Sweet Southern Trouble
by Michele Summers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2017
An ambitious Southern belle
Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...
A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances.
What could possibly go wrong?
Fake relationships can be so much fun, and by the end of this one I was totally on board with Marabelle and Nick. There was great banter between the characters – they both held their own with each other and could both bring the snark and sass.
Marabelle is a real firecracker – she’s may be small, but she’s grown up having to stand up for herself and, after walking away from her inheritance, paying her way and fighting for everything she has. When she signs on to becoming Nick’s fake fiancé, she’s takes her job of scaring off all the women who are constantly coming on to him seriously…even if it means getting physical doing it…
Nick is a bit of an arrogant jerk, but he uses that as a shield to keep people away. He’s tired of the player life he’s been leading and the mandate from the team’s general manager about “walking the straight line of respectability” doesn’t seem far off from what he’s been thinking about…he’s not the marrying type, but a fake fiancé seems just the ticket to satisfy his GM and step back from the some of the crazy his personal life seems to bring. Of course Marabelle brings her own sort of crazy to his world, but it’s the type the makes him start thinking about more.
Nick and Marabelle certainly brought some heat – even if it took a bit for them to finally get down to business. I loved the fact that Marabelle was quite inexperienced and thought that she sucked at sex - and I loved that Nick was determined to prove otherwise. And I totally loved that once Nick had committed to the “fake” relationship, he was committed to being on Marabelle’s team, whether that was acting as a buffer when she visits home or making the fundraiser she oversees a success. There was a bit at the end where I really wanted to smack Nick a time or two, but ultimately he does come through.
There were some other great characters in the book – ones that had you either loving or hating them. From Nick’s ex-girlfriend and Marabelle’s mother (hate!) to Nick’s player’s Beau and Ty and Marabelle’s BFF Paula (love!), they all had a part in creating a nice backdrop to Nick and Marabelle’s story. The subplot of the bachelor auction and some subterfuge when it came to Marabelle’s job also added to the story.
This one got off to a slow start for me – I think that had to do with Nick’s arrogance and Marabelle’s insecurities. But once the story got going I was almost done with the book before realizing that I was totally wrapped up in Nick and Marabelle’s story. Things did get a bit angsty at the end, but watching Nick and Marabelle come to terms with what they want and what they thought they wanted was worth the read.
And even though it doesn’t have to do with the story, I do want to mention that I really don’t like the cover to this book. Don’t get me wrong, the cover is hot, but after reading this one it just doesn’t seem to fit the story. It may be just me…
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley of this book.