5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Perfect Fling by Carly Phillips

She’s the town good girl. He’s the sexy bad boy.
But a one-night stand is about to bring consequences neither expects.

Serendipity assistant district attorney Erin Marsden rarely makes mistakes and is perfectly content with her predictable life, thank you very much. Until the day sexy Cole Sanders returns to town and tempts her off her good-girl path.

After seven years of deep undercover work, Cole Sanders comes home to help his aging dad and rediscover his buried sense of right and wrong. He’s not there to get involved with the town’s good-girl, who has always been off limits to a bad boy like him.

But Cole’s a rebel at heart and he just can’t ignore their blazing-hot chemistry. He also can’t ignore the consequences of their intense one-night stand—Erin is pregnant with his baby.

As if that’s not enough to make his protective instincts kick in, Erin’s current case has danger written all over it. But Cole is determined to protect the woman he loves, and Erin finds herself succumbing to his alpha demands.

Now Cole just needs to prove to both himself and Erin that he can give her and their baby the love they deserve.

Title:Perfect Fling
Author:Carly Phillips
Series:Serendipity’s Finest (Book 2)
Trope(s):Surprise Baby
Temporary Relationship
Small Town Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (H&h)
Location:Serendipity, New York, US
Release Date:8th September, 2023
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A fun and satisfying small-town romance

5 stars

We’re back in Serendipity, New York for this, the second book in the Serendipity’s Finest series – a spin-off from the original Serendipity series, this time focussing on the men and woman of the town’s law enforcement. The first book in the series, Perfect Fit, featured now Police Chief, Mike Marsden, now this one follows his sister, Assistant DA, Erin Marsden and town bad boy and undercover cop, Cole Sanders. It’s definitely nice to read the rest of these books and find out the stories of the secondary characters – but they really do stand alone so that’s not a prerequisite to reading, understanding and enjoying this book.

Erin is supposedly the town good girl but when we first meet her, she’s doing the walk of shame from bad boy, Cole’s, bed after a night of delightful debauchery. But that is an anomaly for her and while she is sweet and kind-hearted, she’s more good in the way of always doing the right thing, rather than not being naughty. She’s an independent woman who can and does stand up for herself. I liked her immensely and really felt a connection with her.

Cole is a classic Carly Phillips hero and also exactly the type of hero that I love to read about. The kind that swears up and down that they will never fall in love and it’s only sex to them. Oh how I like to laugh at them. Cole is bossy, alpha, possessive and doesn’t realise he’s a big ol’ teddy bear that rather than being a lone wolf, actually just has issues from his childhood. He’s delightfully clueless and unsure how to deal with his growing feelings for Erin. Yes, he’s the perfect type of hero.

“…sweet and sexy and a believable happily ever after that will make you sigh with satisfaction.”

Cole, I have to admit, is probably the first of Phillips’ heroes that I’ve ever worried might not change his ways, get his act together and achieve his happily ever after with the woman he loves. I mean, of course he would, but I wondered if it would believably be pulled off. But as we move through the book, Cole slowly and steadily starts to shift his mindset and to believe in his own worthiness – with Erin’s help, of course!

There’s an amount of peril in the story but it doesn’t raise to the level of romantic suspense. It’s just enough to keep the story going and to help nudge our couple along when they need it. Most of the stuff happens to Erin – the shooting, stalking, disturbing “gifts” and the like. It’s also fairly obvious who the perpetrator is – but it’s also not meant to be a mystery, so there’s that.

Despite our couple having an amazing one night stand the night before the start of our book, there was still that nice build up of sexual tension before they get a repeat performance. Carly Phillips excels with the sexy – so you know you’re going to love our couple together and get a little hot and bothered yourself. But it’s not just that. You can see and feel the building of feelings and love our couple have for each other that feels so real. I loved every moment.

While this is a standalone romance, it’s always nice to have little snippets of previous couples in the series and see them in love and happy. It’s like espresso shots of epilogues. And on top of that, we also get little teases of the next books in the series which makes me giddy with excitement.

I’m really enjoying this series and this was a great addition to it. Carly Phillips’ unique and fun writing style brings us characters that are easy to root for, a romance that’s sweet and sexy and a believable happily ever after that will make you sigh with satisfaction. Definitely 5 stars for this one.

5 stars

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at

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Serendipity’s Finest Series:

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4

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