indie romance fangirl / vibes based reviewer sharing the books I love

Happy Thursday! Smartypants season kicks off today!

I really enjoyed this opposites attract fake dating romance. Tough Cookie is the third standalone in the Donner Bakery series, this one between Noah and Carla.

Stunt man Noah has returned home to Green Valley to recuperate from an injury suffered on this most recent film, where he runs into Carla, the reclusive woman who is renting a house from his mother. Noah’s mom is on his case to settle down and give her grandbabies, so Noah proposes that he and Carla hang out while she’s in town to fool his mom. Carla has been isolated while dealing with a debilitating illness, and she decides to let Noah help her ease her way back into the real world 🤝

I really enjoyed these characters, separately and together. Noah is an easy going, flirtatious cinnamon roll of a man, skilled both in stunt work and the art of cookie decorating. Carla is much more reserved, an extremely organized woman who’s life now revolves around treating her illness and work.  Both have bad experiences in their past so they promise not to fall for each other during their arrangement, which of course never works.

They had really excellent banter, it made me laugh out loud multiple times. There were immediate sparks between them and I loved how their romance felt natural, despite the short time frame. 

It was quick reading for me, I basically read it in one sitting and was kind of bummed when it was over! I really enjoyed this one.  Though this takes place in the Penny Reid universe you can read it as a complete standalone.

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