Jul 09

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely Review



Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsforHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s thisclose to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?


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!

~ Danielle Palumbo