Not Fooling Anyone, an all-new fake relationship college romance from Allie Winters, is available now in Kindle Unlimited!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Not Fooling Anyone by Allie Winters
Series: Lessons Learned #2
Published by Smartypants Romance on April 12, 2022
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
The deal is simple—pretend to be Ethan’s girlfriend for a psych study and we each get a nice payday. Despite him being a dumb jock who willingly gets punched for fun at my dad’s boxing gym, I can handle it. I’ve mastered the art of keeping others at a distance. Especially after… Well, never mind that.
Except, I didn’t count on him not understanding the definition of boundaries. Suddenly, we’re having to fake being in love all over campus to keep up the ruse. And when he tries to slip under the barriers I’ve worked so hard to create? Yeah, that’s not happening. Even if it turns out he’s surprisingly understanding… and funny… and charming… and smarter than I ever would have given him credit for. Not to mention that muscled body from all that boxing…
No, that’s irrelevant. I may have misjudged him, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested. He has no idea what kind of baggage I’m carrying. A relationship is the last thing on my mind.
Even if I’m not fooling anyone.
Not Fooling Anyone is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Lessons Learned series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
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“We need to talk.”
Wow, just what every guy wants to hear five minutes into his new fake relationship. “Are you breaking up with me? And just when I thought we were having a real breakthrough.”
Those full lips of hers twitch, even as she rolls her eyes, but she stays silent as she steers me over to the corner of the lecture hall, her arm still linked with mine, and waits until we’re out of earshot of others to whisper, “We have to come up with a game plan.”
“I think what you meant to say was thank you, Ethan. You’re my hero.”
She blinks up at me and lets go of my arm, crossing her arms over her chest. She’s got this shapeless black hoodie on, the same as last night, but her face is clear of the heavy makeup today, her hazel eyes filled with annoyance.
“Thank you,” she mutters. I don’t doubt her sincerity, but I still can’t help teasing her a little all the same.
“Was that painful? You looked like you were in pain saying that.”
Her mouth tilts up at the corners for the briefest moment before she stops herself. “I’m being serious here. I really am grateful. I just don’t… I don’t like being in anyone’s debt.” She looks down, the smallest bit of vulnerability seeping through before she clears her throat, looking back up at me. “How about I tutor you so we’re even?”
Tutor me? She honestly thinks I’m a meathead. I shrug, inwardly grinning. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finds out the truth. “Sure. I never turn down free help.”
“So how do you want to play this?”
“For being your fake boyfriend during the study?”
She nods, gaze darting about.
“Do you not trust me to keep my mouth shut around others?” I ask.
She releases a sigh. “I’m just double-checking.”
“Why’d you pick me?”
She blinks up at me, caught off guard. “You were right there.”
Fair enough. “So you don’t have anyone else you’d rather do this with?”
Her gaze narrows slightly. “If you’re trying to ask if I’m seeing anyone, the answer is no.”
Guess that was kind of obvious. “And you need the money because you’re not making enough tips at the bar?”
“How do you—” She cuts herself off. “Oh, my Dad.” She drums her fingers against her arm. “Yeah. Listen, I get that I put you in a tough spot. I’m…” She looks down at her crossed arms. “I’m sorry. If you don’t want to go through with it, I understand.”
My fingers twitch to reach out to her, but she’d probably karate chop my hands away. “I said I’d be the love of your life, didn’t I?”
The small smile she gives in response is worth continuing with… whatever this is we’re doing.
I loved the first book in this series by this author, Under Pressure, so I was excited for this one! One half of our couple in this book, Ethan is roommates with one half of the couple in that book, Tyler. We don’t spend a ton of time with them, but it is still fun to see them once in a while. This was a quick and easy read. It was stressful at first, not having a lot of background for Lexie with all the issues she was having. We got bits and pieces and the story filled in as we went. After we got all the pieces to the puzzle that was Lexie’s past fit together, her hesitancy, no, outright refusal to get into a relationship made sense. Even before she told the people in her life the truth about what happened to her mom, there was a hint at what would cause our final drama in the story. Especially when Ethan was keeping his own secret from Lexie and his family. Ethan had a nice family, other than his younger brother who was a bit of an iffy character. But I could see him getting some redemption in a future story maybe? I would love to see Ethan’s single brothers get their own story at some point as well. Whether in the SPR universe or outside.
While I didn’t love this one as much as the first book, it was still good, and I look forward to more from this author!
About the Author
Allie is the author of the Suncoast University series, the Bishop Brothers series, and the Lessons Learned series. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, daughter, and two cats. A librarian by day, she spends her nights writing happily ever afters. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and all things Disney.
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