This boyfriend business is about to get a whole lot more personal…
Event planner Lexi Mannis has a busy life in Chicago—too busy to have a boyfriend. For special occasions, she has her Stand-In Boyfriend, Mac Northrop. Mac offers (almost) all the perks of a real boyfriend—furniture assembly, a date to big events, and someone to cook for. But they’ve never been “with benefits”…until one wickedly hot night crosses the line.
Mac’s been in love with Lexi for ages. He knows he should probably end it, but dammit, he just can’t. When things get deliciously down and dirty, Mac is certain that he’s made the leap out of the friend zone…until Lexi decides she wants to remain friends. With benefits.
What Lexi doesn’t know is that she’s running out of time. And if she won’t promote Mac to Real Boyfriend, she might just lose her Stand-In Boyfriend to someone else…
Source: ARC from Entangled Select Contemporary via NetGalley
This is a short, sweet, uncomplicated, fun story about a woman who relies on her best friend to fill in as a convenient plus-one and the same friend who has been in love with her for years. Lexi is a busy woman, building up her event planning business and devoting all her energies into making it a success. She doesn’t have time for relationships, which is fine, because she has Mac. They’ve known each other since college, hang out regularly, and whenever she needs him – for building IKEA furniture or accompanying her to art galleries – he’s right there, even if he does complain about it.
I loved Mac. He’s adorable. He knows he lets Lexi get away with too much, knows he should give up on their friendship and try to move on, but he just can’t because he’s still holding out the hope that maybe, one day, she’ll change her mind. It’s not like he’s a bad looking guy either. In fact he’s a successful multi-millionaire who also happens to be gorgeous. But deep down he’s still the geeky college kid that fell in love with Lexi and would rather keep her friendship than risk losing her completely by declaring his feelings.
Which of course makes it far too easy for Lexi to discount him. She has him firmly labelled as a friend and doesn’t really need to think too hard about him because he’s always there, always ready to help, always on her side. Until they sleep together, of course, and Lexi’s view gets a bit shaken up. Because she doesn’t want to lose Mac, but she’s so used to seeing him one way that it takes a lot to change her mind.
Much as I loved Mac, I found Lexi a little harder to get to grips with. Clearly she’s good at her job and she likes it, and she’s a good friend, but her confusion over things with Mac felt like she’s was over-dramatising things. And really, when it did all come down to the details, she had been using Mac for years. It didn’t really matter that he was letting her get away with it, she still took complete advantage – and continued to do so when she thought she could get a friends with benefits upgrade. However, I absolutely adored her two dads, especially her Papa (there wasn’t really enough of her Dad to get to know him), and I liked that she listened when people gave her advice and she does take care of Mac when he needs her, so that’s good too.
Overall, this is a short, quick read with a nice bit of heat, a cute hero and a heroine who needs to get her head on straight. It really is as simply and straightforward as that and I enjoyed it a lot. If you don’t have much time but would like a bit of friends-to-lovers romance, then this is a pretty good bet.
Her Stand-In Boyfriend is out July 28th!
Visit Kelly Jamieson for more details.