All Ryan Winslow needs is a fake date for his ex’s wedding. What happens when a fake date turns into real, but impossible, love?
Ryan Winslow has everything he needs to attend his billionaire aristocrat ex’s wedding. He’s got an out and proud A-list celebrity date, reservations at an exclusive resort in Santa Barbara, and two weeks to enjoy a vacation—his first in six years.
The drive down gives him a chance to visit old friends in tiny St. Nacho’s, but that’s where things start to go wrong. His workaholic, driven lifestyle takes its toll, and his date calls to say he can’t make it. How will he ever find a substitute date for a formal wedding in time?
Epic Alsop waits tables, but that’s not all he does. He pays special attention to people, and responds to their needs accordingly. When he meets an overworked, underfed Ryan, he offers him a healing smoothie and a little extra care. When Ryan’s date for a wedding cancels, Epic offers to be his fake boyfriend.
What Epic doesn’t expect is Ryan’s kindness, or the amazing resort vacation he offers. He doesn’t expect Ryan’s patience, his wit, or his passion.
But they live in different countries, and Ryan’s job leaves no room for a social life. The hunger and weariness that drew Epic to Ryan in the first place is only a symptom of the reason they can’t be together.
Can fake lovers who fall in genuine love find a way to make their relationship work? Or are they destined to be alone forever?
Don’t be fooled by the cute cover model and the word “flighty” in the title; Z.A. Maxfield’s A Flighty Fake Boyfriend IS a fun fake relationship story, but it has surprising depth, two strongly characterised leads and packs quite the emotional punch in places, too. Age-gap and fake relationship are two of my favourite tropes so I was looking forward to reading this, and I’m pleased to report I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.
Workaholic Ryan Winslow has stopped off in St. Nacho’s to visit a couple of friends on his way to Santa Barbara, where he’s due to attend his ex’s wedding. He’s not sure if the invitation was a genuine gesture, a way to gloat or just a mistake, but Ryan accepts because he doesn’t want Luis to think his marriage bothers him, and has arranged for a friend – who happens to be a gorgeous, out-and-proud A-list movie star – to go as his date. At the last minute, however, his friend has to cancel, which leaves Ryan with a problem – does he not go and give Luis the satisfaction of thinking he’s sulking, or does he go stag?
We met the sunny-natured Epic in the previous book (A Much Younger Man). He waits tables at the bistro – appropriately named “Bistro” – in St. Nachos, and has the quirky habit of pinning on whatever nametag is uppermost in the box that day – but his name really is Epic. He’s cute and funny and smart with the sort of self-possession Ryan knows he never had at his age (Epic is twenty-three to Ryan’s thirty-six). When Ryan finds himself suddenly without a date for the wedding, he impulsively asks Epic to accompany him instead. Epic might not be a famous movie star, but he’s attractive, articulate and compelling – and Ryan is drawn to him like iron filings to magnetic north.
This fake relationship story proceeds as you’d expect – but I liked the way things play out, with Epic gradually coaxing Ryan to unwind as their attraction grows and a deep connection forms between them over fancy dinners, moonlight walks and sight-seeing trips. Epic turns out to be extremely perceptive and wise beyond his years; he’s brilliant, caring, funny and upbeat, and fiercely protective of Ryan, who at this point in time, badly needs looking after, someone to remind him to eat, quit smoking and to stop working once in a while. He’s also more than a bit bossy in the bedroom once things get that far 😉
You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance.