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    good beach read

    No one is going to be all that surprised by how this one goes - they try a fake relationship, the feelings start getting real, there is a freak out moment from one or both of them, then the make-up and HEA. But that doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable read. There are some great characters here beyond the main couple. We get Ethan's friends (who are obviously going to get their own books) but there are also a darling spitfire of a grandmother (who will just steal your heart) and quirky townsfolk to add color. Ethan and Gabby are good together and their agreement is a double-edged sword. While they probably wouldn't have gotten together otherwise, they have a connection that they might have been willing to work with a little better without the parameters they set for it. They both have issues that they need to work through with Ethan's fear of being like his dad & Gabby's bad relationship history and they help each other come to terms with it. It takes some doing, and of course some drama, but they eventually get there. I have to admire Gabby's gumption - the girl stands tall when she needs to and that means a lot. *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
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    Loved it

    When a story is filled with joyful, cheerful, life-loving moments, yet the characters has depth, intensity, and growth as they face the realities of life, and it all just flows seamlessly from the pages - how can you not love every moment of it?! Ethan and Gabby are both charismatic, considerate, kind-hearted people, so easy to like and fall in love with. The chemistry between them is off the charts, the attraction is sizzling between them. But there's more to them than just pretend relationship and intense physical attraction. And everyone else can see it, sense it, and witness it every time Ethan and Gabby are in the same room, yet they live in denial. And Ethan's Granny. What a lady. The way she cared for everyone, looked after them, and shared her wisdom, her bucket list, her adventures, she nearly stole the show completely. (On a personal note, one of Granny's bucket list items is to visit Biltmore Estate in Asheville - I just want to thank the author for taking me back to my old stomping grounds for a moment, it made me smile). But there's more to the story than just hot North Carolina summer days, there are serious matters of domestic abuse, the survival of it, and the survival guilt. Just like Granny's destiny, it breaks your heart a bit. The author has dealt with the issue with respect towards the victims and survivors. I loved the upbeat tone of the tale, the gleeful moments of fulfilling dreams, the thrill of facing and conquering your fears, the bliss of falling in love, it all made me smile, even laugh out loud couple times. Yet the story touched my heart with the life-battered souls, the sorrow from losing a loved one, and the growing pains from the raw deals of life. ​A dazzling and addictive tale, that made me want to update my bucket list and inspired to live every moment to the fullest. ~ Five Spoons

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