The Accidental Fiance by Christi Barth: Alex Kirkland is having no luck getting a new job after he was fired from a previous one for trying to cover up a theft by someone he supervised and cared about. His sister, Amelia, and their two best friends suddenly are jobless and about to become homeless. As a last ditch effort, they decide to buy a lottery ticket for historic inn on the Maryland shore that needs lot of TLC. They win and the four of them set off to renovate and have the inn ready in time for wedding and special event season. After they arrive at the inn, they wonder if they were truly lucky to have won this prize.
Sydney Darrow has been away from her hometown for years, traveling around the world for her job. She comes home after she finds out her grandmother is having to go through chemo and help is also needed at her family’s business. She plans on staying just for 90 days helping make sandwiches and coffee at the Mercantile.
Sydney wants to keep her Grandma’s spirits up after the family was afraid she wouldn’t live. Sydney thinks Grandma would be happy if she showed signs of having a wedding in the future. After she meets Alex, Sydney thinks he would work perfectly as a “faux fiance’”. She is even willing to help on the repairs at the inn and go on a few very public “dates” with Alex.
Can Sydney and Alex keep their feelings out of their fake relationships or will things become too real?
I liked the premise of this story. I could see friends bonded more closely in an all important project, even if one is a little too bossy and overbearing at times.
I had a hard time keeping the four characters straight to start with. Maybe it was me, but I think the author could have had a little more backstory and introduced them more slowly. There seemed to be more content about Alex and Sydney, but I found the characters of Amelia, Everleigh and Teague not as fully fleshed out. This novel was the first in a series, so perhaps the reader will learn more about them in upcoming books.
The pacing seemed a little off at times. At times there was lots of details and then things seemed to suddenly jump forward.
I was put off some by the gratuitous use of two “f bombs” in this tale. I am not a prude, but it was unnecessary. Without this, I may have given the book a slightly higher rating.
There will be future novels in this series in the near future. I wish the author all the best.
Publication: February 23, 2021 | Tule Publishing | Love Lottery #1
Is it the chance of a lifetime or his biggest mistake?
When former hotel manager Alex Kirkland, his sister and their best friends pooled their money for an unusual lottery prize—a historic, dilapidated inn on the Maryland shore—as a last-ditch attempt to escape rotten circumstances, they never expected to win. But they’re all looking for a fresh start and a second chance, so Alex convinces everyone to move in and repair the building in time for the spring wedding season.
Sydney Darrow never planned to return to her hometown. But her family needs her and Sydney can endure anything for 90 days—including making sandwiches and serving coffee with a smile until she returns to her jet-setter career. When her grandma mistakes a handsome customer for the “fiancé” Sydney created when she thought her grandma was on death’s door, well…Sydney will do anything to keep her spirits up during treatment. She can persuade him to keep up the charade for a few months, right?
But when Alex agrees to play along, will they both fall for their own fiction? (less)