It really doesn’t look good when you are a relationship therapist and your fiancée leaves you just before the wedding, and it is even worse when you are trying to establish your name by publishing a self-help book titled “The Art of the Lasting Relationship”. For Claire, OCD, neat freak psychologist with ambitions to run her own clinic, the unexpected departure of her fiancée just as the doorbell rings for their engagement party is an emotional, social and career disaster. When she is offered a publishing contract subject to meeting the commissioning editor, who expects the dutiful wife to be by her side, Claire and her agent embark on recruiting a stand in.
Lana is a struggling actress who works as a barista while she waits for that big break, a combination Claire wouldn’t go near in normal circumstances. Lana is messy and casual and makes the kitchen look like a tornado hit, and she hates relationship self-help books. She is everything Claire is not, everything that winds Claire up. But “needs must” and so they embark on a three months contract as fake fiancées.
A great fun read, Jae’s usual excellent writing, scene setting and character building make this a top-notch romance. Not too much false angst, the story line itself provides the tension, and the opposites attract romance is well done. Claire is so self-absorbed she doesn’t even notice Lana is attractive or realise how much she enjoys the mess.
The comedy of the situation makes it light and witty, despite the seriousness for the over thinking psychologist who needs to realise that her counselling advice is better than her personal life. Lena needs to grow out of her anger at her mother and her self-help addiction. The characters are very well drawn, absorbing and likeable, even Claire will grow on you as she realises her own foibles and mistakes. Between them they add up to more than the sum of the parts.
This is part of the Hollywood Series but they are loosely interwoven and this definitely stands alone. Another excellent story from one of the best in the business.
Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.
(publisher review copy received)
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.