Review: 'The Real Deal' is flirty summer beach read

"The Real Deal" (St. Martin's Griffin), by Lauren Blakely

Being the only single person in the family is sometimes annoying. It's worse when parents get involved, aggressively pushing every available guy in your direction. In "The Real Deal," author Lauren Blakely adds a fun twist to this scenario by introducing an unexpected character into the mix.

April Hamilton is happy being a successful single woman. And she knows that having a date at her side at her family reunion will keep her nosey relatives off her case. So she hires a professional escort to pose as her boyfriend for the weekend.

Theo Banks is an actor who discovered a sweet way to make money. There are tons of women who need dates for various occasions and he can morph into anyone they want him to be. Playing the role of "fake boyfriend" isn't his dream job, but one more high-paying gig will get him out of debt so he can stop running from his past.

April and Theo have been attracted to each other from the moment they met. When Theo insists they discuss important relationship details, like how they met, April effortlessly settles into her role as the doting girlfriend. Soon, not only is the family buying the intricate details of their lives, but April sometimes forgets that this is all a ruse. Moreover, she finds herself wanting the stories to be real.

Theo feels the same way. He finds himself falling for April, but has no idea if she feels the same way. Is he picking up on flirtatious signals? Or is she just convincingly playing her part?

Told from the perspectives of both April and Theo, "The Real Deal" is a breezy beach read.

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