NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
He’s the total package.
Eric Miller isn’t looking for a long term relationship. And he definitely isn’t thrilled when a friend signs him up for The Boyfriend Experience app behind his back. It’s not like he has a problem getting women on his own. But when he gets a notification that someone is in need of his . . . services, he’s intrigued enough to check out her profile and can’t resist the sexy, sassy little brunette who only wants him as a decoy for a family event.
Evie Bennett needs a boyfriend, stat. Someone who can accompany her to her family reunion so she doesn’t have to explain that she’s been recently dumped. Again. She’s perfectly happy being an independent woman, but what’s a girl to do when her new fake boyfriend starts to feel like the real deal?
I really like this whole concept of a boyfriend for hire. Nothing long term but to cover those uncomfortable situations that require one.
Of course the way Eric got added to the site was hysterical and the fact that his friend Dylan managed to accept that beta request was even funnier. Well funny to me, not so much to Eric.
Evie really needs a date for her family reunion weekend, not so much for her parents but to ward off her cousin and her fiancé, the fiancé that just happens to be one of Evie’s ex-boyfriends.
Now Eric wasn’t going to do it, he was going to tell her that when they met but there was just something about Evie that he couldn’t turn her down. He did however have to check his work schedule.
This is a favorite scene.
As he headed back toward her with both of their drinks in hand, she regained her composure. By the time he sat down across from her again and she had her first sip of her caffeinated latte, she felt like she could carry on an intelligent conversation with him.
“I have to say, hiring someone to be my boyfriend isn’t something I’d normally do,” she said, not sure why she thought she had to justify her actions to him, but doing it anyway. Maybe because the scenario seemed so . . . desperate, and that’s the last thing she wanted him to think. Even if it was partially true.
His eyes twinkled at her from above the rim of his cup as he took a drink of his own coffee before replying. “And offering my services to impersonate a woman’s boyfriend isn’t something I’d normally do, either.”
She laughed at that. “You’re the one who signed up to be on the Boyfriend Experience app.”
The corner of his mouth quirked with humor. “Touché,” he said, as if there was more to his story than met the eye, but he didn’t share anything more.
Whatever his reasons for being on the app, she wasn’t about to judge. She figured he needed the money, or maybe he just enjoyed randomly dating women and playing the part of a doting boyfriend. Clearly there was a demand for that kind of service, and someone had to fulfill the requests.
“So, back to my question,” he said, leaning back casually in his seat, causing his shirt to tighten across his chest, just enough to hint at the toned body beneath. “Why would a beautiful woman like you need to hire a fake boyfriend?”
Her cheeks warmed at his flattery. He definitely had the charm part of his persona down pat, along with a sense of humor. He’d already proven to be kind and considerate by insisting to buy her drink, and overall, he was easy to be with. Maybe because this wasn’t a real date. She didn’t have to impress him since she’d be paying him to do a job, and there were no expectations between them other than what she required from him.
“To make a long story short, my ex cheated on me after four months together,” she said, getting the humiliating part of the story out of the way. “He was supposed to attend a family reunion with me over the Fourth of July weekend and meet my parents and relatives for the first time.”
Confusion furrowed his brows. “In four months together, they’ve never seen a picture of this guy?” he asked incredulously. “Or do I look like him?”
“Ahhh, no, to both questions,” she said, and explained. “He’s a social worker and doesn’t have any social media accounts, and I never sent a picture of him to my parents. But you do share the same first name. I figured you both being an Eric would make me less likely to mess up your name in front of my family.”
“Is that why you chose me?” he asked curiously, his gaze holding hers, warm and too damn tempting. “Because our names are the same?”
“Initially, that’s what made me click on your profile.” She didn’t mention that his gorgeous face had been part of what had influenced her decision because that seemed so superficial. “Then I read your bio, and it was quirky and funny and made me laugh, and trust me when I say I need a guy who doesn’t take things too seriously, because my parents are a little over-the-top and you’re going to need to roll with the punches when it comes to them.” And to also deal with her disingenuous, two-faced cousin and her underhanded remarks.
“Can’t wait to hear more about them,” he said, grinning as he took another drink of his Americano, giving her a moment to appreciate his long fingers and neatly trimmed nails. “So, are you trying to please your parents by bringing a boyfriend to the reunion? Are they the type who are anxious for you to settle down so they can have grandbabies and you don’t want to deal with the whole when are you getting married spiel?”
She laughed and shook her head. “No, they’ve honestly never pressured me.”
Turning more serious, Evie absently rubbed her palms along her thighs beneath the table, knowing she needed to clue him in to why she was hiring him so he’d be on his game while interacting with her family, but hating the embarrassing reality of the situation. “The truth is, I don’t want to show up at the reunion and have to explain to everyone that I’m no longer with Eric . . . the other Eric. They’ll want to know what happened, and I’ll have to explain the degrading story of being duped and cheated on, and everyone is going to feel sorry for me the entire time I’m there and treat me with kid gloves because they’ll think I’m depressed over the breakup.”
“Are you? Depressed over how things ended?” he asked.
She shook her head, and since he seemed genuinely interested in her answer, she replied candidly. “No. I’m more angry that I didn’t see it coming, and that I dismissed red flags I should have paid more attention to because I didn’t want to be one of those paranoid girlfriends who didn’t trust their boyfriend. In hindsight, I should have listened to my gut, and now I find it a little hard to trust my own judgment when it comes to . . .” Realizing the direction the conversation was heading, she abruptly stopped talking. The last thing she wanted to do was bare her insecurities to a guy she’d just met or have him feel sorry for her.
“When it comes to men?” He finished the sentence anyway. His low voice, threaded with understanding, prompted her to be honest.
“Yeah.” She nodded. “That’s why a pretend boyfriend works for me.
Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde. The Boyfriend Experience (Kindle Locations 282-324). CP Publishing and Janelle Denison.
In spite of the way they were matched up, it was so enjoyable to watch this relationship develop. We get more insight into why Eric doesn’t want a serious relationship, tears there folks.
Evie’s parents are a hoot and her cousin well she’s a bully and an overbearing, obnoxious woman.
Lots of laughs, tears and seriously hot scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
5 Contented Purrs for Carly and Erika!
Get to Know Eric’s Friends
Aiden, Leo and Dylan
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.
Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.
Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.
So, why the new pen name?
As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.
Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship.
I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates.