I am thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Fake Date, the second book in Monica Murphy’s Dating series. This book focuses on Sarah Harrison. She works at a high class lingerie store and while the work is fine, it isn’t perhaps her dream job. That said, it pays the bills and with a younger sister at home still in high school and an older brother who hasn’t quite made the move to full adulthood, she is the main support for her family. The job pays well even if she doesn’t always enjoy dealing with some of her clients. One client in particular, Jared Gaines, is wealthy, sexy, and a bit of a jerk. But they have a spark and Jared knows it.
When Jared starts sending Sarah fancy lingerie, she isn’t sure whether to be offended or intrigued. But then Jared needs her help. He needs a date to his brother’s engagement party and Sarah is the first person who comes to mind. It doesn’t help that they have fantastic chemistry.
Jared is rather closed off and not interested in any deep relationships. He gave his heart once and it ended badly. But he can’t deny he is intrigued by Sarah. I was excited for this book from the very beginning. I like the banter Sarah and Jared shared. Despite sending her lingerie and other expensive gifts, I never found it creepy. Their power dynamic together is very equal and Jared never seemed skeevy to me.
I really liked the way these two were put together and kind of forced to get to know each other in a tight time frame. I think it moved their relationship along swiftly in a positive way. It didn’t feel rushed but rather, exciting! I just wish, as Sarah herself points out, Jared hadn’t held back some very important information about the engagement party they were walking into. It creates the kind of fake conflict I’m not a fan of (nor is Sarah, the character!).
All in all though, Fake Date is a contemporary romance winner. It moves quickly and there is just a fabulous rapport between these characters. And Monica Murphy doesn’t shirk on the friend time either! I really enjoy Sarah’s friend group and I look forward to more stories featuring them. Great story!
Fake Date by Monica Murphy
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Fake Date, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.
Working at Bliss Lingerie, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life.
But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. So when Sarah walks into his office demanding to know why he can’t stop sending her gifts, he makes her an offer she somehow can’t refuse: be his fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother’s engagement party.
Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course.
Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?
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“Mr. Gaines,” I say, pasting on my best customer smile when he lifts his gaze to mine.
His dark brown eyes flash with an unfamiliar gleam and my breath catches in the back of my throat. “Back so soon, I see.”
“You know I can’t resist you, Miss Harrison.” His smile is slow. Wolfish, if that’s really
a thing. I read it in a romance novel once, thought it was kind of silly, but right now, it’s working for Jared.
His entire demeanor right now reminds me of a predatory creature. His face is all hard lines—stern, straight nose, granite jaw, sharp cheekbones, steely eyes. Yet his mouth, his lips are soft. Full. Lush.
Shaking my head at the wayward thought, I return his smile, trying my best to remain
“Is there anything in particular you’re looking for this afternoon?” I’m surprised by how steady my voice is, considering I feel like my insides are sloshing back and forth, like I’m on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
“You don’t have anything pulled aside for my appointment?” He raises a single brow, the expression on his face practically daring me to say no.
Well, guess what? I’m about to say it.
“No, I didn’t pull anything aside.” I shrug when he glares at me. “You never told me the nature of your visit.”
He glances about, making sure no one is around, I’d assume. And lucky for him, there’s no one in the store currently. It’s the middle of the week, early afternoon. We normally don’t get too many customers at this time.
We are the only two people in here. Even Marlo has disappeared.
“Perhaps you can show me some of your newer items,” he suggests.
“I can do that.” All new arrivals are at the front of the store, so we’re in the right spot. I lead him to a table showcasing our latest bra and panty design. “Celestial is the theme for spring into summer.”
I point to the bras made of thin, sheer netting and pink silk, tiny pale pink stars stitched in a scattered pattern across the tulle fabric. They leave nothing to the imagination, and the panties are the same.
“They hide nothing.” He holds up a pair of brief-cut panties, turning them this way and that. Every time he holds underwear in those big hands of his, I melt a little inside. I don’t know why he affects me like this.
“You’re right. They don’t,” I agree, grabbing a thong and flipping it over to the thin
string of lace that makes up the backside. “But they’re terribly sweet.”
I glance up to find him watching me. “Sweet yet sexy,” I counter, my cheeks going hot
from the way he’s studying me so carefully.
“You like the celestial theme?”
I nod. Press my lips together so I don’t say something I regret. Like, I love this theme, or Do you want me to model the panties for you?
Yeah. That’s a bad idea.
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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