The Real Deal - Lauren Blakely

The Real Deal

By Lauren Blakely

  • Release Date: 2018-07-10
  • Genre: Romantic Comedy
Score: 4.5
From 114 Ratings


Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?


  • The Real Deal

    By Fongoul
    A very nice story but could have been said in a lot less words! It dragged on so long until they got together!
  • Sweet with real

    By LKKtechie
    What lengths would go to to stop you family from meddling in your love life? Would you answer a "boyfriend-for-hire" ad? That is exactly what April does when her good friend get an unbelievable job in England. April is smart, fun, intelligent, and very talented artist who happens to the human body as her canvas. April is returning home for a family reunion and would prefer to not have to deal with her family (loving family) interferring with her love life. What type of person puts an ad on a website to hire out as a platonic date. That would be Theo, a man desperate to pay off a debt to keep from worrying his only family, his brother. Turns out Theo is quite talented with his voice and his ability to imitate a variety of accents. Theo and April pretend to the real deal and somehow along the way their feelings truly did turn into the "Real Deal". This newest book by Lauren Blakely is sweet, heartwarming, and a fun summer read. Theo is handsome, smart, swoon-worthy, and has a heart-of-gold. Will April forgive Theo for not telling her all the details of his past or will April pass up "The Real Deal" with Theo? To find out the answers to these questions read The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely. A great anytime read!! I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. 5 stars*****
  • The Real Deal for sure!

    By Hhaines place
    I have read all books by Lauren Blakey but this was my favorite! I love the humor and the sweetness of the storyline.
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    By DannyFTW7
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  • Fun, Entertaining & Hot!

    By Astroyic
    This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely won’t be my last. This was such a fun, entertaining, sexy, and heartwarming story. With lovable, and unique characters and a utterly, charming and entertaining, family reunion that keeps the funny times coming and coming as her family, falls, for her fake date, and their fake date, turns into the real deal. But when secrets come to light, will love save the day? It was LOL. hilarious, full of rapid, fire, wit and flirty banter as well as exquisitely playful and enticing moments that made me giddy and breathless. It was so easy getting lost in these characters and their wonderfully crafted conversations and their special connection and I didn’t want it to end. Loved and so will you. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
  • Absolutely fabulous!

    By GreyGirl50
    I can’t think of another author who is more prolific than Lauren Blakely! While most of her books stand alone, I love the fact that I get to read a new book of hers on a quarterly basis and they’re all absolutely fabulous! In The Real Deal we meet an unlikely hero with a checkered past who is playing by the book without involving his heart, until he meets a woman who is the real deal. April loves her family but she hates when they try to set her up with single guys, hoping she’ll fall in love and move home to their little town in Connecticut, which is why she needs Theo as a buffer. Little does she know that this year’s family reunion will be filled with fun, games and love because Theo is the real deal too! A fun, flirty, sexy new standalone that grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. I read an early copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
  • This book is Perfection!

    By Shelly062498
    I LOVED this book! One of the best romantic comedies I’ve read this year so far! It’s sexy. It’s sweet and at time quite hilarious. C’mon, a boyfriend for hire? A sexy bartender puts out a craigslist ad for his platonic services? Of course there’s going to be shenanigans afoot! One thing I love about Lauren’s books is that it’s always something new. April is a body painter! Yup, you read that right...she paints scenes on people’s bodies. What a great and unique job. It was very interesting and intriguing to read about her paining people. Sounds like a really fun job! And Theo, he’s sweet and very charming and such a great character. Trying to make extra money as a “boyfriend-for-hire”. He really is doing it for the noblest of reasons, even though his past may suggest otherwise. And April’s family reunion was a blast! I had so much fun reading about it, it was like I was there too. And those games sounded so fun...especially the Junk in the Trunk game. I really want to try that with my kids. Lol! If you’re looking for the perfect summer read, light and sweet, humorous with a lot more meaning, this is for you! You’ll get swept up in April and Theo’s “pretend” romance as they spin tales of their first meeting, sexy encounters and their relationship made up on the fly.
  • April & Theo - From Fake to Real!

    By Fairest Reviews
    Romance readers are quite familiar with the ‘pretend boyfriend’ or ‘boyfriend-for-hire’ trope, so the fact that April Hamilton and Theo Banks meet one another through a ‘Gigs for Hire’ personal ad because April wants her overbearing family to stop hounding her about her personal life is a predictable storyline, but Lauren Blakely brings freshness to a commonly used story line by infusing it with comical character interactions, a palpable attraction between the hero and heroine, and a first person perspective that provides April and Theo’s internal musings and diatribes as they start a connection based on a paid transaction and slowly moves to something they never anticipated but perhaps sorely needed. Theo is definitely more of a mystery than April is, and as the story progresses and Theo’s past is carefully revealed, his hesitancy makes sense...his need to payoff his debt and all that that process entails is understandable, and while April’s reaction to the man Theo used to be is concerning, not showing April exactly who Theo was and is will only make things that are developing between them hit a roadblock that they might not be able to overcome. April’s family adds so much hilarity and dramatics to April and Theo’s story because due to her relatives meddling, April and Theo find themselves in some rather precarious positions throughout all the family fun that’s had and the close quarters that are forced upon them as they begin to get to know one another and find that their attachment to each other is stronger than they could have ever imagined. Imagine the squirrelest and craziest bunch of relatives that someone could have and that’s April’s crew. But, the fact that they are all up in April and Theo’s lives and pull some crazy antics does provide a bit of comic relief when things get too tense or overwhelming for what’s developing between April and Theo, so this interesting bunch of people help to balance the stress and sexual tension that seems to surround this ‘pretend’/‘real’ couple. The Real Deal is another fantastic romantic comedy from the hilarious and gifted mind of Lauren Blakely, but there’s also quite a bit of angst mixed in with the entertaining scenes, adding depth to the plot and allowing it to take an unpredictable course, which keeps readers’ interest until the very last page of April and Theo’s book. 4.5 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
  • Adorable, witty, romantic, and sexy

    By Sandra Two Book Pushers
    The Real Deal is Lauren Blakely’s next funny and sexy rom-com. You all know I am a huge fan of Lauren’s. The person and her words. She just has a way telling a story that makes me laugh, think, and of course, swoon. Every. Single. Time. Theo needs to payoff a debt. April needs a fake boyfriend to bring home. He will get his payday and one step closer to leaving behind his past. She will get her matchmaking family off her back during their five day family reunion. It’s win-win, really. He gets a break from bartending with a beautiful woman. She gets to relax instead of going on blind date after blind date. Then they will go their separate ways. She is on a dating diet after-all and he doesn’t date clients. He doesn’t even kiss them on the lips. He isn’t a hooker. He is a buffer. But what happens when the line between pretend and real is blurred? So much. Theo has a past. It’s not a pretty one. It’s not one for everyone. That is why he doesn’t open up to just anyone. The moment he saw April he knew she was going to be trouble. He suspected it even before the first meeting. She was quick-witted and he knew she would keep him on his toes. What he didn’t expect was to feel the way he did when he was around her. Happy. Relaxed. And that was before he met her family. That was when the real trouble began... April didn’t see him coming. He made her laugh. He made her family laugh. He was a gentlemen with a side of cocky. But, that was what she asked for. A boyfriend. One to show her family that she didn’t need them to meddle or worry about her. They didn’t understand that she was fine being single. She didn’t need a man to be happy. She had a career as a body painter that did that. It was a passion they never understood. And now, she was confused. She likes him. But did she like the pretend Theo or the real one? Was he ever real with her or was it all an act? She didn’t know but she would find out. Will she run when she finds out who the real Theo is or fall even harder? I adored this story! It was so much fun and it reminded me of Lauren’s older books. It was a totally mix of new and old and I loved that. And of course it’s always awesome to spot the little cameos of previous characters. So much fun!! Ok...back to Theo and April... Overall...I thought they were just adorable, funny, witty, flirting, romantic, and sexy. Their banter was fantastic. The writing flowed amazingly. The characters are lovable. Real. It was another kicka- book in Lauren’s collection. Quotes: “You devil,” I whisper. His eyebrows waggle. “You’re trying to cop a feel amongst kids, you Lawn Twister perv,” I whisper, loving the easy banter and teasing we’ve slid into so comfortably. If this is being kissed, nothing else has ever counted. This is how women should demand to be kissed. “I’m going to hula-hoop circles around you.”
  • A good book

    By nikki van horn
    This book was so good. April lives in New York and is a body painter. She was heading home for a family reunion but needed a boyfriend to ward off her family from the guys the pick for her to date. She finds an ad on Craigslist’s and that’s when she meets Theo. Theo is a bartender and does the boyfriend for hire ad. Their role was to be real with one another but play fake boyfriend to her family. They come to realize they have stronger feelings for one another. In the end they love one another. I love this book. I love happy endings and how they work out their issues with one another. She didn’t turn on him and judge him for his past and that she loved him no matter what. He wanted a better future and learn from his past. Just in an all around good book. ARC provided by netgalley