Review: Romance for Cynics by Nicola Marsh

romance for cynicsReviewed by Janell

I requested this book because it had a fake-girlfriend scenario, and I’m a sucker for those. It’s from the Harlequin Kiss line, which are “all about the delirium of a potential new romance.” I wouldn’t say that this book showed delirium, but it was fun in its predictable way. Plus it’s Australian, mate!

Lucy is a gardener. She used to be married to a rich guy who wore suits, but he cheated on her and made her distrust all rich men in suits. Now she likes to dig in the dirt and be alone. Cash is, unfortunately for him, a rich man in a suit, a financial advisor to Australian celebrities. When he rejects a starlet, she plans to ruin his reputation somehow, so Cash’s friend suggests that he enter a Most Romantic Couple contest to prove that he’s not skeezy. Cash looks out the window, sees his gardener Lucy, and a fake relationship is born.

The main characters come with their token relationship baggage: Lucy’s high disregard for the rich, and Cash’s fear of commitment brought on by his mother leaving. Cash is a lot more willing to push the boundaries of the fake relationship than Lucy, though. He makes a little progress, but then her mind shouts, “ex-husband! Men in suits are liars!” and it’s another step back. Cash claims to enjoy Lucy’s bickering, but she came across as too hesitant, too bitter for me sometimes.

They did have a pretty fun and flirty sex scene. Cash says, “If you stay, I’m going to ravish you all night. If you leave, nothing changes. Up to you.” I mean, that’s hot and classy. And thankfully Lucy agreed.

The contest leading up to Valentine’s Day involves dates at a dance (the Aussies call it a disco!), a roller rink, and an outdoor picnic. Cash and Lucy bicker/flirt, make out, share deep emotional thoughts, and basically fall in love without knowing they’re falling in love.

When Cash needs support, he checks in with his dad for some love advice. When Lucy needs support, she checks in with her grandmother for some love advice. I’m not always a fan of third-party characters offering advice, because it usually boils down to, “You’re obviously in love.” “Oh my goodness, you’re right!” I like the main characters to know their own feelings a little better before someone else points it out. But these love chats weren’t too intrusive.

I did lose patience with Lucy at the end, when her old issues created drama where there was no need for drama. Both characters misinterpreted each other so much that I had trouble believing that they were ready for a relationship. But, since this is a feel-good Kiss novel, those issues were skipped over and we got a delightful HEA. So if you want a quick romance read, give this a try.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Romance for Cynics
by Nicola Marsh
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Kiss

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