Lying to Meet You – Anna Garner

What to expect:
Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors? Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.

However… Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan’s theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she’s lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?

This is the author’s first true chick-lit novel, having previously released romances under the name of Libby Mercer. Now she’s writing under her real name and kindly sent me this review copy.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Chloe has a solid gang of New Yorker friends, attractive professional women like her, and the self described “token gay friend”, Julian, who likes to intimidate her potential suitors in a fatherly way. Veronica and Isabel are supportive, outspoken and both are a force of nature, especially when they come up with the idea that attached women get hit on more than single women. Then there’s Ethan- who’s known Chloe since they were three, and wants to test the girls’ theory to give him more of a chance with a colleague that he fancies. Ethan’s easy to get along with and adorable, despite his karaoke fixation. Even his family are sweethearts, and have loved Chloe since way back when. The Christmas visit was like a cross between The Proposal and While You Were Sleeping in that Chloe feels terrible for deceiving such a lovely family (obviously I’m not that familiar with Sandra Bullock movies or anything…).
However when Chloe becomes an entrepreneurial reality show judge, she meets William, and their sizzling chemistry can only be denied by their scheduling conflicts. William is the anti-Ethan; unpredictable, unfamiliar, uncompromising and a little dangerous. The kind of guy you have to try, before you can get him out of your system.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Chloe herself takes no prisoners, although she does turn one over to the cops: as demonstrated with an admirable take-down of a shoplifter. She’s a talented, hard working designer with her own modestly successful boutique and is on the verge of cracking the big time, and hopes the media coverage of being on a reality show will push her brand over the edge. Chloe’s Achilles heel is her family’s refusal to validate her achievements, especially when her (southern belle) mother is more impressed with her for bringing home a nice man. Chloe’s try-anything attitude causes trouble, entertainment and creates opportunities. As one would expect, she does all this with sartorial panache.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– At first glance it might seem like a slightly younger Sex And The City setting, but this is a warmer tale and New York seems a lot less harsh here. The friendships are strong, challenging and supportive without being sickly sentimental, and they withstand the usual tests of time when one or two of them disappear into an intense relationship or a career hole for a while.

Nookie for your Nook?– A few steamy interludes, but cleaner than a Sex And The City episode. Of course, a lot of things are.

Evaluation of your eBook?– This is one of those well-rounded reads that stays in your head afterwards with a warm glow. This could be a subjective effect, but I hope other readers take that away from this book too. It could be explained by the fact that I adored both the leads, and the fun way the book is written from Chloe’s sharp, humorous perspective. She’s a good strong heroine who can fight her way out of a mess, but she’s kind and has a softer side. While the romantic outcome won’t come as a huge shock, there are other aspects that did surprise. Good use of foreshadowing throws a couple of red herrings in along the way, but I won’t spoil it for you. Top marks, give it a whirl.

Frothy Ranking: 5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.91.

US: Amazon for $2.99.

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