Friday, August 18, 2017

Don't Call Me Sweetheart by Codi Gary

Weddings are big business in picturesque Sweetheart, California, and Something Borrowed’s rent-a-bridesmaid service is thriving among the Hollywood elite. For the women who work there, a walk down the aisle is just a paycheck—until the right guy makes it priceless...


Marley Stevenson never imagined her stint as a rented Maid of Honor would practically become a career. Then again, nothing in her life has gone according to plan. At least the money’s good—and she needs it to pay off student loans and help out her mom. But the job has rules, which have never been an issue... until one encounter with a gorgeous best man—and his swoon-worthy Southern accent—sends Marley reeling.

Determined to get through the weekend with her professional reputation intact, Marley grits her teeth and sends out her best “unavailable” vibes, but Luke Jessup doesn’t give up that easy. A former Marine and a current SWAT team officer, his focus is legendary—and it’s on Marley. Jeopardizing her job is bad enough, and starting a relationship based on half-truths is worse—yet Marley is beginning to wonder if certain risks are worth taking, especially in the name of true love...

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This story has a lot going on. You have Marley and Luke, Sonora and Brent, and then you also have Kendall, Kelly, Rylie, and Dustin.

Sweetheart is the perfect place for couples to marry. The name itself has generated businesses that capitalize on weddings. Marley has lived in this town all of her life and hates the small town. However, she is amazing at being a Maid of Honor for women who want someone who can handle the pressure, get things done, and allow the bride to shine. Kelly owns the business and has known Marley for several years. When a difficult client comes to town, Kelly asks that Marley take her on.

What follows is a few weeks of torture, a new friendship, and renewed friendships. There are also new propositions, a lot of steamy, sneaky scenes, and a whole lot of drama. Brent is supposed to get married. He doesn't do it for love – it's more of a transaction. Marley is hired for his bride to be, Sonora. Whew is Sonora a basket case, wrapped in a psychotic wedding dress made of fluff and tulle. Brent's best friend, Luke is there for moral support and to be the best man. Luke has never really understood what Brent saw in Sonora, but wants his friend to be happy – whatever Brent's definition of happy is, Luke will stand by and not open his mouth.

Despite the strict no fraternization rules, Marley and Luke can't seem to stay away from each other. They have quickies, long drawn out dates, and are just sweet with each other. They develop a relationship that is based on a lie, but can't disguise their feelings for each other.

This story was full of drama, both good and really bad, but it also made me laugh out loud. The cake tasting scene was so funny. But it also had elements of reality – sometimes love gets in the way and then you have to figure out what's worth fighting for and who you want surrounding you.

I really hope that Kendall gets a story, as she was my favorite character followed closely by Rylie. I want to see where all of these people go.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars

This book has a lot going on, world building, setting the stage for all the major players, and setting the stage for book two.

In Sweetheart, everything and I mean everything seems to have some connection to the wedding industry. Marley works for one of those ventures as a "bridesmaid" for hire. When someone has a last-minute cancellation in their wedding party, Marley steps in and becomes a long-lost friend who assists the bride in whatever capacity she needs.

In this instance, she's been hired as the Maid of Honor for a D-list celebrity who has already lost two maid of honors due to her nasty attitude. One of the rules of the company she works for is that there is no fraternization with the bridal party or their families.

What she doesn't count on is Luke. After meeting in the grocery store and going out for a lunch date, she then finds out that he's the best man in her most recent assignment. Talk about awkward.

There's a lot of will she/won't she, a bridezilla of epic proportions, and some friendships made. Marley knows that if she makes the wrong choice she will lose her job, but she also knows that Luke is more than just a fling. Can she risk her heart again after all she's lost? One thing that Marley is good at is hiding and protecting herself, the question is how good is Luke at being a protector?

An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she's not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

Connect with Codi

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Don't Call Me Sweetheart (Something Borrowed #1) by Codi Gary to read and review.

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