It’s been a while since I read a book set against the fashion industry world so I was eager to try this new to me author and her sizzling hot fake mates scenario.
The story opens with rich, cold as ice CEO of a prestigious Italian Fashion Design House, Rocco Mondelli, mourning his grandfather’s death. Rocco’s grandfather reared him and his sister after his mother died and his father fell apart as a result. He took the family company and made something of it and now the grandfather he loved seems to have betrayed him with his shocking legal arrangements when it comes to the company and to a private matter, one ex- runway model, Olivia Fitzgerald who may or may not have been his grandfather’s mistress. Rocco’s emotions boil over until he devises a calculated plan to get what he wants- control of the company.
Olivia walked- no ran- from her previous life after the death of a friend, a shattered romance, and a messy breakdown. She disappeared entirely and has been working on her dreams of designing her own clothing line with the help of mentor Giovanni Mondelli, but now she looks to lose it all as Giovanni’s fierce grandson makes it clear what he believes about her. Then Rocco makes a shocking proposal. He will honor his grandfather’s promise to her and make her dreams possible if she will agree to be the face of her new fashion line and agree to be his fake fiancée’. They can’t stand each other so this is strictly business and she is terrified to re-enter the world she fled, but she can’t make it without agreeing to Rocco’s proposal. And that flame of attraction she feels and suspects he feels, too, will just have to stay under control.
I jumped in eagerly because of the setting and romance tropes. This was a quick read so it wasn’t deeply developed though I did enjoy it. The misunderstandings and heat coming off this pair lit up the pages and gave me a good passionate romance. There are no big surprises, but that too offered its own form of enjoyment. Like many stories this one’s barriers aren’t insurmountable: enemies to lovers, fight the attraction, bossy bachelor avoiding his feelings and relationships, and girl who has dreams, but who needs to beat her inner demons.
As I said, this was a light, engaging read with a sultry romance with an alpha Italian lover, vulnerable American gal, and an interesting backdrop. I would recommend it to Contemporary Romance fans who want something light and easy with some spice.
I received this book as a prize, but this does not affect my honest review.