Published by Avon on Aug. 25, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Add to Goodreads
Sometimes faking it can lead to the real thing…
Driven and focused, Dr. Nicole Allen is an accomplished surgeon. With a tough past, Nic’s gone above and beyond everyone’s expectations. But when she disciplines an intern—a powerful donor’s son—a prestigious fellowship she’s awaiting is placed in jeopardy.
Coming from a successful family who runs a medical business empire, Benjamin Reed Van Mont is the black sheep, having chosen to start his own business instead. Though he’s not ready to settle down, he knows when the time comes it definitely won’t be with a workaholic doctor like his friend Nic—even if she’s had him re-examining his edict…more than once.
When Ben’s status-climbing ex-girlfriend finds her way back into his orbit, Nic proposes a swap of services. She’ll spend the week with Ben on Martha’s Vineyard, pretending to be his girlfriend—but only if he’ll have his family intervene on her behalf so she won’t lose her fellowship. How hard can the charade be?
But as they’re about to discover, they’ve sorely underestimated their true feelings for each other…
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Like Lovers Do is smart, sexy, and emotionally satisfying. It’s the first Tracey Livesay book I’ve read, but it won’t be the last!
Nic is smart, focused (even driven), and caring. The latter is especially evident when it comes to her landlord and best friend, Ben. And Ben is a good and decent man who will do almost anything for Nic, including ask his estranged parents to put in a good word for Nic when she’s about to lose the prestigious fellowship she has worked so hard for. So when Ben needs to fend off an ex who is now pursuing him and isn’t going to take “no” for an answer, Nic offers to help out by posing as his girlfriend. And the sparks they have both been successfully denying for years finally ignite.
I love the dynamic between Nic and Ben. They respect one another’s intelligence and expertise; they get along like… well, like the best friends they are; they stand up for and look out for one another; and they both find the other totally hot, but have been trying to ignore it so it doesn’t ruin a beautiful friendship… which means neither one realizes they’re in love with each other. Or would be, if they just examined their feelings long enough to figure it out.
The major obstacles standing in their way are Nic’s fear that a relationship will mean giving up her dreams, and Ben’s insistence that he doesn’t want to marry a career woman, but someone who will put family first. Why he feels that way, and why his relationship with his family is so fraught, is revealed slowly, through Ben’s memories and thoughts as well as things he has shared with Nic in the past. Similarly, Nic’s motivations for becoming a successful orthopedic surgeon, the reasons she is so driven, also unfold slowly. Before they can accept the implications of their feelings, both Ben and Nic need to come to terms with and move past their pain. Fortunately, they each get that opportunity — in Ben’s case, in a scene that moved me to tears.
But the book isn’t all drama and angst; there’s plenty of humor as well, both in the dialogue and in situations that arise. Early in the book, there’s an accidental drunken sexting scene that had me laughing and wincing at the same time. Later on, Nic delivers several excellent set-downs to the predatory ex-girlfriend that made me want to cheer… not least because the woman richly deserved them for her deliberate use of microaggressions against Nic, who is biracial. I despised her. On the other hand, I liked most of Ben’s and Nic’s other friends, especially Nic’s. The focuses on Nic and her BFFs in turn, and I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Quarantine Edition (2020)
- Diversity Reading Challenge 2020