Cara Russo’s grandmother insists that she needs to get married if she wants to keep her graduate funding. And while Cara’s not thrilled at the prospect – and she doesn’t even know if her grandmother would make good on the threat – she needs to find a fiance, and fast. She wouldn’t do anything quite so crazy as actually getting married, but she’s not above hiring an actor (or an escort) to play the part.
Toby Hunt has watched his best friend’s little sister grow from an annoying little girl to one of his closest friends. He’s helped her navigate a number of challenges, but he just can’t let her hire an escort to please her grandmother. (Talk about dangerous!) Instead, Toby will take care of everything for the fake engagement. He just hopes that Cara’s still on board when she finds out her fake fiance is him.
As you’ve probably noticed, I love friends-to-lovers and I love the slightly forbidden feeling of a brother’s best friend romance. I even love the fake engagement that turns into real feelings trope. But somehow, despite all of the people I follow on Goodreads, all of the book blogs I regularly read, and the twelve thousand author mailing lists I’m subscribed to, I didn’t hear about Personal Escort until Indie Sage PR emailed to ask if I’d participate in a blitz. I knew right away that this would be a book I loved, so I signed up even before reading. (Then I preordered the book. Then I read it, in its entirety, on the day it came out.)
It was so good! This isn’t my first Ainsley Booth book, but it is my favorite so far. Cara and Toby were cute, their relationship was adorable, and I loved how little angst they had. There were no purposeful miscommunications, no petty arguments, and they actually behaved like you might expect longtime friends who start feeling some attraction to behave. Their romance moved a bit quickly, but at less than 200 pages and given the plot of the book, I guess that was sort of the point.
I have a few more of Ainsley Booth’s books gathering dust on my virtual TBR shelf. I’ll have to dust them off and dive in.
Final rating: ★★★★☆