It’s petty, but Naval Chief Derrick Fox wishes he could exact a little revenge on his ex by showing off a rebound fling. His submarine is due to return to its Bremerton, Washington, home base soon and Derrick knows all too well there won’t be anyone waiting with a big, showy welcome.
Enter one ill-advised plan…
Arthur Euler is the guy you go to in a pinch—he’s excellent at out-of-the-box solutions. It’s what the genius music-slash-computer nerd is known for. So when he finds out Derrick needs a favor, he’s happy to help. He can muster the sort of welcome a Naval Chief deserves, no problem at all.
Except it is a problem. A very big problem.
When Arthur’s homecoming welcome is a little too convincing, when a video of their gangplank smooch goes enormously viral, they’re caught between a dock and a hard place. Neither of them ever expected a temporary fake relationship to look—or feel—so real. And Arthur certainly never considered he’d be fighting for a very much not-fake forever with a military man.
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When Annabeth Albert writes a military romance (or let’s face it…all her books) you need to plan to read it, and maybe even read it in one sitting. Yes, to both of these for this reader. 🙂
There’s a lot of fun in this book, fake homecoming kiss, and a weeklong family reunion that allows Arthur to finally break away from the little kids table. But some serious issues as well, because family almost always can make things that may not have been an issue otherwise feel like the weight of the world. On top of it, Arthur’s brother, Derrick’s buddy, doesn’t make it any easier.
Seeing how Derrick stood up for Arthur, and his passion, while still doing the little things to help him, so sweet. Even as Arthur states multiple times that he would never date a military man, having seen the issues with his parents, he can’t help the feelings. These two start out as a fake romance, but quickly start to respect and like each other, before it goes any further.
Albert’s ability to take real life difficulties, infuse romantic gestures and sweetness, all while bringing the heat, is something few other authors can manage. I enjoy each and every moment of it.
One thing that I appreciated was Arthur having an important conversation with his mother, finding out what it really meant to be a military spouse from her perspective. It brought it back to a real world issue that military families must have to deal with every day.
These two were sweet and fluffy (also, Arthur’s BFF was bad ass!), but still heartfelt and sexy. Everything I love about Albert’s books. 🙂
4.5 pieces of eye candy
I have a thing for military men that Annabeth Albert writes. I don’t know why, but I just love them. And this is the start of a brand new series! Yay!
You like tropes? Which is your favorite? Because this book has a bunch, but at the same time it feels a bit fresher. We’ve got fake boyfriend, best friend’s brother, forced proximity and virgin. Whew.
What starts out as a fake welcome home kiss to make an ex jealous, to then being fake boyfriends at a weeklong family reunion, Derrick and Arthur are adorable. Arthur being Derrick’s best friend’s little brother. But, yanno, they are just faking it right?
Until Derrick sticks up for Arthur who is a musician in a family of military men. Arthur already had a crush on Derrick, but then Derrick starts to have a crush on Arthur.
Most of the book is spent at the weeklong family reunion. Where they really get to know each other and start falling for each other. It was sweet and a bit romantic (finding Arthur good coffee….swoon) and definitely sexy.
After the reunion, life gets in the way a bit, but at the same time it’s a true test for them.
I really liked this story, although it did take me a little bit to become invested in them as a couple. Partly because there was almost no background story on either of them. We just jumped right in to the homecoming and pretend boyfriend welcome home kiss. But once I was in, I was in and I devoured their story.
There’s very little angst at all, but there is some…stress shall we say. It isn’t over the top fluffy either. Just a good story that I could actually see happening in real life. I guess that’s what I like about Ms Albert’s books- they are very “real life” to me.
4 pieces of eye candy