After a rocky start, Savannah Wells finally has everything she wants in life: family, friends, a cat, and her ice hockey team. If she could only convince her mother to stop setting her up on increasingly awkward blind dates, life would be perfect.
Professional photographer Madison Scott isn’t going to settle for less than the happily ever after she reads about in romance novels. But her new next-door neighbor is sexy as hell, so when Savannah suggests a fake relationship in hopes of getting her mother to stop interfering in her private life, Maddie’s all in.
When fake dating, fake kissing, and forced proximity start to feel a lot like falling in love, Savannah and Madison will need to face off and decide if exchanging pretend for reality is really possible.
I requested this book from NetGalley because it was a female/female romance with a hockey player as one of the main characters in it. After reading the reviews of this book, I went in with fairly low expectations but I found myself enjoying this book. I had not read the previous book in this world, On the Fly, but that didn’t affect how I felt about this book.
Savannah and Madison meet when Madison moves in next door to Savannah. Neither of them is interested in a relationship, both of their previous relationships went very bad and so while they are attracted to each other, neither one of them is motivated to do anything about it. When Savannah’s mother won’t stop setting her up on terrible blind dates, they agree to fake date each other and, of course, it turns into real dating.
We get chapters from both Savannah and Madison’s point of views and I enjoyed both of them. They were both interesting characters, who enjoyed their jobs, and I enjoyed the variety of side characters as well. My liking of Kelly went up and down as the book went on but Courtney and Lana were both good to read about, especially since they were the only two who knew the relationship was fake. It makes me want to read the first book in the series and see how they got together. I liked Dana and Amy, Madison’s sister and niece and how they were involved in the story without taking over.
The course of Savannah and Madison’s relationship was slow-burn, though I felt like there was a timeskip which wasn’t properly communicated so when we learned six months had gone by, it felt a little jarring. I did like how they were attracted to each other, became friends, got together, but still had problems after that as they had to work through their issues from past relationships.
One of the biggest things I disliked about this book was the premise. Savannah needing to fake date someone to stop her mother matchmaking her, that made sense. But it was the way Lisa (one of Savannah’s mothers) went about it that rubbed me the wrong way. She didn’t take no for an answer, hence the need for a fake girlfriend, which was pushy and unlikeable anyway. Then you find out near the start of the book that her last matchmaking attempt had led Savannah to going on a date with a stalker who had found out where she lived and hadn’t left her alone, scaring her enough to go and stay with her mothers’, rather than go home. After this, Lisa’s continued attempts to set her daughter up against her express wishes goes completely over the line and meant I really disliked her. Then she got angry that Savannah had needed to lie to her when she found out about the fake dating – I feel like that would have been a good time for an apology and an attempt to curb some of that behaviour, instead of patting herself on the back for ‘setting them up’. Just no. I’m all for a fake dating premise but I really disliked Lisa by the end of this one.
That said, overall I liked this book and I am definitely going to check out the other book in the series.