- The Painted Lady Press
- Release Date
- October 2013
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Family pressure just might make her do something crazy...
Award-winning sensuous romance that is like a Hallmark Christmas movie with some intense love scenes
When a young woman hires her hometown's former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can't wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.
New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won't appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge.
But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake's secrets are revealed.
Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?
Nov 23, 2013 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
131 people found the following review helpful
What do you do to deter your well-intentioned mother from setting you up with another dud of a man for the holidays? Well, you lie and say you have a new man in your life and you're bringing him to meet the family at Christmas. Got any more bright ideas?
Jewelry designer Graceann Palmer created something of a pickle for herself. To deter her mother from another year of holiday matchmaking gone wrong, Graceann talked her best guy friend and neighbor Zach into posing as her boyfriend during a holiday visit to her family's home in Spirit Lake, Pennsylvania. But Graceann's plans went awry when Zach met the woman of his dreams and bowed out of the scheme. So, on the impulsive suggestion of her best friend Kate, Graceann let herself be talked into asking former Spirit Lake bad boy Jake Falco to fill in as the new man in her life.
No one had seen Jake Falco around Spirit Lake since he'd left straight out of high school, so it wasn't very likely anyone remembered him other than Graceann. She'd once had a crush on him, but that was a really long time ago, and her proposal that he pretend to be her boyfriend was just a temporary business deal until her family's festivities ended after the New Year. Quite simply, after her last relationship ended badly and left her questioning her ability to judge men and their motives, Graceann had decided she was better off remaining single and focusing all her energy on her growing career as a jewelry designer.
Jake Falco remembered Graceann as a sweet girl but they never really socialized back in the day. After all, his parents were the town drunks who lived on the wrong side of the tracks and Graceann's family had money, social status, and a big mansion on Spirit Lake. Jake came back to town on a mission and with an old vow to show the citizens of Spirit Lake that he'd risen above his humble beginnings and the ploys of the small-minded townspeople who'd once maligned his reputation. He certainly didn't need the money Graceann offered him to pose as her boyfriend, but for some reason he found himself agreeing to her scheme simply because Graceann Palmer intrigued him. But as his fake relationship with Graceann quickly begins to feel real, the grudge he bears and the secrets he's hiding unexpectedly put his and Grace's hearts on the line in a way that neither of them saw coming.
Cara Marsi has penned an intriguing holiday romance that pairs a genuine, warm-hearted woman who is avoiding love with a very private man bent upon personal redemption and misguided vengeance. Though Jake and Graceann both grew up in Spirit Lake, their dissimilar origins have colored their adult lives. Both have been hurt by the schemes and thoughtless acts of others, but neither expects their chance meeting after more than a decade to change the course of their lives. The strengths and weaknesses of this hero and heroine play well off each other and Ms Marsi uses these differences in her main characters to weave a tale filled with emotional depth and light drama that leaves the reader speculating about this couple's chance at happiness until the very end.
From the blurb on this book, I was expecting a lighthearted comedy of errors, but I was surprised to find myself immersed in a tale of a more serious and thoughtprovoking mien that held me captive with gentle humor, family politics, smoldering attraction, and personal reconciliations. If you're a fan of bad boy-good girl romance pairings, you'll enjoy this well-written holiday tale that highlights the redeeming qualities of love.
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