My Fake Fiancé
by Piper Rayne
Book 8 in The Greene Family series
I never felt truly desired by a man—until him.
The second he stepped foot into my small town Alaskan inn, his gaze swept over my curvy figure with desire, igniting a flame I thought was dead. He flirted with me, and I might’ve left two chocolates on his pillow at turndown, but that’s where it stayed.
Over the years, he’s floated in and out of town while a friendship developed between us. It’s probably for the best because I’m not a one-night stand kind of woman.
Which is funny because when he propositions me to be his fake fiancée in order to end a family feud, it turns out I am the kind of woman willing to pretend to be the one he’s in love with.
Well this was surprising!
I won't lie ... I wasn't really looking forward to this one. I think it's because Mandi hasn't been prominent in the other books, and aside from the fact that I knew she owned the inn, and she was plus size, I didn't know that much about her.
But I really liked it!
First of all, I was worried that there was going to be too much emphasis on the fact that Mandi is a plus size woman. That she would be insecure, and not feel good enough. After reading her chapter in The Greene Summer Bash, I was sure that's where this story was going. Luckily, Piper Rayne chose to go another way. It's acknowledged that Mandi is curvy, but she doesn't seem ashamed of it, and it doesn't get in the way of her budding relationship with Noah.
The chemistry between Noah and Mandi is felt right away, and the flirty banter when they were just friends, was perfect. There is a subtle tension throughout the book, the will they/won't they, that doesn't go away even when they enter their arrangement. They just worked as a couple, and for that, it made this book one of the top tier ones in this series.
Also, I loved the unpredictable twist at the end. You think this will go the way all fake engagements/marriages do in romance, but Piper Rayne switched it up, and for that, I'm thrilled. It made this book that much more interesting.
I went into My Fake Fiancé thinking I wasn't going to love it, and was just reading it do get to Chevelle and Cam's book, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. This series does not disappoint.
Mandi: “Okay, why don’t you go upstairs and get settled? I can cook something up for you quickly. Anything in particular you want?”
The relieved breath that leaves his mouth says he’s appreciative.
Noah: “Don’t go to too much trouble. I’m an easy guy.”
Mandi: “Easy, huh?”
One corner of my lips lift in a smirk. His gaze fixates on my lips for a second and my body reacts as if he holds special powers over it, a zing of electricity racing through me from head to toe. A sly grin crosses his lips.
Noah: “Not that kind of easy, but it has been a long, celibate couple of months.”
Mandi: “Well, I’ll feed you then.”
Mandi: “A meal. I’ll feed you a meal.” I inhale deeply.
Mandi: “Wish me luck.”
Chevelle: “With those pants and that ass, you don’t need luck.”
Chevelle smacks my ass and my cheeks heat before I even get out there. We’ve gone from slow dance to dirty dance in a matter of seconds. Both of us look around at the group, our mouths hanging open.
Mandi: “Your grandma…”
Noah: “I can see.”
She’s grinding on Earl’s thigh, and he looks as if he’s struggling not to fall over. I spot another couple where the man has his hands on her hips, grinding his pelvis on the woman’s ass while she’s bent over. I blink and blink again.
Mandi: “What just happened?”
Noah: “I have no idea. We went from sock hop to orgy.”
Noah winces and looks away.
Midge: “Come on, you two. This is the best kind of dancing.”
Midge waves at us to get moving.
Noah: “Fuck that,”
Noah murmurs to me.
Mandi: “I can’t not look. Help me.”
He covers my eyes with his hands and situates himself behind me.
Noah: “Lord, please let it end soon.” Noah: “I have no idea how I’ll ever walk away from you. It will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Mandi: “You seem to think I’m so fragile.”
She throws up her arms.
Mandi: “If you think because of my size I’m some virgin who can’t get a man, think again. I’ve had plenty of experience in my lifetime and there will be men after you.”
She circles back around, but I grab her elbow and twist her back to face me. Then I step forward.
Noah: “Because of your size? Damn it, Mandi, when have I ever made you feel like I judge you about your size? You’re the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I think I’ve made that pretty clear. If you knew how many times I’m having to think of things like dead puppies and my grandma having sex just so I don’t get a hard-on around you, you’d believe me. I don’t think of you as some virgin who’s never had a man and is grateful for my attention. And the fact that there will be someone after me pisses me the fuck off. Because I wanna be the man. I wanna be the man who can live in a small town with you, raise babies, and sit on a porch watching our grandchildren play. A man who is okay with a simple life, who doesn’t thirst for adventure. I wish so badly I was him, you have no idea.” Mandi: “You mean they don’t think Noah and I are really together?”
Panic has my heart fluttering. She shrugs.
Chevelle: “Just Dori and Ethel. They kept grilling me at dinner the other night, but I didn’t think you’d want me telling Grandma that your screaming could wake a family of hibernating bears.”
My cheeks grow hot.
Mandi: “Thank you for that.” Posey; “You wanted a small wedding and Mom got you to agree to make it bigger,”
Mandi: “Oh whatever, you practically murdered Gavin just so Mom could win the mayoral race and be happy. We all want Mom to be happy.” Rylan rolls his eyes.
Rylan: “Why don’t we talk about how Mandi might be pregnant?”
All eyes fall to my stomach.
Rylan: “Everyone’s concerned this wedding isn’t real, but no one’s considered you might be pregnant. I figure you’ll try to pretend it’s a honeymoon baby.”
Rylan’s smug expression says this is payback for all the times we’ve given him hell over Calista.
Mandi: “There’s no baby, and who doesn’t think this wedding is real?”
I look around and each of my sisters and my mother dip their heads. Oh god, I don’t know what to do. Do I just tell them the truth?
Marla: “It was all so fast, we couldn’t make sense of it at first. But we see the way you love Noah now.”
My mom smiles.
Chevelle: “And I have to hear how much you guys love each other every night.”
Chevelle points at Rylan.
Chevelle: “The pregnancy thing could be true. They’re like rabbits, you guys, I swear.”
Chevelle: “What? It’s true. Multiple times a night? You guys really can’t keep your hands off one another. But it’s beautiful. Just saying.”
She smiles while Rylan looks horrified. When he looks present again, she says to him,
Chevelle: “It’s not all that great. Don’t go trying it until you love someone, okay?”
Rylan: “God, stop,”
Rylan says, covering his ears.
Rylan: “I hate being the youngest in this family.” Mandi: “I’m sorry, I can’t marry you.”
He exhales, and I swear even the seagulls stop squawking to listen in on our conversation.
Mandi: “I have to choose me.”
His eyes widen.
Mandi: “You’re a wonderful man, Noah. So much so that I fell in love with you. And as much as I want to marry you, I can’t. Because I deserve a man who loves me too. A wedding where we’re both equally invested in our future—together. I wanted the arbor so badly because I thought it signified the love and bond a couple getting married share, but this one doesn’t. I’m worthy of having a great love in my life. I’m sorry that you can’t be it.” Noah: “Truth?”
Noah: “I think I fell in love with you the first time I saw you.”