Too Good to Be Real: A Novel

· Sold by St. Martin's Griffin
10 reviews

About this ebook

"The stuff of rom-com fantasies come to life." - Entertainment Weekly

"The perfect combination of sweet, sexy, and make-you-grin moments." - Lyssa Kay Adams, author of The Bromance Book Club

"An ode to everything we love about rom-coms." - Alexis Daria, author of You Had Me at Hola

She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is...

While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned.

A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn't want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends?

At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven't been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?

In her trade paperback debut, Melonie Johnson brings her signature humor, sexy romance, and strong female friendships in this hilarious romantic comedy about finding perfectly imperfect love, Too Good to Be Real.

Ratings and reviews

10 reviews
Sue Galuska
July 6, 2021
Julia Carpenter is tired of the dating life. When her job at an on-line website is threatened to layoffs, Julia needs to come up with an excellent idea to stay employed. Julia ends up finding about a new Rom-Com type resort opening up a few hours away and manages to score invites for her and her two best friends, Kat and Andie. Together the friends will spend a week there while Julia is undercover and then she can do a write up on the new resort for her company. Just after arriving, Julia crashes into Luke O'Neal and has a fun, but not-so-fun meet cute. The attraction is there but Julia wonders if it is all real. During the week Julia and Luke keep spending more time together and things are escalating quickly. In between all the fun Rom-Com things Julia is starting to think things with Luke are real. Just when it looks like Julia may have found her soul mate with Luke, things come crashing down because of secrets both of them are keeping. It will take a lot of soul searching on both of their parts to finally realize that what they have is truly real. I just loved Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson. Ms. Johnson creates such fun characters and equally entertaining stories in all her books. Julia loves Rom-Coms and many movies people love get weaved into the story. Julia was a fun and cute character. She went into this job not expecting to find love but then surprising does. Luke, the nerdy, computer geek was certainly not expecting to find love at the resort but it just came crashing into him. I loved both of these characters....they just worked. I also adored all the other characters. This story kept me laughing and swooning the entire time. I highly recommend this book!
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Denise Holcomb
July 6, 2021
If you love rom-coms like I do, then you'll love this book. It's the romcommiest book ever--like a modern LARPing role-play mixed with Austenland and all of your favorite rom-coms blended together. To save her job, Julia makes a deal with her boss, grabs her two besties, and arrives at a hotel promising to give you a rom-com experience. The meet-cute with Luke was unscripted, but she keeps running into him, and there's definitely chemistry from the get-go. But she's here for a story, and a misunderstanding with the staff allows her to be quasi-undercover as she researches for the story to pitch. Because a girl needs an income with benefits, and a little romance couldn't hurt. Luke is not supposed to be in the role-playing rom-com fantasies, he is the tech guy behind the hotel, and along with his sister and best friend, everything rides on the success of this week, and the promise of a bonus so he can do the tech work of his dreams. As Julia and Luke are thrown together by accident, and sometimes on purpose, the lines between role playing and the heart are blurred. And even though both are technically working, they're having a lot of fun. And as they're about to do a skit, their secrets are revealed, and it threatens everything, including their budding romance. Cue the black moment. This book has romance, comedy, lots of corgis, an eccentric hotel owner, crazy seagulls, a few wrong turns, and Julia and Luke have to decide if everything happened for a reason, if there's a chance for a future, or if it was all Too Good to Be Real... This is your mid-summer beach read! **I received a Netgalley from the publisher**
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Viper Spaulding
July 7, 2021
Like a cream filling hidden in a pastry, we have so many delicious layers to this story! I absolutely adore the premise of this book! Facing layoffs, Julia makes a last-ditch pitch to review a new resort that is hosting a Rom-Com LARP. Bringing along her two besties for the week, she's determined to get the inside scoop and have a little fun along the way. Luke is the Game Master, the one who's pulling all the strings to give the guests an unforgettable experience. Along with his best friend and his sister, his team has planned every rom-com trope imaginable into an event-filled week that is sure to fulfill more than a few fantasies. Set along Chicago's lakeshore, the laughs start immediately with Luke and Julia's first meeting that was crashed by a maniacal seagull. There is plenty of humor throughout the book but the author also does an amazing job of focusing on the deep, emotional issues involved. There are more rom-com references than you can shake a stick at. Johnny Castle? Check. Meg Ryan? Check. Secret identities? Check and double check. The way all these were worked into the story was simply brilliant, and really elevated this to so much more than a traditional rom-com. It's a beautiful tribute to the genre itself. As expected, there are plenty of romances happening here in addition to Luke and Julia's. Their HEA is perfectly life-changing, and theirs isn't the only one. I loved every character, even Zach, and I loved every single page of this vibrant, enthralling story. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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About the author

USA Today bestselling author Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—enjoys sipping cocktails that start with the letter m. Declared a “writer to watch” by Kirkus and a “fizzy, engrossing new voice” by Entertainment Weekly, her smart funny contemporary romances include Too Good to Be Real and her award-winning Sometimes in Love debut series: Getting Hot with the Scot, Smitten by the Brit, and Once Upon a Bad Boy. A former high school English and Theatre teacher, she spends her days in her Star Wars office, dreaming up meet cutes. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, their two redhead daughters, and one very large dog.

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