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3.0 out of 5 starsDownload a magnifying app for another device or you may not be able to read the texts between the characters
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2018
This was a cute book but it wasn’t nearly as good as her other books (and I’ve read all of her books). It was cute, and sweet but it was a little slow moving. Also, it was beyond irritating that you could barely read most of the texts! Even if you increased the font size, the texts didn’t get any larger. I ended up downloading a magnifying app on my phone, and awkwardly holding it over my kindle . That’s a ridiculous way to read a book. This isn’t a self-published book, it’s a professional publishing house.
5.0 out of 5 stars5 STARS! Witty, romantic, clever, sexy!
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
For this romance reader, a new Lauren Blakely novel is like a breath of fresh air. I read a great deal, and while contemporary romance and romantic comedies are generally my favorites, I read many different genres and tropes of romantic fiction. Sometimes it’s a light and breezy read, sometimes it’s a dark and stormy one, and occasionally an emotionally turbulent story will find its way onto my Kindle. I can always count on a Blakely novel to bring me back to center, though, with an amusing plot, a sexy romance between a couple I can’t help but adore and a healthy dose of humor, and it’s precisely that consistency in her storytelling that brings me back to her work time and time again.
Blakely’s painstaking attention detail is my favorite part of her writing, though. Those little details that make two people a couple – the inside jokes, the ways in which they celebrate and acknowledge their budding romance and their love, and the things they do and say and the meaningful places they go. She masterfully blends all these things so vividly and creatively, resulting in a rich love story that not only the captivates the reader but also draws them right into the story. The thoughtfulness she pours into this element of developing her stories always translates into a thoroughly charming reading experience that never fails to endear her characters in the hearts and minds of her readers.
"He holds out a hand. I take it."
Blakely’s spin on the boyfriend-for-hire trope in The Real Deal was witty, romantic, clever and so very sexy! Theo is gorgeous, smart, and a guy with a colorful past who really wants to leave that part of his life behind him. April was a successful, confident, sexy heroine, who just so happened to be on a dating diet when she hired Theo to play the part of her boyfriend at her family reunion. I loved her sassy nature and how effortlessly she just got Theo. Their whip-quick banter was entertaining and natural, and it was one of the things that made this couple’s whirlwind romance so believable. They were just so perfectly in sync.
"This is what it feels like to fall in love."
My heart thumped excitedly, and my face practically ached from grinning as I read patiently while Theo and April danced around each other, trying to figure out what was real and what was part of the act. That delicious build-up, that should-we-could-we-what-are-we-doing-here back-and-forth is something Blakely does exceptionally well, and it was fantastically executed in The Real Deal. I was tapping my Kindle furiously as I gobbled this book up in anticipation of that delicious moment when they would finally give in to that attraction, those feelings and the sizzling chemistry between them. Blakely did not disappoint—that explosively sexy moment was well worth the wait!
"...it turned into something more. It turned into the real deal."
The Real Deal was exactly what I hope for when I pick up a novel by Lauren Blakely. I adored these characters, I loved their story, and this book ticked off all my boxes for the perfect romcom. I smiled and swooned through every page, hoping right along with April and Theo for the chance to see this romance blossom. The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely get five smooches from me!
5.0 out of 5 starsKinda like a naughty Hallmark movie...
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
Lauren Blakely + a romantic comedy = an automatic must-read for me! Especially a rom-com with the fake relationship trope. Twist my arm, why don’t you. After reading the blurb for The Real Deal, I was immediately intrigued. I mean, finding a fake boyfriend on Craigslist? The only thing I’ve managed to get on Craigslist is an overpriced television with a remote that didn’t work. But I digress... There’s nothing I love to read more than a rm-com and Lauren Blakely has once again delivered a fun, flirty, un-put-downable read. With an unconventional romance, characters that are lovable and entertaining, and a storyline that’s both lighthearted and emotionally gripping, The Real Deal is the picture-perfect blend of humor and romance.
With the looming prospect of being set up on blind dates by her female family members, April Hamilton is determined to attend her family reunion with a plus one. After her date has a last-minute change of plans, though, she resorts to a Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire. Enter Theo Banks, her handsome and devilishly charming new fake boyfriend. A bartender by trade, Theo makes extra money transforming into any woman’s idea of the perfect man, which, for April, is the bad boy with a heart of gold. His job is to convince April’s family that the two are crazy about each other and to keep any potential suitors at bay - a task that gets exponentially more complicated as their ruse starts to feel like the real thing. It’s not all fun, games, and romance, however. Theo’s troubled past soon intrudes on their present, threatening to disrupt their burgeoning connection.
Set in the picturesque town of Wistful, Connecticut at a family reunion, The Real Deal has a happy-go-lucky, Hallmark movie vibe going on. The undeniable attraction and overabundance of chemistry between Theo and April, combined with their quick-witted, teasing banter is enough to leave a smile permanently fixed to your face. It’s the complexities of these characters – the unveiling of their backstories and their innermost thoughts and desires – that give the narrative added depth and tug on your heartstrings. Throw in a slow burning romance with heaping amounts of sexual tension, and the steam level rises to levels that’ll make your cheeks flush and your pulse race. Every element of the story, whether it’s achingly sweet, heart-wrenchingly emotional, or deliciously dirty, combines to make one unforgettable romance.
If you’re in the mood for a rom-com that’s heartwarming, funny, and romantic, read The Real Deal. If you’re looking to be introduced to compelling characters you can’t help but fall in love with, read The Real Deal. If you like your romance with an extra dose of steam, read The Real Deal. In short, just read The Real Deal.
*complimentary copy provided by publisher for an honest review
Shelves read edit Status Can a title be any more true than “The Real Deal”. Lauren Blakely has once again given you everything you are looking for in a story. The romance, the angst, the heartwarming moments even some heartbreaking ones too but when you put it all together it’s an book that gives you all the feels written in the pages. April Hamilton is a young woman looking to prove to her family that she is a successful artist living in the big city and able to take care of herself but to get them off her back she “hires” herself a boyfriend to get through a weekend with them. Theo Banks is a man who is trying to put his past where it needs to stay and look forward to a great future. When he meets April he never expects his life to completely change in the course of a weekend. You will see April & Theo go through a rollercoaster of emotions and a lot of Just because moments but what you definitely want to see is that they can overcome them all and find that HEA.
Thank you for another great read. With every new (or old) book that I read or re-read, you inspire, captivate and dazzle the reader. You grab hold of the reader and remind them why love, hope and trust are the purest most amazing things to ever believe in. Never, ever quit writing. Your words make love leap off the pages. I look forward to many more years reading your works of love, life, loss, lust and happy-ever-afters. Thank you.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2018
Lauren has done it again. ‘The Real Deal’ is a real delight - funny, sexy, with great characters & plot twists along the way. April and Theo have secrets and come from very different backgrounds but their chemistry is off the charts. Will their secrets be their downfall? This is one enjoyable read from start to finish. Thank you Lauren.
This is my favourite Lauren Blakely novel so far! I love their dynamic, and their funny banter, but also the way they acknowledge their mistakes and different walks of life. It was a beautiful story! Wonderfully written and everything you could want from a contemporary romance.