Breathless by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Short, sweet and sexy – we loved this book. Lara is a movie star whose career has crashed and burnt. She is in the throes o...

Cause and Affection by Sheryl Wright


Going by the number of books based on it, fake relationships seem to be a super-favourite trope of authors and publishers. Is it the sheer fantasy aspect that makes it so popular? Toaster-oven is another fantasy. As the author says somewhere in this book (paraphrasing here) a straight woman is the kryptonite of a lesbian. Guess everyone wants to believe that who the person is and what they bring in to the relationship should and will conquer cultural heteronormative conditioning.

Kara Wexler is somewhat of an overachiever working in her family-owned multinational advertising firm. She is not only held back in her performance but cut to pieces by the CEO, who happens to be her father. The whole situation leads to depression which rings the end of her relationship and she spirals further. Demotivated and depressed, she hands in her resignation to her brother, Doug, just before the board meeting. Doug the unwilling heir-apparent of the company and younger sister, Joanne are unwilling to let Kara leave the company. They are set on her leading the company. They concoct a plan to get Kara’s mojo back before the board meeting. Their wildly unbelievable plan is to give Kara a dream girlfriend experience which will put her in a happy place and back on track for the board meeting. Madeleine Jessepp, who had moved to Vegas a decade back has nothing by way of career and is set to return home to Minnesota. She is roped in as the dream date for Kara, and she takes the job so that she doesn’t return home completely broke.

There are three parts in this book. The first part is the whole Las Vegas fake girlfriend bit. That is excellently written and both the MCs are totally likeable. Their chemistry works wonderfully and you are completely drawn into the story.

The second part is the inevitable fallout and Kara and Madeleine dealing with their feelings and realities. The perfect pacing stuttered in this part. We were particularly eager to see how the two get back together and what happening when they connect again. Sadly, that completely fizzled out. We expected drama and emotion, but both were absent.

The third and final part is about forging a strong relationship and believing in each other and their relationship. This was the weirdest part. The author threw up more obstacles in the relationship (Madeleine getting an awesome break, Kara suspecting Madeleine to be involved with a guy, threat to Kara’s position in the company because of her involvement with Madeleine), but the narrative completely downplays the upheaval. Worse, the MCs seemed to stop connecting and talking.

Where the first one-third of the book was pushing it firmly into the 4 (or more) star category the second made it slip into 3 and well, the last bit…2.5 at best. 


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