Even Better Than the Real Thing
by Melanie Summers
Publication date: April 7th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
A swoon-worthy, buttery, uber-fun romance about a fake marriage between two people who couldn’t be more wrong for each other…
You know what’s great about applying for an art history PhD program at one of the world’s most prestigious universities? I get to study what I love and land my dream job at the end of it. You know what’s not so great? Being told I’ll only get accepted to the program if I gain access to my aloof, uppity, super grumpy boss’s private art collection.
As it turns out, said boss—a one Lord Hayden Stuart—needs to get married to inherit his late father’s estate and earldom. And if there’s one thing Hayden Stuart is never going to want for real—it’s a wife.
So, we strike up a deal: I marry him and go live at his castle, where I’ll have unlimited access to his collection, he gets his earldom, and when the estate is settled, we part ways forever.
I may have fooled myself into believing I wasn’t risking my heart, but there’s one huge problem: I’m definitely falling for him. He’s not just another man. He’s THE man—an irresistibly good-looking, in-control, expensive-suit-wearing man who makes all the other men look like little boys. And the more time I spend with him pretending to be his wife, the more desperate I become to believe the lie.
But he’s never going to fall for some lowly PhD student. So what if at the wedding he looked at me as if I’m the only woman in the world, and kissed me like he’s shipping off to war in the morning? It doesn’t mean anything.
Or does it?
Because the more we’re together, the more I realize that, even though we’re from totally different worlds, we have a lot more in common than I ever could have imagined.
Now all I have to do is convince him he really does want a wife…
*** Even Better Than the Real Thing is a standalone romance with a little extra spice than a regular Melanie Summers book. ***
Finally, Hayden opens his mouth. “I’m not sad he’s dead, you know.”
“I know,” I tell him, squeezing his hand.
“I hated him. He was a complete bastard.”
He looks down at me with tears in his eyes. “Then can you please tell me why the hell I’m so sad right now?”
A lump forms in my throat. “I think you’re grieving the father you should have had.”
Nodding, he sniffs, clears his throat, and says, “How stupid is that? I’m a grown man, for God’s sake.”
“But you used to be a little kid and he needed a dad.”
His shoulders crumple and he lets out a couple of sobs. Letting go of his hand, I wrap my arm around him and pull him close, resting his head on my shoulder and dropping a kiss on his head. I have no idea how long we stay like this, but by the time he’s done, my shoulder aches from the weight of him, and I’m absolutely terrified that I’ve fallen completely in love with him.
Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.
Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.
In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).
Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.
She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.