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Grumpy Fake Boyfriend (Kwan Sisters Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"The title makes a promise, and good Lord does the book deliver... This book has a frank, punchy voice that had me gasping and giggling and screenshotting quotes to send to friends." -The Seattle Review of Books
"I gobbled this book up in a day, much like one of the vanilla dip donuts with sprinkles. It's fun and sweet, and I think it'd be a great summer read." -Llama Reads Books
"This story is adorable and reaffirmed my love of the grumpy hero." -The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
"If you want a lighthearted and fun summer read, I highly recommend this romance and can't wait to read more by this author!" -Harlequin Junkie
About the Author
- File size : 2415 KB
- Publication date : May 22, 2018
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 166 pages
- Publisher : Jackie Lau Books (May 22, 2018)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07BFFH5RR
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #400,533 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Unfortunately, I never did figure out what he saw in Naomi. Naomi is an extrovert who somehow "gets" Will, but she seemed to have absolutely no depth of character. Her appearance, job, and interests were all supremely forgettable. She just seemed cheery and a mite younger than her age. She likes gooey donuts and backseat driving. She throws axes for a hobby and wears an A or B cup.
I wouldn't recall the latter except that Will mentions it. Guess how he collected the data? Yup! In spite of promising his best friend and Naomi's brother that they wouldn't, they did. A lot. Though this is a common gimmick usually sparked by "But we're adults, and he doesn' t have to know," I' m always bugged by these casually broken promises. Why not use the first part of that line with the friend/big brother who's setting up the fake relationship. We're grow-ups, and it's none of your business, bro. Of course this whole trope of big brother soliciting a fake boyfriend for little sister is kind of middle school anyway. My other issue with the sex is that it's kind of pedestrian--standard, not too raunchy description with not enough interaction rooted in character or mutual understanding to truly engage me. I don't know, it all just fell a little flat.
Needless to say, their three day weekend away with three other couples including her foam core ex, promises to be fraught with anxiety for both of them. Except it's not. The friends are nice but unremarkable as is the mildly woodsy Lake Huron setting. The author dutifully describes what they do, but there is no sense of place. Then we went for ice cream does not constitute plot or world building. I actually enjoyed most of the supporting characters. The two couples were down to earth and pleasant with the women better developed characters than the men. The ex was mildly annoying, and he and the new girl friend had some boundary issues around appropriate behavior for a group weekend. We are told of his legendary douchey-ness, but pfft--it takes more than a wall banging, face-sucking marathon to win the douche potato sweeps.
Mild spoiler ahead
What most irritated me was Naomi's need to attack the ex without provocation as though it were some sort of rite of passage all in the name of "moving on." She does all this generic name calling because he was a self-absorbed boyfriend and an insensitive boor at their break up 6 months before. Yet she was the "pleaser." He didn't abuse her into it. In fact, during the long weekend, he's never actually mean to Naomi. Self absorbed, yeah, but that was to everyone. On the last day, he triggers her outpouring of ire by asking her how she's been. Granted it wasn't great timing, but still. . .
Maybe my biggest problem with Will and Naomi's relationship is how trivial their issues seem. They both yearn to be accepted as they are, yet they are each amazingly comfortable in their own skin. I actually like that about them, but the obstacles to their happiness seem hardly more than speed bumps, and that seriously detracts from the effectiveness of the HEA. I don't need a ton of angst, but I do like intensity in a relationship, and it seemed lacking. Hence the 3, maybe 3.5 stars. I think maybe I'm not a trope purist. I read 'em; who could avoid it? But I like my tropes with a twist, and these turned out to be more like downing simple shots. . . of apple juice. I stand by my rating, because my biases aren't unique, and I don't think these elements will appeal to every reader.
Will Stafford is an introvert. A science fiction writer who prefers a quiet night in to the party scene, he's not keen on social gatherings, even finding his family, whom he gets along with well, agreeable in small doses. When his best friend Jeremy Kwan, the one guy he trusts to give him honest feedback on his manuscripts and his former university roommate, asks for a favor he can't say no. The favor? Be Jeremy's little sister Naomi's fake boyfriend for Canada Day weekend at a swanky beach cottage. Oh boy.
When Naomi finds out that her ex-boyfriend Jordan is going to be at a mutual friend's weekend gathering with his new girlfriend she's desperate for someone to go with her. She's had a crush on Will for years, and she knows that if she tells Jeremy of her plight, he's likely to go to Will for help – and he does. While Naomi might be doing a happy dance inside, she can't let on to her brother that she's also hoping she can convince Will that they could test out the chemistry between them, if he's willing.
Will and Naomi are opposites in temperament and ideas for fun, yet somehow they just click. While Will had every intention of keeping his hands off of Naomi other than playing an adoring fake boyfriend in public, in private things get a little more complicated. Suddenly a weekend of fun, sexy times with no strings attached (and a promise not to tell Jeremy!) sounds like an excellent plan. But Will is clear that it can't go any further. He's not interested in a relationship, no matter how well they are getting along and when the weekend is over, he plans to call it quits. But will letting Naomi go be so easy?
What a delightful romance! I enjoyed everything about this story, and really found the voices of Will and Naomi to be authentic and believable. As an introvert, Will finds being with people all the time rather overwhelming and prefers to take them in small doses. He worries that this will cause problems for him and Naomi at the weekend away when he prefers to spend some time on his own, but to his relief Naomi is perfectly content to let him enjoy his peace and quiet when he needs it. It's the first sign that she's not like the other women he's dated who have tried to change him into someone he's not. Naomi is an extrovert who likes the people and the parties and the social atmosphere but still understands him. He can't deny that adds an extra attraction to what he's already feeling for her.
Though Naomi and Will have known each other peripherally for years, their time together is when they really get to know each other. This is an insta-love romance, the kind where a sizzling sexual attraction leads to some steamy scenes and quick emotional attachment. When the weekend is over, Will thinks he'll be able to put Naomi out of his mind, but she's already firmly found a place in his heart. Still, he screws things up (they always do!) and must make amends to fix things so they get their happy ending. If you want a lighthearted and fun summer read, I highly recommend this romance and can't wait to read more by this author!
Will is definitely an introvert. As a matter of fact, he reminds me a lot of my adult son. That ultimately gives me hope that he too can have a HEA someday despite his preference to stay home alone. Naomi is bubbly and social and I loved her confidence.
I really enjoyed this book. It was my first time reading this author, but I felt like the characters and plot were tight. There was some humor as the characters bantered back and forth. There was also plenty of heat. I enjoyed the cultural references of Naomi and her friends. I love seeing a diverse character group in a book, and this one doesn't disappoint. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Top reviews from other countries
This book was a lovely light hearted read. The two main characters were especially likable and I loved that Will was kind of grumpy 😂😂
The steamy scenes were well written & hot 🔥 A few hours of escapisy 👍😍
Debbie, 1970, UK
A lot of it was a tad predictable and it lacked any real depth, but it was enjoyable and well written.
Really looking forward to reading the next book.