My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh this book is utterly brilliant, ridiculous in all the best ways, and has a plot which could come straight out of a Hallmark movie script – but it just works beautifully.
I had the biggest smile on my face from start to finish as this story unfolded. It has a wonderful found family at the heart of it.
Christian and his friends live in a shared house they call Big-Boned Bertha, all misfits and rejects with an artistic streak, they’ve come together to create a wonderfully solid group of people who support and love each other without expectation.
When Christian gets an invite to his cousin’s wedding, he’s anxious about seeing his parents, a decade after they threw him out for being gay, and so he hires someone to pretend to be his partner, a successful man with an active social media presence.
Unfortunately, the guy doesn’t show because of illness and Christian’s floundering until a Prince Charming steps in.
Émile has escaped from a memorial event for his late grandfather, his family giving new meaning to the definition of toxic, and he’s overheard Christian’s anguished cries and thinks that helping him out would not only be a bit of a lark, but it would also be a great way to annoy his family.
What follows next is a delightfully madcap scheme in which Christian agrees to play the part of Émile’s fiancé – so he can inherit an astronomical amount of money from his late grandfather and use it to do good deeds – in return for his debts being paid off.
Of course, what actually happens is these two goobers fall madly in love without even realising it as they go through the motions of setting up their fake marriage.
What I loved the most about this was the relationship at the heart of all the crazy. Christian and Émile just click from the off, they take the time to listen to each other, they’re supportive and caring, they want to spend time together.
There’s tension caused by external events, these two never get in each other’s way or have stupid petty arguments, the pacing is excellent and Saxon drives up the need to reach the end through carefully moving on the narrative with little stepping stones of plot that all join together to make a pathway to a really satisfying conclusion.
Along the way we find out more about the guys who share the house with Christian and we meet the only decent member of his family, his sister Elle.
I couldn’t put this book down, it was just such a fun read from start to finish and now I’m dying to find out who the next book will be about!
#ARC kindly received from the author via ForewordPR, I am voluntarily leaving a review