The Real Deal: A Novel

· Sold by St. Martin's Griffin
36 reviews

About this ebook

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

Ratings and reviews

36 reviews
Sandy S.
July 5, 2018
3.75 stars--THE REAL DEAL by Lauren Blakely is a contemporary, adult, stand alone, romantic comedy story line focusing on body painter April Hamilton, and twenty eight year old bartender Theo Banks. Told from dual first person perspectives (April and Theo) THE REAL DEAL follows the fake relationship between twenty-eight year olds body painter April Hamilton, and bartender Theo Banks. April Hamilton dreads the annual family reunion where she will knowingly become the target of her mother and aunt’s need to play matchmaker to her self-imposed singlehood. Hoping to avoid said matchmaking April answers a Craigslist ad offering a boyfriend-for-hire, the perfect foil to the family busybodies. Enter bartender and ‘actor’ Theo Banks, the man with whom April will fall in love. What ensues is the fake to real relationship between April and Theo, and the fall-out as Theo’s past reveals more than he had hoped to tell. Theo Banks is in desperate need of a financial infusion when his brother’s past comes looking for payment. A boyfriend for hire as finds our hero coming face to race with his future, a future that will all but be destroyed when his brother unknowingly reveals the truth. Theo doesn’t do relationships, and lets April know that the boyfriend for hire is only a platonic arrangement, a platonic arrangement that turns into something more. The relationship between Theo and April is fun and flirty; sexy and sassy that continues to push the boundaries of their platonic arrangement. Theo and April compliment one another; work together as though they have known one another for a lifetime, and in the end the palpable sexual attraction cannot denied. The $ex scenes are passionate and seductive, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. THE REAL DEAL is a fake romance trope; a passionate and heart warming story line of family, friendship, forgiveness and love. The premise is entertaining, engaging and fun; the romance is intimate; the characters are colorful and sassy. THE REAL DEAL is an enjoyable, inspiring and uplifting story line.
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Gabby Sotelo
July 12, 2018
Lauren Blakely never ceases to entertain me! She has done it once again with The Real Deal. I loved this book!! It has everything I love in a rom com. She brings the sass, the fun, the family feels, and the heart along with her outstanding characters and addictive dialogue. The Real Deal is one more must read by this author! April is a sassy, independent body painter in the middle of a dating diet. When she has to go back home for a family reunion, she hires a Theo off Craigslist to pretend to be her boyfriend and buffer to ward off her nosey, meddling, matchmaking family. The chemistry between these two is insane right off the bat. I could not get enough of Theo and April's storytelling. My favorite, favorite, FAVORITE thing to read is witty banter and easy flowing conversations. Lauren is a master at this. Every piece of dialogue was pure gold. Addicting and fun! My goodness! The way these two continuously concocted their story so effortlessly made my heart sing. It was like they shared a mind. I just love them so much! It is not hard to fall for a Blakely hero. I've fallen for plenty. However, there is something extra special about Theo. I love his charm, his sex appeal, his fun accents and talents, more than that though, I love that he has a past; that he's not as squeaky clean as some of her other heroes. Yet, he is still a genuine good guy. I swooned with the pride he showed for April's job. I loved how he was quick to defend her work to her family. He is definitely one of my new favorite heroes. It's weird to say The Real Deal is a slow burn considering the story takes place in a span of five days but it feels like one. Lauren Blakely did a fantastic job building the connection between Theo and April with all their touches, just because kisses, and their sexy storytelling. I was salivating over here, eagerly waiting for this insane connection to finally erupt. When it does, it was simply delicious. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. It's classic Lauren Blakely with a little extra flair. LOVED it!!
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A Google user
July 11, 2018
4 Stars Review by Morgen Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog The Real Deal is a stand-alone romantic comedy by Lauren Blakely, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. This story is about family and the lengths you’d go to be able to please them and make their life easier. Theo is a bartender as well as professional arm candy. He can be anyone, whether it be a loving boyfriend who wins everyone over, billionaire extraordinaire, nerdy coworker who is just a friend, or the bad boy. He’ll be whoever you need. To him it comes easy, he’s confident and sure he can tackle any role. April is kind, compassionate, caring, understanding, fiesty, and independent. She paints people for a living. She knows it may sound weird at first, but there’s nothing she can imagine giving her the same amount of pride and joy. She comes from a small town and her family doesn’t really understand her career choices. They want her to move home and settle down with a nice guy. April has a family reunion coming up so she decides its best to bring a fake boyfriend to show her family she’s happy in the big city. From the moment Theo and April meet you can feel the connection between them. They fight it and try to keep their relationship as professional as possible while they’re pretending to be together. The story is captivating, their witty banter and easy chemistry set the pages on fire. With each touch it gets harder to ignore. The more she gets to know him the more she wonders if it’s all fake. Her last relationship ended badly and it hurt her. She’s been on a dating diet ever since. It only makes her question herself more. Rooming with a guy she barely knows for a few days under her parents roof, what could go wrong? The characters have great development while still keeping a little mystery at the same time. The story has a great flow and the pacing is great. I loved all the jokes. They were placed well throughout the story and really hit the mark. What pulled me in most was how perfectly they complimented each other but how hard they fought that connection. Theo has always kept these fake dates professional and doesn’t want to ruin something he is so good at and enjoys so much. She is career driven and doesn’t want any distractions. Neither one has much faith in love, they would rather focus on achieving their goals. I would definitely recommend this for anyone that enjoys a few jokes with their angst.
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About the author

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With many New York Times bestsellers, her titles (like Big Rock and Mister O) have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. She enjoys comedies, cake and good company.

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