4.5⭐️ – Almost every time I read a book by Miranda MacLeod, I’m surprised that they make me laugh. Maybe it’s time I stop being surprised and embrace the fact that she is funny. If you like romcoms, you’ll love this book. And Lori Prince is the perfect narrator for it.
It wouldn’t take much effort for Monica to see her girlfriend dumping her as a blessing in disguise. If only said girlfriend, who had agreed to allow Monica to stay in the house they shared (in exchange for rent), hadn’t decided to sell the house without letting Monica know. No wonder Monica isn’t overjoyed when “handy ma’am” Ray arrives to start work in the house. Their first encounter is full of fire, not all of the lusty kind. At first sight, Monica could be mistaken for a princess. She looks and sounds high maintenance, everything Ray tends to run away from. Yet when Monica asks her to pretend to be her girlfriend and visit her dying grandmother with her, Ray surprises both herself and Monica by accepting. Ray and Monica turn out to be so talented at this fake girlfriend gig that Monica’s grandmother rewrites her will: if they get married, they’ll inherit a vineyard and enough money to make a real difference in their lives.
I love a good fauxmance novel, because everything that can go wrong will and because the author has to work even harder to make the falling in love credible. Miranda MacLeod makes even the lack of communication seem unavoidable. While very different, Monica and Ray share two characteristics: they’re stubborn and they’re insecure. Even when it’s obvious to them that the other lusts after them, they can’t believe they would want a real relationship. They spend so much time fighting their growing feelings that they can’t see the other is struggling just as much. It could be annoying but it’s actually very sweet and that’s because the characters are so endearing.
For some reason, for once, I don’t really have the words to explain why I enjoyed this story so much. It’s enchanting. It made me happy, it made me smile, it made me chuckle, it made my heart squeeze then warm up. It was the perfect counterbalance to Must Love Silence by Lucy Bexley, which I was reading at the same time and loved too in a totally different way. Accidental Honeymoon brought back the air Must Love Silence was making it difficult to breathe in. It grounded me, which, for a story set in a vineyard, sounds especially fitting.