Love….it does like to surprise us. Sometimes it shows up in ways you never expected it to, and with people you never thought of. The trope of love when you least expect it is kind of a favourite for me. There’s not a whole lot that is as sweet as seeing two jaded people find love when they thought that was out of their reach.
That’s what happens for Lucy and Cashel in Romance for Cynics, the latest Harlequin KISS release from Nicola Marsh.
What is Romance for Cynics about?
Cashel Burgess’s PR team has come up with a plan to salvage his reputation and show his “softer” side by entering him in a Valentine’s Day competition to find Australia’s Most Romantic Couple. It’s so ridiculous it might actually work. The hitch? He doesn’t even have a girlfriend. But that’s not about to stop him….
Thanks to a good-for-nothing ex, gardener Lucy Grant hates Valentine’s Day. But when Cash makes her an offer too good to refuse, Lucy finds herself half of the most cynical couple in Australia! The only problem is, when a man fakes it this well, a girl might be tempted to turn fiction into fact….
Here’s my thoughts on Romance for Cynics:
The story does take place over a relatively short period of time, which on a lot of occasions could lead to a hefty dose of instalove. However, I didn’t get that feeling here. The progression from boss/employee to fake couple to actual lovers didn’t seem rushed or forced in any way. The competition that brings them together is something I could totally imagine happening in real life, as well.
Lucy and Cash together make a fantastic couple – I loved the banter between them and their chemistry was pretty damn hot (dance floor scene….read it and you will know).
I loved that Cash was upfront about the fact that he has a case of the hots for Lucy and won’t rule out making a move on her. Even saying that, he wasn’t pushing her into places she didn’t want to go. I’ve heard a few people say that they had issues with Lucy constantly pushing Cash away, but I get why she does. Lucy didn’t really have the greatest of marriages, and you wouldn’t blame her for being a little gun-shy around someone like Cash, who lives a life quite like her ex did, even if she finds him kinda hot.
The relationship between Lucy and her grandmother was lovely, and the fact that Lucy was willing to put herself into potentially uncomfortable territory to help her grandmother out was testament to how strong that bond must be. I like when I get to read older characters that aren’t cartoonish.
Melbourne-based stories will always have a place on my bookshelf, and I love that Romance for Cynics takes place partly over my side of the bridge. Williamstown is one of my favourite spots in Melbourne, and is filled with lovely old houses, much like Cash’s in the book.
Romance for Cynics is a thoroughly enjoyable read for the romantic and the cynic alike.
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 1 February 2014
Note: I was provided with an advance reader copy by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.