. I was salivating over here, eagerly waiting for this insane connection to finally erupt. When it does, it was simply delicious. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. It's classic Lauren Blakely with a little extra flair. LOVED it!!
Stacyotr 7 days ago
The Real Deal was one of those dreams come true books. When I was reading it, I was thinking how cool it would be to have this happen. When you least expect it and it’s the farthest thing from what you thought you want and needed and bam, you find yourself hoping and wishing what you are pretending is “the real deal.” The Real Deal is hot, sexy, swoony, and sweet. It’s also filled with well meaning, over the top family that makes the story. I think I wanted it to be real even more than April and Theo!! This is a 5 star must read!
D-does-reviews 7 days ago
I can’t think of another author who is more prolific than Lauren Blakely! While most of her books stand alone, I love the fact that I get to read a new book of hers on a quarterly basis and they’re all absolutely fabulous! In The Real Deal we meet an unlikely hero with a checkered past who is playing by the book without involving his heart, until he meets a woman who is the real deal. April loves her family but she hates when they try to set her up with single guys, hoping she’ll fall in love and move home to their little town in Connecticut, which is why she needs Theo as a buffer. Little does she know that this year’s family reunion will be filled with fun, games and love because Theo is the real deal too! A fun, flirty, sexy new standalone that grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. I read an early copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
EileenAW 7 days ago
The Real Deal is pure Lauren Blakely, filled with hot guys, sexy times, secrets and lots and lots of humor. I loved the games and stories April and Theo created as part of their “pretend” relationship. Of course what’s supposed to be pretend might just be the real thing which could ruin the entire business-like agreement between these two. After tragedy struck Theo and his brother Heath, they learned how to survive and make a future for themselves, whether legally or not so much. Theo had a variety of talents that were amazing. April was also a creative soul preferring to paint bodies rather than canvases. I also found April’s competitive family to be quite Norman Rockwell and loved the way her dad treated Theo, over-working him and making him know that April was his baby. I loved, loved, loved the way Theo re-enacted scenes from their pretend games, proving to April how much she affected him with words, imagery, and chemistry. Ms. Blakely wrote a wonderfully funny love story that drew me into her book and the lives of her characters, making me forget the world around me. I had trouble putting this book down, turning page after page, not letting go until I turned the last page, still wanting more. I highly recommend this book to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
mamalovestoread22 7 days ago
The annual Hamilton family reunion is approaching, and April Hamilton is a little weary about returning home without a date on her arm for the festivities, it would be so much easier if she were dating someone that she could take home to meet her family. But after her last relationship ended in disaster she decided to stray away from men for a while and focus on herself and her work. Then a friend suggests she hire a date for the festivities, so she hits up a website, and finds herself a fake boyfriend... and a whole lot more that she bargained for, her fake date might just be her soul mate! Theo Banks burns the candle at both ends, working two jobs to make ends meet, and to try and pay off an insurmountable debt that has been haunting him for a while now... and he is so close to being debt free, he just needs one more date for hire job to make it happen. Then out of the blue he receives a call from a woman in need of a buffer, someone who can make her overbearing family believe that they are madly in love, and she hopes he is the man who can help her with that. It sounds like an easy enough job so he signs up for it, packs his bags and is ready to head off and meet the family... sounds like a perfect little getaway! The Real Deal was an absolute delight, the moment I cracked the cover I found myself completely mesmerized by these amazing characters, and their little adventure! These two were quite the pair, neither looking for love, but the moment they met they knew there was something there that could not be denied, it started off as a game of pretend, and quickly became something a whole lot hotter! It was so much fun to watch them navigate these new feelings, and being bombarded with questions from April's family, they had me giggling, swooning, and smiling throughout! I highly recommend you get your hands on this one, it's a lighthearted tale certain to leave your heart overflowing!! I requested an advanced copy of this title, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest opinion.
Sandy-thereadingcafe 7 days ago
3.75 stars--THE REAL DEAL by Lauren Blakely is a contemporary, adult, stand alone, romantic comedy story line focusing on body painter April Hamilton, and twenty eight year old bartender Theo Banks. Told from dual first person perspectives (April and Theo) THE REAL DEAL follows the fake relationship between twenty-eight year olds body painter April Hamilton, and bartender Theo Banks. April Hamilton dreads the annual family reunion where she will knowingly become the target of her mother and aunt’s need to play matchmaker to her self-imposed singlehood. Hoping to avoid said matchmaking April answers a Craigslist ad offering a boyfriend-for-hire, the perfect foil to the family busybodies. Enter bartender and ‘actor’ Theo Banks, the man with whom April will fall in love. What ensues is the fake to real relationship between April and Theo, and the fall-out as Theo’s past reveals more than he had hoped to tell. Theo Banks is in desperate need of a financial infusion when his brother’s past comes looking for payment. A boyfriend for hire as finds our hero coming face to race with his future, a future that will all but be destroyed when his brother unknowingly reveals the truth. Theo doesn’t do relationships, and lets April know that the boyfriend for hire is only a platonic arrangement, a platonic arrangement that turns into something more. The relationship between Theo and April is fun and flirty; sexy and sassy that continues to push the boundaries of their platonic arrangement. Theo and April compliment one another; work together as though they have known one another for a lifetime, and in the end the palpable sexual attraction cannot denied. The $ex scenes are passionate and seductive, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. THE REAL DEAL is a fake romance trope; a passionate and heart warming story line of family, friendship, forgiveness and love. The premise is entertaining, engaging and fun; the romance is intimate; the characters are colorful and sassy. THE REAL DEAL is an enjoyable, inspiring and uplifting story line.
LilleyLoohLah 7 days ago
Sweet, sexy, funny and addictive. Definitely addictive, I could not put this book down. The story, a fake boyfriend for hire, was not in anyway unusual, both Theo and April had their reasons for doing this and they were hell bent on not being in a real relationship with each other, or anyone else for that matter. I fell instantly in love with Theo, I loved his sense of humour, his inadequacies, his loyalty and the way I imagine he looks. April too, had an awesome sense of humour, their banter and conversations together were heartwarming, they certainly made my heart go pitter patter. I especially loved their imaginary world. April’s family were wonderful, they gave me many laugh out loud moments. I loved the writing. Perfect. This book really is The Real Deal. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is my honest review.