Overall Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Trusting a man with your heart is the fastest road to devastation.”
Man, oh man (or Woman, oh Woman!) did I need a read like Annika Martin’s The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancee. When our minds are spinning from either boredom or news about our pandemic, we need a book that will allow our minds to rest, tickling our funny bones while challenging our ideas about people and the way they love. And Martin’s book? It does just that thing. You should know that Annika Martin is a must-read for me. Specifically, her rom-coms are the perfect combination of quirk, swoony yet temperamental heroes, and ball-busting heroines. I mean, this genre has this way of empowering women as the male characters seem the least enlightened, and that is refreshing as you read it. This book is no different.
Yes, Martin’s hero, Rex, is broodingly gorgeous, but he lacks an emotional maturity which undermines his ability to connect with people. Basically, the guy is in denial about how his actions affect others. Given that he is emotionally dense, Martin MUST craft a heroine who will turn him inside out, and she brilliantly creates Tabitha, her quirky, but emotionally insightful heroine. This woman is the ONLY woman who could “undo” Rex’s grumpy, spiteful, emotionally stunted hero.
To be very clear, I LOVE this couple. They are the perfect balance for each other. More importantly, these two are hiding in their lives. Rex conceals the pain of his past behind his overbearing work ethic, Yes, he’s a brilliant businessman, but his lifestyle is unsustainable in the long-term. Similarly (the other side of the “hiding” coin), Tabitha buries her hurts behind the mask of humor. The loveliness of this story is Rex and Tabitha’s abilities to recognize the truth in the other. My favorite parts of the book were all the ways that Rex noted how Tabitha used humor to lessen her problems and Tabitha’s ability to see the “real” Rex behind his grumpy bluster. I found myself highlighting these passages the most in the story because Martin shows us that, to love fully, we must push aside emotional walls to get at the heart of the person.
The humor of this story comes in the form of Rex and Tabitha’s banter. That Martin can craft compelling, fluid dialogue, while building their chemistry, illustrates her prowess at dialogue-building. This is whipsmart and entertaining. Even more, Tabitha is quite the character. As I mentioned before, she is a quirky ball-buster with the loves of Hello Kitty and soap operas. Martin integrates soap operas to both delight her reader, but offer up plot devices for her storytelling. This conspires to engage the reader in her story. Once I began The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancee, let’s just say that I didn’t put it down because I needed the resolution and happy ending for Tabitha and Rex.
I hated for Annika Martin’s newest book, The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancee, to end. Yes, her hero and heroine’s chemistry and storyline compel you through this book. More importantly, though, is the story’s ability to encourage us to let go of the past and seek out the people who will make us better people. This is the case for Rex and Tabitha. This book isn’t just about these two; Martin includes a cast of characters who will make you chuckle, sigh, and cry a little. But in the end, there is a guarantee that winds of change will have hit their course, and the future will be smooth sailing for Rex and Tabitha.
In love and romance,