Who’s the sexy blonde stranger sleeping in Simon Holcroft’s bed? The workaholic returns from a business trip to find someone stretched out on his sheets. Between the laundry basket at her side and the smell of orange cleaner, he deduces that the young woman is his maid-and resists the urge to kiss her awake.
But when his brother’s fiancé-his own ex-bursts in and strips down to her panties, Simon has to get her dressed and back where she belongs. So he introduces the maid as his fiancée. But his little white lie gets bigger, because now he has to bring his supposed bride-to-be to meet the whole family. One offer-she-can’t-refuse later, Simon has bought himself a temporary fiancée.
In debt up to her eyeballs and all alone for the holidays, how could struggling grad student Caroline Sampson not accept her gorgeous client’s fantasy proposal? But acting like she’s in love comes more easily than she ever expected.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
When I requested this book I was in the mood for a sweet contemporary romance, something that I could read quickly and enjoy. This definitely had a category feel to it, and I for one adored the story.
Simon comes home after traveling and finds a sexy woman stretched out on his bed. When his brothers fiance comes barging in his house and puts the moves on him, he tells her that Caroline, the sexy maid who was upstairs asleep, is really his fiance. In order to keep Francine from causing problems at Christmas, Simon and Caroline come up with a deal – she goes with him and continues to pose as his fiance, and he will give her an interest free loan for law school.
Once Caroline meets Simon’s family, she begins to fall for both him and the rest of the Holcroft clan. She knows that nothing can come of their time together, but being accepted into the family is easier than she expected, and something she never dreamed of happening to her. But when the family trusts her with their secrets, will Caroline be able to keep them all? Including the biggest one of all – her love for Simon.
This was a short story, but didn’t feel like it at all. The plot moved quickly, the characters pulled me in and the book felt like a full length feature. There was so much I adored in this book: both Caroline and Simon were great characters, Simon’s family was hilarious and sweet, the romance was a slow build up (and one that I adored from start to finish). One of the things I loved most: after their secret came out to Simon’s family, the two were able to work things out quickly and like adults. I always love when my romance books don’t go through some huge misunderstanding or breakup.
The sweet build-up in romance for these two was too sweet. While the mutual attraction was evident from the very beginning, watching these two fall in love over the course of their vacation was so sweet. I loved that they gradually found things within one another that they were attracted to, that they gradually became friends, lovers and then so much more. I’m such a sucker for a sweet romance, and these two had it in spades!
I loved Simon’s family, although their need to keep everything a secret from each other started to annoy me, especially since they all seemed to trust Caroline with their secrets. While I understood them not wanting to upset their matriarch, I also wanted to smack them all from keeping secrets from one another. But I adored them. His mother and father were so cute, absolutely darling! Simon’s sister and her partner were great (and so awesome to see a f/f secondary relationship), and his brother was a riot, especially as he and Simon constantly argued and bickered.
One of the other things I really liked was that the city of Savannah seemed to play such a strong factor in the book. I love when a setting becomes another character in the book. The story just seems to be richer in some ways, and I thought that Schield did an incredible job with that.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The romance was so sweet, and the few sexy times were great as well. I loved the journey Simon and Caroline went on to discover their love for each other. The characters were all so much fun to read, and other than one or two little things, there wasn’t anything in the story I didn’t like. Harlequin category fans will want to get this book ASAP!
I give His Secret Temptation a B+