The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée by Annika Martin
Release Date: April 28th
The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée, a sexy romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Annika Martin.
I’m no Prince Charming, and the last thing I want is a Cinderella.
My instructions were simple: scour the city for a fake fiancée who’s not my type at all. Have her on my jet Monday morning, dressed appropriately for a yacht vacation.
I need a woman believable enough to convince a certain client that I’ve changed my playboy ways…yet nothing like the supermodels and socialites I usually have on my arm.
Somebody too annoying to tempt me—no emotional entanglements, thank you very much. This is business only.
If she’s unfazed by my looks and wealth, all the better.
Should be easy. Right?
Apparently not, because my people go and hire Tabitha. My hairdresser.
What were they thinking? Yes, I said annoying, but I didn’t mean her, the most frustrating woman in the world.
Tabitha is sunshiny. She has a pet hamster. She loves Hello Kitty, and she gets under my skin like nobody else.
As if that’s not bad enough, the minute we step on deck, she thinks that certain people on the yacht are up to something shady—based completely on her soap opera knowledge.
She won’t listen when I tell her she’s being ridiculous.
But as the days go by, I find that we’re actually having fun. And our fake kisses are heating up. And suddenly her wild theories aren’t sounding so strange after all…
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“We need a practice kiss.”
My gaze falls to her lips and my mind goes blank. “Did you not read the contract?” I bite out. “This relationship is to be purely platonic.”
“Oh, I know. And before you think I’m jonesing to kiss you, please know, I’m just trying to do a professional job at this, and the kiss is important. Because I can tell you right now, when people do the fake engagement ploy and get busted, it’s often because they’re forced to do a first kiss in front of suspicious people. Everybody can tell a first kiss.”
“Have you been involved in other fake engagement situations?” I ask.
“No, but, you know, it’s a thing. Trust me.”
“It’s a thing?” I ask, incredulous.
“Well, on soap operas,” she adds.
I groan. “Jesus Christ, save me from your ridiculous soap opera wisdom.”
“What? There is a lot of life wisdom in soap operas.”
I give her a hard look.
“And the fact is, with people who have never kissed, there’s a lot of trepidation. They’re like, How do I start off? Where do I put my hands? Which way should I tilt my head?”
“Those are not questions that would cross my mind during a kiss. Ever.”
“Please. Spare me from the knowledge of what crosses your mind when you kiss a woman,” she says. “I’m just telling you, people aren’t stupid. They’re capable of recognizing a first kiss. We need at least one practice round. Unfortunately.”
I swallow. Somewhere down on Wall Street, trading is in full swing. I have rates to check, reports to analyze, spreads to monitor, but the idea of pulling her to me and kissing her crowds all of that out. My hands flex.
A practice kiss. I can’t think of a worse idea. “We’re not a couple who enjoys public displays of affection.”
She does her playful wince. “Okay, buuuuuut…what happens when they toast our engagement? We can’t exactly shake hands.”
Will people do that? Gather around and expect us to kiss in front of them? I focus on the window. The whole idea here was not to be tempted or distracted.
“If I decide we need a practice kiss,” I inform her, “then and only then will we have a practice kiss. And I’ll do the kissing.”
“It has to be more than a peck,” she says. “Just in case that’s what you’re imagining.”
“Rest assured, a kiss from me would be the opposite of a peck.”
“The opposite of a peck,” she echoes, as though she finds it funny.
“The polar opposite.” My gaze has gone back to her lips. They’d taste like some sort of sugary berry. Her dark hair would be thick and cool in my grip, her ass soft and firm. My mind won’t stop spinning on kissing her, now.
“I’m trying to help you pull this off,” she says. “Think of the times you’ve had a first kiss. The wild rush of it. The buzz of it. It’ll be so obvious.”
I frown. Who the hell has she been sharing these mind-altering first kisses with?
“Don’t worry, I get this is business,” she says. “You’re not at all the type of guy I go for, either.”
“No? Do tell—what type of guy do you go for?”
“For one, he would scoff at the idea of a private jet. And he would never wear or even possess cufflinks. Or if he did, there’d be a string attached to the cufflinks because he would’ve made them into an awesome toy for little Seymour. That would be a guy for me.”
“Sounds like a loser,” I growl.
Meet the Author:
Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.
Connect with Annika:
The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée is the newest release from Annika Martin. This is the first book in the Billionaires of Manhattan I've read, and it reads really well as a stand-alone. This rom-com features Rex O'Rourke a finance wiz and Tabitha Evans, who has been his hairdresser for the last 2 years. Rex has the chance to win the biggest account of his career, but only if he goes on a two week vacation on Gail Driscoll's yacht with his fiancée. There is just one little problem...he doesn't have one. Enter hairdresser Tabitha who fits the bill perfectly for Rex's future wife as she is the complete opposite of his idea of a perfect woman.
I adored both Rex and Tabitha. Rex is very growly and set in his ways, whereas Tabitha always seems to have a smile on her face. I adored how she shared so many theories she had about people and scheming based upon her love for soap operas, especially Days of our Lives and One Life to Live. I haven't watched a soap opera in years, yet found myself laughing each time Tabitha mentioned one as they are the same now as they were when I used to watch. I loved that Tabitha totally accepted Rex exactly as he was and didn't really try to change him. Honestly it made the fact that he slowly changed himself for her even sweeter.
The back and forth banter between Rex and Tabitha was foreplay to their physical relationship. I loved the more time they were together, the more time they each wanted to be in each other's company. It was especially refreshing with Rex, as he was taking a break from working around the clock for the first time in years to spend more time with Tabitha. Rex and Tabitha as a couple gave me all the happy feels and I absolutely adored their journey.
Annika Martin gives her readers a fun and fast-paced rom-com and I can't wait to read more books from her in the future. Luckily she has an extensive back list to keep me reading for a while. I highly recommend The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée to contemporary romance readers who love a bit of comedy with their romance.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (B+)
Review copy provided by publisher