There is absolutely nothing you can dislike about this lovely tale from Davina Stone. Awkward, bookish Alice is asked to be the fake girlfriend of the man she's been in love with since university. They have been friends for years, but he has no idea her feelings go deeper than just friendship.
Aaron is a bit of a tool, if I'm honest, and I spent most of the book not really liking him much. He's so eager to make a good impression for his new bosses, he is blind to Alice's feelings, even though he is harbouring naughty thoughts of his own. When Alice comes out of her shell (the classic, "why Miss Jones, you ARE beautiful," moment,) he panics and becomes even MORE of a chump.
Fortunately, he has some great friends to keep him grounded. In fact, this book is filled with beautifully drawn side characters, from Alice's flighty mum to Poppy (who is getting her own story) and Carts, who supports Aaron even though he is a bit in love with Alice himself. The dialogue is sparky and feels convincing, even though the premise is kind of ridiculous to me as a UK citizen (I'm not sure any company in the UK would get away with those kind of extreme conservative rules for employment.) Still, it makes for a great "fake dates" trope, especially when the people supposed to be holding "family values," turn to be bonking on an industrial level. There are some hilarious moments in a good-natured story with fun characters, brimming with a very welcome feel-good factor.
Alice Montgomery’s life is like Groundhog Day. Five years after graduating, she’s still working in her mum’s bookshop, hiding her stash of romance novels under the bed and pining for the gorgeous guy who helped her over a panic attack before her final uni exam.
Aaron Blake loves to party—hard. His idea of commitment to anything other than his legal career is strictly three months. Until landing a job with the most prestigious—but conservative—law firm in town means he has to convince the partners he’s deeply committed to family values.
Aaron needs a fake date fast—and who could be safer than his bookish friend Alice?
Soon Alice finds herself dating her secret crush, sporting a daring new look of vintage frocks and itsy-bitsy lace lingerie.
Now the heat is notching up. Aaron’s feelings for his fake date are proving anything but safe, and Alice is discovering her inner sex-goddess.
But when secrets are revealed and lies uncovered, both Alice and Aaron will have to work out the hardest equation of all… what this crazy thing called love is all about.