Author: Flora Roberts
Source: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Lanie Wagner has it all—from her great apartment in the heart of Los Angeles, to her amazing career as the city’s most sought after wedding planner. Yes, ladies and gents, Lanie is riding high on life.
But there's just one problem. When her cousin called her and asked Lanie to plan her wedding, she knew it was going to be a disaster. She hasn’t been back home in over five years, and her family is out of control crazy. All of them.
With her cousin's wedding looming, Lanie has to make a pivotal decision. She needs to find a date; a boyfriend to be exact. She needs to find some poor bastard willing to pretend to be madly in love with her for an entire week.
The only downside is Lanie is convinced that no one is pathetic enough to take her up on her offer.
Lucas Sparks, aka Sparky, is the epitome of every woman's wet dream. And he knows it. Born into a family of wealth and privilege, Lucas has never wanted for anything. Well, that was until he was given the opportunity to share an apartment with Lanie, the one woman that has never fallen at his feet and begged for all that he could give her.
The same woman that acts like he doesn't exist.
Even all the money in the world wouldn't be enough to make his humble roommate fall in love with him. When he is given the chance to spend a weekend away in the country with a woman he fantasizes about on a daily basis, he’s determined to do whatever is necessary to go along for the ride, even if it means pretending to be her man.
But playing pretend can be a dangerous game, and considering the circumstances, Lanie and Lucas just might have signed up for more than they bargained for.
Flirty Review: Two Lips Bites
The first three words that need to be said: development, development, development. There wasn't any in this book. I felt no connection with the characters becasue of it. Yes, they were snarky and witty to read at times, but the underlying motives for each character, Lanie and Lucas, was very much lacking as well as a solid backstory for each character to fall back on.
Granted, this is a novella. I can understand that the author probably didn't want to go into too much character depth, but there is a fine balance of putting too much in and not enough.
Here is what I loved about the book. 1) Laine was a very likeable character, she has a incredible job in L.A. and is living her dreams. 2) Lucas, when he wasn't being crude, could turn on the charm on a dime. He was a very sexy lead when the love scenes came along. 3). The plot has so much promise. It's exactly something I would love to sit down and delve into. 4) The sex scenes saved this book for me. Roberts can definitely write a good, steamy sex scene.
But I must be honest, I almost flounced this book about 40% of the way through. I wasn't connecting to the crude humor of Lucas and then Willard. Plus Roberts seemed to liken everyone's smell to something countryfied. Ex. manure, pecans, sweat, etc. I was struggling with understanding why Lanie was so apprehensive about going home becasue there was no backstory about why she left in the first place. We got that she was embarrassed by her family because they are really over the top caricatures of what hillbillies are perceived as being, but what really lead her to leave and break her parents' hearts? What event? Something had to have happened. And then, why does Lucas love that they have such a strong family? We don't have any notion his upbringing was bad. We even met his mother early on and she seemed perfectly loving to him.
What really made me pause and put down my Kindle was the crude humor. When Lucas explained how he had to go to the bathroom so bad he likened it to a turtle head poking out of his butt. I was like, WHAAAAA? How is Lucas supposed to be the perfect male protagonist to Lanie if he constantly acts like he's 12. This wasn't the only instance either. He pretty much acted like a juvenile the whole book.
I decided to give it another chance, and really, the love scenes made me stick with the rest of the book. But then when I we did get into the meat of the story, Lucas admitting he wanted Lanie for more than just sex, and Lanie telling him she wanted more as well, it fell flat. No sparks. Then the wedding happens and Lucas moons the bride because he's been bribed by Willard for some stupid reason that didn't even matter anymore....*shakes head* ... I was done.
This book needs work. I think it could be great if the crude humor was curbed and kept to just witty humor, the backstories more thought out and developed especially with Lanie and Lucas's families and their motivations, the characters enriched with more emotions and love, the basics expanded on like Lanie's job, Lucas' job, their dynamic between the pair, and correction of continuity issues and editing, and finally the ending needed more a compelling climax.
Again, I really loved the summary of this book and really think it has so much promise. A story like this will sell like hotcakes with a little help. I think Roberts is a decent writer and she obviously has a biting wit to match her characters. I will be watching for more from Roberts hoping that with her next book, Lanie and Lucas will come more to life for the reader.
About The Author
Living on a ranch with her three kids in sunny California, Flora thrives on the peace and quiet of her surroundings.
The first time the writing bug bit her in the butt was when she discovered the world of fanfiction. From then on pulling her away from her laptop was like pulling teeth out of an elephant.
Flora’s online stories have been read from around the world and have been reviewed as laugh-out-loud funny.
If she isn’t on her laptop writing about swoon worthy characters that make you spit your coffee out and laugh your ass off, you can more than likely find Flora spending time with her kids, reading books by her favorite authors, or sitting outside in the dark for no apparent reason.