Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Susan's Review of The Real Thing by Melissa Foster

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—
but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Sugar Lake #1
Melissa Foster
Releasing Sept 5, 2017

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

**THE REAL THING is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE, order the paperback.

Releasing December 5th, 2017

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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Willow stopped abruptly. Her head tipped forward, her shoulders dropping a smidge as she turned, her hair curtaining one eye. “Zane, just tell me what you’ve done.”

He went to her and reached for her hand, feeling shittier than he’d thought he would. “There is no baking gig. I set all this up to get you here.” Anger flared in her eyes. He continued explaining as fast as he could. “Wills, there’s this focus group for my new film, and they’re worried my reputation will hurt the movie. That fans won’t buy me as a romantic hero.”

She scoffed. “Smart fans.”

“Come on. I need your help.”

“What am I supposed to do? Write a letter to the public telling them Zane Walker isn’t a self-centered playboy? Sorry, not your girl.”

She took a step away, and he hauled her against him. Her hands landed on his chest, which felt amazing, and even with darts shooting from her bright-blue eyes with deathly precision, she was still the most beautiful, alluring woman he’d ever known.

“No,” she seethed. “Whatever it is. No.”

“Come on. Just hear me out.”

Her lips formed a tight line.

“I need a . . .” He could hardly believe what he was about to say. “A fake fiancée.”

“A fake fiancée? What does that mean?”

“We’ll pretend to be engaged so everyone thinks I’m a stand-up guy.”

A disgusted look washed over her face. “No.”

“You owe me, Wills.”

The Real Thing is the first book in Melissa Foster’s Sugar Lake series….and it’s AMAZING! Set in the small town of Sweetwater, New York, the story features the Willow Dalton and Zane Walker. The characters, small town setting and the author‘s fabulous dialogue quickly drew me into the story.

At first, I was not thrilled the ‘fake engagement” trope in this novel. But, I quickly discovered that The Real Thing isn’t about a fake engagement; it’s about two people coming to terms with their long standing feelings for each other. The writing is rich in detail and the characters are so likeable that it’s easy to forgive Zane’s fake engagement idea and Willow’s sassy comebacks because it is apparent that these two people are meant to be together. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts and kudos to Ms. Foster for the sexy, steamy, fun, tender bedroom, bakery, blanket and car scenes! The novel is beautifully written and each word, each scene between Willow and Zane captivated me. Enjoyed reading how the couple sorts out theirs feelings for each other as desire changes to love.

Loved Willow’s relationship with her sisters and her mom. Zane won me over when Spiderman arrived at Willow’s nephew’s birthday party. Zane went out of his way to make a little child happy and showed Willow he truly cared for her. This scene had all the feels. It was hysterical, emotional, loving and poignant. Ms. Foster does a fabulous job weaving in Willow’s family members, bakery regulars, friends and Zane’s assistant and coworkers into the novel. These minor characters added a lot of fun and depth to the story line. Can’t wait to see if the next book features Piper or Bridgette Dalton. The smart, snappy dialogue between Zane and Willow drew me into the story. Zane used the fake engagement ruse to connect back to Willow, his heart’s desire and that’s what makes this story so romantic and special to me.

Melissa Foster has the ability to write an honest, relatable, entertaining romance—and I can’t wait for book two in this amazing series!

If you love the small town romances written by Donna Alward, Kristan Higgins and Laura Trentham—you will adore Melissa Foster’s The Real Thing!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by Tasty Tours


  1. The Real Thing cover is adorable! I love it. Terrific review, Susan.

  2. Muah! Thank you, Susan! I'm so happy you loved book one in Sugar Lake and are looking forward to reading more! XOXO

    1. Loved it!!
      You write the best stories!
      Book #2 is preordered.


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