REVIEW: The Almost Romantic by Lauren Blakely

Posted March 22nd, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 7 comments


The Almost Romantic by Lauren Blakely: What started out as a playful date between two very busy people soon turns into a business venture with a side of make-believe romance, but first they have to fake it… when former pro baseball player turned bar owner Gage finally worked up the courage to ask out Elodie the cute chocolatier that visits his bar, he never imagined it would wind up with the two of them instantly clicking not only with chemistry but with a brilliant business idea. Only a small snag, if they want to secure their perfect venue to marry their two businesses then they need to pretend to be a couple.

However things take a drastic turn when a rival chocolatier threatens to expose their fake relationship, not being one to take things lying down Gage decides to propose! It was supposed to be a simple fake turned real situation with an expiration date. Gage just needs to make sure that he doesn’t wind up falling in love with his wife… shouldn’t be too hard right, after all who wants to tie themselves to a woman that can make their daughter giggle and bring light and love into their home…

The Almost Romantic was a lovely combination of Blakely’s signature playful characters with a more deep back story. This book hooked me in right off the bat with the quirky, slightly cringe meet cute that this couple had, and things only got better the more we got to follow Gage and Elodie. The marriage of convince trope has always been a favourite of mine and getting to see these two actually falling in love only made me love this book all the more, add in the fact that Gage was working the hot dad vibe and I was totally sold!

Elodie was such an easy to like leading lady, not only did she have a really cool job but I loved her passion for chocolate. I loved that she was so confident and sex positive, she really rocked the girl boss vibes and I loved the fact that she was a strong and independent woman. I loved seeing her with her sister and getting to see their dynamic grow as the book progressed. Aside from being a total boss girl, Elodie really had a heart of gold and cared for the people around her. She showed a lot of strength in having to restructure her life after the death of her parents and having to take on guardianship of her younger sister. Now for our hero, Gage, well there really wasn’t much not to love about our hero. Gage was a total hot dad with a heart of gold. I loved how straight forward he was and that he did not beat around the bush about his feelings. His bond with his daughter was just the sweetest, I loved the way she sassed him about his clothes and getting back into the dating world. More than anything I loved the fact that he was a no drama hero, he made sure that Elodie was taken care of and made his feelings for her clear.

The chemistry between Elodie and Gage was perfection! These two tip toed around each other for far too long if you ask me but gosh once they got together it was fire! I loved their banter and the playful energy that flowed between them. They truly were an incredible couple that empowered each other not only at home but in business. The supporting characters only made an already good book great, I loved Amanda, Eliza, Zane and Grandma Margo. Not only did they add dimension to the book but they added so many giggles!

The Almost Romantic is the perfect sassy, steamy, easy romcom read. This book is a total must read in my opinion!

Book Info:

Publication: March 14, 2024 | Lauren Blakely Books | How to Date #3

“Marry me.”

They were the last words I expected to say to my fake fiancé, but I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t back down from a challenge.

Pretend I’m engaged to my gorgeous and talented business partner to secure a business deal?

No problem.

Agree to a no-touch rule even though she’s been driving me wild since I met her?

Challenge accepted.

Resist grinning like a damn fool every time that same big-hearted, sunshine-y woman laughs with my little daughter?


So, yeah, when my fake fiancé’s vindictive business rival threatens to expose our make-believe romance, I can handle that too.

I’ll prove our engagement isn’t fake – by marrying her for real.

A marriage with an expiration date at the end of the year.

But that’s when I run smack dab into the biggest challenge ever – not falling madly in love with my wife.



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