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Blog Tour Stop: Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider

by Sara Rider
Series: Books & Brews #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Rating: ★★★★
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As an audiobook narrator, Clementine Cox has no trouble mastering the voices of space aliens, elven warriors, or even demon-possessed cats. But the moment she tries her hand at an erotic romance, she’s stumped. With her deadline looming, she books a week at a secluded cabin to restore her inner muse, telling her loving-but-overbearing family it’s a romantic getaway with her not-so-existent new boyfriend to keep them from worrying. She never expects them to invite themselves along to meet the new guy. Now, she has less than twenty-four hours to find a pretend boyfriend in order to save her job and, potentially, her sanity.

Workaholic Jake Donovan isn’t interested in a real relationship. After a broken engagement, all he wants to do is focus on keeping his brewpub, the Holy Grale, afloat. But when he finds out his favorite customer is in need of a fake boyfriend, and his business partners insist he take a long overdue vacation, he has no choice but to help Clem out. All he has to do is enjoy the sunshine, play nice with her family, and keep his hands to himself for the week.

But Jake’s not prepared to like waking up next to Clem every morning as much as he does. Or to feel so welcome by her quirky family. And as the line between real and fake starts to blur, he realizes one week might never be enough.

Charming is the word I’d use if somebody asked me to describe Real Kind of Love in one word. This book is charming. I am utterly charmed by this book. It felt like I was watching a Hallmark movie in my head while I was reading this book. I loved every scene on every page and I never wanted it to end.

Our heroine, Clementine, is a civil engineer turned audiobook narrator, and she makes a whole lot more money narrating books, which is inspiring to me, a recently-graduated-and-now-seeking-jobs biotechnology engineer because I don’t know if I’d get a job in my field so now I’m calculating escape plans, but I digress. Clem is so adorable, I love her. She’s also shy and socially awkward, and there were some second-hand embarrassment scenes in this book that made me laugh out loud and then hide my face under the pillow because NOOOOO. I totally feel for her because she’s the introvert one in a big family full of boisterous people and I’m sad to see her uncomfortable even being among her own family members. 

Our hero, Jake, owns the bar where Clem frequently goes to drink and work for the past three years. They have a steady relationship with each other, in a way that I would even say they’re friends. I think I requested this book because Jake was described as a broody guy, but he wasn’t, and I don’t mind that all because he is so nice. I love his relationship with his best friend, Eli, and I love his passion for business. His bar is named Holy Grale and I love that bit too. Also, did I mention that Jake stress-cleans? A man after my own heart! 

Clem and Jake are wrong on paper but they work so well together. I just about died when Jake met Clem’s family on their getaway and they tried to give him a custom ‘family’ shirt that turned out to be small because he was built? 

“I had a shirt printed for your new boyfriend, but you never told me he was so…big. Every other boy you’ve brought home has been so skinny.” 

I love that Jake really cared about Clem, and he basically just went along with whatever her family had planned because he didn’t want to disappoint her. Jake’s basically the best fake boyfriend ever. I would totally hire him for my own family gathering. I also love that Clem, who preferred her own company more than people, was comfortable enough around Jake to be herself. They basically fell for each other within the week Coxes’ family vacation and it didn’t feel rushed at all. Maybe it was because they technically have known each other for three years, or maybe because Sara Rider has magical powers? Who knows? 

Also worth mentioning that their sexy times were pretty hot because Clem was working on narration for an erotic romance novel, and she was kind of in a narrator’s block because she couldn’t figure out the hero’s voice, and then suddenly Jake was there as the perfect inspo, and they might have re-enacted some scenes because, you know, science. I am a big fan of science. 

It feels wrong not to give a shoutout to the secondary characters in this book because they are amazing. Eli, Jake’s best friend and business partner, is a dreamboat and I’m already excited that he will be getting his own book next. He is so supportive of Jake, and he really cares about him. He gives Jake good advice too. Their banter is one of my favourite things about this book. 

Clem’s family are a riot. I love big families in books, and this family is now one of my favourites. They kind of reminded me of the Kowalskis from Shannon Stacey’s the Kowalski series. They’re a bit nuts, but they have big hearts. Clem’s Grandma Jean especially is my favourite. She's this cool grandma who says the most outrageous things and gives wisdom with breakfast. I love seeing Jake bonding with Clem’s family, he fits right in with them. Sara managed to write them in without them overshadowing Jake and Clem because the Coxes sure have big personalities. 

Overall, it’s been so much fun reading this book. I finished it all in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop. The epilogue (YES, IT HAS AN EPILOGUE, YAY) made me sigh and wish I wasn’t single. The excerpt of Eli’s book had me going YES because it’s going to be an enemies-to-lovers thing, and the heroine is his neighbour (!!!). I’m looking forward to reading more of Sara Rider’s works.

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About Sara Rider 

Sara Rider writes contemporary romance full of heart, heat, and happily ever after. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and daughters. She spends far too much time in public libraries and never leaves the home without her e-reader stuffed in her purse. 

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