Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell. Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship. As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.
I have been looking forward to Mitch’s book since I read Well Met. The dude is like a golden retriever, and I adored him, so I was super pumped to read a book where he was at the center. I love characters who are usually the comedic relief getting fleshed out into real people, with personalities and everything. Plus, I was also looking forward to April getting her own book too! Really, I was just super siked about everything about this book.
Honestly, this book feels like a shot of sunshine straight into the veins. I was grinning pretty much throughout the whole thing, and if I wasn’t grinning, I was crying. So like, a fantastic range of emotions as well!
I loved April a lot more than I thought I was going too. I was looking forward to learning more about her, but I didn’t think I would love her the way that I do. She’s sharp around the edges, very reserved, has walls to keep herself safe, and would much rather stay home than stay out. She’s a fantastic mom, and also deals with anxiety. Really, she was just fantastic all around.
And Mitch is just pure sunshine. I adore him. I also loved getting to see more of him, to see him as a fully fleshed out person with a backstory and what he loves and what he struggles with. He might be naturally predisposed to sunniness, but there are still things he needs to work on. It was just really freaking fantastic to see that.
And to see how April and Mitch interacted was just top notch. They are so freaking cute. They work really well together, and their connection just feels so authentically human. They genuinely care for each other.
I also loved the Renn Faire too! I think one of my favorite parts about these books is getting to see the Faires through different characters each time. It’s like experiencing for the first time all over again, and there’s just something really cool about that. I think that’s part of what makes these books so good and so popular. It takes something that you’ve seen an experienced before, and makes it fresh and puts a new spin on it. And there is also lots of kilt action.
There are also DOGS in this book!!!
All in all, I adored this book. It’s sweet and adorable, but it also deals with the fear of letting someone in after so many years, of trusting someone that much. It’s an all around fantastic book.