Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Acting Lessons by Katie Allen

An aspiring actress navigates the gig of a lifetime... and an illicit desire she never saw coming in the first book of a brand-new series from Katie Ruggle writing as Katie Allen.

It's an offer she can't refuse. Two weeks of work for enough cash to quit her day job and focus on auditions is a dream come true for struggling actress Topher. All she has to do is play girlfriend to a wealthy friend, helping him secure his trust fund. Then she meets her friend's sinfully handsome, firmly off-limits uncle, and all bets are off.

Not only is Uncle James surprisingly younger than imagined, he's charismatic and hot as hell. And there's something about the wounded veteran's hungry stare that has her thinking the feeling is mutual.

Topher's determined to ignore Uncle Sexy, but the forbidden temptation is too much to handle, especially after James flashes his dominant side. But surrendering to temptation is easier said than done when the plot thickens. Even if Topher can manage to fool everyone involved, she's not sure she can fool her own heart—or the man she's definitely not supposed to be falling for.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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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.

So this is a very involved story with a lot going on, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. You start out with Danny desperately needing a fake girlfriend who is worse than his current girlfriend, Barb. Danny knows that Topher (Coco) is an aspiring actress and thinks that he's come up with a fool proof plan... pay Topher to be hated by his family. Easy peasy. Well, what follows is a series of unfortunate yet hilarious events, some serious events, and major drama.

I loved the relationship between Topher and Julia. They were both sarcastic, hilarious, and they each had a great sense of humor. When they have to spend the day with women who are vapid, annoying, and just too hoity toity, it brings out the snarkiness, which is awesome.

Danny is really just an immature boy who is learning how life works. He wants to have his uncle's approval and his mom's, but his idea of what love is... well, it's underdeveloped. However, I did like how his relationship with Topher was before he dragged her into his mess.

Then you have Uncle Jamie... he is serious but forgiving, sexy, and sometimes a little over the top. He takes Topher's acting with a grain of salt and brings out the sexiness with her and himself. It seems that at first, he takes himself very serious, but Topher is able to break through that veneer and he is able to relax more with her. She and Jamie are a great couple who find that their kinks align. They have great chemistry and I love that you get to see their relationship outside of Topher's acting.

The secondary characters are important, if not annoying, and the big twist in the book is somewhat predictable but still made the story enjoyable. I think that without all of the drama, this story would not have been as hilarious.

I can't wait to see what's next.

While coming from a family with money, Topher didn't want to work for her stepfather, so she had to go it on her own. And that meant paying her own way. And being an actress is what she has always wanted to do. So when her friend, Danny, wanted her to be his pretend girlfriend, he was going to pay her to act as one, she agreed. But things began to fall apart after they arrived at his uncle's house. Such as his real girlfriend and her family showing up. So she has to pretend to be Uncle James’s girlfriend. And James’s ex-girlfriend shows up. And then Topher's parents showing up. It is so fun getting inside Topher's head as she has to keep telling herself that she has to keep pretending to be a ditzy girl, so the others will believe her.

While James is trying to understand why his nephew has brought the ditzy girl home, she is beginning to grow on him. He has never smiled so much. And then they drop the bomb, Danny's real girlfriend is coming. Now James has to pretend that Topher is his girlfriend. As they spend time together, James begins to see the girl under all that ditziness and he is liking it too. So he wants to see if a real relationship just might be something they both will enjoy and maybe continue.

This story was fun and had me laughing most of the time. I really enjoyed it. And I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Katie Allen is the fabulously filthy-minded alter ego of romantic-suspense author Katie Ruggle. She lived in an off-grid solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains until her family lured her back to Minnesota. When she’s not writing, Katie rides horses, shoots guns (target shooting only, since killing anything other than paper makes her ugly-cry), cross-country skis (badly) and travels to warm places where she can scuba dive. A graduate of the police academy, Katie is a self-professed forensics nerd. A fan of anything that makes her feel like a badass, she has trained in Krav Maga, boxing and gymnastics.

Connect with Katie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Acting Lessons (Off Guard #1) by Katie Allen to read and review.

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