Book Review: The Real Thing (Sugar Lake) by Melissa Foster

The Real Thing is the first book in the Sugar Lake series by Melissa Foster.  Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as a player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough for her to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring? Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move…provided no one gets hurt. Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement and the real thing, including them.

The Real Thing is a charming romance. I found Willow and Zane to be great characters, they both had depth and good and bad attributes- and some serious chemistry. I feel like I missed some of the connection between the pair from the past, which is important to the story. Whether this is because of the number of books I have missed from Foster over the years or not, it was really the only negative that I found, but it just never solidified for me personally. I loved the family and friend connections, and the emotionally charged bickering between Zane and Willow. I also like that the discussed things like adults when it was important, although occasionally assumptions, pride, and hurt feelings got in the way. No surprises, just a book with witty dialogue, its fair share of steam, and a pretty perfect blend of charm and snack for a engaging read.

The Real Thing is another romance from Foster that includes characters that feel real, with good and bad and some small town charm thrown in. While it is not the best I have read from Foster, it is still remarkably good and an enjoyable read. 
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