Recommended: not for me but maybe for you?
If you like suuuuper sweet Hallmark-style moments, too-good-to-be-true characters, and sex where he calls her “baby” a lot
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.
Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
There was so much about this book I didn’t like, from start to finish, but I kept reading it. I assumed the sex scenes would be good and I was kind of right? Certainly generous in length of time and vivid description, but filled with — for me — total turnoffs that ruined it entirely. The excessive amount of calling her “baby,” for example. Always a weird one to me. And things that are a mix of insulting and concerning to me like “I finally have you were I want you. At my mercy.” For me that’s not sexy, just an uncomfortable power issue. Anyway. Meh.
There were also moments that were SO saccharine sweet I rolled my eyes and skimmed to the next part. It felt very over the top to me. But if you love that, and love scenes of Hallmark perfection where he says the things ever lover would want to hear from their partner, you will LOVE this!
The usual aspect of fake dating arose where they’re like “Wow that’s some really convincing acting” instead of just believing what they’re experiencing which in this case just made me want to smack my head. It was annoyingly oblivious. Maybe I need a break from this trope for a minute? For the enemies-to-lovers side of things, I was also not sold because there seemed to be BASICALLY NO REASON TO DISLIKE HIM? The reason she eventually gave was SO stupid that it made me like her less because it was such a stupid thing to be upset about. It was expanded on a bit later which made it a little bit more reasonable, but by then her personality had made it clear that no, she really is that petty and I just wasn’t into it.
And the final issue: I didn’t really like either character. I guess they were fine, but neither of them caught my heart and I felt fairly ambivalent at best about rooting for them. Catalina is petty AF which drove me nuts, and Aaron reads like a fantasy hero who is strong and incredibly muscular and charming and great at sex and always says the perfect thing and is a hard worker and is willing to be vulnerable — oh, AND he’s hella rich. “I don’t even need to work but I do anyway” rich. Call me crazy, but it seemed too good to be true, which made him SUPER flat as a character. A person without flaws is not a person, and I’m not sure he was given any flaws.
Overall… I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, but I did read it. I don’t really know why I finished it though. Maybe because it was popular and I wanted to see why, and if it ever turned a corner to convince me (no). My favorite part was the acknowledgments, which isn’t shade: they were really funny and sweet. The only highlights I made were from the acknowledgments!
If you’re down for a story that’s got really explicit but maybe slightly alienating sex scene(s), fake dating that turns to Hallmark sweetness, and one-sided enemies to lovers, then this will probably do it for you!
Once again… Goodreads Choice winner letting me down. 😐