I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Doctor's Fake Fiancée by Victoria James
Series: Red River #3
Published by Entangled: Bliss on October 20, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Their marriage bargain is just what the doctor ordered…
Former surgeon and self-professed life-long bachelor Evan Manning has one thing on his mind—to reclaim the career that a car accident stole from him. But when he’s forced to return to his hometown of Red River, Evan comes face-to-face with the gorgeous woman who’s haunted his dreams for the last year—the woman he rescued from the burning car that injured his hand. Now Evan needs her help. In a month, he'll have the job opportunity of a lifetime...he just needs a wife to get it.
Artist Grace Matheson is down on her luck again…until she walks into Evan Manning’s office. When her sexy former hero hears that she needs work, he offers her a job and a home—if she’ll pretend she's his fiancée. Grace knows she shouldn't fall for him. Once the month is up, Evan will be back to his old life. But the more time they spend together, the more real their feelings become—and the more likely heartbreak is.
Three years ago, Evan Manning rescued a woman and her baby from their burning car following its collision with a truck. His heroism exacted a high cost as he seriously injured his hand…a career ender for a surgeon. Flash forward to the present and Grace Matheson is trying to find the man who saved her son.
The heart of the story
Grace has struggled to keep a job that will adequately provide for her son and give her the flexibility needed by a single parent. When she locates Evan, he’s returned home to Red River temporarily to sub for the town’s vacationing doctor. He’s vying for a job that will allow him to stay connected to the medical field as a CEO and administrator but needs to project an image of stability. So, Grace (who’s jobless and about to be homeless) gets a job as his receptionist with free housing for a month and Evan gets the fake fiancée he needs to land the big job.
What I enjoyed
This was an uneasy relationship and the romance was a long developing one. It could have taken the clichéd path but didn’t as Evan was so driven to succeed using a definition that served no one well. Getting underneath that sometimes calloused veneer was tough but it made him an extremely complex character. Grace’s perseverance and commitment to her child and the practice endeared her to the community (and me!). This isn’t a “cutesy” story and there were times even I wanted Grace to walk away.
The bottom line
I love this series and this story. Don’t let the title seduce you into thinking this a light and airy romance. Evan’s backstory is extraordinary and somewhat tragic. Grace’s circumstances aren’t ideal either. I had a hard time putting this book down and found their personal journeys beyond interesting. Here’s hoping for at least one more visit to Red River.
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