Reviewed by May
Here was a short-term kind of girl begging for a long-term relationship from a long-term kind of guy who wanted a fling. It was movie-worthy. It was laughable.
Julie Greene doesn’t do relationships. She is all about the first date. The parties. The glamour. The high off of a first kiss or being so enticing to a man he just must have that second date. What she doesn’t do is relationship. Couple stuff. Brunch? Movie night staying in? No way. Which is why her latest writing assignment for Stilleto magazine has her in a panic. Because Julie has to write all about how to go from dating to a relationship – something she’s never done and has no desire to do.
When she comes across Mitchell Forbes she sees just another Wall Street type. He’s known for being a guy who thinks serious and only does relationships with women who he sees as potential Mrs. Forbes material. Little does Julie know that Mitchell has a wager going that he can’t see a woman a few times and walk away – no relationship or deep feelings.
As this unlikely pair gets to know each other and sets out to use one another what they find is something much better – and longer lasting – than just a few dates.
This set up of the NYC women’s magazine star writer who needs to find a man and test out theories for an article – only to have it turn out that he’s doing the same to her and (surprise) they end up finding love sounds a lot like the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. There are a lot of plot similarities from the trio of friends who work for the women’s magazine for the tough editor (who has a soft spot for them) to taking place in Manhattan to the conflicts that arise from their unique situation. I am assuming the plot similarities are coincidence- but I mention them because it reminded me strongly of that movie on more than one occasion.
Now with that information out of the way – I adored this book. Julie has a backstory that makes it clear why she avoids relationships, and why she feels content to float through life very superficially. She’s all about appearances and parties and being an it-girl because that keeps her busy and her mind off of her painful past. She has strong female friendships, and I found her overall to have a really nice balance of strength and vulnerability, humor and intelligence.
Mitchell is another great character. It’s rare to find a romance hero who craves commitment and isn’t over the top hot. At first glance he’s average, but over time Julie finds ways that he is strong, sexy, handsome, and utterly irresistible to him. I really liked that he is a one woman man, that he isn’t commitment phobic, and that he had growth and things he needed to deal with just as our heroine did. One of those things would definitely be to loosen up (and lighten up!) quite a bit.
Chemistry was for chumps. Chemistry was what led to waking up in someone else’s dirty sheets, hep C, and eventual absence of a prenup.
With these characters being so different, there was never a dull moment on the page. It was fantastic to watch these two clash, spar, and eventually fall for one another as they each discover that this is not just some random person that will do for their assignment – but the person they were meant to be with.
…. she had to pretend that the topic didn’t bore her to death. If she was going to survive a month with this dud, she at least needed to be able to speak his language.
“How interesting,” she said, leaning forward slightly and casting her eyes up. “What’s that like?”
To her surprise, Mitchell snorted and sat back in his chair, watching her with a faintly incredulous look. “Does that usually work for you?”
Julie jolted out of her fluttering routine, blinking in confusion. “Does what work?”
He waved a dismissive hand over her. “This whole thing. The eyelashes and the cooing and the false interest.”
Right from the start Mitchell makes Julie act real, he doesn’t fall for her glossy act, and more importantly he likes and is intrigued by the glimpses of the real woman she reveals beneath that practiced armor of serial dater girl. As the story goes on I was also surprised and delighted by how masculine and sexy Mitchell is. This author really brought the heat and blended it perfectly into this story.
“We both know that half the chumps you date are pretty-boy models.”
She gave a husky laugh and tilted her head back to give him access to her neck. “And they screw like them too.”
He paused for half a beat, processing what she had said. Then he pulled back and stared at her, looking oddly pleased by her statement. “Well then, let’s get you properly fucked.”
I have one complaint about this story and that was the ending was anti-climactic for me. Words are said, all is forgiven – but I didn’t have a powerful response to the resolution and that annoyed me. As I turned that last page though – all I could think about was how giddy I was that there would indeed be a book 2, and that we’d re-visit Julie and her friends as one of her co-workers /best friends finds their happily ever after. I can’t wait.
If you’re looking for a light, fun, sexy contemporary romance I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s the most fun book I’ve read in quite a while.
Love to Read for Fun – B-