When I envisioned Zara Logan dropping to her knees in front of me, this wasn’t what I had in mind…
I was expecting a lot less glaring and a lot more moaning.
Instead, she’s proposing an enticing deal that I can’t bear to walk away from.
To land one of the city’s biggest clients, she wants us to put our differences aside and play fake fiancés for the next thirty days.
So, I slip the diamond ring onto her finger and agree to play the perfect fiancé. How hard can this be?
A hell of a lot harder than I thought…
She’s infuriatingly stubborn and she thinks I’m a cocky jerk with an enormous ego. (She’s right, but I can definitely back it up…)
As our long days stretch into even later nights, it’s getting harder to remember we’re only playing pretend, which means one thing.
She won’t be faking it for long…
|Series:||SWANK aka Cupcakes & Cocktails (Book 1)|
|Trope(s):||Enemies to Lovers|
|Point of View:||First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Release Date:||16th July, 2020|
A wonderful hate-to-love romance
I’m a huge fan of Maya Hughes but this is the first contemporary romance of hers that I have read. She is the queen of new adult romance so I had high expectations but also some anxiety towards this book. Would I love her contemporary romance as much as I do her NA?
Well, yes. Yes I would!
Ah – this book is everything I hoped and more. Ms Hughes is the kind of author that makes me feel completely immersed in her worlds and with her characters, so much so that I myself feel the happy sort of giddiness of love that’s in the books right along with the characters. Maya Hughes is a happy place for me.
This book kicks off a new series (The SWANK series, or Cupcakes and Cocktails as I’ve also seen it called) I’m presuming/hoping will be about all 5 childhood friends of which Leo, our hero in this book, is one. As it’s the start of a series, there are quite a lot of characters to learn all at once. It’s a wee bit hectic for a while as you try to sort everyone out, but by the end I loved all the guys and am looking forward to all of their stories. Well, maybe less so for Everest, but I’m sure I’ll get over it in future books.
I love, love, love me an enemies to lovers romance, especially one where our couple are truly antagonistic towards each other, and who don’t suddenly change personalities as soon as they begin to like each other. Zara is a bit of a control freak, a scrapper and determined to do the best at her job that she possibly can for herself and her brother. I really liked her, despite the fact that I can totally see why Leo was ridiculously infuriated with her behaviour. That made it all the more delicious to watch their angry interactions thinly veiled with sexual tension, especially when they had to pretend they were in love.
Leo was an absolute doll. He was a little bit broken – just a little bit, mind – and a little bit confused, but he was such a sweetheart. And an alpha, cocky jerk to boot. Which made him perfect, too. He wasn’t innocent in the back and forth with Zara – in fact, I’m pretty sure he started the whole thing – but he was the kind of guy you’d want in your corner. Or more accurately, standing beside you.
As with only the best enemies to lovers stories, once that angry, simmering tension exploded, it exploded gooood! It gave me that lovely, jumpy feeling in my tummy every time the pair got down to business. While it was great when it was hot, it was also great in the quieter, sweeter moments like a hug, a kiss on the head, or a cupcake smooshed in your face. It’s in those moments that you can really see and feel our couple falling in love. Happy sigh.
I can tell this is going to be an awesome series and I’m so looking forward to the next book and all the others to come. And I hope we get to see more of Zara and Leo in the future, as they are proper couple goals and reading their hate-to-love story really made me smile and swoon. Perfection. 5 stars.
Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.
“You want me to propose to you?” With muscles tense and tight, she stared at me before crossing the room to me in two strides.
“It’ll make a wonderful story to tell if anyone asks. Or we can call the whole thing off and confess, but you’re the one who led us down this path with the relationship talk. Kathleen would probably kick us off the project. Or maybe just you.”
Her gaze narrowed. “Just when I think you’re not a complete asshole. Fine.” The word shot out like a nail gun. Covering her mouth, she mumbled into her hand. “Will you pretend to be my fake fiancé for the next thirty days?”
I cupped my hand around my ear. “That wasn’t exactly romantic and you’re not even on bended knee. Boyz II Men would be disappointed.” I dangled the ring in front of her.
She squeezed her forehead and snatched it out of my hand.
I braced myself for her to fling it straight into my face, but she didn’t. Hiking up the skirt of her suit an inch, she lowered herself to the floor with her gaze trained on mine. The intensity of her emerald gaze sent my blood thrumming through my veins. Her thick eyelashes framed her eyes and the ill wishes she was trying to sear into my brain.
But damn if her sinking to her knees in front of me didn’t flash me into a whole different set of circumstances with her where she wasn’t wishing me dead and I wasn’t trying to steal this project out from under her.
“Leo Charles Wilder, will you please agree to be my fake fiancé for the next thirty days and make me the most miserable woman on earth?” She held out the ring in her palm.
I tapped my finger against my lips and stared up at the ceiling. “When you put it like that…”