by Christine Bell, Riley Murphy
Genres: Contemporary Romance
The holidays are here, and Leah Latrelle has made a mess of them. When her out-of-town parents’ concern over her non-existent love life threatens to interfere with her father’s health, she invents a boyfriend who quickly turns into a fiancé. Her family is thrilled, and they change their Christmas plans last minute to meet their future son-in-law. Now Leah has no choice but to come up with the goods. She needs a man, fast. When her friend and business partner, Mick, offers himself up as a sacrifice, she’s all over it. He’s handsome, dependable and available for the job. What could go wrong?Tis the season, and Mick Kilpatrick can’t say no to a damsel in distress. Especially when that damsel is his luscious business partner who has been the object of his reluctant desire for the past year. He hasn’t pursued anything because being a dad is still priority number one. A sexy woman like Leah will only distract him from what’s really important and he can’t have that. He’ll pretend to be her fiancé, but when it’s over, everything will go back to normal. Sure, he’s fantasized about her once or...a million times but that doesn’t mean he’s in love with her. Does it?
White Lie Christmas by Christine Bell and Riley Murphy was the perfect holiday novella. It was filled with gooey goodness, heat, romance and then sprinkled with the magic of the holidays. I consumed this in a single sitting as my emotions were swept up in the tale. I laughed, sighed and even shed a tear. Mini review: heart-warming friends to lover trope, with humor, heat and magic.
Here is the set up, Leah Latrelle’s parents moved to Arizona because of her father’s health, but they worry about their single daughter. To appease them, she creates a boyfriend, buys him a dog and yep they get engaged. This over the phone lie works, they seem happy and plan to sell their apartment and make the move to Arizona permanent. Her parents are happy; she isn’t feeling pressured, and all is well. Wrong!! Guess who is coming to visit? *nods head* Her parents call to announce they and her sister are flying in to meet said fiancé. What is she going to do? Mick, her super smexy friend and business partner volunteers to pose as her fiancé and she desperately accepts. Never mind that she dreams about him, and her knees turn to jelly when he walks in the room. She can separate fantasy from reality, right?
Leah and Mick run a successful business together. Both have fantasies about the other but neither has crossed the line of friendship. Mick is divorced and a single father. He has put his son first above all things and hasn’t been romantically involved in years. He has had feelings for Leah for a while, but is afraid to act. Poor Leah lies awake dreaming about doing unspeakable thing with Mick. His smell, smile, and even his gait turn her insides to jello. She is quite confident he’s never looked at her sideways. This element was hilarious and made the arrangement all the more delicious. I really enjoyed both characters, and Leah was certifiable. Her escapades and the way she handles her own feelings had me rolling my eyes one moment and snorting the next.
White Lie Christmas, is a novella that didn’t feel rushed and had so many elements I enjoy in a holiday romance. I adore the friendship to lovers’ trope, and when you add in the arrangement trope things become quite scrumptious. There was humor, silliness, sweet gooey tender moments and a little family drama. Then the authors sprinkled in some hot, heated smooches and sexy time. The story had substance, flowed beautifully, and the characters experienced growth. While this is dubbed an erotic romance, it is mild and has as no more heat than a MacLean historical romp. While the tale was predictable the ride to my HEA was wonderful, and I became swept up and believed. White Lie Christmas delivered, and I closed the book basking in the magic of romance during the holidays.
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday for an hour or two, grab a glass of wine and download White Lie Christmas. Enjoy! I will definitely try these authors again.
Five cups of coffee out of five
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