by Alison Bliss
The rules of (fake) engagement . . .
Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom.
Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.
Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancee! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off . But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.
Do you hear that, dear reader? My heart is a-flutter with this story! I want to gush about everything, but I'll save my spoilers for later in the review - no worries, I will warn you.
Leah is a plus-size beauty who doesn't know she's beautiful. She owns and runs her own bakery with help from her friend Valerie. Leah is caring, fun, and lovely - but she is self-conscious about her weight. Her self-esteem has gotten quite a hit since her ex-boyfriend dumped her for a woman much thinner than her. It doesn't help that Leah's mother keeps reminding her about her looks.
Sam...is a misguided fellow. Okay - he's actually a really sweet guy who loves a woman with curves (and doesn't see why Leah doesn't see how beautiful she is - cue the sigh). What Sam lacks - is insight. He is determined to stay single due to his history of relationships. Then when he meets Leah - he has difficulty reconciling what he thinks he needs with what he wants.
I always enjoy when romance stories include a curvaceous leading lady. I could have done without the thin woman she was left for being called "anorexic", however. Setting that aside - I truly enjoyed this story. Leah and Sam had a genuine attraction to each other, and they were so funny. And that was before any of the sexiness!
Okay - spoilers!!!! You've been warned!
I thought the fake fiance ordeal in this story was hilarious. It read like a romantic comedy - especially when they were around their families. And there is an actual proposal at the end of this story - and it did not make me want to gag! I have a theory about this, hear me out:
This book had a really great steady pace for the characters, and the two really do evolve in their own way. Leah slowly learns to trust, and gains some self confidence. Sam gains insight into his feelings about Leah, and relationships. They each help each other out. Because these characters take the time to talk, argue, apologize, and simply spend time together - they end up falling for each other. Leah realizes this sooner than Sam because she knows what love is. Sam trails behind, relying too much at times on the negative of his experiences. Eventually, Sam catches up, and realizes that Leah is the woman for him - which explains why he had such a difficult time letting go of her and their ruse. So, due to the fact that I was able to read Leah and Sam's love story - which might have not taken very long - was still one of the most genuine that I've read so far. I truly felt the two characters cared about each other. So, yeah, I don't mind that proposal because, by the time he did it, I believed Sam wanted to marry Leah :)